By Mia Ruggerio
At Cape Cod Community College, the many faculty members act much like cogs in a machine. All are necessary for the college to not only survive, but thrive. One of these very important cogs is faculty member Rebecca Griffin.
Griffin has taught at the college since 2016. The courses she offers include both American Literature 1 and 2, British Literature 2, Producing a Magazine of the Arts, Creative Writing, and English Composition 1.
Her degrees include a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire, an M.A. from the University of Maine, and a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
This semester, Griffin is now the new coordinator for Phi Theta Kappa, the international honors society for two-year colleges. Her meetings with PTK students bring quite a bit of joy to her. “Meeting with PTK students is a highlight of my week–probably because collaboration is so important in PTK, and these students are great collaborators.”
Griffin is also a sponsor for the Bigger Boat Writers’ Series at 4 C’s. Working alongside Dean Cathleen McCarron, Professor Thomas Schaefer, and husband Professor Michael Fournier, Griffin is part of a new effort designed to bring outside writers to our campus. “This series gives students a way to connect with one another, as well as a way to meet working writers.”
When not at the college, Griffin spends her time playing music with her husband, baking bread, and going on walks. As would be expected for an English teacher, she also enjoys reading, writing, and teaching. She goes camping with her family every year up in Maine; one of the highlights of her summers. Her two cats, Tilly and Spippy, provide constant amusement for their human parents.
Before establishing her roots at Cape Cod Community College, Griffin was a beat reporter at The Eagle- Tribune for approximately 4.5 years. For about two of those years she covered the education beat. “This beat gave me a front-row seat in terms of learning about educational inequalities between districts and showed me that education remains a true matter of social justice.”
It was here that she first developed her interest in teaching. “I also learned a little about teaching theories, and I probably became interested in teaching as a result.”
Griffin made the decision to go to graduate school when she was working in a cubicle writing guidance for those overseeing hospital billing and coding. The job really didn’t align with her passions, which are writing poetry and reading books.
While Griffin and her husband were attending the University of Maine for graduate school, the New Writing Series, which brought working poets and novelists to campus, struck a chord of appreciation with both of them. “Mike and I really appreciated all that the New Writing Series did in terms of expanding our horizons and fostering community.”
During the time when she was getting her master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Maine, Griffin taught her first English class as an adjunct. This is where teaching became one of her passions. “You never forget the students in your first class. I also audited the teacher-training course, and I fell in love with teaching.”
When looking for an available teaching position, Griffin wanted to be in New England, Massachusetts in a community college setting. When the opportunity came, she knew Cape Cod Community College would be her landing place and her new-found home.
“When I saw there was an opening at Cape Cod Community College, my heart just about leapt into my throat. I knew that was the job I wanted most.”