Longtime couple teaches government at this college.
By Tim Hernandez
Professor Suzanne Martinez, 51, and Dr. Michael Berrier, 65, are office mates, but an office, Room 230 in Chance Academic Center, is the least of what they share.
The two professors have shared a life together for 30 years that includes two daughters, Philippa, 23, and Ruby, 21.
Martinez studied at UTSA, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science, and has taught at this college for 14 years.
Berrier received a bachelor’s in philosophy and a master’s in public affairs from UT-Austin, and a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied the relationship between government and state bureaucracies, using the California legislature and state higher education for his case study.
Berrier has taught at this college for 28 years as an adjunct.
The couple met in Austin at a Whole Foods store at the intersection of Lamar and Ninth Street, where Martinez, 20 at that time, worked as a cashier.
Berrier, 34 then, lived just around the corner from the store and worked for Gov. Bill White’s administration.
Martinez played on a women’s Frisbee team and worked to support herself.
Martinez said Berrier shopped there regularly, and one day he asked her out on a date.
They have been together ever since.
At home the two enjoy talking about government and politics over coffee as they read the San Antonio Express-News and The New York Times.
She starts with the Express and he with the Times, and then they swap papers, Martinez said.
Martinez and Berrier revealed their secrets to a long, successful relationship.
“If you like somebody, then you tend to want to stick around,” Martinez said.
Berrier added, “A list of things. Humor — and I do what she asks me to do.”
Both professors laughed at the comment.
But they always take turns choosing vacation spots.
In 2014 it was Martinez’s turn to decide, and she selected Memphis, Tenn., to visit the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.
Martinez said sharing an office does not impact their desire to see each other at home.
“No, because normally we’re not (together all day),” she said.
“When we’re here, we’re teaching in a classroom.
“We work around each other, (not with each other).”