My teaching, writing, community and consulting work form a tapestry stitched together by a continuous thread I have followed all my life related to notions of home and family, intimacy and connection, art and beauty, social inequalities, social justice, and social change.
Teaching with Heart
I am an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort. Before that, I was an Assistant Professor at Regis College where I was nominated for a college-wide teaching award. I served for three years at the University of Connecticut-Storrs as an Assistant Professor in Residence, was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Connecticut College, Suffolk University, Framingham State College, and the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and I was a Lecturer at Harvard University. In addition to teaching thousands of undergraduates, I have also successfully mentored graduate students at Harvard University, Northeastern University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Connecticut-Storrs.
Good teaching lies in our capacity for connectedness—to our students, to ourselves and to an ever-widening circle of community. Teaching involves providing students with the tools to seek knowledge and truth and the opportunity to re-think their place in history, to imagine the future direction of the world, and perhaps to dream about how they would engage in tikkun olam, a Hebrew expression for repairing and healing the world. My pedagogy, which reflects a fusion of intellectual and emotional rigor, is motivated by questions of where I can do the most good, how I can be of the most service, and how I can inspire students to think about the same.
Steven Glazer’s edited volume, The Heart of Learning: Spirituality in Education, features a compelling piece by the physician and teacher, Rachel Naomi Remen titled “Educating for Mission, Meaning and Compassion” in which she states, “Educare, the root of the word education, means ‘to lead forth the hidden wholeness,’ the innate integrity that is in every person. And as such, there is a place where ‘to educate’ and ‘to heal’ mean the same thing. Educators are healers. Educators and healers both trust in the wholeness of life and in the wholeness of people. Both have come to serve this wholeness.” I stand at the intersection of educating and healing, thinking and feeling, of the personal and the structural, the private and the public, celebrating, honoring and helping to best channel students’ enthusiasm for change in all the myriad ways they seek it. I keep my arms outstretched, to teach and mentor with devotion and an ethic of care as we reach toward truth and reason.