Texas Tech University

From Student to Instructor, Duffee Finds Niche in the Classroom

Andrea Payne

December 1, 2023

Robin Duffee

Robin Duffee, a 2017 and 2019 Communication Studies (COMS) graduate from Cedar Park, Texas embarked on her teaching journey quickly after completing the undergraduate and graduate programs in CoMC.

From one set of classrooms as a student to another with a passion for teaching the next set of young professionals, Texas Tech's CoMC offers opportunities for scholars wanting to remain in the sphere of higher education.

Robin Duffee, a 2017 and 2019 Communication Studies (COMS) graduate from Cedar Park, Texas embarked on her teaching journey quickly after completing the undergraduate and graduate programs in CoMC. The now Assistant Teaching Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Pennsylvania State University loved learning more than anything and wanted to take it to the next level. She set a goal as a student to continue on in higher education but on the other side as an instructor— she exceeded it. 

Robin Duffee at Speak Now

“I started teaching for the first time while I was at Texas Tech as part of the master's program— my first time fully being an [instructor] was when I began teaching COMS 2300 classes,” said Duffee. “I loved it and thought it was the coolest thing ever because I was able to teach basic effective communication skills that I believe can help people in all different aspects of their lives. I then applied to Ph.D. programs since I wanted to continue teaching and was accepted to Penn State where I currently am.”

With an eagerness to assist others, Duffee is grateful for discovering what she wanted to do in her career early on. While she entered college as an undecided major, she found what she wanted to study through course catalogs— she began working closely with students shortly after. Just after being hired to teach full time, Duffee accelerated in her profession through her commitment to academia. Looking back has never been in her plans.

“Once I made a good reputation at Penn State as a teaching assistant (TA) while completing my Ph.D. coursework, multiple professors were willing to work with me,” said Duffee. “I quickly began teaching my own courses as an instructor of record after applying for the full-time role I am in today. Through this process, I have realized even more how much I love being in the classroom on the other side. My time with this university has already shown me that I should stay on this path.”

Robin Duffee at Penn State

Each year, CoMC finds new ways to get students involved during their studies. This not only helps students meet lifelong friends, but it also gives students the chance to learn from likeminded others while setting themselves up for their dream careers post-graduation. Once in their desired fields, alumni reflect on the positive experiences they have in the college that also opened endless doors for them.

Aside from traditionally building her resume, Duffee became a leader in CoMC where she had a spark for the world of academics. 

“There was a much more coherent community in the College of Media & Communication that I enjoyed being a part of,” said Duffee. “I enjoyed that there was overlap in the different majors in the college. This college also offers a ton of opportunities for students in terms of getting involved. I was exposed to leadership roles through working with Student Ambassadors, Dean's Council, and the more recently named Dean's Student Ambassadors (DSA). CoMC even offers students the opportunity to engage in academic work.”

For Duffee, there is nothing that makes her regret choosing CoMC or her career path. She encourages students to trust the many great things they will encounter during their time here.

“Students should take advantage of the connections and resources they have in the College of Media & Communication,” said Duffee.


“This college has equipped me with skills that are increasingly relevant in our contemporary culture. CoMC is a great place to seek out now more than ever. There is a lot of fun to have here, and you are guaranteed to take courses you are interested in that translate to the real world.”