Written by Kaylie Weideman. Media by Momoka Murata.
Matt Bernico is an Assistant professor of Communication and Media Studies at Greenville University and has been since 2016. He teaches multiple classes, including Intro to Communications; Media Communications; Literary, Visual, and Media Theory; Public Relations; Producing Digital Narratives; and Gender Studies in Media Communication.
He resides here in Greenville with his wife, Shannon (the campus counselor at GU) and their 2-year-old son Louis, who loves the movie, Trolls.
Bernico grew up in Ottawa, IL, which is southwest of Chicago. Bernico came to GU, GC at the time, as a student and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. During this time, he worked in the IT Department. Bernico also received his Master of Arts degree in Political Philosophy and Cultural Theory from the University of Illinois Springfield and a Ph. D. in Media and Communication from European Graduate School.
Bernico’s favorite place on campus is the Maves Art Center, which is three blocks west of campus. It is two floors full of creative energy and he “…likes the feeling of artwork and that’s the place where art is created and presented.” Maves has an upper level, which includes an art gallery, drawing and painting studio, a fine arts classroom, a computer graphics room, and a student lounge. Maves’ lower level has welding facilities, a wood shop, and a ceramics studio. Bernico encourages students to go check this place out!
“Being a Christian, I feel I’m called to be with people who are oppressed,” said Bernico, when asked about his faith, “In my work, I try to encounter oppressed people and spiritually grow by helping them. I feel I’m motivated by the gospel to answer those calls of justice and I try to do that through my own academic work.”
Additionally, Bernico encourages students “…to learn a lot and learn to be interested in things you may not think are interesting.” He urges students to take courses that aren’t required for their major simply to learn something new. Bernico also said, “Find ways for the courses you take to relate to your passion; make something fun out of it.”
Outside of Greenville, Bernico’s favorite part of Illinois is taking trains. This is because of his first encounter on a train in New York City. He enjoys taking the train from Springfield to Chicago because it only takes about 3 hours, without traffic, and you can be on your phone or laptop! Bernico says, “Taking the train is probably the best thing – the scenery of the cornfields and the farmland really gives you a different perspective about being in Illinois and truly gives you that ‘Illinois feel,’ without having to drive!”
Bernico is a really cool dude! His office is located in the Kauffman building, so if you’re interested, go find him and get to know him!