Toward better communities:
My teaching model embraces the public sociological approach to research and learning by responding to the growing gap between the world we study and the world in which we live (Burawoy 2005). Public sociologists engage research and pedagogical practice that create opportunities to apply what we learn from research toward creating positive change in our diverse communities through policy and practice.
I have had the opportunity to teach a number of courses in Sociology, Law & Society, Political Science, the Social Sciences, Research Methods, Anthropology, and Chicano & Latino Studies in diverse educational settings. In each of my courses, I integrate student-lead learning strategies, collaborative problem-solving exercises, and service-learning opportunities. For example, I integrate my experience as a University Program Coordinator for AmeriCorps, to implement service-learning projects that provide opportunities for students to participate in community service and civic engagement that augments coursework curriculum.
I recently served as a researcher at the Connected Learning Alliance at the Digital Media Lab Hub at UCI. My research here examines how youth interact with technology and how this knowledge can be used to create and enhance technology to augment higher education.
I served as a pedagogical evaluator for the development and implementation of online/hybrid graduate programs in public education. In 2016, UCI launched a new hybrid graduate program in Human Computer Interaction; my program analysis was used to create actionable recommendations for program redesign. I also worked as a lead instructor in UCI Canvas Pilot Project – an initiative to integrate and overhaul the existing e-learning online instruction platform. In this capacity, we launched the new e-learning online platform and facilitated instruction to over 300 students, in multiple iterations and across time. Our team was also involved in assessments of platform functionality and pedagogical efficacy.
AmeriCorps – Community Development
Following my Master’s Degree in policy analysis, I was hired on with the Dean of Students Department at Cal Poly, SLO – to serve as the Program Coordinator of The Central Coast AmeriCorps. Our volunteers served in one year of service to assist in capacity-building and infrastructure development between brokered partnerships with local non-profit organizations and the university community.
During my tenure with AmeriCorps, we also established the Alternative Breaks program at Cal Poly, SLO. This program was inaugurated to provide university students with opportunities to participate in community volunteerism during academic breaks. As a component of these service trips, I developed learning modules to ground the volunteers’ practical experiences in a deep theoretical awareness of the context-specific social problems that they would confront. Some of our volunteer trips included residence restoration, food insecurity mitigation, energy sustainability projects, and general community service in New Orleans in the Post-Katrina period and work on organic farming sustainability startup projects in the rural Caribbean.
Homeless Steering Committee
I served as a graduate researcher on the San Luis Obispo County Homeless Steering Committee. In doing so, I collaborated with committee members, community partners, homeless service providers, the Board of Supervisors, and community educational institutional actors to draft a10 year Plan to End Homelessness and county-wide Homeless Enumeration.