I became a Professor because I love teaching. As a teacher, I want my students to see the study of history as an ongoing endeavor in which they play an important part. I create hands-on courses that provide spaces for students to develop their own ideas and opinions through primary source research, critical thinking, reading, and writing. I encourage students to see the course as part of a continuing conversation about a topic, rather than a survey of texts accessible only to experts. To this end, I use media in all of my classes to illuminate points from the reading and to give students more ways to become interested in the subject. I also use a course blog, where I ask my students to post links to contemporary media and debates related to the topics in the class. I ask students to pay particular attention to how authors use evidence to support their arguments and what counts as evidence in different fields. By focusing on evidence and method I hope to emphasize something that I did not fully understand in college — that books are not infallible and that authors are simply people who have done a lot of research (hopefully). By demystifying what historians do, my goal as a teacher is to make the study of history more accessible and relevant for students both inside and outside of the classroom. All of my students are historians, even if they don’t know it yet.
Lecture “Everybody Knows About Civil Rights” on Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet”
One of my teaching goals at Scripps is to use blogs and social media effectively in the classroom. I have had positive experiences using blogs to make students’ final project publicly accessible in my “Multiracial People and Relations in U.S. History” course, as a way for students to bring examples of evidence into my “American Studies Methods” course, and as a way for students in the “Introduction to American Cultures” and “Race in Popular Culture and Media” to connect the readings relevant contemporary media and websites.
I have been fortunate earn multiple teaching awards, from both faculty colleagues and students, including being voted the 2010-2011 Professor of the Year by the Scripps Associated Students. I also consider student advising and mentoring an extension of teaching and have served as a faculty and steering committee member for the Scripps College Academy, a college-readiness program for high achieving young women in the greater Los Angeles area.
Below please find syllabi and resources for my courses (PDF links):