What I enjoy most about teaching at GSU is the willingness of students to share their experiences with each other, even when it relates to topics we are not supposed to talk about. It turns out we can learn a lot about our selves and our world when we explore what really matters to us and not just safe or polite topics or ideas. My approach to teaching is grounded in critical pedagogy. Basically that means I believe we all bring something to the table, and that we are accountable to one another to engage with the material at hand. Learning occurs best when everyone is actively involved. My courses are characterized by frank and open discussions of topics that are not only scholarly relevant, but applicable to our experiences in everyday life.
My interest in Communication began in high school when I learned I could get out of any class by claiming I had "newspaper business." I continue to find the field incredibly useful, albeit for different reasons. I pursued a bachelors degree in Communication at Seattle Pacific University, and then went on to earn a masters and PhD at Arizona State University. My academic interests focus on the communication of identity, specifically in relation to race, gender, sexuality and class.
Currently, I am working on a project that integrates community service, civic engagement, and research. As part of a research team, we have worked in Nairobi, Kenya, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam with local members of the LGBTQ community and journalists to use personal narrative in media advocacy. This allows individuals to share their stories in ways that can shape public opinion. Journalists are also better positioned to report on issues in ways that are ethical and authentic, rather than relying on cultural assumptions and myths about marginalized populations.