After Hours: Gina Burger

Gina Burger works on one of many projects in her backyard.

Position: Counselor

Years at NCSSM: 13

Home: Burger was raised in Granville County in a small community called Pocomoke, and has made her way back there and now lives a couple of miles from her parents.

What she does outside of work: “I really enjoy creating and figuring out how to do things on my own,” Burger says. “A few months ago, I remodeled my bathroom by myself, so I taught myself to replace the vanity, sink, and faucets. I’ve recently gotten into woodworking. I’m working on an Etsy store, but I have to create more inventory. I’ve built a headboard for my guest bedroom, side tables, mirrors, and wall hangings.”

What coworkers may not know: “I’m extremely introverted,” Burger says. “And a lot of people probably don’t know how much I enjoy riding ATVs. I’ve ridden motorcycles since I was a kid, and I have lots of scars to show for it.”

Best part of her job: “The people. The students and employees are so interesting. I’m continually amazed and inspired by their stories. They make me better, so I feel very grateful.”

Favorite perk of working at NCSSM: “I especially love my coworkers. They are a group of supportive, interesting, and dedicated people. I consider them my extended family, and they make coming to work really easy and enjoyable.”

One thing about working here that she would do differently: “As a community, I’d like to see us slow down and be present. Integrating the practice of mindfulness could help. We know that consistent practice increases focus, lowers blood pressure, and alleviates some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Mindfulness offers more than that though. There is a quote by Parker Palmer that reads, ‘Teaching, like any truly human activity, emerges from one’s inwardness, for better or worse.’ What we do on this campus is emotional labor, and it’s important to remember that our own emotions affect our work with students and our colleagues. It’s important that we all build emotional resilience.” 

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