Trine University’s Professor Olding Earns her PhD

By: Mycah Houser


New Professors are always an enigma when they join a campus. Students show up to class anxious, uncertain if the teacher will be eagle-eyed and strict, indifferent and scary, or unsympathetic to unusual circumstances that may cause students to miss a due date. Regardless of the course content, a Professor can make or break students’ learning and class experiences.

Luckily, Dr. Christine Olding does not fit that anxiety-inducing description. Not only does she prefer being called “Christine” rather than “Professor Olding,” but students instantly get the vibe that she is going to be more in-touch with modern trends and will be able to intermix them into class lessons. On the first day of classes she introduces herself and her pets, a guinea pig named after Iggy Pop and a six-pound teacup poodle named Einstein who has a meager five teeth remaining.

Students appreciate Christine’s unique, cool disposition and easy way of making them feel comfortable.

“She is a fabulous human being not only for what she does but also for what she wears.” Jenna Niemeyer, an education major and Writing Center tutor, enthusiastically said about Christine. Jenna is one of many students who adores Christine.

Christine has also been received very warmly in the Humanities department. This semester marks the beginning of her second year at Trine, and she continues to carry an upward momentum. Dr. Jeanette Goddard, the Chair of the Humanities and Communication department, is appreciative of Christine’s personality and work ethic, noting how she “brings a lot of life and vibrancy to HAC with her energy and charisma.”

Part of Christine’s charisma stems from her love of music and comedy. When Christine was an undergraduate student, she performed stand-up comedy at Relay for Life and at a comedy club in her hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Christine’s long-time dream is to be on Saturday Night Live because she knows that she “would totally crush it.” This dream is even more achievable now because of her impressive background in literary studies.

Dr. Christine Olding attended her undergraduate and master’s programs at Dayton University. For her undergrad studies, she majored in English Literature and Philosophy with a focus in existentialism, and later for her master’s degree she majored in Creative Writing with a Fiction focus. Christine then moved to Kent State University for her Ph.D program in Literacy Rhetoric and Social Practice.

This month Christine defended her dissertation and officially became Dr. Olding. Her dissertation was titled Sonic Composing Processes of Musicians: A Case Study Approach and ran about 200 pages. She labored over it for about three years of her six-year program. To complete her defense, she gave a ten-minute presentation and responded to two rounds of questioning about her research from committee members and the general audience.

When asked how difficult the defense was, Christine laughed and said that her dad had been on speaker phone during her presentation and said afterwards, “that was intense.”

In addition to her dissertation prep, Christine has increased duties as the newly appointed Director of the Amy Salyer-Nicholls Writing Center. She has been quite busy with this position because of the Writing Center’s relocation to the LINK. Using her experience from working at the Kent State University Writing Center, Christine has helped integrate e-tutoring into the program. She is excited to see what the new school year has in store for the Writing Center.