My approach to teaching involves careful concept-driven planning and a balanced approach to assessment that ensures that every student can succeed. All of my courses address social inequalities in their content and, as a facilitator, I seek to discuss power and inequality in ways that do not place undue burden on students from marginalized backgrounds. I use technology to bring diverse perspectives and expert voices into the classroom. In addition, I seek to cultivate a sense of critical citizenship among students by using case studies that are immediately relevant to their lives.
At U.C. Berkeley I have developed and taught three courses as instructor of record:
- Sociology of Culture, an upper-division elective course, Summer 2016. The course introduces core concepts in the contemporary sociology of culture, including cultural capital, authenticity, ideology, and institutionalization. Students encounter empirical works applying these concepts, on such topics as the formation of racial-ethnic categories, elite education and privilege, and the cultural politics of food. In evaluations, students praise the course’s engaging material and clearly presented lectures.
- Sexual Cultures, a survey course in the sociology of sexuality, Summer 2015. Topics include the social construction of identity, LGBT movements, global transmission of Western sexual identity categories, and the institutional risk factors for sexual assault on college campuses. Students gave this course high marks in their evaluations, citing helpful discussions and informative readings.
- Seminar in Cultural Production, Fall 2015 (and Spring 2018). This discussion-based course unpacks institutional and critical perspectives on the arts and media, focusing on a different industry or field every week. Students learn core concepts–such as the collective nature of artistic production and organizational responses to uncertainty in the entertainment media–before applying these to timely issues such as online media distribution and user-generated content. Students develop a research paper on a topic they select from the weekly lessons. In the first iteration, students found the course engaging and challenging, praising my accessibility and guidance.
I have also worked as Graduate Student Instructor (teaching assistant) for five courses while at Berkeley, planning and conducting discussion sessions that meet twice a week. Courses include Economic Sociology, Contemporary and Classical Social Theory, and Evaluation of Evidence. Students consistently praise my clear and well-organized lessons and my helpful and encouraging demeanor in the classroom and in office hours. I received a university-wide Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award in 2013.