Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with one of Star Fleet Academy’s senior administrators to discuss recent Academy events. Star Fleet Academy’s main campus is located in San Francisco, Earth and is overseen by Superintendent -Captain Abigail Taylor, Dean of Evaluations – Commander John Halpert, and Dean of Admissions – Commander Jenna Carranza.
I was lucky enough to get a few moments of Commander John Halpert’s time for this interview. Commander Halpert was born on Earth and started his Star Fleet career in the security department. His Star Fleet record indicates that he was an accomplished and successful security officer but that an eye injury sidelined him from active duty.
After his eye injury, which requires him to wear glasses still today, Halpert began teaching for the Academy. Within a few years Halpert had risen to one of the most senior security instructors and began heading up that department at the Academy.
Not long after that Halpert was promoted to Commander and given the role of Dean of Admissions. Halpert served in that position for a number of years before transferring to the Dean of Evaluations position on Stardate 21407.01.
Avery: Commander Halpert I would like to thank you for sitting down with me today.
Halpert: I am glad to do it.
Avery: What is you favorite thing about working for the Academy?
Halpert: There are many things I love about being here in San Francisco. I get to work with some of the best people and am surrounded by beautiful scenery every day. My favorite thing though is being able to work with the cadets at the Academy. They are the future of Star Fleet and being a part of their foundation is a real privilege.
Avery: Do you get to interact with the cadets as much now that you are Dean of Evaluations?
Halpert: I do, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Certainly my exposure to them in decreased from when I was Dean of Admissions but I still teach some security courses and am no stranger to on campus activities that puts me in direct contact with these young men and women.
Avery: Why did you change positions at the Academy?
Halpert: When Commander Esperenson moved on to other projects it left me with a tough decision to make. I loved serving as Dean of Admissions but I knew that I had a chance to challenge myself and learn, and hone, some new skills.
Avery: What does the Dean of Evaluations do?
Halpert: (laughs) A lot. Much of my work is behind the scenes to ensure that the Academy is running smoothly. I get to work very closely with our instructors, which is a great pleasure. We have some of the best instructors in the quadrant here in San Francisco.
Avery: Was enrollment and enlistment higher or lower during the Krynar Conflict?
Halpert: Definitely higher. Most people suspect that our numbers will decrease during a time of conflict or war but in my experience the opposite is true. The Federation is made up of very brave people who are willing to fight for their way of life. I know some cultures, and even on Earth itself in the past, that a draft had to be implemented during a time of war. I am very proud of the fact that we’ve never even had to consider something like that.
Avery: Any truth to the rumor that you and Captain Taylor are an item?
Halpert: (Taken aback) I’m not sure where you heard that one. To my knowledge Captain Taylor is only in one committed relationship right now, and that is to coffee.
Avery: It’s been said that you are a prankster, what’s the best prank you’ve ever pulled?
Halpert: (Smiling) Well … that is a tough one to answer. I once audited an entire engineering course just go gain the skills required to reprogram a replicator. I made Captain Taylor’s replicate her tea every time she ordered coffee.
Avery: What would you say to young men and women who are considering joining Star Fleet.
Halpert: That they will not regret it. They will make some of their best friends, likely meet their spouse, and gain skills, knowledge, and experience that will benefit them whether they decide to go career Star Fleet or get out after their initial enlistment ends and enter the private sector.
Avery: Commander Halpert, again thank you for agreeing to sit down with me.
Halpert: All the thanks belong to my co-workers who were better at picking the long straw than I was.
Until next time, I’m Kevin Avery.