By Daniel Lopez
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Assistant Professor II English Composition Claire Berger has been teaching at Camden County College for 19 years. She is one of three teachers who teach English Composition and Honors English Composition at the CCC Blackwood Campus, but before she became a full-time professor, she was an adjunct at CCC. Berger wrote technical and user manuals for Xerox computer services for 10 years, and she taught at Camden High School for three years.
Berger became an English Composition teacher because reading and writing were always her strong suit. Every semester Berger teaches four or five classes and, she stated, she “prepares a lot for each class.” She sets agendas for each class and reviews a lot of material. Berger said she likes to be prepared because she wants to be able to quote the material she is teaching.
Berger explained her courses are “not intense, but challenging.” She expects her students to be well prepared for class, and she likes to make sure there is communication in her classes. Berger explained while she expects her students to be prepared she also tries to make the courses interesting, educational and fun. Throughout the semester Berger also enjoys when her students begin to communicate with each other in the classroom, because, she said, “they can build a community for themselves.”
Nate Cochran, a student in Berger’s Honors English Composition II class, stated he has enjoyed his two classes with Berger. “She is a dynamic teacher who does whatever she needs to do to get her point across,” Cochran said. Cochran explained he enjoys writing and understood Berger’s courses would not be more difficult but more in depth, and her lectures would be more involved.
Berger won the Lindback Award in 2001. The award is given by the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation for distinguished teaching at colleges and universities throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. Berger, along with other faculty members, fought for 10 years for an Honors Program at CCC and it was not until four years ago the school started the program.