Director Profile - Kim Griffin

June 29, 2014

Kim Griffin was born and raised in Binghamton, New York.  From the first day of Spanish class in 9th grade at Susquehanna Valley H.S. she knew that she wanted to be a Spanish teacher. She atended SUNY Oswego and majored in Secondary Education-Spanish, but destiny arrived in her student mailbox one spring day in the form of a pamphlet announcing summer study abroad programs offered by Oswego. She knew noone who had ever studied or travelled abroad, noone who even had a passport, so the idea was daunting and stunned her parents.

The challenge of spending the summer in Spain turned out to be a life-changing experience, and upon graduating from college she returned to Spain to continue to learn Spanish. Since then, she has taught English to Spaniards, and Spanish to Americans.  She taught at Notre Dame High School in Elmira, NY, and then went from there to get her MA in Spanish at Middlebury College in Spain. That began a thirty year relationship with Middlebury as Assistant Director, Professor and then after receiving a Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education from The Ohio State University, as Director of the program.  She also spent several years as Director of the Languages, Translation and Study Abroad programs at the Universidad Europea de Madrid.

Three years ago she made the difficult decisions to leave Middlebury and accept a research position with the University of Cantabria in conjunction with the newly created Comillas Foundation. Almost immediately, she was promoted to Academic Director of the Foundation and even though that position was later eliminated, she continues to work for the University of Cantabria. Language Acquisition and study abroad are her two passions, and creating the new MMLA at Comillas is one of the most exciting projects in her entire career.