In the Classroom
My approach to teaching enhances students’ sense of belonging and validates their presence as intellectuals on campus. Many of my students, especially first-generation and non-traditional college students, and those from underrepresented groups, remark upon their overwhelming sense of isolation and alienation because students like them are few and far between on the Berkeley campus. As a professor, I actively work to cultivate an environment that is more welcoming to and supportive of students from all backgrounds and disciplines.
As an undergraduate, I was an older student-parent, a transfer student, and a working student, and my experiences as a non-traditional student make me more sensitive to students' lives beyond campus. I am better equipped to help them develop practical strategies for daily survival and long-term success in the academy. I encourage them to persevere in spite of the loneliness, the alienation, and the formidable odds they may face.
I strive to create a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space in my classroom, and I seek to prepare each of my students to enter the world with a deeper understanding of people they may not otherwise have crossed paths with before they enrolled in my classes. Course assignments also encourage students to consider extensively the lives and experiences of individuals who are unlike them.
It is my approach to and deep love for teaching which earned me the Division of Social Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science in the 2016-2017 academic year.