Communications faculty started in banking but found her passion in teaching

September 21, 2017
Elizabeth Briggs

Meet Elizabeth Briggs, who teaches communications studies at Tidewater Community College’s Chesapeake Campus. Briggs joined the college in 2011 after finding her passion in teaching.

Why did you choose to pursue communications studies?

“I didn’t go to college right out of high school and instead chose to go to into banking. I did well in the industry and worked my way up from teller to relationship banker to mortgage loan officer. While working in branches, I led many meetings and training sessions and was drawn to many communication functions on the job.  In my mid-20s I went to Liberty University to study communications studies. I loved it from the start and pursued both a bachelor’s and master’s.”

What makes you an effective teacher?

“I encourage my students to learn the material and participate in classroom discussions. It’s not enough for students to simply do assignments because I want them to care about the work they are doing, too. I love that our students come from different backgrounds, and I enjoy getting to know their stories.”

Have you always enjoyed speaking in front of groups?

“I like speaking in front of small groups, especially when there is more opportunity for interaction. And while I wouldn’t enjoy speaking in large events like Convocation, I could do it!”

Tips for someone fearful of speaking in front of groups?

“Plan…plan…plan! And then prepare and practice. With public speaking, there are no shortcuts. Every situation is unique, and you can only control what you can control. In every instance, you will be more confident when you know what you want to say and how you want to say it.”

Favorite assignment you give for students?

“During my intro to communications course, I have students take a personality test and we examine how their personalities affect how they communicate with others. Then we write a paper about what we learned. It's then that we see many aha moments.”

Favorite thing about TCC

“I found my passion in teaching when working as a teaching assistant at Liberty while pursuing my master’s. I now get to do what I love every day! I have great colleagues who really care about students and their journeys. It seems as though we are all working together for a common goal.”

What’s on your bookshelf?

"I love reading! On my shelves, you’ll find books on everything from personalities to politics to fiction. Jane Austen is one of my favorites, and I enjoy 'The Hunger Games' trilogy.”

What would people be surprised to know about you?

"I have a very messy office, and I’m not a type 'A' personality."

TCC involvement

“I enjoy getting involved and currently serve as faculty advisor for Phi Theta Kappa and Breakaway Bible Study.”

The personal stuff

“I live in Chesapeake with my son, Tristan. We have a dog, Olive, who is a German shepherd mix. I’m a member of Deep Creek Baptist Church and lead a small group. In my free time, I enjoy time with friends trying out new places to eat in Hampton Roads.”