Christa Grant is the assistant dean for Intercultural Affairs and one of four diversity officers at the College. She oversees the Office of Intercultural Affairs and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. Christa started her career at Union in November 2019 and has been working in higher education since 2008, when she started her first job as a residence director at Siena College. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Christa came to the U.S. at 16 by herself as an exchange student in Buffalo, N.Y. In 2005, she graduated from University at Buffalo, where she met her spouse. She moved to the Capital Region after graduation and has been here ever since. Christa lives with her three children, husband Rob, and her Portuguese water dog (yes, the same breed the Obamas have).
FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING:
My alarm! I have to turn off my snooze button. But really, I also look at Time Hop to see what events took place in my life in previous years. It is always fun to see memories from the past with my kids or pre-COVID times.
ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES:
“Why Are All the Black Sitting Together in the Cafeteria” by Dr. Beverly Tatum. I must have read the book six or seven times, since this is the book I used to teach in a class.
BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED:
My paternal grandmother raised me and told me at a very young age that when you earn a dollar, save half of it and do not believe in credit cards because they are money that doesn’t exist. While I cannot say I do exactly what she said, I do take her advice very seriously about credit cards and do not use money that I do not have. That is the best advice anyone could have given me since it really helps me a lot with managing my own finances and budgeting.
FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS:
My office! That is where I meet with my students and colleagues. It’s a space filled with my own decorations and my own personal touch. The students get a chance to know a little bit more about me; they see my books, pictures, artwork and decor. In addition, my office faces the Nott, which I never get tired of looking at.
On the weekend, it will be my homemade crepes (my kids’ favorite and the most requested breakfast in my house). During the week, it will be a smoothie or a yogurt with berries.
NETFLIX OR AMAZON:
Netflix. In addition, can I add Hulu?
“Code Switch” by NPR (Hands down!)
ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD:
I wish I could speak Spanish fluently. I love Latin music and the beats, and I love dancing (salsa, merengue, reggaeton, etc.). I wish I knew the lyrics and the meaning and could sing along instead of mumbling!
BEST PART OF YOUR DAY:
When I come home from work and hear my kids say, “Mom, mom, mom.” Even though it is chaotic, it is the best feeling to hear my kids’ voices.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU:
I used to be a fitness instructor. I taught Zumba and HIIT classes. The largest Zumba class I ever taught was for 110 people. I had to give up that passion since I went back to school to earn my doctoral degree three years ago. I am hoping that I can get back into the studio and teach in the near future.