Department: Political Science
Chris Goergen grew up in Germany and often spoke about politics with his father, a journalist.
“German history during the 20th century has been stormy, to say the least,” he said. “When I studied at the University of Tuebingen, I became interested in the explanations for war and the drive to create a more peaceful world. Later, during graduate studies at SUNY Stony Brook, I focused on political psychology, which I still find a fascinating topic.”
Goergen worked all kinds of jobs in his 20s, from taxi driver to construction. He also served in the German military for two years. As an educator, he taught Comparative Politics and International Relations for two years at DePaul University and taught high school German for one year at the University of Chicago Lab School.
At College of DuPage since 1994, Goergen follows the cutting edge of research in his field and shares it with his students. When time permits, he also does his own research. He enjoys lively classroom discussions and students who ask challenging questions.
“I do not have all the answers, but I think I have a lot to share and can offer a unique perspective due to my background,” he said. “Many students come to class with very limited knowledge about politics. Often, their views are based on myth and stereotypes promoted by the media and U.S. political culture. I hope they come to see that there are other valid perspectives on most issues and that we should try to base our judgment on facts and a general goodwill toward other human beings. If students understand that there are no easy answers to most of our political problems, I have already achieved something.”
Goergen is motivated by students who go on to make a difference.
“I still have contact with quite a few students who took my class 10, 15 years ago. Many of them now have very interesting jobs and successful careers – and it is such a pleasure to see how they have grown and matured. I am still hoping one of them will become president one day.”