I love teaching at UW Tacoma! I appreciate the relatively small class size because it fits my preferred Socratic method of teaching that fosters critical thinking through asking appropriate and probing questions that encourages thoughtful, not rote, answers from students. In this way, I encourage students to think actively about the media system that surrounds them, as well as the society in which they live.
Since receiving my PhD in Communication from the Institute for Communication Research in 2009, I have taught a variety of classes in the Communication major at the University of Washington Tacoma. Classes include Environmental Communication, Media Ethics, Inequality and the Media, and Political Economy of the Media, as well as incoming freshman CORE courses and a graduate course in the MAIS program. In addition, I have created two new courses that focus on the environment through the lens of Communication: TCOM 310 (Contemporary Issues in Environmental Communication) and TCOM 464 (Field Methods in Communication).
My research parallels the courses I have taught at UW Tacoma. I conduct research in two areas of critical media studies: representations of the environment and representations of ethnicity. I have published articles on representations of African-Americans in the Hunger Games movie series as well as how journalism portrays the environmental justice issues of Native American groups in Washington State. My upcoming book with Palgrave (titled “Green Machine”) examines how ecological problems are portrayed in Hollywood film, and also examines the “why” of these representations.
Commissioner with the Sustainable Tacoma Commission, a part of the City of Tacoma.
Honors and Awards
Distinguished Teaching Award 2015
Distinguished Research Award (nominated) (January 2014)
Distinguished Leadership Award (nominated) (January 2014)
International Provost Grants (awarded), 2013-14 UW Faculty-led Study Abroad
Voted Extrameritorious by Interdisciplinary Arts and Science faculty (June 2012)
List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, University of Illinois (2006, 2007 and 2009)
Pollsters and Parishioners: Survey Workshop on American Religion and Politics, Grant, Henry Institute, Calvin College (2009)
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Three-year Fellowship (2000-2003)