The Last Lecture
November 17th, 2015 at 7:30pm in Cascia Hall for the Last Lecture.
The Last Lecture series has been a tradition at Merrimack since 1999. In 2013 the Honors Program resurrected the tradition. See below for information regarding this year’s Last Lecture at Merrimack.
Department of Psychology
On November 17th at 7:30 p.m, Professor Christina Hardway will be standing in front of an audience of students, faculty, and staff to deliver the speech she would want to give if this were her “last lecture” ever. The recipient of the 31st annual Edward G. Roddy Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, Professor Hardway believes that the classroom should be an environment that promotes student success, even though she herself may seem to pose a barrier as an authority who distributes grades. As a developmental psychologist, she is able to make sense of the circumstances that cause us to grow and change. “My work as a researcher has led me to believe that learning is most enduring when students actively engage new material and find ways to make it relevant to their own lives,” says Hardway. She believes it is vital to work closely with students in order to understand their points of view and to provide guidance that allows them to achieve their full potential. Professor Hardway reflects back on her life and experiences with gratitude, as she appreciates the events and experiences that have helped her grow and succeed, and she wants the same for her students. While Professor Hardway believes that a good teacher establishes the overall structure and guidelines necessary for a student to learn, it is the students who must fill in the gaps and build their own understanding—for that is when students learn, acquire, and are able to use this new knowledge.
Hardway began teaching at Merrimack in 2007 after completing a Post-Doctoral Fellow position at Harvard Graduate School of Education. She earned a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Chicago. She currently is working on research projects examining the the origins and treatment of anxiety as well as ways to promote intellectual engagement, and she has published over a dozen articles in journals and books. Additionally, she was Merrimack College Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellow, and she serves on several committees including the First Year Experience Committee and the O’Brien Center for Student Success Faculty Advisory Board.