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Meet a USAC Member: Shore Griffin

Posted by on Monday, April 11, 2022 in Meet a USAC Member.

Shore GriffinWhat has been your career journey to lead you to where you are today?

I came to Nashville in March of 1989 with my newly printed college degree, with a plan to stay just a few years and then head farther from home to Chicago, or Boston or….?  Ha! Here I am 33 years later!

I began my VU journey in Human Resources hiring Vanderbilt Temporary Services applicants, a few of whom I still run into on campus today! Three years in, I started work in the office that oversaw all Commencement activities, the campus phone directory (that dates me!), Faculty awards and was home to the University Historian, John Poindexter. While editing the Commencement Program, proofing the phone directory, and working on Faculty awards, I was immersed in VU history, while also growing a new program, Retirement Learning at Vanderbilt, now Osher Lifelong Learning. Chancellor Gee arrived, and I found myself on his events team. What a learning experience for my behind-the-scenes personality!  I learned a lot about events and about myself, took an 18-month break, but couldn’t stay away. I returned and for the next seventeen years assisted two Deans of Undergraduate Admissions, followed by three University Librarians.

My job was reimagined during COVID-19 to my current role –in Communications and Engagement for the libraries. I am behind the scenes writing and editing the stories for the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries. I am so grateful for my Vanderbilt knowledge, the great bosses who taught me so much, and for so many wonderful co-workers!  Vanderbilt’s amazing history is the foundation of the university here today. It is exciting to be a part of the university rebranding itself to reflect who we are today and what we aim to be.

What do you enjoy most about Vanderbilt?

The beautiful campus and the amazing people who make Vanderbilt “happen” every day.

What is the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor has given you?

Only work for people you respect, and who can teach you something.

What is one important skill every person should have?

Listen in the present. Hear people. It is hard in this rat race world we live in, to not listen with one ear while looking at your phone, and listening with the other ear for the oven timer to go off. Or while someone is talking, finishing their sentence in your head. You get the idea. Do your best to really listen to the person talking to you.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A professional equestrian rider (jumping!)

If you could visit any country with no budget, where would you visit?

Scotland. My maternal grandfather emigrated from the Scottish Highlands, and I have had the incredible good fortune to visit there. I would go back in a second and stay till the money ran out!

What are you most proud of in your life so far?

My many friendships far and wide, and promoting my experience: that people the world over are inherently the same.

I lucked into being born into a family that traveled. My good fortune has taken me places many only dream about. The greatest surprise in traveling to faraway places is the similarities I discover with these soon to be friends who at a glance are so different. Their house, lifestyle, clothing, plants growing in the backyard are all unlike anything I have ever seen or smelled, the food we share is prepared with spices I have never tasted. Their mode of transport might not have wheels, but rather, legs! And yet, we laugh at the same things. They want me to love their homeland, as I want them to know mine. I see characteristics of their family relationships that are the same as my own. I see my mom’s mannerisms in their mother. Their cat can tell I am a cat person! Strip away the outer layers, and we all have more in common than we ever imagined.