Adjunct Faculty


Brandon Dickerson, Film Production

BA in English, Baylor University, IMDb
Teaching at Griffin since 2016

“I agree with director Robert Wise’s three P’s required to be a filmmaker:  passion, patience, perseverance. When you dive into thoughtful and steadfast work, storytelling through films is like  “poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?” – John Keating in Dead Poets Society

Carlene South, Basketry

Masters in Elementary Education, Texas State University, BA, English Literature and Drama, Texas A&M University
Teaching at Griffin since 2014

“Using materials from the natural world is an intimate process by which we learn about properties, utility, and aesthetics, ultimately transforming our perceptions and  our very relationship with nature.”

Cory Ryan, Photography & Yearbook

B.A. Film & Video Production, B.A. Broadcast Journalism, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill,
Teaching at Griffin since 2016

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place . . . I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt

Da’mon Stith, Warrior Arts

Mestre and Director, Capoeira

Guild of the Silent Sword

Teaching at Griffin since 2009

IMG_2667-Edit-EditGreg Jones, Guitar, Classical Guitar, Bass

B.A.A.S., University of North Texas
Teaching at Griffin since 2011


Jennifer Petersen, Volleyball

B.S., Community Health, Portland State University
Teaching at Griffin since 2016


Julia Ward, Music Performance

BA Anthropology & Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin
Teaching at Griffin since 2012

Meagan Ciongoli, Comics & Sequential Art

B.F.A. Illustration, Maryland Institute College of Art,
Teaching at Griffin since 2016

“Folks tell each other stories with words and pictures virtually from the age where they can first grip a crayon, and it’s my firm belief that anyone can and should continue to do it. Draw until you can no longer keep from drawing.

Meredith Burwell, Digital Design

M.F.A. University of Delaware, B.F.A. Painting, Savannah College of Art and Design
Teaching at Griffin since 2016


Nicole Mann, 2D Arts

M.Ed. Curriculum & Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University, MA Studio Teaching, Boston University, B.F.A. Textile Design, Rhode Island School of Design
Teaching at Griffin since 2016

“Feeling and thinking, the head and the hand, the mind and the body, the private and public, seeing and acting, nonverbal and verbal, are all interactive and interconnecting relations that are alive and vital within aesthetic experience.” Margaret MacIntyre Latta.

IMG_2634-Edit-2Rudy Ramirez, Theatre

PhD (in process) Performance as Public Practice, University of Texas at Austin, M.A., Performance as Public Practice, University of Texas at Austin, B.A. English, University of Pennsylvania
Teaching at Griffin since 2013

“Theatre takes place in a fantasy we create with others, and like any communal experience, requires a relinquishing of control. We love, and we play, in order to learn how to survive letting go.”–Lynda Myoun Hart

Ryan Brack, Ultimate Frisbee

B.A., Christian Ministry, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Teaching at Griffin since 2016

“I love Ultimate Frisbee soooo much because it doesn’t only embody competition and teamwork but its essence is the Spirit of the Game. Spirit of the Game relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play.

IMG_7699-Edit-2Ryan Young, Music

B.S., Mathematics and Secondary Education, University of Colorado at Boulder
Teaching at Griffin since 2011

“Music is my passion. It’s what I’ve built my professional career around.  The opportunity to share that passion with students in a supportive environment is something for which I’m very grateful.  Griffin is a wonderful place to express your creativity and grow as a musician.

Sandy Miller, Computer Science

B.A., Computer Science, Vassar College
Teaching at Griffin since 2016

“Programming is not just how we make websites and apps, but a tool to truly understand and shape the world around us. I want to inspire my students to use the medium of code to explore the topics that interest them, make beautiful things, and feel self-sufficient and empowered to create the often intimidating technology we use everyday.

Tara Cooper, Make Up Design

B.A., Costume Design & Technology, University of Texas at Austin,
Teaching at Griffin since 2016


GriffinStaff14-77Thomas Schiefer, YouthSpin Radio

M.S, Urban Education, Mercy College, NYC, B.A. Political Science, Fort Lewis College
Teaching at Griffin since 2010

“Youth Spin gives the youth of Austin a voice in a media field that sorely lacks in teenage perspectives. It seems so simple, but having a place where teenagers can share their opinions with others sets up one of the most positive and inspirational learning environments I have ever seen. I am so proud to be a youth spinner.”

IMG_7689-EditTina Sparkles, Fashion Design

B.A., Psychology, Texas State University,
Teaching at Griffin since 2009

“To me, fashion has so many possibilities beyond simply clothing the body.  It can be an art form, a mode of expression and a powerful communicator.   My classes are designed to give students an opportunity to explore, play and use their instinct while also learning the technical aspects of garment-making and pattern-making.  I like to think of it as a nice balance between “rock n’ roll sewing” and traditionally austere methods.”

Travis Cook, 3D Arts

Master of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin, BA Architecture, Lehigh University
Teaching at Griffin since 2016

“You don’t think your way to creative work. You work your way to creative thinking.” –George Nelson