My teaching philosophy is grounded in my commitment to social justice and my belief that education has the capacity to create cultural change. I am a dedicated educator with experience developing lower and upper division undergraduate courses and teaching in both live and online formats. My teaching has consistently received high ratings and I have been recognized with the Best Teaching Associate Award from the Sociology Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. For an overview of my teaching evaluations and feedback from students, click here.


 Photo: Two Youths in Uptown Chicago, 1974. Danny Lyon, Licensed by U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Two Youths in Uptown Chicago, 1974. Danny Lyon, Licensed by U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Wikimedia Commons

Course Summary: This course investigates the social construction and social control of adolescence. The teen years are often considered a distinct developmental period of physical, psychological, and social turmoil. In society, youth are frequently framed as either at risk or deviant, rebellious, and even dangerous. Yet, young people are often negotiating restrictive institutions, including oppressive educational environments, media and marketing exploitation, familial control, and increasing criminalization. Engaging with critical approaches to youth cultures, this course examines both the structural conditions that have shaped adolescence as the phase in the life course most associated with delinquency, deviance, and risk, as well as the diverse strategies young people have developed in resistance to the cultural constraints on their lives. 

Sexuality & Society

Course Summary: This course explores how society shapes how we come to understand and experience sexuality. While sexuality is often considered one of the most personal aspects of life, this class examines its multiple social influences. The course begins by reviewing historical and theoretical approaches to sexuality and making sense of how sexuality is socially constructed. Using an intersectional lens, students investigate how sexuality converges with gender, race/ethnicity, and class in society. Students then examine how social institutions such as the government, the media, and schools structure sexuality. Finally, the course considers current research on the social control of sexuality in families, peer groups, workplaces, the legal system, and through violence, and concludes by exploring how individuals and communities resist oppression and actively take part in the negotiation of sexual meanings, identities, and desires. 


Course Summary: This course explores the extent and causes of gender differences in crime. In the United States, the federal and state prisoner gender demographics are stark: 93 percent of all prisoners are men, while only 7 percent are women. Using a feminist lens, this course interrogates the underlying social forces that shape these gender discrepancies in both the perpetration and prosecution of crime. The course is organized into five units: gendered contexts of crime, gender & urban crime, perspectives on punishment, gender-based violence, and intimate labor. Together, students examine how cultural ideologies about masculinity and femininity shape criminalization, victimization, and offending. The course employs an intersectional approach that attends to how race, class, sexual orientation, and citizenship further impact gendered experiences of crime and criminalization. 


Course Summary: This class offers an introduction to the field of sociology. Sociology is the scientific study of the social behaviors of people, groups, and societies. Sociologists study social phenomena of all kinds, at both micro (i.e.: interaction, interpersonal dynamics, agency) and macro (i.e.: systems, organizations, institutions) levels. As a survey course, students explore broad strokes of sociological inquiry, examining the connections between the larger forces of history and personal experiences by engaging what C. Wright Mills coined in 1959 “the sociological imagination.” Through lecture, readings, films, and discussion students work together to analyze everyday life through the lens of sociology, examining the relationships between the individual, society, social institutions, and social structure. 

Courses Assisted

Sociology 222: The Family

Sociology 106: Race, Gender, Class, and Ethnicity

Women Studies 512/712: Feminist Approaches to Sexual Identities and Cultures