The way we make sense of the world is shaped by our own experiences and our interactions with others. As an educator and scholar of public policy, I believe that the university classroom is one of the only remaining places in American society where pressing issues can be discussed, analyzed, and debated.
In each course I teach, I provide information that is relevant for students with general and specialized knowledge, those for whom policy has deeply and tangibly affected their life and those who have yet to see the many ways policy permeates their lived experience. Students with previous exposure to public policy and sociology will gain a richer picture of the policy context we share, while those without this exposure will be introduced to topics that they have dealt with in other courses and throughout their life – health, financial security, aging – but through the unique, interdisciplinary lens of public policy. Regardless of prior exposure, students will gain awareness of the policy landscape that has, likely, shaped the experiences they will bring into my classroom. Adapting to students’ particular interests, goals, and knowledge is critical to providing a course experience that will benefit students and promote learning.
I actively pursued pedagogical training during my graduate studies. I will complete the Certificate in College Teaching program, which includes rigorous coursework as well as an observational component. In the latter, I observed two other PhD students teach and they both observed my teaching. In my career, I intend to include this observational aspect both by observing other faculty in my field, but also by actively soliciting feedback from faculty in my department. I also applied for and was awarded the Bass Instructional Fellowship, which enabled me to teach a course of my own design as instructor of record during my final year of graduate study. As a student and future faculty member teaching is a skill that I will practice, improve upon, and develop as new technologies and ideas diffuse.