An Interview with NUQ Director of Student Affairs Greg Bergida
by Rayan El Amine
Greg Bergida is the Director of Student Affairs at Northwestern University Qatar. He has presented numerous workshops within QLC, and has consistently been one of the interesting figures in this conference. His unique workshops have enticed the viewership of presenters and delegates alike, and he stands as one of QLC’s most fascinating figures.
How many QLC’s have you attended? Do any of them particularly stand out?
This will be my third year presenting at QLC. The first year of presenting still stands out for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and the level of engagement and curiosity from the students really impressed me.
You always seem to do workshops around fantasy figures? Why do you think they make good topics for QLC workshops?
The first year, I presented on the importance of failing. I used the movie Rocky as the framework for the discussion. I want to be able to weave important leadership topics into something that is fun and an easy reference. We can learn a lot from the media that surrounds us, be it a movie, graphic novel, or music. My hope is that students walk away from my session and it changes their interpretation of what they read, see, and hear.
Why are events like the QLC important? What purpose do they serve?
Engaging with the community, particularly the young people, is part of the reason I am here. Personally, and as part of Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), I see events like QLC as a chance to meet new people, share ideas, and engage being in debate and dialogue. The students we speak with are the future leaders, and NU-Q has a commitment to educating and developing that leadership talent.
If you could invite one really famous person to the QLC, who would it be and what kind of workshop should they give?
I suspect he has been named before, but it would have to be Bill Gates. There are very few people who can truly say that they have changed the world. As an entrepreneur he helped to move the technology advancement in a way few others have. More importantly, he took that wealth and success and decided that his real mission in life was the make the world a better place. That is the important message: when you become successful, what will you do with that success? He wants to eradicate diseases, advance literacy and education, and he challenges other people to take on the world’s most difficult problems. He doesn’t want his legacy to be Microsoft, he wants it to be the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the giving pledge, and the end of polio and other diseases that plague human kind. That is what we all need to hear about.
Any last comments about yourself.
Just that I am looking forward to this coming weekend and having a chance to meet more students.