My teaching interests are in racial and ethnic politics, Latinx politics, public opinion, public policy and research methods. I actively engage students in research projects inside and outside of the classroom, I also integrate a service-learning component to several of the courses that I offer.
Teaching Grants and Awards:
URECA Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentorship in Research in the Social, Natural Sciences, WFU
Leadership and Character Program's Course Redesign Grant, New Course Development Grant, WFU
Pro Humanitate Institute Community Engagement Fund, WFU
Academic and Community Engagement (ACE) Fellowship, WFU
College Course Enhancement Fund Grant, WFU
Institute for Public Engagement Mini Grant for service-learning projects, WFU
“Mentoring: Understanding It and Uncovering Best Practices" address at the Spring 2022 Southern Regional Education Board Student Success Advisory Council Meeting
School of Divinity’s “Anti-Racist Pedagogy Event,” WFU
"Chi Sigma Iota’s Discussion on Race, Ethnicity, Citizenship & Language in Counseling,” WFU
“Pro Humanitate Institute’s Faculty Engaged Teaching Luncheon Discussion”, WFU
“Engaging Locally to Develop Intercultural Competence”, WFU
“Navigating Engaged Teaching in a Global Context”, WFU
"Small Online Teaching," WFU
"Teaching Inclusively: Creating a Climate for Learning", WFU
“An Introduction to Learner-Centered Teaching”, WFU
“Motivating Students: Getting Them to Read”, WFU
“Engaging and Supporting the Wake Forest Student: Pedagogical approaches for success series,” WFU
“Syllabus Exchange,” WFU
“Effective Online Discussion in Face to Face Classes,” WFU
“The Interactive Lecture,” WFU
POL 214 Latinx Politics (service-learning course)
This course explores the contemporary role of Latinxs as a minority group in the U.S. taking into account the history of immigration from Latin America and Latinos’ struggle for civil rights in the 20th century and today. The major topics covered in this course include: Latinxs in North Carolina, interracial attitudes toward immigration from Latin America, Latinos’ role in state and local politics, Latinx political behavior and the likelihood of coalition formations among Whites, Blacks and Latinxs. Some of the key questions that this course covers are: Who are Latinxs? Why do we care about pan-ethnic identity? What does it mean to be an American and how do Latinxs fit into this definition? Why is immigration so important to Latinxs? Why is identifying Latinxs’ partisan identification so critical? How does Latinx political behavior compare to Blacks, Whites and other minority groups? To encourage a strong, comprehensive understanding of the social, economic and political experiences that Latinxs face in the U.S., students are required to provide 20 hours of service to a community agency affiliated with the Latinx population or one that targets Latinx issues.
POL 210 Public Opinion and Pro Humanitate (service-learning course)
This course has two components. The first component of the course provides a survey of literature on how individuals develop opinions on topics with a focus on political knowledge, social desirability, elite influence, ideology, framing, and priming. The goal of this section is to develop students’ understanding of the public’s competence in developing opinions, how individuals form opinions and answer survey questions. The second (and more substantial) component of the course centers on teaching students the skills necessary to collect, analyze and report survey data. Not only will each student accomplish this goal by developing their individual survey research project but they will also develop their character skills and provide a service to Wake Forest University (WFU). This component will begin by teaching students about character followed by teaching them how to develop a survey instrument, collect survey data and then analyze it. This module’s overarching goal is to have students assess WFU members’ attitudes toward a topic associated with the extent that WFU is fulfilling its motto, Pro Humanitate. Students will benefit from taking this course in numerous ways. They will become familiar with surveys, one of the most - if not THE most - popular research tools used in our society. Knowing how individuals develop opinions, the strengths and weaknesses of surveys as a research tool, and how to carry out a survey project will make students better lawyers, doctors, judges, writers, journalists, consultants, policy analysts - whatever they hope to become. Even if students do not intend to become survey researchers in the future, students benefit tremendously from learning the aforementioned topics since they will benefit by becoming more critical consumers of survey research and public opinion data. Students will also benefit from this course by engaging with faculty, staff and students in ways that they may not have engaged before. Further, students will develop their knowledge of character traits, develop their own character traits, and learn more about the extent that WFU is adhering to its Pro Humanitate motto.
POL 280 Research Methods (major requirement)
In this course, we will explore what political science is and what it can accomplish with a focus on the ways in which political scientists collect, analyze and present quantitative and qualitative data. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the research process and a range of basic analytical techniques necessary to understand and conduct quantitative and qualitative research. Several topics will be discussed in this course. We will begin with a discussion of what is political science and the difference between concepts and research questions. The basics elements of the literature review will be discussed along with the research design. Our course will end with an examination of various quantitative and qualitative tools to gather and analyze data and present results. At the end of this course, students will be able to define political science and distinguish it from both punditry and related disciplines; analyze and critique the methodology and methods of published political science research; demonstrate basic competency with the bibliographic software Zotero; construct a literature review addressing previous work on a topic of their choice; design and present a research proposal addressing a question of their choice; identity and describe basic qualitative tools of conducting research; calculate, interpret and present statistical data with a focus on descriptive statistics, test of statistical significance, measures of association and linear regression; differentiate strong and weak arguments made with quantitative and qualitative techniques; and demonstrate basic competency with the statistical software Stata and R.
POL 300 Race and Media Senior Seminar Course
Given political media’s ongoing discussion of incidents regarding race and the law as well as the growing presence of Latino and African Americans in office, this course takes a fresh approach to exploring the role of race in U.S. media and the role of political media in reinforcing or challenging prevailing stereotypes and attitudes about race. Building on research in the fields of political communication, political psychology, and racial and ethnic politics, this course examines four major topics: 1.) racial stereotypes and depictions in the media, 2.) racialized issues in the news, 3.) racial priming and 4.) media targeting of Latinos and African Americans. Some core questions that this course will examine include: What has been the role of political media in reinforcing or challenging prevailing stereotypes and attitudes about matters of race and ethnicity? Why does racialization of issues in the news matter? How do racialized issues in the news affect individuals’ policy stances? What is racial priming? To what extent do implicit and explicit racial appeals shape individuals’ racial attitudes and evaluations of candidates? What do we know about how media and campaigns target minority audiences and voters? Is it effective? Is it harmful? A primary goal of this course is for students to conceptualize, design and implement a thesis project that applies knowledge of research on race and media to a study using quantitative or qualitative methods.
POL 300 Race, Inequality and Policy Senior Seminar Course
Extreme racial discrimination and racial animus remain at the center of the American story some 150 years after the end of the Civil War. All of this has happened in the so-called land of the free, the land of opportunity. Building on research in sociology, history, public policy, psychology and political science, this course examines the sources and causes of policy changes in immigration, criminal justice and education, public opinion formation on these topics along with potential solutions to addressing racial inequalities.
Some core questions addressed by this course include: What are new developments in policymaking and policy theory? What factors perpetuate race and class inequalities today? How does Black and Brown oppression sustain White supremacy and democracy? How does criminalization operate in the lives of Black and Brown individuals? What factors contribute to individuals’ opinion formation of education, immigration and criminal justice policies? What are the costs of running a highly unequal society? Are there any equalizing forces on the horizon? How can we address racial inequalities and inequities? The primary goal of this course is for students to conceptualize, design and implement a thesis project that applies knowledge of research on race, inequality and policy to a study using quantitative or qualitative methods.
Service-Learning Partners and Links:
Northwest Middle School