As the child of refugees, I have experienced firsthand and believe in education as a tool for change. I am invested in teaching as a transformative process, through which I can empower and set students on stronger and more successful trajectories. Accordingly, I have sought out teaching experiences whenever possible, and have also worked closely with students in mentoring and coaching capacities.
Below, I’ve included an abbreviated version of my Teaching Statement (available upon request). Please also see my CV for my teaching and mentoring history.
Two characteristics define my classroom. First, I engage students by creating a safe and dynamic environment. Second, I encourage independent thought through interactive and collaborative learning.
I have taken extensive coursework related to education, including an undergraduate elective survey course on pedagogical considerations, a graduate class on training development and evaluation, and a faculty-level workshop on teaching undergraduates. Given that my advisor and research laboratory’s expertise lie in training, I am also able to draw from evidence-based strategies to optimize learning.
I have taught the following courses as Instructor of Record:
- Introduction to Psychology
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology
- Culture and Healthcare: a Freshman Writing-Intensive Seminar
As Instructor of Record, I gained experience with every stage of teaching: developing the syllabus; planning classes; preparing and delivering lectures; grading coursework, including worksheet assignments, essays, multiple-choice and short-answer exams, attendance and class participation. I’ve augmented my instruction with online educational platforms, including proprietary systems and Canvas, to communicate with students and provide resources. Finally, I’ve aimed to make education accessible, including using free, rigorously-developed materials (including open-source textbooks) when available; this belief is aligned with my commitment to making education as inclusive as possible.
I’ve received degrees from a community college, public state university, and small private university. Not only have I gained exposure to a diverse array of learner populations across settings, but I’ve also worked closely and intentionally with students therein.
Over the past four years, I have stayed active as an educator through mentoring and coaching pathways.
- Laboratory mentorship: I have informally managed and mentored six to nine undergraduate research assistants over the course of my professional research graduate school tenure.
- Graduate mentor: While Rice University’s Graduate Mentorship Program was in place for two years, I formally mentored minority students.
- Fellowship coaching: As a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Student Research Fellow, I’ve mentored student applicants, reviewed and copy-edited their materials, and coached them on strategies for success for three years. Although the national award rate is low (approximately 17% of applicants are selected for this competitive and prestigious program), over half of my mentees have been recognized by the NSF: six won fellowships and two were honorably mentioned.
- Workshop and panel speaker: I have developed and hosted workshops on professional competencies (e.g., on presentation skills, qualitative analysis, and grant-writing), and have also spoken on panels (e.g., graduate school pathways, research methods) to the graduate and undergraduate student bodies.
- Resource developer: Given that students have frequently sought out my advice, I compiled my advice into a series of blog posts on my professional website.
Today and going forward, I see myself as an advocate for students, both within and outside the classroom.