Teaching is a passion and responsibility that I take seriously. My teaching philosophy emphasizes active learning among students through fostering an environment of collaboration and mixed methods of engagement. To do this, I often incorporate service and experiential learning, where students will work with a community partner to put their skills to practice while also engaging with the community around them. In Fall 2018, students at the University of Alabama partnered with Oakdale Elementary to produce a newsletter that was distributed to the surrounding Tuscaloosa community, putting their design and news writing skills to work. Students visited the elementary school, and likewise, the Oakdale students and their teachers had the opportunity to visit us and see their stories brought to life. That was a wonderful learning experience!
At The University of Alabama, I teach courses such as a doctoral seminar in Health Communication and the undergraduate class News Design and Data Visualization. Most recently, I taught a course in video games and the media, where students developed game prototypes in teams and learned from guest speakers from Riot Games, Firaxis, Dadako Studios, independent game developers, and others. I’ve been excited to bring my passions for research, video games, and health to converge in the classroom.
During my time at South Dakota State University, I led the course Introduction to Digital Media, which is part of the curriculum that a large number of students take. In addition, I developed and taught two new courses, Social Media Design and Mobile Media Application and Development. Both courses drew in students from the major, in addition to students from other majors and minors. I served as the Coordinator of the Social Media Minor at South Dakota State University and co-developed the minor. As part of this minor, new courses were developed to provide both foundational and cutting-edge education to our students, including a course in Data Analysis in Communication, Social Media Design, Mobile Media Application Design, and Capstone in Design.
I also teach graduate classes and conduct independent studies with students. In Health Communication, students are introduced to seminal research in the field, the theory and practice of health communication, and current research practices. They develop papers suitable for submission as a national conference presentation. I have likewise conducted independent studies in Health Journalism, Advanced Digital Media, and work on portfolios with students to prepare them for their careers.