Thirty Under 30: Courtney Haun, '19, assistant professor at Samford University
Last spring, the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University launched a new initiative that celebrates and honors the work of our young alumni through our ‘Thirty Under 30’ series. The inaugural member class is comprised of a bold, diverse group of individuals who have made an impact from the earliest stages of their respective careers. Our newest addition, Courtney Haun, is no exception.
Haun is a self-described passionate and ambitious leader. She is currently an assistant professor at Samford University, as well as director of the undergraduate healthcare administration program. She plans to one day lead in higher education as a president of a college or university. Learn more about Haun in our interview, below:
Would you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Dr. Courtney Haun and I am a multi-passionate, ambitious leader with a love for higher education. I am committed to serving others and helping them create a life they love through health, education, faith, and overall well-being. A native of Greeneville, Tennessee, I earned a Master’s of Public Health degree with a concentration in healthcare administration in 2016. Before that, I earned and a bachelor’s of science (2014) in two degrees, one in healthcare hdministration and one in community health,with a minor in marketing from East Tennessee State University. I recently received my PhD in Public Administration and Public Policy (2019) from Auburn University. I am also the proud wife of Dr. Cody Haun, Assistant Professor at LaGrange College and business owner of Fitomics, LLC.
You have a PhD in Public Administration and Public Policy from Auburn. How did you first develop an interest in these fields?
After moving from Tennessee to Alabama for my husband to begin his PhD program in kinesiology at Auburn, I began looking into doctorate programs as well. Interestingly, because my background is in healthcare administration, I was searching for a program related to that. At Auburn, the healthcare administration program is uniquely situated in the Department of Political Science. I was not sure if I was interested until I met with faculty in the department and found out that I would have the opportunity to teach and conduct research related to healthcare. The dynamics of public administration and policy turned out to be a great fit and coincide well with my passion for healthcare.
What was your path like after graduation?
As a PhD student, nearing graduation means preparing for both the job market and the dissertation defense. I was eager for both, which led me to walking at graduation in August 2019, interviewing at Samford University at the beginning of September, and accepting the job offer at Samford right before defending my dissertation on September 27th. Then, I began working at Samford at the top of January 2020, and I simply love it. God’s perfect timing, to say the least.
You are an assistant professor at Samford University, what has been your favorite part or experience(s) in your job so far?
As both a professor and serving in a leadership role as the director of the undergraduate healthcare administration program, I love that I get to utilize a variety of skills. However, the absolute favorite part about my job is the relationships I have built with the students.
Can you describe a typical day at work for a person in your position for those who don't know?
Academia affords flexibility so every day looks a bit different. Some mainstays are teaching, lesson prepping, researching, and taking part in a variety of service projects and meetings. As the director, I am also working on the certification of the program, alongside my colleagues. I continuously look for professional development opportunities as well and take part in those as much as possible.
What classes and/or professors do you feel best prepared you during your time as a student for your future career?
My advisor, mentor, and friend Dr. Geoffrey Silvera. There are not enough words to describe how thankful I am for his mentorship.
What are some key skills that you developed while at Auburn that you think best prepared you for the job market/real world?
One word – collaboration!
If you could go back, is there anything that you would have done differently during your time at Auburn?
Through the highs, lows, opportunities, and let-downs, I would not change anything. I gave Auburn my all and the same was reciprocated back.
What’s next for you? Any long-term career goals or aspirations?
In the short-term, I hope to be an excellent employee at Samford University, develop my leadership skills, and serve others. In the long-term, my dream is to eventually lead in higher education as a President of a college or university. Earning my degree in the Department of Political Science sparked some interest in entering the political arena down the road. I am also currently working on a college funding campaign for students who are in need of additional resources to apply for college, take required exams such as the ACT, and visit college campuses. In all of these endeavors, I hope to promote positive change in the organizations and communities that I will be serving within.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love attending Church of the Highlands, playing tennis, and working out. My favorite free time activity is spending time with my husband, family, and friends (preferably on a beach, haha!).
I welcome any business or personal inquiries through the following channels:
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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