As a scholar-educator in the field of political science, my research and teaching are informed by a commitment to challenging the supremacist politics that underpin systems of hierarchy and oppression and to advancing the creation of a more equitable and just political system. I believe that advancing equity and justice requires not only attention to the content students are exposed to but also to how they are empowered to ask questions and learn and in their preparation for life after college. I, therefore, work to manifest this commitment on several levels, beginning with my course design, extending through my pedagogical practices, and continuing into my advising and mentoring.
Courses: I am well-versed in teaching courses related to my research fields, American political institutions, and constitutional law. I am also comfortable teaching political theory and enjoy teaching interdisciplinary classes. (Given my teaching and research focus, my courses are frequently cross-listed with the Social Justice and Gender Studies programs.) Over the past four academic years, I have developed and taught a range of lower and upper-level constitutional law and American politics courses, as well as a political theory and a general education course.
Whether teaching required general education (e.g., The Promises and Perils of Pluralism), introductory courses for the major (e.g., Introduction to American Politics; American Political Thought; Law and Society), upper-division major courses (e.g., The American Presidency; Topics in Constitutional Law; Contemporary Political Theory), or electives (e.g., Politics of the Religious Right; Civil Rights and Social Movements; Identity, Intersectionality, and the Law), I am motivated by a desire to not only advance students’ understanding but also to foster their political awareness and civic engagement. In other words, I aim to make my classes meaningful for students in their lives outside of college. In line with this intent, I also design my courses to develop students’ skills to succeed after college. I, therefore, incorporate assignments that foster both independent and collaborative work and cultivate strong oral and written communication skills (for example, designing and presenting a research poster, scripting and recording a podcast, or writing a brief and delivering an oral argument in moot court).
I am attentive to matters of representation when designing my syllabi, both in terms of selecting whom students will read and the topics we cover. I strive to craft reading lists that reflect a diverse set of voices and reflect my students’ identities. While some courses lend themselves to this project more readily than others, I have found that prioritizing authorial diversity is most important in the classes where doing so presents the most significant challenge. It is not enough, however, to stack a syllabus with underrepresented authors. Inclusivity also should be a guide for selecting course topics and designing assignments. Thus, I strive to incorporate analysis and discussion of issues that speak to my students’ lived experiences and the political problems they have to contend with and to craft assignments that encourage students to consider how they can put the knowledge they acquire to work in their lives.