I am passionate about learning and helping others become better versions of themselves so that they too become passionate about becoming lifelong learners. Below are a selected few of the different courses I currently teach and have taught.
Design Thinking Bootcamps (Sailors and Government Civilians)
Description and Objectives: This course provides students with a basic understanding of Design Thinking (DT) as a structured approach to problem solving that stimulates creativity and unconventional thinking. They will learn the human-centered component to innovation and how DT brings together people’s needs and desires with what is feasible and viable; learn how to explore and observe everyday situations in order to better understand the problem or need, and then develop an appropriate solution; use analytical methods for problem solving that rely on those with a diversity of experiences rather than expertise; and learn to fail fast – that is, not designing the perfect solution in the short time period provided, but rather, coming up with multiple, potential solutions to rapidly prototype, using an iterative process until a solution that has the desired impact is discovered.
Introduction to Sociology & Human Interaction (Undergraduates)
Description and Objectives: This course gives students an overview of the field of sociology and to familiarize them with essential sociological concepts. My aim is to teach students to “think sociologically”. This is challenging because it requires us to look at our everyday world as if seeing it for the first time and forces us to critically reexamine things that we may take for granted. Developing a sociological imagination can be a little uncomfortable at time, but it is also exciting. Ideally, we will experience both throughout the semester. The course is divided into three sections: 1) Using your sociological imagination, 2) Fault lines…social division and inequality, and 3) Building blocks: Institutions of society. In the first part, we will introduce the sociological perspective and discuss how sociologists use it to understand society. We will also examine how social reality is created and how we as individuals are influenced by it. In the second section, we will look at how the social structure affects individuals and groups. We will focus on how inequality is produced and perpetuated through the institutions comprising the social structure. In the last part, we discuss the building blocks of society and we will explore social change/movements and the ways that people influence society. We will come to recognize that although social reality seems to be immutable, it is possible for people to “act back” upon society to change it.
Sociological Theory (Undergraduates)
Description and Objectives: The main goal of this course is to give students an overview of the classic sociological theories and to familiarize them with some essential sociological concepts. My aim is to teach students to “think sociologically”. This is challenging because it requires us to look at our everyday world as if seeing it for the first time and forces us to critically reexamine things that we may take for granted. Developing a sociological imagination can be a little uncomfortable at time, but it is also exciting. Ideally, we will experience some of the ‘unfamiliar’ throughout the semester. In this course we will: 1) Become familiar with the major themes of classical sociological theory and understand how contemporary sociological theory builds on these themes; 2) Analyze each of the major theoretical traditions in terms of its basic assumptions, key concepts, main arguments and major representatives; 3) Critically evaluate each of the major theoretical traditions in terms of their interpretive and explanatory strengths and weaknesses; 4) Apply key concepts and main ideas of sociological theory to a practical analysis of the everyday life in contemporary society; 5) Take into account the socio-historical background associated with the growth of particular social theoretical traditions; 6) Encourage critical thinking about individual and collective behavior; and 7) Demystify sociological theory and develop an understanding of theory as the basis of sociological inquiry.
Adult Development & Aging (Undergraduates)
Description and Objectives: This course provides an orientation into the multidisciplinary study of aging and development from middle adulthood to old age. Students are introduced to theories of aging, research methods, and current information on the psychological, sociological, and biological aspects of aging.
Dating, Marriage, and Family (Undergraduates)
Description and Objectives: This course provides students with a fundamental description of family forms and issues across the life course, guided by historic and contemporary perspectives. It explores family interaction, relationships and gender role expectations. In this course, students will be able to: 1) understand historical, contemporary, cultural, and political family issues; 2) appreciate cultural diversity of families across and throughout different societies; 3) recognize common patterns of family interaction; 4) identify and evaluate gender role expectations and their implications for relationships; and 5) develop interpersonal skills which strengthen marital and family relationships.