Christina Hardin, professor of English and division coordinator for communication and humanities at the Osceola Campus, said that the single most important lesson students can take away from her class is the understanding that they are responsible for the outcomes of their lives.
“Every decision [students] make will ultimately impact who they become in this world,” Christina added. However, Christina believes it is her responsibility to “make sure they leave our institution with the tools to succeed in whatever arena they move on to.”
Prior to becoming an educator, Christina worked in the field of human resources (HR) for 10 years – a career that she shared, “was never my passion.”
In pursuit of her true passion, Christina gave up her HR career in 2003. “I came home one day and told my husband that I needed a change,” she explained, and “in his very supportive manner, he told me to go figure out what would make me happy and do it.”
The next day, Christina quit her job. “I took him a little too seriously,” she said, and immediately began taking the steps necessary to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a teacher. “I drove over to UCF and signed up to begin my five-year journey toward my doctorate in education.”
After receiving her master’s degree in 2006, Christina began teaching at Valencia as an adjunct instructor. In 2011 she became a tenured English professor, and this year became the division coordinator for communication and humanities at the Osceola Campus.
“I have loved every minute of my time here,” Christina said. “I feel that I finally found my passion. Working at Valencia has allowed me the opportunity to serve the community by educating its future workforce.”
Currently Christina is serving as the faculty leader for the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for the Osceola and Lake Nona Campuses. The QEP is a long-term, college-wide project focused on improvement, enrichment and enhancement of the student learning experience.
Christina said “it is amazing to witness how the faculty and staff of our college work together to support our students. Every meeting I attend (big or small) lends itself to a discussion of how we as a college can improve our efforts to support and guide students toward their purpose.”
Kurt Ewen, assistant vice president of assessment and institutional effectiveness and the lead on the QEP work, said, “Christina brings a unique blend of concern for students, commitment to learning and humor to everything she does – the college is lucky to have her.”
Since 2009, Christina has also served as the assessment representative for the college’s English departments. “In this role, I am responsible for leading and organizing the ENC1101 assessment work, including the ongoing improvement plans, by establishing clear learning expectations and identifying a clear method of assessment,” she explained. All of this work centers on the needs of Valencia students and works toward aligning learning outcomes to enhance student learning.
Christina holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, master’s degree in English language arts education for community college teaching, and a doctorate in education, curriculum and instruction from the University of Central Florida.
Her personal interests include studying and sharing information about the benefits of plant-based eating habits. In May 2012 Christina completed an online certificate program in plant-based nutrition through Cornell University. Since July she has facilitated several seminars for Valencia faculty and staff, and is currently hosting a 28-Day facilitated challenge that encourages healthful, plant-based eating habits.
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