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Aileen

I am an adjunct professor, attorney at law, wife, mother of 2, survivor, and the instructor. I have been teaching law, history, political science and philosophy for more than 25 years. I am an admitted and practicing attorney in NV, NJ and NY.

I hold a BA in Education with a minor in behavioral sciences from Queens College, part of the CUNY system. I spent my junior year in Paris at the University of Paris, number VIII at Saint Denis (The Sorbonne is number III). It was a very political time (the early 80s) and this was a very political branch of the University system and I became very interested in political science and international affairs. When I returned to the United States, I received my MA in Political Science, from Queens College. When I attended, it was a great time to be there; Very interesting and full of politically active professors, including Michael Harrington (“the Other Americans”). I finished up my Masters in London where I worked and studied a grass-roots movement called Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). They created the peace symbol which stands for the semaphore signal of Nuclear Disarmament. I wrote my masters thesis, The Business of Peace, on this organization.

I taught full-time for the NY Bd. of Ed. while attending graduate school full-time in the evenings. Back then there were no online courses. I went on to teach Social Studies (history) for NYC for 8 years and then decided to go to Africa. I lived in Morocco for a little over two years. I taught history and political science courses at the Casablanca American School. I became very interested in Islam and Middle Eastern history, politics and culture. I tried to immerse myself in these things. Being dark haired (at the time) and olive skinned I was able to go into places that others perhaps could not. I learned Arabic at the French Cultural Center and just by living there. I was often mistaken for a native Berber. I traveled into the Sahara and throughout Morocco.

Then I taught for another year in NYC while applying for Law School. I attended Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School where I received my JD on scholarship. I ‘majored’ in international trade and trademark (intellectual property) law. While in my second year of law school I wrote a grant proposal for the Dept. of Commerce (Ron Brown), which shockingly gave me $64,000.00 to take a trade mission of 24 minority firms to South Africa to teach post-Apartheid black entrepreneurs how to run successful businesses. This was in conjunction with a trade show I was running with 160 American companies who wanted to break into the newly opened South African markets. For this grant, I wrote a paper for the DoC called: From Political Pariah to Economic Pariah.

I have also worked for The Business Council for International Understanding where I was on the Africa and Middle Eastern desk. I was an Alternate Secretary (this is not the same as administrative assistant) for the Joint Appeals Board of the United Nations where my cases centered around Africa, the Middle East and other Islamic countries.


Undergraduate Degree:

 CUNY Queens College - Bachelors, Education

Graduate Degree:

 CUNY Queens College - Masters, Political Science

music, art, movies, theatre, snorkeling

Administrative Law

American Literature

British Literature

College Level American History

College Level American Literature

College World History

Comparative Literature

Constitutional Law

Contract Law

Criminal Law

Family Law

High School Level American History

High School Level American Literature

High School World History

Intellectual Property Law

Political Science

Property Law

Social Sciences

Tort Law

US Constitutional History

World Literature

What is your teaching philosophy?

Today's students often choose a college for its atmosphere. Today's student is often the working professional who becomes a student or the unsure future academic. I have been the adult student, the student looking for direction, the student learning how to love education. I worked full-time while going to college full-time. I truly understand the pressures of real life that students have to deal with while maintaining their grade point average. In my first year on scholarship in an accelerated program at law school, both my parents became ill and were hospitalized during each semester's finals. I remember studying in my car while I waited for visiting hours. My college transcripts are a study in how your personal life can affect your academic life. I am a study in how you can still achieve in the academic arena. Because of this, students always can and do turn to me for direction and advice. I have been told that I find my students where they are while maintaining a high level of academic standard, which allows students to challenge themselves and feel good about their success. I never let a student fail themselves. I have worked in wonderfully diverse educational arenas. I have lived and worked in London, Paris, Florence, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Las Vegas, New York and presently Altadena California. I have held positions at the United Nations and non-governmental agencies such as BCIU and CED. I speak French fluently and Arabic badly. I understand Italian, Spanish, some Korean and the bad words in Chinese. My students laugh at my love of foreign languages and cultures, and placate me by teaching me new expressions in their languages often. My love of other cultures even leads me to try my hand at cooking. I make a mean Sweet Corn Tamalitos, Fajitas, Moroccan Couscous and Tagines, as well as Indian Kormas and Curries. It is not always the content of the course that you are teaching your students, but a love of learning and a sense of wonder at their own abilities. I believe that my job as an educator is to be not only the instructor, but the mentor, the person who shows students what they can achieve not just in my course, but in their life. Sounds mighty, but even a small act can have a huge influence. It is one reason that I had a student write one of my letters of reference.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Introduce myself and have them tell me about themselves. Then, do an assessment of where they are in their learning, what their needs are, and what their learning style may be.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By teaching a student how to study and how they learn, they will become more confident. Teaching something as simple as note taking and tips for memorizing is incredibly helpful.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By making them feel successful and feel that they are achieving.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Try another way. Research different ways to demonstrate the concept.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Find out why.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Making sure they are relaxed and not intimidated.