Professor Spotlight: Vicky Gilpin

Miranda Little, Staff Writer

Professor Vicky Gilpin’s office is stacked with books, primarily those having to do with the undead. No, not zombies – vampires. Gilpin is a native of Decatur and lives happily with her husband and a dog and cat. She received her undergraduate degree in Theater and English with teacher certification from Eastern Illinois University. Followed by a Masters in Education from Nova Southeastern University and her EED in educational leadership through the University of Phoenix, she only has her thesis left for her second Masters degree from Harvard Extension online.

Besides teaching CWWR I and II, Vampire Literature, and an LV course here at Millikin, Gilpin has her hands full with other students. She teaches full time English at Cerro Gordo High School as well as managing their fall plays each year. This year they have three one-act plays, which take place during the apocalypse and one of them even has zombies. Along with her Cerro Gordo students and her Millikin students, Gilpin also has Harvard Extension students. Through Harvard Extension, an online degree program, Gilpin teaches a post-apocalyptic course as well as a literature and sexuality course. It is easy to tell that Gilpin has a passion for teaching.

Gilpin’s passions aren’t limited to teaching and her students. It is clear that vampire literature fascinates her. Her wall is covered with books about vampires, she teaches a vampire literature class here at Millikin and she is writing her thesis for her second masters degree on James Malcolm Ryner’s Varney the Vampire. She loves to read Emerson and Steven King, but some other lesser-heard authors as well. She encourages students to look into the dark poet Franz Wright and Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet”.

In the spirit of Halloween, Gilpin loves seeing people dress up. In her mind, she feels as if she almost dresses in costume everyday and seeing the people expressing themselves through the way they dress is fun and interesting. Halloween has always been an interesting holiday to Gilpin because she has had friends throughout her life who were Wiccan and celebrate Halloween a little differently.