ACC talks Black History Month: Chantae Recasner

Throughout Black History Month, Austin Community College (ACC) sits down with influential and accomplished faculty and staff to discuss what Black History Month means to them.

Meet Dr. Chantae Recasner, Faculty and Instructional Development dean. She came to ACC in May 2018 from Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Recasner has a doctorate in Education from the University of Cincinnati, and holds Master's Degrees in Business in Operational Excellence, Teaching, & Learning, and African-American & African Studies from Ohio State University. Read more about her below.

Dean Dr. Chantae Recasner

What is your position at ACC and when did you start at the college?

Dean, Faculty & Instructional Development. I began in May 2018.

Why do you think it's important for the college to commemorate Black History Month?

I think the value in commemorating Black History Month lies in understanding Carter G. Woodson's intention to recognize, celebrate, and promote the significant contributions of Black people to the United States and the world. This country's economic and political infrastructures, its cultural developments (art, music, literature), and its intellectual prowess, including scientific innovation and discovery, all owe a debt of gratitude to the efforts of Black people. It's essentially a time for the creation and re-creation of an oral counternarrative. During Black History Month we get to focus on Black people as more than victims of oppression. We're victorious, amazing, and our history proves us among the greatest patriots this country can boast of!

What figure in Black History would you most like to meet and why?

This is a tough question! As an educator, I often wish I could get counsel from Mary McLeod Bethune. As a leader, I want the courage and community sensibility of Fannie Lou Hamer, the vision of W.E.B. Du Bois, and Nelson Mandela's diplomacy. As a creator, I want the grace of Judith Jamison and the eloquence of Maya Angelou. And, seriously, as a human, I want whatever Cicely Tyson is drinking!

What are some personal or professional accomplishments you are most proud of?

I'm a first-generation college graduate and Dr. is in front of my name.

What's the best lesson you've learned?

1. Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff. (It was on a calendar, but resonated with me.)
2. Keep the main thing, the main thing! (The words of my mentor.)

What advice would you give emerging leaders?

1. It's who you are and what you do when no one is watching that matters.
2. Vain pursuits are usually transparent. Don't lead for the sake of being seen.
3. Integrity is most difficult, but also most necessary during periods of critical, but immense change.

Why is it important to seek out and value diverse perspectives?

Diverse perspectives give us strength and an ability to fill in gaps and remove limitations when our thinking is too myopic.

How are you building bridges between communities?

Through my work and service as a leader, I engage community building in all of my work.

What inspires you?

I'm inspired by underdog success stories.

What is your ultimate goal?

To work and live in a way that never disrespects or dishonors my cultural and familial heritage.

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