Richard Griffin: Program Assistant, Musician, Problem Solver
In a lot of ways, Richard Griffin is an ambassador for IU McKinney.
Griffin is the program assistant for the Chinese Law Summer Program, where IU McKinney students join students from other American law schools for two or four weeks of study, opportunities to work at Chinese law firms, and cultural trips in Beijing. He also coordinates the Sun Yat-sen Summer Program, where students and professors from China visit IU McKinney for two weeks to study the American legal system and a variety of legal field trips and cultural activities. And he takes care of what the academicians who come to study at IU McKinney need for the Visiting Scholars Program.
The Indianapolis native, who lives with his wife on the Indianapolis south west side, completed his undergraduate work at IUPUI. Griffin met his wife, Sara Griffin, while they were students at Decatur Central High School. Sara is a community relations manager at IUPUI. The couple has a four-year-old Shar Pei named Juno.
He’s an avid musician, a drummer mostly, he says, who played all the instruments on his upcoming album titled “Relative Gravity,” due to be released in mid-June.
“It’s old fashioned rock and roll,” Griffin said, describing the music. He’s played for the pep band on campus, and performed in the band as part of the musical “Chicago,” staged at Franklin College recently. He plans to enter the IUPUI master’s program in music technology.
With IUPUI for seven years, Griffin has been a part of IU McKinney for the last five. He initially was the program assistant for the LL.M. program in Cairo before moving to work with the Joint Center for Asian Law Studies.
In addition to coordinating travel, housing, orientation, and cultural trips, Griffin advises students on applying for Visas to travel, either to China or to the United States. That’s where the diplomacy comes in, as the requirements change frequently and every change requires more and more paperwork. It can be a frustrating process, but for Griffin, he “enjoys the management of the programs” he works with.
He also enjoys working and spending time with the students, both those who travel to China, and those who visit IU McKinney. Griffin has made a lot of friends that way, particularly among the visiting scholars and those who take part in the Sun Yat-sen program.
“You form relationships,” Griffin said with a laugh. While the Sun Yat-sen visitors are in Indianapolis, Griffin is with the group all day, every day, for the two weeks the group is here.