Message for Students
If you are coming to my webpage as a student, please know that your education and growth are of utmost importance to me. Texas A&M is a public, land-grant institution, which means that it was designed to serve the people of the state of Texas from its very inception. My teaching is informed simultaneously by Texas A&M’s goals to “prepare students to assume roles in leadership, responsibility, and service to society” and by the International Studies Department’s mission “to educate global citizens and future leaders, preparing our students for a globally interconnected future.”
In her podcast, Michelle Obama described feeling limited as a young person “because schools don’t show you the world…they just show you a bunch of careers.” If I am lucky enough to have you in my classroom, my goal is to show you a small slice of the world with the hope that you will walk away feeling a bit more limitless.
Many of the pivotal debates we are facing as a society are shaped by individuals who are deeply-entrenched in their positions. My teaching philosophy is largely informed by taking up these debates and challenging my students to begin with “are we asking the right questions?” One of my core values as an instructor is that learning to ask the right questions is the foundation of quality scholarship and leadership.
In a world where global contact is increasingly present in the lives of undergraduate students, I aim to help my students see that coursework in the Humanities allows us to draw connections between diverse cultures. Language and literature not only cultivate communication between people, but also provide students with an opportunity to reflect on their own language(s) and culture(s) in new ways. My pedagogical goals are also consistently informed by transnational theories.
Regardless of the course content I have outlined on a syllabus, I believe that students should be trained to harness their own power as learners. As such, I pair content-related learning objectives with assignments that require the development of professional skills. In other words, I evaluate students by asking them to showcase what they have learned in creative ways that might simulate future workplace tasks.
I work to nourish my students’ curiosity about the complexity of our studies — I believe that the curiosity of students should guide their learning and, therefore, my teaching.
My classroom environment reflects my commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. These tenets are not only integral to class discussion and teamwork, they are ethical, academic, and professional imperatives.
Effective teaching is developed both in and outside of the classroom. I have been fortunate to obtain a wide-range of classroom experience during my time at the University of Michigan, Université de Paris VII – Diderot, Sam Houston State University and, now, Texas A&M University,. Some of the courses I have taught have included elementary and intermediate level language courses, while others have been upper-division courses.
It is important to supplement classroom experience with pedagogical training, conferences and workshops. To that end, I have made use of the following opportunities to sharpen my teaching practice:
- The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor’s Graduate Teacher Certificate Program
- SHSU Online’s Course Redesign and Faculty Certification Program
- SHSU’s Writing in the Disciplines Program
- SHSU’s Active Learning Summer Institute
- SHSU’s Odyssey Grant, to attend the Lilly Conference on Teaching for Active and Engaged Learning
- Texas A&M’s Course Build Institute, organized by the Center for Teaching Excellence
INTS 407: “Diversity in a Globalized World — Global Migration on the Silver Screen”
Students in this course completed a web-based group project. It showcases the work of all 65 students and can be found by visiting www.migrationonthesilverscreen.com. Please note that the project was designed by students, completely student run, and developed for educational purposes only.