New Teaching Academy Members
Building relationships and helping students to succeed is why I love teaching accounting at Texas Tech. I am motivated and inspired by seeing student faces light up when difficult topics are understood, by huge smiles on the faces of students who receive internship offers, and hearing excitement in the voices of students who pass the CPA exam. I truly enjoy seeing students work hard to achieve their academic, professional and personal goals and am humbled that I get to be a part of their journey.
The book of James describes wisdom as "pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere." Many things inspire me to teach, including my students, colleagues, and passion for history. But above all, I hope my teaching promotes healthy and productive relationships based on active dialogue, humility, social engagement, and respect. In short, the world needs more wisdom; if I can play a tiny role in promoting that to the next generation, I'll be happy.
Experimental psychology is an engaging but difficult topic, so I prioritize practical application and experiential learning for diverse skill sets. I enjoy watching students grow, develop confidence, and hone a deeper passion for this complicated material. Students' enthusiasm for a challenge really inspires me to keep working to develop my overall skills as a teacher and mentor.
I want my students to become more aware of their place in a global society and to develop empathy for those who come from different cultures and life circumstances. While I find it exciting to discuss my own research in Latin America and the U.S. with students, what I really love about teaching is seeing students question their taken for granted assumptions about the world and taking action to make their communities more just.
Meeting students is always an exchange. It's an exchange of "facts," ideas, and inspiration. We each leave something and take something away. Often it's a competing view, a question, or even the memory of a hurtful mistake. Every exchange changes me, ultimately for the better. When a student tells me, "I never thought of it that way," it's "Mission Accomplished." So also when I say "Hmmmmm ... me either." That's what inspires me to teach.
I am inspired by the opportunity to see lives change and to have the privilege of walking with students during a small step of their journey. I get to encourage them in being gracious with themselves and others along the way and want to help them see they can do more than they imagined.
"A-ha!" This is the exclamation from students that sparks my energy for teaching. My passion extends beyond the classroom. In fact, I visualize students to be my (future) colleagues. We are teacher and student only because we meet at different points in our lives. I feel lucky working with my students and being a stepping stone before they begin their flourishing computer science careers.
As I tell my students, I'm professionally passionate about two things: excellence in inclusive teaching and learning and the strategic practice of public relations. If I had a headline, it would be "Hooked on Learning." I am fascinated by the learning process. The more I know, the more I want to know. My desire to instill that same curiosity in my students is at the heart of all I do. My pursuit of new knowledge that will better inform my teaching is relentless. I'm excited to learn from and collaborate with members of the Teaching Academy.
My personal vision statement contains a line that encompasses what inspires my teaching, "I will share whatever fire I possess with all, knowing every new flame benefits more than just the receiver." I have been the beneficiary of great teachers, both in and out of the classroom. Their collective investment in me, and the empowerment I felt when experiencing great teaching drives me to share that experience in every interaction with the vision of bringing light to all engaged.
What inspires my teaching is a passion to share knowledge and interact with students in critical analyses of diverse forms of literary imagination and changing modes of cultural production. Why does literature continue to matter in a world increasingly dominated by AI technology? What defines our humanity and sensibility? How do we understand different epistemologies and ontologies underlying different cultural texts? These questions inform and shape my pedagogical theory and praxis at Texas Tech.
I love to puzzle over the essential questions in my field: What does it mean to teach? To learn? To learn to teach? I am inspired to teach, because each course presents the opportunity for me to learn from my students' insights into these topics. As Kierkegaard wrote, "to be a teacher does not mean simply to affirm that such a thing is so...Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner."