Jeffrey Griffin, Class of 2013
B.A., Political Science: Georgia College
Ph.D. Student of Political Science: University of Nevada, Reno
Jeffrey Griffin’s book review of Sarah Krep’s book "Coalitions of Convenience" has been accepted for publication in International Dialogue: A Multidisciplinary Journal of World Affairs. This is a good start to Jeffrey’s publishing career and a nice achievement for his first semester in graduate school at University of Nevada, Reno. Congratulations Jeffrey!
Read below to find out more about Mr. Griffin.
What are you currently up to?
I am in pursuit of my Ph.D. in Political Science on a five-year fellowship at the University of Nevada, Reno. Amidst my studies at the university, I work part time at the university as both a teaching and research assistant for the department. More specifically, I am the personal research assistant for the graduate director, Dr. Robert Ostergard. Along with Dr. Ostergard and Professors Bozena Welbourne of the University of Nevada, Reno, and Shawna Sweeney of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, on a global project regarding the impact of women’s rights on HIV/AIDS prevalence. It is a truly busy, yet exciting time in life, and I am loving every moment living in sunny Reno!
How did the college program help you prepare for graduate studies?
Honestly, making such a leap from undergraduate studies into the realm of doctoral studies is intimidating, but I cannot think of a university, or program rather, that could have or would have prepared me more effectively. Throughout my time as a student at Georgia College, each professor I worked with carefully prepared me for eventual graduate studies. From the very earliest advising appointments, professors—in a major way—assisted me in looking forward and being prepared for whatever life would throw my way. While working towards my Bachelor’s degree at Georgia College, I concentrated in International Affairs and it remains my targeted focus at Nevada. While engulfed in the various international classes the Government and Sociology department at Georgia College had to offer, I realized that for my purposes the tailored education the department provided was second to none! Although my concentration was in the international arena, American government and American political philosophy courses made for a well-rounded degree, which I would not change for anything in the world.
What are some of your favorite memories while attending Georgia College?
Being a future researcher and professor, my opportunity to work with the Dr. Roger Coate is certainly the first thing that comes to mind. While working with Dr. Coate, I was able to fully understand and grasp what it takes to be a leading academic in the field—research, dedication, and lots of hard work. Without his support, I would not have had the opportunity to assist in conference paper preparation and presentation and would not feel as prepared as I do for graduate studies. But I cannot possibly only single out one professor, because Drs. Rich and Edmondson certainly—not always so gently—pushed me to excel and were there each step of the way. I honestly would not change a bit of my tenure at GCSU, because I am the person I am today because of it.
What are your future plans?
The future, for me, is whatever it may turn out to be—luck will certainly play a role, as will a great dash of serendipity. However, hard work will always come back ten-fold. Just as Nelson Mandela said years ago, "There is no passion to be found in playing small—in settling for a life that is less than you are capable of living.” I will continue to work hard, give it my all, and at the moment plan to begin my career at a university teaching international relations, but truly I am receptive to the changes and challenges that life has in store. Besides, my interests are broad, and I want to do practical work in the field of international affairs in concurrence with my intellectual interest in order to bring more to the classroom than mere textbook understanding and wisdom. Regardless, my career will be part teaching, but heavily invested in my research, using my research to help find innovative and workable policy solutions to major public problems. I am already well underway in relation to publications, research, and presentations being slated to present two research projects at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in Spring 2014 in Toronto.