Teaching Philosophy

My passion for teaching sociology comes from my own experience as a first-generation college student with an immigrant background. Sociology helped me better understand my social world through the use of a sociological imagination. This sociological imagination is what I hope to share with my students in all of my courses.

I struggled academically during most of time in high school, but in college, I was able to thrive when I found a subject that I personally connected with and through sociology I was able to excel academically.

As a first-generation college student, I also struggled to understand the unspoken rules and the hidden curriculum in higher education. As a result, I am passionate about demystifying the higher education process for students. The courses listed below reflect these interests.

I teach online and face-to-face and work to scaffold assessments so that students can build and improve their work and experience success in the learning process.

Lower Division

Understanding Social Relations in a Global Context

What does it mean to understand our lives in a global context? In this class, we learn about introductory concepts in sociology, like: how do we define groups, what is ethnocentrism, what is race, racism, culture, socialization? We learn how these concepts vary over time and across the world. We learn how sociologists study these issues and we study them by conducting our own observations of popular culture, family experiences, national and/or global news.


Analytical Statistics for Sociology

How do sociologists measure and understand the social world? In this class, we learn about sociology as a social science, yes, we are a science. Do I sound a little defensive? Maybe, but that’s a personal problem stemming from a larger issue that sociology was once referred to as “Gobbelygook” by a Supreme Court justice! Science and facts matter and in this class you learn about how to consume facts/figures and how to create them! Usually the title of this class scares people away because of the “math” and “statistics” and I that is exactly why you should take this class—what are all the things in the world that have told you, that you should stay away from math, science, statistics?! Let’s change that, this class is really about putting you back in charge of the numbers you see all around you every day.


Personal, Social and Intellectual Development

University 101 is a way for you to learn about yourself and the university? What are your strengths and where could you improve? Transitioning to college is an opportunity to learn about yourself, but also the hidden curriculum in higher education. Hidden curriculum made visible helps you see that failing is a normal part of the process, that you belong in these academic spaces, and that the university resources are here to help you succeed, grow, and learn.

Upper Division

The Family

The family is considered to be one of the most private and pervasive social institutions in society. All of us have had contact with at least one type of family, and many of us will be involved in several different families during our lifetime. To better understand the family we review sociological research and data on the family as well as popular cultural representations of the family. We start with historical origins and definitions of the family, then move on to contemporary family issues. The issues range from changing gender roles and power relationships to the effects of race/ethnicity, social class, and sexual preference in shaping family life. When our class is service learning, we also work on projects servicing communities/families (e.g. writing letter to elder, writing letters to incarcerated survivors of domestic violence, food drives, volunteering with nonprofits or Older Adult Center).


Family and Work

As students who juggle multiple responsibilities, like work, have family, and school, we understand how each one of these responsibilities affects our daily lives. This class combines our understandings of family institutions and combines them with work. We ask: How have our ideas of family life and work changed over time? How have our ideas of paid work and unpaid work created gender inequalities in the home? Do different government safety nets (like paid family leave) create generate gender equality in the home or outside of the home? What are the impacts of gender inequalities on marital satisfaction and career advancement or income? (As an update: the global pandemic has made one thing clear—some countries have safety nets like paid leave—the U.S. has women! Women have taken on the load of paid and unpaid work during the pandemic. The question remains, how will this impact women and family life in the long run).


Sociological Research Methods

This is the next step on your research methods in sociology journey. While we do think about numbers here and creating numbers. We get a more in-depth view how sociologists measure and understand the social world. We also talk about bias in research methods and how to avoid this bias. We learn how sociologists study the world, what is in their tool kits, how do they study the world. We learn about ethics in research. The best part of this class is that we learn how to study research questions that you are interested in using surveys, observations, content analysis, and/or interviews. Your questions about the world matter.   We work together on these projects and build each step so in the end you have designed a study, collected and analyzed data, and presented your research! It’s completely doable together.

Graduate Division

My graduate level seminars prepare make up core classes (research methods) and electives in the MA in Sociology curriculum. They are in-depth versions of some of the topics I teach to undergraduates. The goal of these courses are to give in-depth opportunities with course material and to prepare students for their culminating experiences (e.g. thesis, project, or comprehensive exams) and to also provide professional development opportunities for future careers (e.g. graduate school or workplace).


Seminar on Research Methods

Seminar on the Family

Family and Work

Professional Development

Writing in Sociology

Teaching Practicum