For Elgin Community College’s Deputy Chief of Police Craig Campbell, wisdom is a central theme that runs throughout his life. Whether it was the wisdom shared by his mother, the wisdom gained through experiences, or the wisdom he continues to pursue today, Campbell is always trying to improve.
“My most valuable life lesson was to develop a growth mindset,” said Campbell. “I am constantly trying to improve, even if it is only at a snail’s pace.” He hopes to impart some of his wisdom gained to ECC students as a mentor in the TRIUMPH program, helping men of color grow during their time at ECC.
Read more about Campbell and his world both in and out of uniform:
In your words, what do you do at ECC? What do you want others to know about your job? Or what would help others understand your job?
As the Deputy Chief of Police, I assist the chief with the administrative duties of the department. I am also in charge of day to day operations, which includes officer scheduling and making sure we have adequate coverage for the different events on the campus. I am responsible for the Annual Security Report, which we must update and publish each year. And of course, as needed, I also respond to calls for service around the campus.
What is your greatest accomplishment since you’ve been here?
Being new to ECC, one of my goals was to get out and meet the faculty and staff here at the college. I still have a long way to go, but I believe I have made great strides in getting to know everyone.
Name a job or role at ECC that you would like to try for one day and explain why.
Athletic Director. Sports is in my DNA, and I would love to be in a position where it is my job to foster the love of sports in others.
If you could instantly be an expert in one thing, what would you choose?
Economics. Because economics weaves through just about every part of our life and the decisions we make daily, I think it would be intriguing to be an expert in that subject.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)?
Golf, golf, and more golf. I used to play tennis, but I had to give it up when I tore my rotator cuff.
If you could live in a TV show, which show would it be and why?
I loved NYPD Blue. There is something about NYC that I wish I had experienced back in the 90’s.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled? Or where would you like to visit?
I would like to visit Australia. Something about the Outback seems adventurous. If not Australia then Barcelona—I have a friend who has traveled the world and said Barcelona was hands down the best place she has ever visited.
You have to wear a t-shirt with just one word on it for an entire year. What word would that word be, and why?
This was a tough question, but I think my word would be “wisdom.” If we not only pursue wisdom but also apply it to our daily lives, happiness and success would be easily attainable by all.
Share a fact about you that might surprise people to learn.
I used to play tennis and was actually pretty good at it.
What job have you held (besides ECC) that was the most fun, interesting, or difficult? Explain why.
I paid my way through college by stocking shelves overnight at a grocery store. It was probably the most fun job I’ve had because my life as an adult had just started, and I worked with people who were also just getting started in life. There was not a lot of pressure in that job, which meant we had a lot of opportunities to be…young adults. We didn’t do anything terrible, but we joked around a lot, and as long as the job got done, nobody had a problem with it.
Name someone you admire and explain why.
This may seem cliché, but I admire my mom. She was a single parent to my sister and me, and she worked hard just to make ends meet. I also appreciated that whenever she had a little extra, she made sure to treat us to something special. But it was her little nuggets of wisdom that I appreciated most. Sometimes we don’t appreciate the love our parents have for us until we reflect on some of the decisions we made in direct contradiction of our parents’ advice. My mom let me fall plenty, but she was always there to help me up until I finally stopped falling. And when I look back, I realize I had a lot of bumps and bruises that I could have avoided altogether if I had listened to those little nuggets of wisdom.
What was your most valuable life lesson?
Just one…? My most valuable life lesson was to develop a growth mindset, which I try to incorporate in all areas of my life. Confucius said, “It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop.” I am constantly trying to improve, even if it is only at a snail’s pace.
Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because … “
The atmosphere here is fantastic. The faculty and staff are friendly and engaging, the students eager to learn, and it’s fulfilling that we get to play a part in the overall success of ECC.