My teaching is focused on students developing a personal, economic life perspective; by this, I mean an understanding that they live in the context of an evolving and malleable macroeconomic system that affects not just their future employment prospects but the production and delivery of their daily bread.
I have specialized in online teaching and creating high accessibility curricula. I pursued an education in these specialties through the University of Utah’s Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE), earning the Higher Education Teaching Specialist designation. This was followed by a one-year CTLE graduate fellowship where I was exposed to pedagogies, instructors, curricula, and classrooms across academic disciplines – from ballet to epidemiology.
Through my graduate fellowship and four years of lead instructor experience in the department of economics at the University of Utah, I have shaped my pedagogy following three guiding principles: (1) learning is a social process, (2) nonlinear presentation of materials is more effective than linear presentations, and (3) history matters.
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Courses Taught and Developed
@ the University of Utah
Economics as a Social Science
What is economics? What is a social science? How are either of these relevant to our daily lives? This course is an interactive exploration into how economic thinking, theory, and history provides a lens through which to understand the world we live in.
U.S. Economic History
In this class we study the history of the US economy and draw lessons from this history and relate them to contemporary economic and policy challenges, including inequality, immigration, income stagnation, and the economic role of the public sector. The class is aimed at students who are not (yet) economics majors.
Industrialization & Development:
the American Case
Econ 5470 (undergrad) / 6470 (grad)
The class explores economic growth and development in the United States from the early 19th century through the end of the 20th century. In it, we review growth due to industrialization and the accompanying evolution of economic institutions. Emphasis is focused on understanding the particular sources and social consequences of American industrial development.
Economics internship program
The University Economics department partners with several nonprofit, government, and private industry entities who provide internships that build on the knowledge base of the economics course of study. To earn academic credit for these experiences, students must conduct research and submit their reflections on how the internship connects to their learning.
Poverty and Inequality
Econ 5180 (undergrad) / 6180 (grad)
Students look at global poverty and inequality. The focus is on the U.S., as it presents an intriguing case of persistent poverty and growing inequality, despite strong economic development.
Economics is centrally a social science centered on progress – economists hope their work will in some way move humanity towards more appreciable wealth, innovation, productivity, and ultimately, well-being and happiness. Poverty is antithetical to all of these objectives; their relation to inequality is debated.
Faculty Workshop Presentations
Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence
Death to PowerPoint: Lesson Planning for the 21st Century was a workshop I presented in August 2019 that was so popular among faculty it was requested three more times by the end of the year; including one part II follow-up session.
I also presented at CTLE's 2019 Annual Teaching Symposium on Making the Most of Challenging Conversations, to help instructors develop strategies for turning uncomfortable moments into powerful learning experiences.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
One of the great classical paradoxes in economic thought is the presence of poverty amidst wealth. Why doesn't the rising tide affect all boats? This question makes economics classrooms a most useful space for students to practice having conversations about equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Economic data tell a clear story of different outcomes that are associated with being one kind of person or another. The question is why?
As an economics instructor I view my job not only as providing evidence-based answers to that question, but creating a classroom learning environment where students feel willing to explore it. This involves both modeling appropriate language and curiosity about the experiences of other people, and structuring interactions between groups of diverse students so they can discover common ground.
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