My goal as an instructor is for my students to open themselves up to new perspectives in order to empathetically engage with religious traditions that are different from their own. In my classes, students learn to think about how religions are practiced, sensational, embodied, and mediated. In other words, religion and the study of religion is not just confined to religious texts but rather includes a whole array of rituals, experiences, sensations, and habits. Thus, my students are invited to work together to grapple with sources that are often overlooked and dismissed as illegitimate for scholarly engagement. These sources include everything from TikToks to souvenirs, Marvel Conventions to fashion trends. Class time is organized around analyzing these sources in pairs, small groups, and as a whole class to analyze the source, the work it does, and contextualize it within its broader social and historical context. I believe studying these kinds of sources is an inherently interdisciplinary activity, so students are encouraged to bring their own perspectives and diverse experiences to the material. By introducing a wide range of sources, I ask my students to think deeply about structures of power and systems of oppression that both make possible and restrict religious practices, as well as our study of religion. Thus, students will come to understand that religious traditions and experiences are not monolithic and static, but rather shaped by their material, social, economic, and historical contexts. 

In addition to improving their critical thinking skills, students in my classroom will also become better researchers, readers, and writers. Students are encouraged to grapple with theoretical ideas by breaking them down into their components. By identifying the thesis, methods, and key evidence, theoretical texts become more approachable. I treat theory not as an inaccessible thing, but rather as a conversation that we can engage in together. 

Likewise, writing assignments are also broken down and students are required to work on smaller parts of the assignment before turning in a complete essay—thus making the final essay less intimidating and giving students a chance to incorporate feedback at every stage of the writing process. Students are also placed in writing workshop groups to practice providing feedback, which will ultimately help them become better writers. I also provide ample support for students outside of class and encourage students to meet with me during office hours in order to work with them on their writing and get to know them as people. By getting to know their diverse interests, I am better able to facilitate classroom instruction and assign material that speaks to their interests.


Being open to new perspectives is a standard I set not only for my students, but also for myself. I am committed to continual learning and am constantly striving to improve as an instructor. I am currently enrolled in the Certificate in College Teaching at Duke University where I learn new methods for teaching at the college level and receive feedback on my teaching. I am also enrolled in the Certificate for Teaching Writing in the Disciplinesa program that provides the skills for teaching college writing, such as how to craft effective writing assignments and provide constructive feedback on student writingand I participated in The Kenan Institute for Ethics semester-long fellowship program, Teaching on Purpose

With support from Duke's Summer Course Development Grant, I have also developed a new course on Religion and Popular Culture that I will teach as the Instructor of Record during Summer 2024 and Fall 2024. I have served as a Teaching Assistant for the undergraduate courses Introduction to Religious Studies, Religion and Film, Sport and Religion, and Race, Film, and Religion where I work with students to improve their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills