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Carrillo goes beyond teaching at ECC

David Carrillo #1

Want to impress David Carrillo? Offer him a seat.

Actually, there's more to that story, which occurred when he attended a meeting at ECC before he was employed here.

“Because I didn't know anyone at the meeting, I basically stood at the door looking for a place to sit,” he said. “Dr. Phil Garber (senior executive director of planning and institutional effectiveness) stood up, approached me and offered me a chair.

“I found that simple yet important gesture to be a memorable first experience at ECC. That was the beginning of a wonderful teaching experience here at our college.”

Carrillo has been an associate professor of human services since January 2010. He's highly regarded by his peers and especially his students (accolades and positive comments are posted in droves when his photo is shown on the college's Facebook and Instagram pages). He also has authored three books related to parenting, personal self-growth and motivation, and provides clinical counseling services to families, couples and individuals.

In addition, Carrillo has appeared on Univision television as a guest on the areas of bullying, depression, and addictions, and was featured as a guest therapist in the Ladies Home Journal.

We caught up with Carrillo to ask him some questions about his life and his work at ECC. Here are his answers.

In your words, what you do at ECC?

I am currently teaching in the Human Services Department on a full-time basis. Every semester I teach five to six courses, occasionally some independent classes, and I am involved in advising the Human Services Club.

I make efforts to be a part of different organizations within the college that work toward improving relationships between people. I spent quite a bit of my time mentoring my own students and mentoring students from other departments who seek me out because my own students have referred them to me.

I try to be intentionally involved with my students, work with them, and talk to them more than just about academic concerns. I realize that students bring their history, their concerns, and their own personal issues to school. If I don't attend to these factors mentioned earlier, I find it difficult to teach, and my students find it difficult to learn.

What is your greatest accomplishment since you've been here?

One accomplishment that I am proud and happy about is the revival of the Human Services Club, which is led by my own students. They are involved in doing community service, collecting monies for organizations that service others in the community, and getting involved with other organizations in programming and activities.

What would you do if you were ECC president for a day?

I would spend my whole day visiting classrooms, co-teaching a class or two, and meeting students in the hallways.

I have had the pleasure of having Dr. Sam visit a couple of my classes, and noticed that my students were glad to see and meet him. They felt special because of his visits, which prompted discussions about diversity, education and personal goals.

If there was a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?

Robert De Niro or Morgan Freeman.

What's on your bucket list?

A long healthy life, sleeping more than five hours a night, travel, driving cross country, and a world cruise.

What's one fact we should know about you?

I am obsessively dedicated to my work and to my family.

What is something about your job that others should know?

I take my teaching job very seriously, and I involve myself in the personal lives of my students. I have always known and practiced the belief that unless we have a relationship with our students, teaching them anything is difficult.

My best teaching occurs after I build relationships with my students. I would highly recommend to my colleagues and people who teach in other settings to create relationships with students first before we begin teaching.

What was your favorite class in school?

I had a class in graduate school called “Colloquium.” It was my favorite class because it encouraged us as students to think deeply about who we were, what we believed, why we believed, and to challenge our way of thinking. Our professors supported and encouraged us to take risks as part of the learning process.

I have tried to emulate this process of teaching my students. Unfortunately for some students, it becomes difficult to have those deep and useful discussions.

What was your first job out of school?

I worked in a sheltered workshop. It was a small agency in Chicago that serviced individuals with mental and developmental disorders. I worked with clients that functioned in the lower end of intelligence and ability. They taught me humility, compassion, empathy and joy for life.

Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because … “

I have a chance to share my knowledge, have an impact on the future through my students, and I believe that I change lives.



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