Communication instructor Dr. Maria Christian comes to work each day excited to continue her lifelong pursuit of learning and eager to share her love of education with others. Her outstanding teaching and leadership will be recognized this month when she receives a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award in Austin, Texas.
Each academic year, NISOD member presidents select individuals at their colleges who have demonstrated the best in teaching and learning practices to encourage student achievement. Christian will represent OSU Institute of Technology at the 35th annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence May 26-29. She was also selected to present a lecture entitled, “Something Out of Nothing: Introducing Recycle OSUIT” at the conference.
“This award highlights the importance of what educators do for their students,” said Christian. “Being a teacher is not just about teaching; it’s a personal connection to helping people improve their lives and futures through the power of knowledge.”
“The NISOD Excellence Award signifies respect and gratitude for what I enjoy doing every day,” she added. “This award is the culmination of my motivation for learning and passion for teaching.”
Christian has taught in the Arts and Sciences Division for ten years as a composition, speech, creative writing and technical writing instructor. She previously worked as an adjunct English instructor at Tulsa Community College.
Christian developed and teaches OSUIT’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Leadership Course. She also serves as the institute’s delegate to the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges, presents at national conferences, publishes research in the field of education, and serves as faculty representative for numerous on-campus advisory committees.
Christian received her Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Oklahoma State University, Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Science in College Teaching English from Northeastern State University.
President Bill Path introduced Christian during the spring commencement ceremony as the institution’s 2013 Outstanding Faculty Member, as selected by the OSUIT Faculty and Staff Association.
“Maria’s philosophy is that every opportunity is a teachable moment. She learns as much from her students as she hopes they learn from her,” said Path.
Since 1978, NISOD has been dedicated to the professional development of faculty, administrators, and staff and to the continued improvement of teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of student success. This year marks the 35th annual NISOD International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, honoring dedicated community college educators for outstanding contributions to the field. More than 700 community colleges around the world are NISOD members, including almost every large community college district, the majority of urban and technical colleges in the United States and Canada, and more than 200 small, rural colleges around the world.