Outstanding grad overcomes illness to reach graduation

There were many physical and social barriers that could have prevented human development and family studies major Chastin Ellington from making it to graduation, but through hard work and a loving support system, she has risen above them all. This December, she will go home with a bachelor’s degree and a legacy of great work behind her here at CSU.

A blonde girl in a grey cardigan smiles and leans against a railing.Because of some tumultuous family situations, Ellington was on her own and had to support herself through college. As if this wasn’t hard enough, she found out as a freshman that she had blood clots in her lungs, which were causing severe shortness of breath and searing pain as she slept. After three days in the hospital and six months of testing, medications and doctor’s visits, she has made great strides towards recovery in the last few years.

With such big obstacles in the way of her success, it’s amazing that Ellington has continued to thrive at CSU, and will graduate in only three and a half years. She found a home for herself in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and describes how the people there have “always been open and warm. Everyone is extremely supportive and understanding when something would happen and would do their best to work with me when needed,” she said.

During her time here, Ellington has A blonde girl smiles into the sun, clad ingreen and grey rams gear and aviator sunglassescommitted herself to making the CSU community even better. She has served as a Peer Adviser in the HDFS Advising Office and as a teaching assistant in the HDFS 277 classes, helping students feel welcome and at ease within the department. Ellington also was a leader in the Ram Kidz Village program, supporting CSU students with children through their college experience.

“I will miss all of the great people I’ve met along the way,” said Ellington, reflecting on her favorite moments at CSU. “Some have been in my life for just a moment, others for the entire time I’ve been at CSU. Each has made an impact one way or another in my life.”

“Chastin has a strong passion to make a difference with the population that she serves,” said Katie Ditter, director of undergraduate advising for HDFS, who nominated Ellington to be featured as an outstanding graduate. “She embodies the heart, determination, and spirit that exemplifies a CSU Ram.”

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is in the College of Health and Human Sciences.