I welcome teaching as an opportunity to encourage and empower students' intellectual wealth. Each semester, as new challenges arise, my passion for teaching is reaffirmed. My primary pedagogical role is to assist students learn how to search for and construct a complete answer as we work through the question-and-answer process. As a professor, my goal each semester is to grow with the students; therefore, challenges are ever-present to stay current with materials presented. Other goals are to stimulate active learning through a variety of media to develop in my student an appreciation for the art of questioning.
My teaching approach emphasizes three principles: Awareness, Skills, and Understanding. Awareness is developed through the students' mastery of reading assignments, vocabulary lists, and current newspaper articles. Before coming to academe, I worked in several social services settings (probation/parole, law enforcement, and human services). It is because of this background that I emphasize students considering the real-life conditions of individuals around the globe, as they expand their field of vision. Awareness does not necessarily mean that a student agrees with my ideology or my take on a certain issue.
Skills rest on fostering self-instruction, formulating questions rather than answers, and being able to critically appreciate the diversity of culture and cultural expression in the United States; therefore, I attempt to enable students to take concepts and apply them to their own social experience. In doing so, I want to lead students to develop their understanding of the basic connectedness of race, class, and gender, and how to apply these concepts. As students read and analyze traditional and non-traditional texts, my goal is that they further develop their critical reading and critical thinking skills on the themes of the courses.
Understanding comes about in many forms, as a result of students' different learning styles. To accommodate those students that are visual learners, I use the following teaching tools: chalkboard, pictures, video clips, role play, and PowerPoint presentations. Other students have the ability to understand materials from verbal instructions, so I incorporate lectures, guest speakers, individual projects, and small group discussions as teaching tools. But to me the best way to enhance knowledge is in going over the actual note taking process with students.
In terms of community service, I have served on a number of committees and in different capacities - on and off campus. I've coordinated and co-hosted a variety of on campus presentations for Constitution Day, Veterans Day, Black History Month, Women's History Month, and World AIDS Day - many of which were sponsored by the GSU Intellectual Life Grant.
In the area of scholarship, I have a number of peer-reviewed publications and presentations. I authored Resistance and Empowerment through Black Women's Hair Styling (2013).
Currently, I am working on two manuscripts expected to be published in
2015. Since my research is interdisciplinary in focus, I opt to present
regularly at major conferences that welcome such an approach, such as
National Council of Black Studies and the Midwest Popular Culture
Association/American Culture Association.
Please find my CV here.