How many people can say they have been in a profession they love for over 40 years? Professor and Division Chair of Communication and Humanities, Dr. Marilyn Cristiano is one of the few who can. As one of 12 founding faculty members in 1987, she will be greatly missed when she retires at the end of this semester. “Of Dr. Cristiano's many legacies that she'll leave at Paradise Valley Community College, I am most thankful for her commitment to creating an engaging learning environment for students and her passion for seeking and creating co-curricular experiences such as Diversity Inc.,” PVCC President, Dr. Paul Dale says. “Additionally, she has been a tireless and relentless advocate for her colleagues ensuring their success. She truly has brought learning alive.”
For Dr. Cristiano the most rewarding aspect of teaching at PVCC has been helping students to communicate more effectively. She says communication is so important, both socially and professionally, to feel fulfilled as a person. Her favorite class to teach is Public Speaking. She loves to see students transform from frightened to confident speakers and notes she has learned a lot from listening to their speeches. Dr. Cristiano advises students to “think critically, communicate openly and honestly with people’s best interests at heart, and if you do, you will live a good life.”
Her many accomplishments include creating a mentor partnership program for new faculty, designing the general education curriculum that now includes a communication requirement for most degrees, and writing a public speaking textbook which has garnered positive reviews from both students and faculty.
Dr. Cristiano has received Southwest Communication Association’s Communication Educator of the Year Award, PVCC’s Innovator of the Year Award for the Diversity Inc. Program and the League for Innovation’s John and Suanne Roueche Award for Excellence in Community College Teaching and Leadership.
Dr. Cristiano expressed that she is filled with gratitude for all the wonderful, brilliant, caring faculty and staff she has worked with at PVCC in the last 30 years. She said she truly believes in the community college mission and will continue to support that mission in retirement. She feels that it is critically important that PVCC continues to provide the highest quality education.
Congratulations on your retirement, Dr. Cristiano!