As an educator, my career goal is to see my students succeed as sustainability scholars and practitioners who are always ready to conceptualize sustainability challenges and have necessary skills and confidence to tackle them. My job in the process is to create solid and fun course experiences for students to help them become critical thinker and well-rounded person with empathy.
To me, teaching is more than just a job or an academic chore. It is a tremendous responsibility and requires untiring dedication to stay updated, prepared, and engaged in each class. I, therefore, believe research is an integral part of my teaching efforts. I apply this teaching philosophy in my classes by focusing on three key areas of the learner-centered education: 1) engaging students in collaborative research, 2) developing systems thinking, and 3) fostering critical analysis and communication skills. This approach has worked across a wide variety of classes that I have taught in the past, from Society and Sustainability to upper division the Social Dimensions of Climate Change and International Development Theories and Practices.
I have been teaching at Arizona State University since 2010. I normally teach eight sections of five different courses (about 150-300 students) in School of Sustainability. These sustainability classes draw upon my background in ecological and environmental anthropology and my post-doctoral research on land-use decision and urban dynamics. My challenge is to teach to a group of sustainability majors with a wide range of interests (e.g., ecology, policy, urban planning, economics and business sustainability, energy and materials). My approach always has been to sensitize these students in understanding the social dimensions of sustainability challenges.