Overall, my teaching priority is to ensure that students graduate with critical thinking and communication skills, including developing a sociological imagination to connect personal experiences with a broader social and historical understanding of society. More specifically, I have three major goals for student learning: first, to help students understand foundational sociological theories as a critical lens through which to see the world. Second, to help students engage in the central practices of sociology by teaching them how to gather, evaluate, and use empirical evidence, as well as how to clearly communicate their ideas in written and oral presentation. Finally, to help students build soft skills, including the ability to work with others through collaborative group projects and peer editing.
I also have a deeply-held commitment to equity in education and supporting historically marginalized students, including first-generation/low-income (FLI) students, as I was a FLI undergraduate and understand from personal experience the struggles these students face in academia.
These objectives structure how I teach at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In all aspects of my courses, including readings, lectures, and assignments and evaluation, I draw students into a sociological conversation that builds upon the theoretical and empirical debates brought up in the course. Given these goals, my courses focus on in-depth analysis, real-world research experiences, and staged writing and presentations where students draft, edit, and redraft their work. Overall, these experiences strengthen the knowledge and skills students need in the classroom and beyond.
Some courses I regularly teach:
- Schools & Society: The Purpose of College (SOC 190) [Download PDF]. This course examines the role of universities and colleges from a sociological perspective, while also guiding students in exploring their own path in college, using different types of evidence to inform their understanding.
- Culture & Society, Writing Course (SOC 221W). [Download PDF] This course surveys major themes and questions in the sociology of culture (the influence of culture on cultural formations) and cultural sociology (the influence of culture on social processes). We pay particular attention to how culture shapes inequality in the distribution of resources and power by race, class, and gender.
- Digital Inequality (SOC 389).[Download PDF] This course investigates the relationship between technological change and inequality. To do so, we explore research on the first, second, and third level digital divide, as well as issues beyond the divide, like algorithmic bias. The culiminating course project is the production of a Digital Inequality podcast.
- Sociology of Education (SOC 516/759R). [Download PDF] This course focuses on education and inequality. The goals of the course are to: 1) provide students with a foundation in sociology of education literature and 2) prepare and support students in engaging in their own research and publication in this area.
- Qualitative Methods (SOC 502/585). [Download PDF]This course investigates what it means to utilize qualitative methods in social science research. We discuss issues pertaining to qualitative research (epistemological underpinnings; subjectivity, ethics, rigor). We also discuss and practice various methods, including observations, interviews, and content analysis. The culminating course project is a draft grant proposal, or some other product to move students’ research forward.
The in-person book launch is a panel discussion focused on equity in STEM education featuring Dr. Tamecia Jones, Assistant Professor of STEM Education at North Carolina State University and Dr. Kinnis Gosha, Hortinius I. Chenault endowed division chair for...