Brian Berg's welcome-to-the-Midwest moment came in January 2000, not long after he arrived on campus to begin his doctoral work.
“I moved into a duplex in Urbana and planned to ride my bike to campus, but being from North Carolina had no appreciation for how cold it would be," says the medical science liaison for Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, who earned his Ph.D. in nutritional sciences in 2004.
"I remember watching the weather forecaster say it was going to be a negative temp, like minus-10 with the wind chill and thought: ‘Wow, I’ve never experienced that before.’
"So I drove my car in and paid the meter until it warmed up. I vividly remember riding or walking up Gregory Drive from the parking garage and there was the wind tunnel effect heading east down Gregory that just got right to your bones before you could get into the safety and warmth of the Animal Science Laboratory, where my office and lab was. This also made a coffee from Espresso Royale a great mid-morning break spot.
“A second important spot for me was where the original Panera was located, which is where I first met who would become my wife and mother of our four children. Trisha Toepfer, as she was known at the time, also attended Illinois and got her master’s degree from the same lab I got my Ph.D.
"We are still happily married today.”