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Teaching

Philosophy

I have had the great fortune to act as the Instructor of Record for five semesters so far, spanning three separate courses. I have also acted as a teaching assistant or lab instructor, guest lectured almost every semester, and have consistently mentored brilliant research assistants (RAs) who work in the lab. I have been especially fortunate to be the graduate student mentor to five undergraduate thesis students (see below), which allowed me to watch the joy of scientific inquiry from the perspective of advisor, as well as advisee.

In all my educator roles, whether I am in the classroom or mentoring RAs, I take a student-centered approach. To do so, I borrow aspects of progressivism to encourage students to try things on their own and work out ideas for themselves. When teaching RAs, for example, I'll demonstrate the task before asking the student to take it over, scaffolding it in order to increase the level of independence and difficulty each time. In the classroom, I frequently incorporate active-learning lessons via discussion, predictions, and introspection so as to encourage the students' own exploration of the topic. To check understanding, be it with an RA learning a new skill or a student asking for help in office hours, I frequently use a Socratic approach: helping the student construct the answer rather than giving it.

Psychology--in particular social psychology--is often a study of power and privilege. Therefore, I adopt tenants of a critical pedagogy in the classroom by allowing marginalized voices the space to speak on their own experiences and encourage the challenging of stereotypic assumptions, while being mindful of the power dynamics in the room. As part of this, I try to foster an environment of inclusion in all educational spaces. I encourage students to use their preferred names and identities, and to be as authentically themselves as they feel comfortable. This also means, in line with the tenants of critical consciousness, addressing the different and unique needs of students from different groups, rather than assuming equal treatment will yield equity.

 

Through the development of my inclusive, student-centered teaching philosophy, my student evaluations have steadily improved, culminating in recognition from the Provost for teaching excellent for the Fall, 2018 semester. I still have more ideas, and I am constantly striving to make my classroom a more enjoyable and effective learning environment. Feel free to explore these pages to see what I have already done, as well as the links to my full teaching philosophy statement and student evaluations.

 

Course List

Courses Taught

Introduction to Psychology I (PSYC 1100)

Social Psychology (PSYC 2700)

Health Psychology (PSYC 3105)

Courses Prepared to Teach

Undergraduate | Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods, Stigma, Social Psychology, Social Psychology in Media, Health Psychology, Social Cognition

Graduate | Advanced Social Psychology, Stigma, Health Psychology, Professional Development

 

Undergraduate Thesis Students

2019

Angela Kang

Honor's thesis: Attitudes and Experiences with Mental Illness

Faculty Advisor: Diane M. Quinn

2018

Liane Keegans

Independent thesis project: Assessing Body Image and its Perceptions

Faculty Advisor: Diane M. Quinn

Liane is currently getting her M.S. in Sports & Health Sciences with a concentration in Health & Wellness Management from  APUS

2017

Evangelia DeRosa

Honor's thesis: Ignorance is Bliss: Emotions, Politics, and Why Whites Avoid Information About Race

Faculty advisor: Colin Wayne Leach

Evangelina is currently getting her M.A. in Psychology at NYU

2016

Simon Archambault

Honor's thesis: Examining Late Positive Potential as a Stress Response to Police Violence in African American and White Participants

Faculty advisor: Colin Wayne Leach

Simon is currently getting his M.D. at UCONN Health

2016

Charity Whitehead

Honor's thesis: Benefits of "Black Lives Matter": Images of Protest Reduce Physiological Response to Images of Police Violence

Faculty advisor: Colin Wayne Leach

Charity currently works for a global development consultancy firm, and is a Master's Degree candidate in International Development Studies at The George Washington University