LaTasha DeHaan, PhD, was living out of state when she decided to take on the role of course leader in the History and Political Science department at Elgin Community College in 2019. Two years later, DeHaan continues to dive deep into pushing her department forward and mentoring her students.
“Because I moved to Illinois from out of state, the first ECC experience I had was at the job interview. I was impressed by how professional, friendly, and welcoming everyone was that I met,” said DeHaan.
Read on to find out the educational excursion trip DeHaan organized, where she studied abroad, and how strength and grace have grounded and guided her throughout her life.
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 am a course leader in the History and Political Science department for introductory survey courses and upper-division courses, including American Government, International Relations, and African-American History I & II. It is my intention that students will leave my courses having been able to apply historical, political, economic, and environmental analyses – a holistic, empirical approach to how they study and conduct research. I also aim to serve as a mentor for my students and to serve the campus community.
What is your greatest accomplishment since you’ve been at ECC? Being awarded a Student Success Initiative Grant and an ECC Foundation Grant to defray the costs of books and materials as well as expenses for an educational excursion to Springfield, Illinois for students in the learning community that English Instructor Chasity Gunn and I offered in Fall 2021. The courses in the learning community are African-American History I and African-American Literature I.
Name a job or role at ECC that you would like to try for one day and explain why. I have a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management, and I had a previous career in HR before teaching. Therefore, being an HR Generalist at ECC for the day would be desirable. This role would give me some insight into the employee contributions from across the campus and the opportunities and challenges that exist within the workforce.
If you could instantly be an expert in one thing, what would you choose? Any language. Being able to communicate with people with origins from other parts of the world is a gift.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)? I enjoy spending time with my family, going to church, watching documentaries, and going to the gym.
If you could live in a TV show, which show would it be and why? Probably “It’s a Different World” because this show depicted college life and young people coming of age, and my college years were fun and a time of self-discovery.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled? Or where would you like to visit? The best place I’ve traveled so far has been to Australia, where my father lives, and I would love to travel to Japan.
You have to wear a t-shirt with just one word on it for an entire year. What would that word be, and why? “Strong” because it reminds me that you have to tap into your inner strength in order to push past the obstacles to endure and succeed.
Share a fact about you that might surprise people to learn. I learned an African clicking language, “Xhosa,” while studying abroad in South Africa.
What job have you held (besides ECC) that was the most fun, interesting, or difficult? Explain why. When I was in college, I worked as a costume character to make extra money. It was fun because of the interaction with the kids and it was difficult because it was so hot inside the costume character suit.
Name someone you admire and explain why. My grandmother because she taught me to put God first in all that I do, the value of integrity, and a good work ethic.
What was your most valuable life lesson? In order to receive grace, you have to extend grace.
Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because … “ I love the connection and interaction I have with ECC students. They are the reason we are all here, to ensure that the students meet their life goals and fulfill their dreams.”