Education is about the journey for students and instructors alike. For instructors, the point in their lives when they stop, look around and say “it’s time to give back” is different for all. The similarities most great instructors share are the passion and experience they bring to the classroom. Our faculty spotlight for this month shines on Jeffrey Briggs, Minnesota School of Business-Rochester (MSB) writing instructor. His journey from the real world to the classroom is one that he hopes will inspire students to become better writers, and maybe even more inspired citizens. Come along for this journey with Jeff….
Still relatively new to Rochester, Minn., I moved here with my wife, two dogs and two cats after living in Seattle, Wash., for nearly 30 years. In Seattle, I was pretty much a water rat: I lived on a sailboat for 10 years, then we bought a house not far from the beach. I sailed and kayaked throughout much of the Pacific Northwest. I wrote about boats, I produced boat shows, I sailed boats across oceans and up and down the Pacific Coast. If it had to do with anything boating, I was probably involved. Other than boats, I have always been passionate about baseball and books.
You love to write. What type of writing have you done? Where has it taken you?
Before coming to MSB-Rochester, I had a successful career as a professional writer. I have published over 300 magazine articles in a variety of regional and national magazines. Assignments have taken me as far north as the waters of Glacier Bay, Alaska, and as far south as the Sea of Cortez in Baja, Mexico. I also have been a managing editor of a Northwest boating magazine. I prepared for this position by working as a stringer for the Associated Press and being a contributing editor to another Northwest magazine. I have also written two small nonfiction books and three novels in the Seattle Waterfront Mysteries series. The mysteries are still looking for a publisher. Since, like so many writers, I needed to have a day job to support myself, I was also the executive director for a nonprofit boating association for 17 years, producing major floating boat shows among other activities.
Your flare for writing brought you into the classroom. What do you teach? Why is it rewarding?
I just completed my first year of teaching composition, communications and creative writing at MSB-Rochester. I also run the Writing Lab where I get a chance to tutor students on their writing. I like the opportunity to give back to students. I had some great instructors along the way in helping me develop as a writer and as a person. I can only hope to be such an inspiration to some of my students today. I hope each of my students becomes a better a writer, a better student and a better critical thinker.
Interested in becoming a better writer? Growing professionally in a career you will love? Contact MSB-Rochester to learn how to begin your journey.