Teaching

My commitment to teaching runs deep. My mother is a high school math teacher, and my sister is an elementary school teacher. Through my entire life, my family’s dinner conversation has consisted largely of how to best serve students. My college-­level teaching started at Columbia. I’ve TA’d and co-­taught many courses from freshman-­level introduction to the master’s thesis, and my evaluations reflect my ability and enthusiasm in this area. Moreover, I’ve received an award for my exceptional undergraduate teaching ability (the Charles Tilly Award) and voluntarily completed additional pedagogical training and preparation through the Innovative Teaching Institute. I've learned how to use a variety of instructional technologies that can be used to teach methods, collaborate on class projects, and encourage classroom interaction generally.

In the undergraduate classroom, my primary goal is to empower students to be independent learners. Students enter classrooms with a variety of backgrounds and training. Because of the structures and norms of American classrooms, students who enter disadvantaged often leave more disadvantaged, even in the most well­-intentioned spaces. I strongly believe that all students should be given latitude to engage with the material on their own terms, both in writing assignments and class participation. Not all students will be sociologists or even researchers, but through fun and engaging class time and assignments in which all students' work is valued, students can gain the knowledge and confidence to pursue and accomplish their unique academic goals. In sum, I seek to create an inclusive and respectful learning environment that engages students in relatable and democratic interactions.

I would eagerly collaborate with graduate students and exceptional undergraduates within my own projects and in projects of their own design. I enjoy working with students at all levels on long­-term research projects and the one-­on-­one meeting time required to encourage this type of work. 

I am an outgoing person and comfortable teaching courses ranging from small seminars to large lectures. Perhaps because of my years arguing cases in courtrooms against tough adversaries, teaching groups of highly intelligent and attentive college students does not frighten me. In fact, it thrills me each time I get to do it.


"This is you, and this is where all the people you are helping live." 

--Ashley O., my client's daughter (South Bronx, 2006)

(May I hear this again one day!)