Teaching Philosophy

My assignments and teaching materials emphasize primary source analysis to help my students develop a sense of historical empathy. For example, in a lecture on antebellum slavery I provide groups of students with images of material objects central to the daily life of antebellum enslaved laborers, such as the short-handled hoe and a Charleston slave badge. They “read” the objects to determine the “what, where, when, and why” of its life and formulate a hypothesis about who used the item and the significance of the item to the owner. This activity gives my students first-hand experience in “doing history”- interpreting a historical object to understand how a group of individuals explained and experienced life in the past. I am always amazed and energized by the level of engagement in the classroom when students actively bring together textual and material sources. No matter the level of instruction, I use progressive assignments, detailed grading rubrics, peer editing and discussion, and encourage one-on-one meetings during office hours to enhance student achievement.

​My African American foodways class making Abby Fisher’s 1881 recipe for gold cake.

Of course, teaching is not confined to the classroom. I have curated exhibits in several local museums, allowing me the opportunity to use my research skills and passion for history with community members interested in engaging with their own pasts. As a mentor in UC Davis’s Undergraduate Research Center’s Research Training Program, I gained hands-on experience in introducing second year undergraduates to academic research, helping them advance their research and analytical skills, and helping them gain confidence in their abilities as a scholar. Likewise, in my role on the Mentorship Committee for the Coordinating Council for Women in History, I am developing resources and advice manuals for graduate students and contributing to larger changes in diversifying representation in academia.

Classes Taught

  • North American History to 1877
  • Introduction to African American History
  • Black Student Activism in Higher Education
  • African American Foodways
  • Slavery and Capitalism
  • The Long Civil Rights Movement
The Long Civil Rights class working on comparative ven diagrams