Christopher Maxwell, associate dean of students and deputy Title IX coordinator, comes to Harper College with a long history of experience. Working across the country in various areas such as student activities, residence life, student conduct and basic needs support, he is dedicated to making sure students have a safe, joyous and beneficial experience in college. But when he’s not making a difference in the lives of Harper students, you can find him planning his next family trip to the sunny mountains in Denver.
1. Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day is a nice, cool 74 degree day with my family in the mountains in Denver. Kicking back, taking in the sun and fresh mountain air, without a worry in the world.
2. Best advice you ever received?
I live by Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements: Be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions and always do your best.
3. Which fads did you embrace growing up?
I embraced all the hairstyles! Afro, braids, waves, head wrap, curls, you name it. It stressed my hair out too much, so that’s where I’m at now.
4. What songs are essential to the Christopher Maxwell-curated playlist?
•“Sunshine to the Rain” by Miri Ben-Ari ft Scarface and Anthony Hamilton
•“Blow Up” by J. Cole
•“‘Round the Globe” by Nappy Roots
•“Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill
5. Last show you binged and loved?
Sex Education on Netflix. I was surprised by how much I loved this show! Awesome writing and character development; I loved how all the plots overlapped. Highly recommend it.
6. What do you wonder about?
I wonder about my kids’ futures: who they’ll be, what they’ll decide to do with their lives, what they’ll find joy in. These are things beyond my control, but everything I do in the current moment is to set them up for the future. My finances, the time that I give, the sacrifices I make — I can’t wait to see them grow and discover all of life’s possibilities.
7. You could be best friends with one fictional character, who do you choose and why?
Gramma Tala from Moana! She knows who she is and what’s important. Much like my own grandma, she carries a lot of knowledge about her family’s history and how all of that plays into the choices we make today. Having a friend like that would always keep me anchored to what matters most.
8. What would your loved ones say is your best quality?
My patience. I try to engage with my loved ones with a focus on listening. Being a place for them to vent or process their thoughts is really important to me. There’s a time and place to speak your mind, and a time and place to be a sounding board and let others express what they’re feeling.
9. What are you hopeful for?
For me, to be hopeful for something requires that I also acknowledge the reality of the situation. Of course we can hope things turn out well, but some things are beyond our control. For example, I’m hopeful for my family’s health, and there are things I can do to provide support, but ultimately it comes down to their decisions and how they choose to help themselves.
10. What do you love most about Harper College?
I love that everyone I’ve met — employees and students — have a deep appreciation for Harper. With employees, I appreciate how student-centered they are. They really care about the holistic student experience, not just the academic. And with students, I love seeing so many of them take ownership of their interests. There is a genuine desire to connect with their experience and make it the best it can be while they’re here.