Areas of Specialization
Gender and Race in the United States, American Indian History, Western United States History, California History, The history of World’s Fairs, Latin America (teaching field)
Why do you do what you do?
I teach because I want to challenge my students to question what they think they know about history and the world. Along the way, I hope they learn the skills I teach: close, critical reading, clear, coherent writing and argumentation, and the ability to speak coherently and persuasively. Watching a student develop from a shy freshman to a confident senior is one of the greatest rewards of my profession.
How do you make learning engaging?
During the Spring 2017 semester, I started using a completely new approach to teaching: integrating role-playing games into my classroom. Drawing on the “Reacting to the Past” pedagogy developed at Barnard College, and now used nationwide, I immersed my students and myself into a series of games that demand them to take on the roles of historical characters, and to function and make decisions based on that person’s ideals and goals. It’s the best professional decision I’ve ever made and it’s reinvigorated my approach to teaching history. I haven’t neglected lectures, exams, or papers, but the addition of role playing offers students a completely new and exciting way to experience history.