Courses Taught

Albion College

Introduction to Sociology

Sociology of Childhood 

Social Theory

Race & Ethnicity

Children of Immigrants

Qualitative Social Research 

Social Panics in the U.S.

Doctor Who & You

University of Michigan

Sexuality in Western Culture 

Race & Ethnicity

Eastern Michigan University

Assessment Issues: Domestic Violence (Co-Instructor with Barbara Niess)

Other Teaching Experience

Mentor/Supervisor for Undergraduate Research

Independent Study Instructor: Masculinity, Sports & Concussions; Race & the Criminal Justice System

Graduate Student Mentor (UM)

Sociology Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UM)

Methods; Children’s Literature (EMU; Guest Lecturer)

High School English Teacher (Hoover High School, Fresno, California)

Language Arts Teacher (Kastner Middle School, Clovis, California)

For more details, click here to download Curriculum Vitae (pdf).


Sample Syllabi

 Available upon request.

Sample Activities 

I use small groups to allow students to be the “experts,” which not only motivates them to prepare for class but gives them a deeper understanding of course material. For example, I choose three or four articles related to the current topic and each student signs up to read one of these articles. 

During the next class meeting, we do one of the following:

Option 1: I ask that each group use a laptop to create a powerpoint slide (or several slides depending on the density of the readings) to represent what the students learned from the article they read. Students then post their slides to the course website (so all documents are in a central location and quickly opened) and take turns presenting the article/chapter to their peers and answering questions that arise.

Option 2: Again utilizing students' laptops/tablets, I ask each group to find images and/or video clips online that relate to their particular reading. The groups post links to the course website and as they present their chosen image/video clip, they explain how it connects to their reading. I have found this option to be particularly useful when discussing cultural norms, moral panics or media representations of gender, race, class or sexuality.

Option 3: (a more extended assignment) Groups are asked to convey information and/or concepts they learned from their reading assignment to an audience of their choice. The format of their presentation of the material must be purposefully chosen to appeal to their particular audience. For example, some students choose high school students as an audience and, therefore, create a facebook page or a short youtube video. Other students may choose the general public in a certain city as their audience and so choose to create a billboard or mural. This assignment encourages students to apply a social justice lens to the concepts they've learned and to understand that ideas are most effectively communicated when the format, organization, diction, etc. account for their intended audience.

Option 4: Students create small groups according to which article they have read, and each group answers questions designed for their article. As students discuss the articles, I circulate around the classroom to encourage inquiry, answer questions, and to assess how they are grasping main ideas from the articles.  I find that students raise questions about the material more readily within a small group context than during whole-class discussions. Once this first step is complete, students re-form the groups so each of the articles is represented by at least one person. The “expert” for each article explains the answers of the original reading questions and helps their peers to understand the main concepts.

These types of group activities challenge and motivate students to understand and articulate what they have read, and well-informed but shy students are encouraged and provided the opportunity to share their expertise (comments on course evaluations have verified the usefulness of these activities for shy students).


The following activity encourages my students to: 1) read and prepare for the current week's topic before class and 2) to begin to do the work of applying the concepts of the readings to the popular culture they engage with daily. 

Additionally, this activity allows students to contribute to curricular opportunities because I often show their clips or images in class, thereby initiating a class discussion based on the students' interests and social milieu.

- Find link(s) to an image/video clip online that relates to the topic of the current week. 

- Explain the connection between the video/image and the topic in 1-2 paragraphs.

- Post the link and paragraph on the course website by Wednesday 5pm.

- You must submit a minimum of 6 throughout the term


I find my research to be particularly helpful in teaching students about stratification and inequality in the US. Through the sharing of both quantitative studies and my own work, students learn how to critically assess the strengths and weakness of poverty research as well as begin to understand through narratives the experiences of those living in poverty. Furthermore, by bringing these women’s narratives of their parenting experiences and beliefs into the classroom, students begin to understand that even immense individual effort is not always enough to overcome class, gender and race based obstacles and they learn to question public and political discourses that simplify and universalize any group of people.

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