Professor Spotlight: Megan and Michael Garriga

Married couple Megan Garriga, adjunct professor in the Education Department, and Michael Garriga, assistant professor in the English Department, both teach at Baldwin Wallace University and are equally active in the BW community. “We are co-captains of Team Garriga” Michael said.
Megan teaches Diagnostic and Remedial Reading Methods; Phonics and Spelling Instruction; and Children’s Literature.
Michael teaches Writing Workshops, with a focus in fiction writing, and literature classes: The Southern Grotesque; Men Behaving Badly, (cross-listed as a gender studies class), American Noir; and Street Lit.
Megan received a BA in studio arts from the University of Louisville with a concentration in painting;  a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in K-12 art education; a Specialist in Education (S. Ed.) in K-12 reading from Florida State University.
Michael received a BA from Ole Miss; an MA from The University of Louisville; and a PhD from Florida State University.
Megan Garriga describes her past experiences in teaching and what led her to teach at BW.
“I’ve been a K-12 art teacher in KY, LA, and FL. I taught middle school and high school art in Louisville, KY, before moving to Louisiana with Michael,” Megan said.
While in Louisiana, Megan taught high school art in an experimental art and technology charter school based out of an old insurance building in downtown Baton Rouge.
“In Tallahassee, FL, I taught K-5th grade art and 1st grade reading intervention at a low-income elementary school before taking a leave of absence to study K-12 reading at Florida State,” Megan said.
Michael and Megan moved to Berea soon after Megan earned her Specialist degree from FSU. Megan then began teaching at BW the spring semester after the move to Berea.
Michael describes when he and Megan first met on the campus of the University of Louisville when they were both students.
“I moved to LSU to teach and Megan continued her studies and we were acquaintances then,” Michael said.
“However, two years later, I was back in Louisville, visiting a friend, and he and I were in a nice restaurant where Megan happened to be working,” Michael said. “We remembered each other and began talking.  I lied and told her I was a published author now, and she let me lie, knowing it to be a lie.  That’s a solid part of marriage; she knows everything and I make everything up.”
Michael and Megan had a long-distance relationship after that, while Michael was in Baton Rouge and Megan was finishing her MA in Louisville.
“Seven months later she moved to Louisiana, and we’ve been together ever since: Thirteen years.  Now we’re married, have two boys, and two very fat cats,” Michael said.
When the Garriga’s moved to Berea, they had a six-week-old son with whom Megan planned on staying with at home, “I wasn’t ready to return to the encompassing full-time schedule of teaching at a K-12 school,” Megan said.
Megan also describes the benefits of being able to teach at BW.
“Getting to teach at BW, however, has been the best fit for our family. It has allowed me to stay up-to-date and invested in my field while also having the time to stay at home with my two sons, while Michael’s teaching and he stays with the boys while I’m teaching.”
Michael was the first of the Garriga’s to begin teaching at BW. “I was hired through a national search and Megan planned to stay home with our then baby, Jaume. “However, after an inquiry at a party—thanks, Margaret Stiner—Megan was hired to teach in our second semester here. She wanted to stay in the literacy game,” said Michael.
“ We whole-heartedly enjoy our time here. It’s a beautiful campus with wonderful colleagues and students; yet, the weather…well, we’re still adjusting. It’s exciting but strange to us,” Michael said.
Both Michael and Megan Garriga think that having the opportunity to work on the same campus has been a positive one.
“Because we live so close to campus—we definitely wanted to be a part of the community and the culture of BW—we can get back and forth from campus easily. It is definitely convenient,” Michael said.
The Garriga’s also appreciate the people they have encountered during their time at BW. “We’ve been so pleasantly surprised by how genuinely sweet, polite, and smart the BW students are,” Megan said.
“ And our colleagues are amazing—smart and supportive, funny and down-to-earth. It’s a perfect place for our sensibilities.”
Both Megan and Michael Garriga have enjoyed their experiences here at BW in regards to the campus, community and classes that they teach.
“BW has been really good to us; having two kids, though, well, everything else in our lives seems to be chaos.”