THE BRONX - Thomas Isekenegbe has been on the job as president of Bronx Community College for the past seven months, and his journey started as a child in Nigeria with a love of education.

Isekenegbe, who holds a doctorate, grew up as one of 11 children. He and all of his siblings attended college. "The basic emphasis in my house has always been education, and my father really truly drilled that into us," says Isekenegbe.

He came to the U.S. in 1981 to attend graduate school. Since then, he has held various academic positions across the U.S. "From the word 'go,' I knew I wanted to be in academia," he says.

Isekenegbe came to Bronx Community College from South New Jersey, where he served as president of Cumberland County College.

Throughout his career, Isekenegbe says his goal has been simple: "My single focus has always been on the students." While he enjoys his new office, he says he likes to walk around campus and to interact with students.

Isekenegbe's plans for the college include working on the professional development of faculty and staff members, working with the community and working on economic development.

"We just created a new division, which is workforce and economic development," he says. "What I see that division doing is to build a bridge between our institution and employers."