Cheryl and son, Elias

Welcome to
Dr. Cheryl Chaffin's Web Page

Gavilan College English Department  

Contact Information

Dr. Cheryl Chaffin
Gavilan College English Department
Phone: 831.840.2842 (cell)

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

Academic Background

I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and Ph.D. in Humanities & Culture with Union Institute & University. My Bachelors is from San Jose State University. The first decade after college I worked in the high tech industry as a marketing professional.

I have been with Gavilan College since 2001. My areas of interest are human rights and ethics as explored in literature, particularly first person, autobiographical narratives. As a graduate student I have studied poetry, autobiographical writing, philosophy, ethics, and theories of public space, politics, and narrative.

I'm a writer, a poet, a teacher, and a mother.

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 2015 semester I teach one section of English 1C Critical Reasoning & Writing (Section 40062). January 26 - May 22, 2015.

Go to and to Online Courses to log into our English 1C classroom.

Teaching Approach Rhetoric, Autobiographical Writing, & Critical Thought (English 1C)

In this course students read and engage a number of critical essays and a memoir in which writers make certain ethical arguments for socio-political change and human rights. In the early part of the course we will study forms of argumentation and rhetorical analysis as we look at current issues. Then we will read autobiographical essays and a memoir. To this end, students explore the linkages between critical thought and personal narrative. We’ll observe the close ties that creative and critical thinking share, and analyze how writers build convincing, thoughtful, rational, and even poetic arguments in merging personal experience and social critique. Students create a Writer’s Profile, compose three critical essays (one an essay exam), and compose a final revised paper as a culmination of early papers.