By Alex Nemec, marketing communication specialist in the Office of University Relations
The beginning of a new semester is an exciting time — but it can also be an anxious and stressful experience for some.
In addition to the many resident assistants, each residence hall has a hall minister to provide pastoral care to and be a spiritual presence for all residents and building staff.
In collaboration with the staff, hall ministers are charged with helping to form a residential community that expresses the university’s Catholic, Jesuit mission, while accompanying individuals dealing with stress, illness, loss, loneliness, relationships, spiritual and emotional health, and more.
In this Q&A, Bernardo Borunda, hall minister for the University Apartments, talks about what he likes the most about Marquette University and Milwaukee.
What was your undergraduate degree in? Why did you pursue that discipline?
I double majored in psychology and Spanish. At some point I had the intention of becoming a bilingual psychotherapist because of the need for mental health care professionals, particularly bilingual ones.
Why did you want to be a hall minister?
I wanted to become a hall minister because it is a great way of being of further help to students and to put my gifts and talents at the service of the student community aside from my job in Campus Ministry.
What makes Marquette special to you?
Campus Ministry does. The pastoral team of Campus Ministry — including hall ministers — are very cool people. The way in which they were treating each other when I arrived here was with total respect, trust and encouragement. It is very inspiring, energizing, and inviting to do the same with and for others. Sharing that with students and other colleagues is what makes Marquette special for me.
What is your favorite Marquette memory?
There are many great memories that fall into the category of favorite. Perhaps some of the most valuable are related to mentoring students to develop the Ignacio Ellacuría Scholarship. We had long meetings of brainstorming, in the midst of jokes and laughter, which eventually led to a more solid plan for the scholarship and the development of the Dreamer’s Gala. Also planning and getting everything ready for the gala the first year was a blast. Those were probably the most fun, memorable meetings I have had at Marquette.
What is one thing you’re looking forward to this academic year?
Meeting new students and planning more events based on the energy that students are bringing after the pandemic with new ideas and perspectives.
Favorite book or books: “Bless Me Última,” “Harry Potter” (particularly the last two books; I didn’t like the movies), “American Gods,” and “A Wrinkle in Time”
Favorite location on campus: The garden outside by my office window
Favorite hobby: Arts and crafts, although I have many
Favorite restaurant in Milwaukee: I do not have a favorite one, but I like La Masa, Botanas, El Salvador and Triciclo Perú
Favorite dessert: Custards (baked and frozen) and cakes