Staff Spotlight: Jermaine Pearson

Describe briefly what you do and how long you have been at Brown. 

As the Associate University Chaplain for the Protestant Community, I am tasked with providing holistic care to students, staff, and faculty members, regardless of their religious affiliations. When I meet undergrad and graduate students, I always share that I am committed to supporting their spiritual, intellectual, and professional needs while focusing on mental and emotional well-being.  Additionally, I manage Harmonizing Grace, Brown’s only Gospel Choir. It will be four years in September since I first came to Brown.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

My proudest accomplishment was witnessing the class of 2021 graduate. Although all of my classes and students are special, this was the class that I started with when I first joined the Brown community. Watching them grow and transition into adulthood, get accepted into grad school, and receive job offers, makes me feel special because I know I had a small part to play in their journeys. 

What work projects most excite you?

OCRL hosts the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation grant sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. I enjoy working on projects and planning events that focus on the intersection of race and religion. I look forward to doing more of this work in the upcoming academic year. 

What are your home office must-haves? 

I am probably one of the few people who prefers a solid pen and notebook. While technology is cool, it is something about writing my thoughts and ideas for a potential project on a pen and pad. I am a pen snob, so I appreciate those fancy pens that make my handwriting look like Lady Whistledown’s from Bridgerton.

Can you recommend a book that is important to you?

Makes Me Wanna Holler, by Nathan McCall. It was gifted to me by my aunt in the 6th grade and highlighted the struggles and triumphs of a young Black man in America. It is over 400 pages long, and it was the first book that I read in its entirety.

Name something about you most people don't know.

While most people know that I sing, I am also an outstanding actor. I had the chance to work with Rites and Reason Theater here at Brown and Mixed Magic Theater in Pawtucket. Additionally, I performed at Trinity Rep before the pandemic.

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?

I would certainly be a Broadcast Journalist. When I was a child, I read the back of the cereal boxes on Saturday mornings as I ate breakfast, pretending to  anchor the news. When I was in elementary school, I got a chance to portray Lester Holt in a school play, and that moment sparked my interest in journalism.