Student Projects

For nearly a decade, I have had the privilege of learning from a diverse group of students. Below are just a few great examples of student work from my courses: Women of Color Feminisms: Technologies of Thought and Action; Culture, Media, and Education; and Business and Organizational Writing. 

To view my course evaluations, scroll to the bottom of the page.

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Course name, level, school: Women of Color Feminisms: Technologies of Thought and Action (fall 2016); undergraduate; The New School.

Assignment description: Students will collaboratively develop a project incorporating in-class materials, research materials, critical texts, and a visual/audial component (film, video, book, new media artifact, etc.). The group project topic should reflect an issue, theme, or idea that we have covered in the course. You may want to start with a group question to think through how you will craft your project. You may also want to think about particular themes that stuck with you and your classmates throughout the course.

Student project: The New Blaxploitation. From student reflection essay:

Some themes that emerged from doing this project were “Digital White Flight,” “Slaveability,” “New Blaxploitation” and “Exploitation.” We addressed these themes with different digital examples and case studies from different POC digital content creators like Joanne the Scammer. After all of that, the question that still remained was how do we stop these young, POC creatives from being exploited? We still don’t have a concrete answer outside of having these creatives go on strike until these companies pay what they owe.

Course name, level, school: Culture, Media, and Education (spring 2016); graduate; Teacher's College, Columbia University.

Assignment description: Create a piece of media – video/film, audio/podcast, photo essay – that reflects a perspective on one of the key social issues we will brainstorm as a group early in the semester. You may work individually or in pairs to create this text, keeping in mind that the length must be between 2-3 minutes. These shorter texts will be compiled together into 2 or 3 longer media texts and will be screened on the last day of the course. Media projects should be in one of the following file formats: .mov, .mp4, .mpeg, .mp3, .wav, .aiff.

Student project: Autoethnography. From student reflection essay:

Through this authoethonography media project, I wanted to convey the idea of stereotypes [...] I have felt a drastic change in people's reactions to me in different foreign countries. For example, in Japan and China, nobody cares if I am walking streets alone. In Europe, I have encountered more situations with people who have Islamic heritages. In the US, depending on the region, it changes. When I was in a small town in Indiana, one old couple kept asking me questions. They told me I was the first Asian they have ever seen in their life. I remember they said things like 'I have seen Seoul on TV' or 'I heard that Koreans eat dogs and live octopus.' 

The process of producing this project offered me an opportunity to turn myself from the mode of an artist to the an educator. Being critical is a key. The process of production was a good way of learning and reflecting. 

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Course name, level, and school: Business and Organizational Writing (spring 2016); graduate; New York University School of Professional Studies. 

Assignment description: For Part I of the course final project, craft a business or project proposal (no more than 2-pages single spaced) that outlines an idea you wish to pitch in a business or organizational setting. Ideally, you’ll want to craft a proposal that you can use in your professional work. For Part II of the final project, create a presentation using slides (PowerPoint, Prezi, Google Slides, etc.) or digital video (via YouTube, Vimeo, or other accessible platform) to visually and aurally present your ideas outlined in your proposal. 

Student project: Consulting Presentation Pitch for CRWN Magazine. From student reflection essay:

The business proposal assignment required us to pitch our services to a real company, and
suggest a specific project we would work on with that company. I immediately knew I wanted to write a proposal for CRWNMAG which is a print magazine with a growing web presence that seeks to highlight the voices and natural hair journeys of women of color. CRWNMAG is so appealing because it is a beautiful balance between strong design and imagery, and carefully crafted pieces written about women. This is a balance I hope to strike in my work as a freelancer one day; that is, using the writing skills I’ve learned throughout this degree program to build on my skills in design in a meaningful way.

Course name, level, and school: Women of Color Feminisms: Technologies of Thought and Action (fall 2016); undergraduate; The New School.

Assignment description: Students will collaboratively develop a project incorporating in-class materials, research materials, critical texts, and a visual/audial component (film, video, book, new media artifact, etc.). The group project topic should reflect an issue, theme, or idea that we have covered in the course. You may want to start with a group question to think through how you will craft your project. You may also want to think about particular themes that stuck with you and your classmates throughout the course.

Student project: Our Space: Claiming Ownership for Experience. A 3D simulation of students of color attending a predominantly white college. From student presentation: 

Using Unity, we decided to create a 3D virtual reality space where we could depict our three themes: Afrofuturism, microaggressions (specifically interpersonal conflict), and people of color at predominately white institutions (PWIs). We wanted to use a space to depict the very common microaggressions people of color face generally, specifically in predominantly white spaces. We used quotes, images, songs, and podcasts to strengthen these ideas for each section of the simulated world. Quotes are all by people of color writing about their own experiences.


Course Evaluations

I have been teaching in higher education institutions for nearly a decade, the evaluations linked to below represent my work as the Instructor of Record from 2012-2017. I have not included Teaching Assistant evaluations.

Culture, Media, and Education, Teacher's College, Columbia University

Directed and Independent Study, New York University School of Professional Studies

Women of Color Feminisms: Technologies of Thought and Action, The New School

Business and Organizational Writing, New York University School of Professional Studies

Interpersonal Communication, Bronx Community College

Overtime, I have improved teaching practices as a result of listening to student feedback. There were moments like during the spring of 2016 when I was finishing my dissertation, holding several teaching positions, and working a full-time job when I was not fully present and attentive to my students' needs. This time certainly was a challenge. However, I'm hopeful that in the near future I will be able to devote my time fully to teaching and researching in the academy.

Evidence of the kind of classroom culture I strive for comes through in student feedback. One student wrote in a  course evaluation for Culture, Media, and Education:

I thought this would just be one of those easy A classes that had nothing to do with my professional life. It ended up being one of the more challenging introspective classes I've ever taken. It will make you think about how you view yourself and others. It is a class that will force you to be critical of your life history and where you are going. It's much more than a class. It's about introspection, it's about telling your story, it's about questioning your story and the stories your see and here. It's about learning the importance of having a voice and using it. Tara was amazing too!

It is worth noting that in addition to teaching in traditional face-to-face classrooms, I have also taught in online environments for nearly a decade. When teaching online, I am aware of the affordances and challenges presented in asynchronous, synchronous, blended, and hybrid online classrooms. To mitigate some of the challenges that distance education can present like, for example as one student put it, “learning in a vacuum,” I work to accommodate students who require synchronous forms of communication. I do this by offering the option to check in with students over the phone. I also invite students to join mid-semester check-in group sessions via Google Hangout, which I believe eases student’s anxieties about distance learning. A former NYU-SPS student commented on my evaluations:

This was an online class. The professor could have ‘phoned in’ the class. Instead she suggested a google [sic] hangout with other classmates to ensure some cohesiveness. She went an extra step that many don't often take. It was appreciated.

As a graduate of Columbia University’s Teachers College, I take seriously approaches to effective critical pedagogy, and believe that teaching makes me a better researcher and scholar. No matter the teaching environment, whether online or offline, undergraduate or graduate, my core learning objectives, benchmarks, and approaches to teaching and advising remain consistent and prove effective.