Chasity Gunn; poet, educator, storyteller

  • Tags: Faculty Profile
Published 02/28/2022
Chasity Gunn, MFA, professor of English

Chasity Gunn, MFA, professor of English

Instructor of English Chasity Gunn's talent and passion for writing extends throughout Elgin Community College and into the community as the inaugural Poet Laureate of Elgin. Gunn began at ECC in 2019 teaching Language Arts in the High School Equivalency Program. "I enjoyed helping adult students reach their academic goals and having an opportunity to have a new life direction," said Gunn. 

Outside of writing and teaching writing, Gunn enjoys many hobbies such as sewing, biking, and cooking. During the pandemic, she began learning hand embroidery, a new skill to work on during our cold winter months. Keep reading to learn more about the incredible places Gunn has traveled and other passions she's pursued.

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? I teach students how to write academically and creatively. I hope to see that good writing skills are a form of agency. I also teach students how to appreciate and analyze literature.

What is your greatest accomplishment since you've been at ECC? During my first semester, I had a couple of students juggling through writing and reading-heavy courses. They struggled to understand their course content, didn't feel confident, and were worried about succeeding. However, they visited my office nearly every day and walked through their homework. Both students passed all three of their courses and enrolled in English Composition 102. Anytime I can be a part of a student's success, I have fulfilled my duty as an educator.

If you could instantly be an expert in one thing, what would you choose? Woodworking. I am currently renovating my home, and I have many projects I would like to do. But I have never built anything.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)? Sewing, biking, and cooking are my primary hobbies. During the pandemic, I started learning hand embroidery. I'm still learning how to do basic stitches, but I look forward to having a new hobby once winter rolls around.

Where is the best place you've traveled? Or where would you like to visit? Australia is the best place I've visited. I snorkeled for the first time in the Great Barrier Reef and toured the Sydney Opera House. Australia is a beautiful place, and the weather was great.

You have to wear a t-shirt with just one word on it for an entire year. What would that word be, and why? Listen. Last year, we witnessed quite a bit of division. I think we spent much of that time voicing our own views rather than listening and learning more about others' views. Stephen Covey says we should "listen to understand, rather than respond." I believe we're going to have a difficult time moving forward as a united nation if we are unable and unwilling to truly listen to the voices of others.

Share a fact about you that might surprise people to learn. I won first place in a national speech competition for impromptu speaking and prose.

What job have you held (besides ECC) that was the most fun, interesting, or difficult? Explain why. The most interesting job I had was working as a newspaper journalist. I enjoyed listening to people's stories and informing a community about what was happening.

What was your most valuable life lesson? I had to write a thesis for my Honors program in college. I planned to work on it the summer leading toward graduation. I procrastinated, and when it was time to submit my work, I did not have what I needed. Although my advisor did not hold me accountable, I had not held myself accountable. I talked with a mentor about the matter, and she lovingly but directly told me that I hadn't done my part. I learned that others would drop the ball, but I can't use that as an excuse to do not my part. I can only control myself, so that's who I should focus on.

Complete this sentence: "I enjoy working at ECC because … "I enjoy working at ECC because it's a place where anyone - regardless of background, ability, or difference - can receive an affordable, quality education.