16 gmhToday Sept Oct 2017 16 - Page 64

Sue & Chuck Berghoff S Sue’s Story Written By Robin Shepherd ue Berghoff has always been a go-getter. The UC Berkeley grad climbed the corporate ladder at Cisco, Intel, Gateway, and 3Com in the 1980s and 1990s when women leaders were a rarity in high tech. Her choice of a second career as an English/ESL instructor at San José State University says a lot about who she is. “For years I had worked with engineers who could write complex code for hardware and software but couldn’t write a business report or make a presentation,” Sue said. “I saw how much it held them back in their careers. That experience inspired me to teach.” Sue was known by her students as “Professor B.” Word on campus was that she had worked in Silicon Valley and really knew how to teach business communications. As a result, her classes always had a waiting list. 64 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Today, Sue has taken on her third and possibly most challenging role yet as an advocate for mental health. A Twist of Fate During Sue’s last year at San José State, fate threw her a curve ball. She began experiencing some unsettling changes in her ability to manage normal day-to-day functions. In the middle of a lecture she would suddenly fi nd herself at a loss for the right words. Grading papers and other work took twice as long as before. Insomnia crept in and her sense of time was off kilter. Ordinary situations sometimes left her confused and disoriented, with no explanation. Sue struggled privately to cope with these issues. At social gatherings, she was more withdrawn and began to shy away from planning activities or venturing out. She was acutely aware that her symptoms were getting worse, but a series SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 gmhtoday.com