This week’s “Professor Chat” is with Brother Rob Berger, associate professor of religious studies and resident director of Jasper Hall. This semester, Berger can be found teaching Religion 225 class Contemporary Catholicism and Religion 306 class Central Themes in the Hebrew Scriptures. Read on to find out a little more about your professor.
Q: Why are you a professor in the subject you are?
A: Because I find it fascinating to work with people who are going into emerging adulthood and who are looking at questions about faith, identity and discerning their future.
Q: What is your favorite part about MC?
A: The people, without a doubt. The students, faculty, staff and administration have a great energy. It’s more than energy, there’s a vibrancy and enthusiasm that each segment of the community brings to the whole enterprise.
Q: What is your biggest student pet peeve (if you have one)?
A: It’s not in the classroom, my biggest pet peeve is the year 2014 on campus when a student will walk around with their ears plugged up, the hoodie on and the sunglasses that makes them feel like they’re the invisible man or invisible woman. It gives the message, “don’t say hello to me, don’t talk to me, don’t enter my world, go to hell.”
Q: Where can you be found on the weekends?
A: In Jasper Hall. You’re here! Isn’t that sad?
Though, I do enjoy the events that Student Activities offers. I’m a huge fan of Scatterbomb and the films that the Film Society presents. I love going downtown to plays and musicals and just exploring new places that pop up in New York City, because that is the truth, I like exploring the city.
Q: What is your favorite thing to read (book, newspaper, magazine, etc.)?
A: I can get lost on the web in The New York Times as one article leads to another article. I also like novels, mystery novels mostly, and books on current spirituality.
Q: Why did you become a brother?
A: When I was an undergraduate at Manhattan College, there were about 80 brothers here and I could see as a community they had a big impact on Manhattan College. I wanted to be a teacher and my faith meant a lot to me so I felt that I would give it a shot. Forty years later, the shot is still ringing. I have lived with some fantastic brothers, taught with some terrific colleagues and had a lot of great students. It’s the perfect storm.