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Global studies grad to take love of education around the world


May 10, 2011

Gillian Coffinger will graduate from the School of Politics and Global Studies with a major in global studies-governance and a minor in Spanish.

After graduation, she plans to be a middle school teacher in Dallas for Teach for America. Additionally, she will pursue her master’s degree in educational leadership from Southern Methodist University. As an Arizona native, Coffinger has deep family roots in Tempe’s history, including an uncle who was a founder of the Sun Angels Foundation and had Curry Elementary named after him.

“I have a great sense of Sun Devil pride and connection to the university,” said Coffinger. “I have also been fortunate to have been at ASU for all four years as a Leadership Program Scholar.”

While attending ASU, Coffinger has been involved in a variety of programs including Greek Life, Undergraduate Student Government, Devils Advocates, Leadership Scholarship Program, and Senior Year Experience. Coffinger was chapter president of Alphi Phi Women’s Fraternity, president of the Panhellenic Council, and vice president of the Greek Programming Board, as well as vice president for Senior Year Experience at ASU’s Tempe campus.

“All of these opportunities have afforded me incomparable leadership experience, philanthropic involvement, local and national networking, academic achievement, and mentorship,” said Coffinger. “In doing so, I have been able to become the leader that I am today with a greater appreciation of education and giving back to the community.”

In addition to her efforts, she was awarded Outstanding Sophomore of the Year, received the ASU Sun Devil Award, was Homecoming Royalty in 2009, and was the first ever recipient of the Greek Pillar Award of Leadership.

Coffinger has been an ambassador in orphanages in Mexico and Peru, and hopes to take her love of education as well as bringing understanding of global perspective into a classroom to teach to students.

“As a teacher, I aspire to bring current domestic and international events to the classroom and encourage them to ask questions and critically think, while of course assuring that they are academically excelling,” she said.“We are living in a world that is dependent on our knowledge and understanding of each others’ cultures and way of life; I hope that I can bring that reality to life in the classroom.”

With big goals and dreams ahead to accomplish, Coffinger is one step further by graduating from ASU.“I know I can’t change the world, but my greatest dream is to inspire a global perspective in my classroom and a love of education in my students,” she said.