I am motivated by the potential of education to counter institutionalized inequities and facilitate students’ personal transformation and social and economic mobility - particularly amongst historically marginalized students. I do this by balancing challenging coursework with substantial support for students. This allows students, regardless of their starting points, the opportunity to develop the collegiate skills necessary to flourish academically, be competitive on the job market, and engage effectively within and beyond their communities.
My pedagogical approach is guided by the ethic that all students, regardless of where they start, can develop strong collegiate competencies. Far too often students of low-income, first-generation, and/or underrepresented backgrounds are products of a highly unequal education system in which they are neither expected nor taught to aspire to academic excellence or professional careers. Coming from underfunded school districts, they often have not received adequate preparation for college. Contrary to common stereotypes, this does not mean that they are incapable of advanced collegiate work. When provided considerable support, access to resources, and mentorship, all students can build the skills necessary to excel in rigorous courses and overcome the institutional and economic barriers in which their lives have often been structured. To facilitate their success, I provide all of my students with:
extensive office hours and learning resources;
preliminary review of and opportunities to revise their work;
improvement-based grading to recognize students’ academic transformation over time;
interactive writing workshops; and
All of these strategies are designed to assist students in becoming stronger writers and more critical thinkers; prepare them for university transfer, professional work, and engaged citizenship; and nurture their enthusiasm for the social sciences.
For examples of projects produced by students in my courses, please click here.