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Dr Christopher Harben

photo of Christopher Harben

Christopher Harben is a proud graduate of Lorain Catholic High School, Class of 1987. As a student at Lorain Catholic, Chris was very active in many committees and activities. During freshman year, he was class president and led a group of students in preparing the Homecoming Float. It was a wonderful bonding experience that began to make a group of students from many different schools into one class. Chris always said "we bonded in tissue paper and glue" and the memories began.

Chris was recognized early for his musical talents. He began performing with the high school marching band while an 8th grader at St. Anthony's Elementary School because the band director, Mr. Ilg, was also his band director at St. Anthony's. The LC Band was scheduled to perform at a Cleveland Browns game in 1982, and they needed a bigger band for the perfor-mance. Chris was ready to step up and help out even though he was an 8th grader. Unfortu-nately, the NFL went on strike and he never got a chance to perform. Nonetheless, he continued to be actively involved with marching band, concert band, orchestra, pit orchestra for theater, and jazz band during his four years at LC. Chris finished his high school years as the band president and was awarded the John Philip Sousa Award for his involvement in the music program. Through those years, he played Baritone, Cornet, French Horn, and Percus-sion.

Other high school accomplishments and leadership included involvement in Student Govern-ment, National Honor Society, soccer (before it became an official high school sport), yearbook photographer, and Linus in "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" musical during his senior year.

Following high school, Chris attended the University of Akron and received a BA in Mass Media Communications. Fifteen years after that, he completed his MBA with concentrations in Organizational Leadership and International Business at the University of Findlay. In 2014, he earned his Doctorate in Strategic Leadership at Regent University and holds certificates from Harvard and Case Western Reserve University.

His career began in financial services working his way up to Regional Vice President with some larger financial service firms. But he knew he had achieved his true calling in life after completing his MBA. He taught at Heidelberg University and Defiance College while pursuing his doctorate. Upon completing his doctorate, Chris was hired as an Assistant Professor of Strategy at Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio. The following year, he transitioned to Bowling Green State University for three years. He has most recently been teaching at Penn State, Erie as an Associate Professor. He chairs the Henry J. and Alida ] Toudy Family Business and Entrepreneurship as well as the Academic Director of the Penn State Behrend Center for Family Business.

Chris has also been active internationally. He is a Visiting Professor at Rosenheim Technical College in Rosenheim, Germany where he teaches a Master's level course to engineering students. Because of this work, Chris has been named the Global Learning Faculty Fellow at Penn State University working on a year-long project as part of that program. This work is directly the result of his work and relationships established in Kiev, London, Johannesburg, and recently Athens.

Chris is married to his wife Betsy. Their son Carson will be heading to the Air Force this sum-mer. He is still very actively involved with his musical pursuits and enjoys performing the National Anthem for events and being active in local community theater.

Dr. Christopher Harben's Induction Speech