For over a decade I have served as an instructor and facilitator at multiple levels of education. Beginning as an undergraduate at Penn State University, I worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Sociology. Following graduation, I served as a third grade teacher at Bernard Black Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. As a graduate student, I have instructed a diversity of courses as a teaching assistant and adjunct professor. The courses detailed below highlight my research interests in addition to my passion for introducing students to the power of the sociological imagination.
Courses at NYU
Graduate-level Introduction to Quantitative Methodology
Under the direction of Professor Patrick Sharkey, I served as a TA for the Graduate-level Introduction to Quantitative Methodology in the department of sociology at New York University. The course covers topics ranging from probability and sampling to ordinary least squares regression analysis and an introduction to counterfactual causal logic. In addition to holding office hours and addressing students’ questions from lecture, I designed and implemented a ten-session lab sequence to accompany course material. Lab sessions applied course concepts and integrated instruction on data management and statistical programming using the Stata statistical software package.
Summer Short Course on Math for Social Sciences
This weeklong course instructed by Professor Patrick Sharkey serves as a math primer for incoming doctoral students in the NYU Department of Sociology. As the lab session instructor, I designed and implemented review sessions on course material in addition to familiarizing students with navigating the Stata statistical software package.
Content Area Courses
Introduction to Sociology
The goal my Introduction to Sociology course is to open participants to the “sociological imagination” and assist students in the understanding of our individual lives in the context of society, societal structures, and social forces. The course begins with the foundational texts of early sociological theorists and continues with the integration of key sociological concepts with an introduction to the variety of methodological tools deployed in the social sciences. A variety of contemporary texts cover the sociological subfields of stratification, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, criminology, education, and the family. To demonstrate understanding of core concepts and build critical thinking and research skills, students apply the course literature to an analysis of the social forces shaping their own lives and a final project analyzing a chosen aspect of inequality in society. In addition to teaching this course, I have also served as a TA for a similarly-structured introductory course instructed by Professor Richard Arum.
Sociology of Sport
This course on the sociology of sport was co-designed with the late Gerald Marwell. Course material uses sport as a lens through which to examine religion, nationality, organizations, stratification, race, gender, and sexuality. The course begins with an examination of sport as a cultural product which serves to instill value systems among participants and consumers. Course material then proceeds to detail the role of sport in the reification of racial concepts and the construction of gendered identities. Throughout the semester, students develop an independent research project to analyze the role of sport and sport organizations in shaping societal understandings of race, class, and gender.
Courses at Penn State
Race and Ethnic Relations
As an undergraduate major in sociology at Penn State University, I served as a teaching assistant for Dr. Sam Richards’ course on Race and Ethnic Relations. As an assistant, I facilitated discussion groups regarding course material on racial, ethnic, and class-based inequality in the United States. My experience as a facilitator for this course led to a two-year period working with the Penn State Race Relations Project (now called World in Conversation) to join students in dialogue regarding individual identity, social structures, and interpersonal relationships across perceived boundaries of difference. I value this work experience on par with any teacher training as a key component in designing courses and engaging students with the “sociological imagination.”
K-12 Teaching Experience
Bernard Black Elementary School – Phoenix, AZ
In the summer of 2005, I served alongside fellow educators in opening Bernard Black Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. For two years I served as a third grade teacher, collaborating with team members to reach the diverse needs of the South Mountain Community of Phoenix. My time in the classroom provided the essential qualitative experience which compelled my return to research training at the doctoral level.