Christian Named NPC Outstanding Faculty Member

Dr. Sam Christian standing in front of greenery.National Park College (NPC) presented the 2020 Outstanding Faculty award to Psychology instructor Dr. Samantha Christian during the June regular board meeting. Christian has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, a Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Capella University, and a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Capella University.

“Dr. Christian is bright, focused, compassionate, and engaging,” said Dr. Wade Derden, vice president for academic affairs. “She is a student advocate. Her colleagues respect her expertise and professionalism. She makes our college a better place.”

Christian was hired in 2010 as an adjunct faculty member and admitted she did not think she wanted to be a teacher at the time. “I started teaching college seminar, and after the first semester, I realized I really liked it. I wanted to keep going and get better at teaching.” Christian was hired as a full-time faculty member in 2015.

In addition to teaching, Christian also serves as an advisor for NPC’s Student Government Association, the Higher Learning Commission co-chair, the international student committee, and is a past chair of the faculty senate. She is also on the board of directors for the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center and the resident advisory board for park and trails for Hot Springs.

“It’s such an honor to be selected because I have really amazing, talented coworkers,” said Christian. “The quality of instructors that we have – they are so passionate about what they do. They are amazing teachers that students love. It is such an honor to be recognized among the best of the best.”

“My coworkers are part of my family,” she explained. “When people at NPC say call me if you need any help, they really mean it. They won’t be surprised or shocked if you call and really need help. I can’t tell you how many times coworkers have brought me soup when I was sick. We like to see each other succeed."

Christian’s sister, Stephanie Rose, was selected as NPC Outstanding Alumni for 2020. “I think it shows how much NPC means to us,” said Christian of her and her sister’s awards. “I think it shows how much we love NPC too and the role it has played in changing both of our lives. We grew up in poverty and we knew from a very young age that education was what was going to help us succeed. I think that helps us relate to our students, too. It helps me be a better teacher because I know where my students are coming from.”