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Dr. Natalie Daniel Griffin ‘06 - Virtual Chapel Speaker

We welcomed Natalie Daniel Griffin, Ph.D ‘06 as our virtual Chapel speaker on October 29. Dr. Griffin is an educator with seven years of teaching experience in public, charter, and private schools in Charlotte, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University (‘10) where she completed her B.A. in Child Development and French. She completed her Masters in Community Development and Action from Peabody College at Vanderbilt in 2012, and most recently, she defended her doctoral dissertation in the Literacy Studies Program at Middle Tennessee State University. She will graduate from MTSU in December and join the faculty as an Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Education in January of 2021. 

Dr. Griffin’s current research focuses on growth mindset and its impact on reading achievement for young students, and her message to the student body and faculty emphasized this concept. “If you believe you can accomplish a goal by working hard, you have a growth mindset. Expecting to fail and have challenges along the way is perfectly okay,” she explained. Dr. Griffin also described a few of her personal challenges, such as coming to a new school in sixth grade, rising to the high expectations of all of her teachers at Episcopal, and earning a Ph.D while teaching. She emphasized that, “All of these phases in my life required constant discipline and perseverance. Sometimes having a growth mindset is simply telling yourself, ‘I know I can do this’ or ‘I’m not where I want to be yet, but I can get there.’” In closing her Chapel talk, Dr. Griffin encouraged students to rely on a growth mindset throughout school, college, and beyond, and to become lifelong learners. 

Natalie Daniel Griffin ‘06 is a member of Episcopal Collegiate School’s third graduating class. She was an active member of Honor Council (President), Orchestra (Concert Mistress, violin), and Cheer. It’s no surprise that English classes at Episcopal Collegiate were among her favorites. Her very fondest memory at Episcopal was easy for her to recall: “Being the speaker for my class on graduation day!” Natalie has recently become engaged with diversity, equity, and inclusion training and represents Episcopal’s alumni on the Diversity Task Force. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris. She loves to travel, but has deep roots in Arkansas.

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