My name is Brandon Stafford, and I was born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia. I attended Virginia Western Community College after graduating from high school in 2003. After that, I transferred to Radford University, where I received my B.S. in English in 2009 and my M.S. in English in 2011.
I began teaching as a graduate student in the fall of 2009. After graduate school, Radford University hired me on as an adjunct instructor, and I spent the next five years teaching a mix of composition and literature courses while preparing to find a job teaching at a community college (something that had been my goal since I applied to my graduate program). I was hired by Vance Granville Community College in 2017 and began here at Western Piedmont in fall 2019.
Classrooms don’t have to be miserable places. As a student, I always did better in classes where the instructor was engaging. This is in large part because, despite my desire to have a different story, my first years in college were less than stellar. I spent my early years taking classes because I felt like I had to, so I often passed with a C. I was, however, fortunate to have some unique professors in those years whose classroom was so engaging that I almost never missed class. I truthfully enjoyed going. English classes were where this was the most obvious, so when it came time to change to a different major (my first was business), English was the obvious choice. Those professors’ courses were so interesting that not only did I enjoy going to class, I suddenly found myself wanting to go and excel in them. I’d suddenly been motivated—and motivated because of classroom philosophies that fostered motivation, even in a habitual underachiever. My GPA never fell below a 3.0 again.
I want to have a hand in someone having a story like mine. My goal as an instructor is to create a learning environment that makes students want to do well. I know it’s a tall order, but if I can have an impact like that on at least one person a school year, then my efforts will be worth it.
When I’m not teaching, I can usually be found playing one of my seven guitars (my current favorite is a Schecter 7-string), reading, watching a movie, or playing a game. Other fun facts about me: I mostly listen to metal, I’m a fan of the New York Yankees and San Francisco 49ers, and I fully embrace my nerdiness. I’m very happy to be here WPCC.