Meet Our Newest Neighbors: Christina Best

A Glimpse into the Lives of EU’s Newest RDs

Bluegrass band lead singer. Cross country runner. Resident Assistant. Ensemble singer. Conference champion in the hammer throw (a track and field event). Undergraduate hall coordinator. Worship leader.

All of these titles described Christina Best, Sparrowk Hall’s new Residence Director, when she was an undergraduate student. It’s no wonder (based on that list) that she now works in Residence Life as well as Student Development here at EU. This Kutztown native headed over nine hours from home to attend Berea College in Kentucky, where she studied English and became very involved in the local community—on campus and off. Best was a member of the Bonner Scholars Program at Berea through which she taught after-school workshops and programs. She was also a housing representative on the SGA board, ran cross country, threw for the track and field team for two years, and toured with Berea College’s bluegrass band, for which she sang lead vocals. It was through Berea that Best met her husband, Josh. They became friends when the band went on tour. One summer, while at a laundromat in the Bronx where she had an internship, Josh called her, and she recalls her response being, “I didn’t know we were friends like that.” But seeing as she had two hours until her laundry was done, Christina answered her phone, and after that the rest is history. After graduation, the two got married and stayed in Kentucky for three more years.

The day after graduation, Christina began working at a school where she was hired to teach English and mathematics test preparation. A distaste for “teaching to a test” caused her to leave this position after the school year ended. Christina then applied for a position as a Residence Hall Coordinator at Eastern Kentucky University where she worked for the next two years.

As far as moving back to Pennsylvania, Christina says, “We thought it’d be a good idea to let Josh pick our next location.” Josh, who had been a biology major at Berea and had been working in landscaping, horticulture and in greenhouses, got an internship at Morris Arboretum, University of Pennsylvania’s Arboretum. So the two Pennsylvania natives packed their bags and headed back to their home state for their next stage of life.

In regards to applying for her current position at Eastern, Christina said that she and Josh were trying to figure out what their ministry together would look like and had decided that if she was offered this job, she’d take it. Through this transition, Christina feels like the Lord has shown her that he has invested a lot in her through mentors and has poured life in her; the Lord has given her talents to use and He is telling her to use them here. And she finds doing that very rewarding. She views this position as one of education in a non-traditional sense, and she loves education. Her favorite thing about EU is the students, and she loves the level of trust given to the students. Christina also appreciates that, unlike with other jobs she’s had in the past, she can be open about her faith here and with students. But watch out Sparrowkians: if you break the rules, Christina has a bag full of tricks: “Hair flip—I can throw a hammer over a hundred feet.”

All jokes and hammers aside, Christina also enjoys the other side of her two-fold position. She loves event planning and creating space where people can be in community—a love that makes her a perfect fit for Student Development. Outside of work, Christina enjoys spending time with her husband. They love the outdoors: from backpacking to kayaking to playing soccer. Not surprisingly, the couple also enjoys singing and playing music together.

As far as a word of advice to students, Christina suggests seeking out someone who you can trust, respect, and look up to as a mentor, and spending a lot of time with them. She says it’s important to find someone older than you who can encourage and advise you–someone who isn’t going through the same stresses and stage of life as you and can remind you that there is more beyond this. From the sounds of it, Christina Best might be a good fit as that person, and I know she would love to get to know more of you too!

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