Mastering Math with Michelle Kershner

  • Tags: Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 09/13/2021
Michelle Kershner, associate professor of math

Michelle Kershner, associate professor of math


Michelle Kershner, a Chicago native and associate professor of Mathematics, has been teaching at ECC since 2016. One thing she is most excited about for the upcoming year is less teaching online and getting back to more classroom time in person.

“I miss my colleagues and my students,” said Kershner.

When she isn’t teaching and coordinating the math department, Kershner is working with her youngest dog, Freddie, a pure-bred Samoyed, to be trained as a therapy dog.

Read on to learn more about Michelle, her love for teaching math and the job that brought her to it, her favorite place to travel, and more!

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? Right now… answer emails. Between teaching online and being the coordinator of the math department, the emails are no joke!

What is your greatest accomplishment since you’ve been at ECC? Not retiring during COVID! It is so much more work to teach online than teaching face-to-face. I can’t wait to get back to more in-person classes. I miss my colleagues and my students.

If you could instantly be an expert in one thing, what would you choose? Makeup! I have to watch YouTube videos just to make sure I do my mascara right. I do not have a creative bone in my body, but I love the way good makeup looks.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)? I enjoy hanging out with family, friends, and my dogs Freddie and Bella. I am working with my youngest dog, Freddie, to become a therapy dog. We will visit nursing homes and hospitals so he can spread his cuteness and joy.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to? Or where would you like to visit? My favorite place on Earth is Chicago. I am a Chicago girl through and through, I will never move, but I love to travel. My favorite place to travel to is Thailand. It is beautiful, fun, and the people and food are amazing.

You have to wear a t-shirt with just one word on it for an entire year. What would that word be, and why? Authentic, because people should be able to live their most authentic life. 

Share a fact about you that might surprise people to learn. I grew up in a deaf household. I know sign language and wish I had the opportunity to use it more.

What job have you held (besides ECC) that was the most fun, interesting, or difficult? Explain why. My first career was as an Actuary. I was miserable. I do not like programming, but what I learned most was that I need social interactions. This is one of the reasons I love teaching so much.

What was your most valuable life lesson? Sometimes success is just a matter of hanging on. Don’t give up. Perseverance is one of the most important characteristics that will serve you well in life.

Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because …“ They have high standards, amazing employees, and quality leadership. And I love teaching math!