Teaching

My first teaching gig was as an instructor at a summer camp where I taught groups of eight-year-old girls how to play the drums. I learned something very important about teaching from that experience: effective teaching is informative, interactive, and tailored to meet the needs of a specific audience. Just as it is ineffective to spend an entire drum lesson lecturing about rudiments and eighth notes without giving students the chance to sit behind the drum kit and come up with their own beats and fills, it is ineffective to spend an entire class lecturing about your discipline without providing opportunities for students to actively apply what they are learning.

Along these lines, all of my pedagogical strategies are dedicated to critically engaging students with sociological concepts in accessible and applied ways that they can take with them after they leave the classroom. With a grant from my current institution’s Center for Teaching and Learning, for example, I developed a simulation activity for my medical sociology course using Pandemic, a collaborative board game where players take on the role of medical professionals to find cures for diseases and prevent further outbreaks. After playing the game according to the original rules, students design a modified version with rules, strategies, and positions that take into account the social factors that influence the spread and treatment of disease. Among other things, students have added a “medical sociologist” character to the game and included game cards that task the expert team with addressing the unequal distribution of resources that affect who gets sick and who has access to treatments once they are discovered.

I also enjoy and value engaging students outside of the classroom. I am currently the faculty advisor for two undergraduate student organizations: The Gender and Sexuality Alliance and the Women’s Health Interest Group. In addition, I have mentored multiple undergraduate research assistants in ethnographic methods for a collaborative project on Chicago-area community organizations, and I have supervised a student on her senior honors thesis about media representations of gender nonconforming youth.


Teaching Resources


Courses Taught

St. Louis College of Pharmacy

Principles of Sociology

Health, Biomedicine & Society

LGBTQ Health Care

Social Science Research Methods

Drugs & Society

University of Illinois at Chicago

Sociology of Gender

Sociology of Sex and Sexuality

Sociology of Children and Youth

Topics in Medical Sociology: Health Social Movements