Cheryl and son, Elias

Welcome to
Cheryl Chaffin's Web Page

Gavilan College English Department  

Contact Information

Cheryl Chaffin
Gavilan College English Department
Phone: 831.840.2842 (cell)
Email: (primary); (secondary)

(Please note: The best way to reach me is via email.)

I'm happy to schedule phone, Skype, or in-person appointments with students.

Academic Background I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. BA from San Jose State University. I have been with Gavilan College since 2001. Currently, I'm a Ph.D. candidate in Humanities & Culture with Union Institute & University. My doctoral studies focus on women activists who have used the memoir form to share their stories of personal, social, and political change. I'm interested in how writers create increasingly liveable and just societies through autobiographical narratives in the public sphere.
Areas of Expertise Creative writing; memoir & autobiography; contemporary literature; critical thinking and textual analysis; social justice issues and ethics; women's writing; globalization and feminst theory; second language learners; openness to multiplicity of student experiences and backgrounds; Writing Center management and directorship.
Course Information

In Spring 2014 semester I teach a section of English 1A College Composition (Section 40281) online.

January 27 - May 23, 2014.

Click here for the course home page for English 1A

Teaching Approach Students in my English 1A course write a narrative, social analysis, literary analysis, and a research essay. We focus on good literature -- primarily creative and critical essays and two social memoirs, as a means of developing and refining our writing, language, and critical capacities. Emphasis is on clarity of thought and expression and improvement in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Students are encouaged to express and deepen ideas and questions through inquiry and research (in reading and writing). I emphasize learning to speak and share (in online forum discussions) as a means of increasing one's intellectual confidence within an attentive academic community. My vision is that students leave my courses with developed academic skills of thinking and written expression, and with insights that facilitate compassion and understanding in relation with self and others. I intend to help students feel confident in their writing and thinking skills as they ready for eventual transfer to the university.