I have made education a priority in my academic career. At the core of my teaching philosophy is student empowerment, which informs my teaching in several ways. I create inclusive classrooms and course designs that promote access and opportunity, especially for under-represented minority students, given the structural disadvantages they face. I also prioritize critical thinking and practicum-based instruction, making sure students develop the tools to understand how knowledge is created and apply what they have learned. Finally, I contextualize information across disciplines, challenging students to think about how knowledge is entangled with history, class, and culture, and what this means for putting knowledge to work in the world. I use justice as a theme to link these ideas and to help students craft personal relationships with what they learn.
I have also sought training opportunities in teaching through Berkeley’s rigorous Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, which included coursework and instructional feedback focused on creating inclusive classrooms and fostering educational equity.
I have more than ten years experience as both an Instructor of Record and a teaching assistant in courses spanning several disciplines, including:
-Introduction to GIS, co-lead lecturer, Stanford, 2011
–Ecopoetry, course developer and instructor of record, UC Berkeley, 2016-2020 (sponsored by Poet Laureate Bob Hass)
–Race, Culture, and the Environment, teaching assistant, UC Berkeley, 2018-2019
–Rangeland Ecology, teaching assistant, UC Berkeley, 2019
–California Naturalist Program, guest lecturer, University of California, 2017-2019
–Wildlife Ecology, teaching assistant and guest lecturer, UC Berkeley, 2014-2017
–Introduction to Environmental Studies: Science and Literature of the Environment, teaching assistant and guest lecturer, UC Berkeley, 2014
–Introduction to Earth Systems, teaching assistant and course designer, Stanford, 2008-2009
–Writing in the Major, teaching assistant, Stanford, 2008
Student mentorship has been one of the most rewarding aspects of working in academia, and another critical venue to promote diversity and create opportunities for underrepresented students who face structural disadvantages. With the innovative and highly praised Berkeley Connect and Bridge Connect programs, I have worked with students from underserved communities to help connect them with faculty and campus resources, provide professional development, and create personal and trusting relationships that have proven outcomes for students.
I have also been a research mentor to over 30 undergraduate students as research assistants. I have advised 7 undergraduate theses, 2 of which have gone on to publication in peer-reviewed journals.