Have you heard of the Tambourine Guy? No? Tim Kubart? No! Well, Christina Berchini has. In fact, through the Tambourine Guy’s performance in a YouTube video that reimagined Demi Lovato’s “Really Don’t Care” as a classic Motown record, Christina Berchini and I came to create a more meaningful student-professor bond. After this shared enjoyment and slight obsession, I am pleased to be drafting this short profile about a skilled professor and an equally charming woman.
Berchini grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and to my delight, earned her undergraduate degree in Communications at Pace University in Westchester County while auditioning for Broadway and waiting tables. Did I mention Broadway? She then put her degree to work by entering the business world, which she found was not to her taste. After a serendipitous, one-time meeting with a Social Studies teacher who loved his job, Berchini decided she wanted to love something as much as he did and resolved to become an educator. She then earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education with an emphasis in English Education from Michigan State University.
By teaching, Berchini has ascertained that she enjoys exposing students to ideas and resources for the first time, such as Sir Ken Robinson’s videos on education and creativity. She said “I enjoy students laughing and engaging with materials. That is important and strikes me 100 percent of the time.” Moreover, by teaching at UW-EC, Berchini has become a part of our remarkable community and campus. She stated “My students are amazing and my colleagues are amazing. I could not have predicted a better situation. I feel I’m very fortunate to be here. That’s the truth.” In becoming a part of our Mid-western family, Berchini has also encountered cheese curds and eagles, who apparently do not hang out in Brooklyn, for the first time. Unfortunately, Berchini also discovered that it is extremely difficult to work right above Einstein Bros Bagels because she can smell them every morning and afternoon. I think many readers can sympathize with her plight.
In her free time, Berchini enjoys being physically active, reading, and writing. After some light online research, I discovered her work has been featured on Success.com and many of her articles have been published in The Huffington Post. She was not being completely facetious when she said she is always writing. Additionally, she also enjoys traveling and reminisced about her time in France. She said “That was amazing and I think about it daily. If you have the opportunity to go abroad, you must. There are no two ways about it…You have not lived if you have not consciously chosen to be an outsider.”
Ultimately, Berchini is an outstanding addition to our community and I am sure we will continue to welcome her with open arms. Just a tip, if you are looking to start up a conversation with Christina Berchini, or put a smile on her face, take a peek at the Tambourine Guy’s performance.