September 5, 1951 - March 5, 2010
Grant Cioffi, Associate Professor of Education and Dean’s Office Faculty Fellow at the University of New Hampshire, received an A.B. from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Education from University of Minnesota where he specialized in reading education and research. He joined the UNH Education faculty in 1980. His research and teaching focused on literacy, reading instruction, and the diagnosis and assessment of reading difficulties and disabilities.
Professor Cioffi had a long record of service to the university and the community beyond. At the university, he chaired the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research for over a decade, working to ensure the ethical and safe conduct of research activity. He served as chair of the Education department and sat on numerous college and university committees. Professor Cioffi may perhaps best be known, however, for his outstanding service to the state of New Hampshire and the New England region. He was one of the founders of Seacoast Reads, a nationally-recognized and highly successful volunteer tutoring program that partners UNH students with elementary school children. In addition, he travelled regularly throughout the state assisting teachers and children; for years he taught courses in literacy—as a volunteer—to North Country teachers who could not easily reach the Durham campus. He was also active for decades in the Learning Disabilities Program at Children's Hospital Medical Center in Boston, travelling to Boston every week to assess children with profound learning challenges and work with their families. The university recognized Professor Cioffi’s outstanding service with the Excellence in Public Service Award in 2007.
Professor Cioffi was an inspiration to his many students over the years. He not only taught but also advised, trained, mentored, supervised, and supported generations of Education students who went on to serve the children of New Hampshire and beyond. His students described him as “passionate,” “inspiring,” “knowledgeable,” “approachable,” and “respectful.”
His colleagues describe him in much the same way, but one other word is often used: “generous.” Professor Cioffi was generous with his time, his intellect, his spirit. He was interested in the people around him and took the time to learn what interested them. Thus a hello and smile would often be followed by a tidbit about something he had run across that he thought might be of interest or an idea he had about something that might be helpful. He made room in his heart—for colleagues, for students, for children. And for family. Professor Cioffi leaves behind his wonderful wife, Ann, and his two sons, Rob and Will.
Professor Cioffi died suddenly on March 5, 2010. He was 58 years old.
The Cioffi family, in conjunction with the Department of Education and the College of Liberal Arts, held a Memorial Service for Grant Cioffi on Friday, April 2, 2010, at 4:00 p.m. in the Huddleston Hall Ballroom on the UNH campus in Durham.
The Family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to UNH “in memory of Grant Cioffi” for scholarships for students focused on service learning in the Reading Program in the Department of Education at UNH. Please contact the University of New Hampshire Foundation, Inc.
Children’s literature may be donated to local schools in memory of Grant Cioffi. Books may be brought to the Department of Education in Morrill Hall.
Written on the occasion of his 2007 University Excellence in Public Service Award
Grant Grant Cioffi loves to read. The first book he ever read from start to finish was Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. He remembers back to the days when he and his twin brother kept up with one another during first grade at Public School 87, near the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. ... (READ FULL STORY)
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