By Victoria Lawson | Echo
New Assistant Professor of Communication Julie Borkin is defying the stereotype that communication is a career path suited only for extroverts.
As an only child from Dearborn, Michigan, Borkin preferred to engage in what she describes as introverted hobbies: reading, writing, playing piano and taking long, quiet walks. The irony? Borkin, who replenishes her energy primarily in solitude and silence, graduated with a doctorate in speech communications.
Borkin has a heart for quality conversations and an eye for ministry opportunities, which can be observed both in and out of the classroom as she uses her communication skills to find new ways to connect with others spiritually.
"I love when ministry is practical, I love when academics are practical, and when they function together . . . that gets me so excited I can't stand it," Borkin said. "I was kind of down on Facebook for awhile and wondering where it fit in my life, and recently I heard a great message about how to redeem it for the Kingdom. So, I'm trying to be a little more thoughtful about sharing the lessons I'm learning in my faith, but with language that would be accessible for people who don't have any idea who Jesus is."
In addition to using social media to reach out, Borkin uses another effective tactic - walking her two golden retrievers, Dexter and Riley.
Borkin grooms the dogs herself on the weekends, and says that afterward she ends up looking like Chewbacca from "Star Wars." She walks them in the rain, snow or shine and considers the pair of pups a gift as they keep her active and start life-giving conversations.
"When people walk and they feel like they're not looking right at you," Borkin said. "It's not so intense, they are more likely to share their hearts."
Borkin specializes in rhetoric criticism and teaches senior capstone, intercultural communications and speaking classes. She adores great coffee and conversations.