Dr. Colleen Hardy: Education Department chair
February 7, 2013
Dr. Colleen Hardy graduated from Evangel University in 1985 and went on to teach elementary school in the Willard (Missouri) School District for 15 years. In addition to being a classroom teacher, Dr. Hardy worked with the state Department of Education, writing standardized tests and participating in the training and professional development for teachers in 91 school districts in Southwest Missouri as a STARR Teacher (Select Teachers As Regional Resources). She now serves as chair of the Education Department at Evangel. Her husband, Dr. Keith Hardy, is also an academic department chair at Evangel. They have two daughters and enjoy fishing and backpacking as a family.
What are your best memories as a student at Evangel?
I loved the way Dr. (Mr.) Huechteman would find math so amusing — he truly loves what he teaches. Dr. (Mrs.) Huechteman was such a wonderful encourager. She pushed me to be better than I thought I could be.
Did you ever imagine that you would come back to teach at Evangel?
No. This was a “big people job” I was a classroom teacher! I enjoyed working in the classroom and thought I would retire as a public school teacher.
You and your husband, Keith, have the distinction of being the only married couple who both serve as academic department chairs at Evangel. Do find it difficult to leave work at the office each day?
Yes! We don’t see each other that often during the day so to catch up we end up talking shop at home. We have two amazing (perceptive and intelligent) girls at home that keep us on track. They call our hand if we get stuck on the subject of work.
What makes Evangel University’s Education Department unique?
The relationships that students develop with the faculty. The amazing depth and breadth of experience of the faculty. The commitment to training an exceptional teacher; not to insure bragging rights, but because each faculty member holds themselves to a high standard of excellence.
What are some of the new things going on in your Department?
We have developed a collaboration with other institutions in Springfield: Drury University, Baptist Bible College, Missouri State University, Springfield Public Schools and Evangel University have formed the Teacher Education Alliance (TEA). The higher education institutions are working with Springfield Public Schools to assist Title I schools in raising student achievement. This program is unique in that there are public, private, small and large institutions working together to help students in public schools.
We are also expanding our opportunities for global experiences with short- and long-term service trips and global internships.
What is your favorite thing about working with Evangel University students?
I think they are amazing. They have such a deep sense of commitment to their calling as an educator. I find it humbling.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Make use of all Evangel has to offer. The university has so many wonderful resources in the health and wellness center, fitness center, career and academic support center and Global Connections. This is the time of your life to push yourself beyond what you think is possible. Learn, grow, travel!