9 things you didn't know about Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey Mearns

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. -- Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey Mearns stared down vile criminals in his previous career as a federal prosecutor. We turn the tables and grill him.

1- Your hometown and your favorite thing about growing up there?

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. It is a great college town in a beautiful area of the country.

2- What's the hardest job you ever had?

Serving as a federal prosecutor in the Oklahoma City bombing case, representing our country and the families of the 168 innocent men, women and children who were killed in the worst act of domestic terrorism in our nation’s history.

3- What's your favorite junk food?

Graeter’s chocolate chip ice cream -- but it’s not appropriate to call it junk food.

4- What food can you not stand?

Brussels sprouts.

5- What's your secret talent?

I am a pretty good poker player.

6- Name an item on your bucket list.

Visiting New Zealand.

7- What's your favorite joke, suitable for a family publication?

How is being a university president like being the caretaker of a cemetery? There are a lot of people beneath you, but there is no sign that any of them are listening.

8- What about NKU makes you most proud?

The transformative impact that the educational experience we provide has on our students and on their families.

9- What's the biggest piece of unfinished business you'd like to accomplish during your tenure?

Helping to ensure that the programs in our new health innovation center substantially improve the health of the people who live in the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati region.

Bonus: Something else readers would be interested to know about you? 

The first road race I ran was the annual Cincinnati Turkey Trot in 1972, when the race began in Fort Thomas, proceeded through Newport and into Cincinnati. I have been running ever since -- more than 40 years -- and I now live in Fort Thomas, about a mile from that starting line.

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