Franklin Ojeda Smith, a Sociology professor at Richard Stockton College, calls his recent appearance on HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" the "highlight of my career thus far."

He played Deacon Cuffy in a few pivotal baptism scenes in last week's episode of the show that takes place in Prohibition-era Atlantic City.

Smith told us that his role on the show, which ended its first season last night, converges a couple of sectors of his life. He's lived and worked in South Jersey for nearly 40 years, and he co-authored a book in the late 1970s, as casino gambling came to Atlantic City, called "A City Revitalized: The Elderly Lose at Monopoly."

"I firmly believe that decades of lecturing, a past scholarly interest in Atlantic City, along with dedicated training and experiences as an actor over the past ten years has created a synergism. . . . What a wonderful thrill it is to be a part of this warm supportive production," said Smith, whose credits include "Invincible" and "The Wire," adding that he hopes that Deacon Cuffy returns next season. So do we.