Faculty Profile

Media Studies and Digital Arts Faculty

Traci Griffith, JD

Associate Professor of Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts

J.D. Notre Dame Law School
M.A. Florida A&M University
B.A. Political Science DePaul University

I began my teaching career as a visiting professor in September 2001 and joined the tenure track faculty one year later. I came to St. Michael’s College from Chicago where I was a correspondent with The Associated Press. I worked as a national editor for The Associated Press broadcast division in Washington D.C.

Utilizing my law degree and my years as a professional journalist, my teaching focuses on Media Law and Ethics in the Digital Age and Writing for the Media. I have created a special topics course on Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality in Media and developed a course in Cyber Law.

I currently serve as a board member for The Vermont ACLU, and The Vermont Press Association. I work with numerous local organizations and serve the community through her work focusing on the issues of homelessness, poverty and AIDS.

Traci Griffith, Saint Michael's College Associate Professor of Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts, and a resident of Williston, was elected to be vice-president of the Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and was appointed by Governor Shumlin to serve on the Vermont Humanities Council. Professor Griffith has also given public presentations about media representations of Martin Luther King Jr. and the issue of race.

A Favorite Quote:

"I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." -- Michael Jordan

Traci Griffith, professor/chair of media studies, journalism and digital arts, on May 10 received the Dupont Award for faculty during the annual Senior Awards Brunch. The event, which recognizes exceptional members of the senior class as well as student-selected faculty and staff, annually brings forth inspirational figures who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the Saint Michael's community. Staff winner was Anna Boesch of the MOVE Office, while student winner was Sophia Adams '18, recent Student Association president. Earlier Traci was elected to the Executive Committee of the National American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Board during a late-January meeting in Atlanta. An attorney as well as professor, Traci has been active with the Vermont ACLU Chapter for many years, including her role for the past four years as Vermont affiliate representative to the national board. She also led an Edmundite Campus Ministry MOVE service trip for students to help out with her as volunteers in the Edmundite Southern Missions Center of Hope in Selma, AL, just after Commencement, helping to prepare meals for guests there. In early January, TV, radio and print journalists sought Traci out after a Burlington Free Press editor was fired in the wake of some controversial "Tweets." With her law and journalism background, Traci is an experienced and frequently sought commentator on matters of journalistic ethics and legal issues. She was a guest on Vermont Public Radio's Vermont Edition program, was interviewed for an article in the Burlington weekly Seven Days, and was invited for an extended interview on a WCAX Channel 3 on this matter.
(posted June 2018)

Traci Griffith, professor and chair of media studies, journalism and digital arts, was a guest on Vermont Public Radio’s Morning Edition about an interesting case involving two northeastern Vermont newspapers, with one being accused of stealing the other's password to access Associated Press photos without properly paying for it. The case is being prosecuted using RICO statutes -- more typically used to prosecute organized crime and the MAFIA, making it somewhat unusual. She spoke with the VPR reporters and morning hosts Mitch Wertlieb and Melody Bodette. Traci also was cited extensively in a November report the same case written by Aaron Nicodemus, Boston correspondent for Bloomberg BNA (Bureau of National Affairs), which is a source of legal, tax, regulatory, and business information for professionals, headquartered in Arlington County, VA. Also in November, Traci hosted a visiting group of Russian journalists, sponsored by the Vermont Council on World Affairs, who sat in on her Media Ethics class and, through a translator, heard a spirited discussion applying ethical consideration to various highly charged scenarios that a reporter might face. Traci was invited as a guest on the WCAX Channel 3 TV news program “You Can Quote Me” on Sunday, September 10, to talk with host and anchor Derron Perron concerning issues in transparency by state officials in cases such as Vermont State Police involvement in a deadly shooting in Poultney.

(posted December 2017)


Traci Griffith, associate professor of media studies, journalism and digital arts, appeared on National Public Radio's syndicated news talk show "Here and Now" on March 25. Traci spoke about the January purchase of Al Gore's Current TV by the Qatar-based television network Al Jazeera to form the new Al Jazeera America. Traci told an interviewer she watches the network for another perspective, and does not perceive an anti-American bias. She added that not all her students agreed, though a few who have had farther-reaching international life experiences indicated they would feel comfortable working there.

Traci Griffith, associate professor of media studies, journalism and digital arts, was elected this fall to be vice-president of the Vermont ACLU. She also was appointed by the governor to the Vermont Humanities Council. Traci spoke about media representations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the issue of race at the city of Burlington during a Speak Out event on the King Holiday, Monday January 16, 2012.

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