I have a genuine enthusiasm for teaching and I devote a great deal of energy to convey this enthusiasm. I have over 7 years experience teaching introductory and upper level courses at University of California, Berkeley and The Ohio State University. I strive for students to be excited and eager to learn about a topic and to be involved in the discovery process. I continually develop and refine effective approaches to spark excitement and to connect the material to areas students are interested in.
In the past I have organized class trips to visit the primates at the local zoo in my physical anthropology courses. Handouts were provided to assist students in their observations of non-human primate locomotion, vocalization, and interaction. This activity was valuable in that it not only generated excitement among students but allowed students to have a firsthand view of the similarities primates share with humans. Recently during lab, I gave students in-class activities to demonstrate genetics and natural selection through the assessment of physical traits (e.g., PTC tasting, tongue-rolling, stature) of the human body and recording the expression of these traits among the class. This activity is very effective for stimulating excitement about the material and for bridging knowledge.
I further strive to cultivate critical thinking and logic skills. In my upper-level discussion based course (Women, Culture, and Development), I present the background and context for understanding a problem, evaluate the various theoretical frameworks, and instill basic research tools to approach the topic. For example, I provide my students with readings and have the students pose themselves as anthropologists when thinking about a course topic. Afterwards, students must actively participate in class discussing and evaluating assigned articles per week. To culminate the course each student picks a particular topic to evaluate through the various anthropological perspectives. Then the students present their findings via an in class poster conference. Discussing the course’s various topics pushes students to think outside their own discipline and forces them to learn a different way of assessing a research problem. This course evolves student’s thinking pattern by: 1) teaching the theoretical perspectives of anthropology, and 2) critically engaging students in the material in a more autonomous setting together with learning from their peers.
Learning happens within as well as outside the classroom. I strive to mentor students through meetings outside of class to: discuss academic aspirations, encourage higher education, and review options post graduation. Mentoring students allows me to add a personal dynamic to the relationship between a teacher and student to help guide students through the decisions of becoming an adult.
As an instructor, I have evolved through my introductory and upper-level anthropology courses working with my students and including their feedback during each step of my teaching career. I am continuously improving my teaching methods through student evaluations, discussions with my students after labs and in class activities the pros and cons to these exercises. Feedback in the form of evaluations from colleagues and my advisor and consultations with the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching provide me with new and innovative methods to continuously improve my teaching.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: George Washington University - Bachelors, Biological Anthropology
Graduate Degree: The Ohio State University - PHD, Biological Anthropology
I am an avid runner and hiker. I find listening to music and reading historical fiction to be relaxing activities. Also I love traveling to countries all over the world.