Christy Vincent, Ph.D., Professor of Mass Communications
What is your background?
As an organizational communication specialist, I help organizations enhance their effectiveness, productivity and employee satisfaction. I encourage people to bring the best of who they are to what they do every day through my training classes, executive coaching, team building, consulting and facilitation. My real-world experiences inform my teaching and allow me to connect our students with employment opportunities and internship experiences.
Tell me how you first got involved at UCO.
I first started teaching at UCO in 1997 while working on my doctorate at the University of Oklahoma. I was a “freeway flier,” a name for adjunct instructors who teach at multiple universities. I taught 15 hours a semester combining classes at UCO, OU and OC. I was teaching at UCO in the spring semester of 2000 when my twin boys, Beckham and Chapin King, were born eight weeks premature. They had to stay in NICU for over a month which allowed me to finish teaching my classes that semester. I went from class to the NICU every day. At that point, I took a break from teaching to take care of them. When they were nine months old, I went to work for INTEGRIS Health as an internal Organizational Effectiveness Consultant. After working for INTEGRIS for 5 years, a tenure-track position became available at UCO. I joined the faculty in the Mass Communication department in August 2005. This is my 15th year of teaching classes in the Organizational Communication major.
What would you say your strongest beliefs are about your contribution to the university?
When I first started as an assistant professor in 2005, the Transformative Learning (TL) initiative was growing from an idea sparked by a few professors and administrators talking at meals about how to improve student learning (ask Ed Cunliff and Cheryl Steele about the “burrito buddies”) to an initiative aimed at institutionalizing research-based, high-impact practices. Soon after my arrival, the university went from having two mission statements – one academic and one operational – to a single mission statement affirming that the university exists to provide transformative education experiences to students.
As an organizational communication scholar, I recognized the importance of the wording of the mission statement as an impetus in the development of Transformative Learning at UCO. I believe whole-heartedly in the value transformative learning experiences can bring to our students. My support of transformative learning led to my being named as the Faculty Liaison for the Health and Wellness TL tenet. I served in that capacity for several years until I changed places with Dr. Rachelle Franz and became the Faculty Liaison for the Service Learning and Civic Engagement TL tenet. I have supported UCO’s Transformative Learning initiative by assigning TL projects, serving on the TL Advisory Board, serving as a Tenet Liaison and talking to fellow faculty and students about the value of transformative learning. I believe my support of this important initiative is one of my most significant contributions to the university. Through transformative learning experiences, we are better equipping our students to be successful in the world.
What do you do when you are not working?
As you can see from the picture taken at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, I am a hiker. I have hiked many trails in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. I am only hampered by my fear of snakes. (Don’t judge me, please.) My other physical activity is road cycling. I don’t run into many snakes on my bicycle, but I do encounter many aggressive drivers. I typically ride the many trails in the area these days. I am thankful the community has invested in trails for running and cycling. I love being outdoors. I have found that during COVID times, hiking with my husband on the weekends is great for my mental wellbeing.