Human beings are the most fascinating and complex beings to study in the known universe; and studying more than one human being in social, political, economic, cultural settings is that much more exciting. My aim for my students is to introduce them to this unceasingly intriguing subject matter of social psychology; to nurture them to thrive in a field where there are no simple answers; and to learn to connect their pursuits in the subject with their own lives and the world we live in. As a teacher, I strive to consistently improve my own pedagogies by seeking every opportunity for continuing education on teaching, constantly incorporating feedback from students and colleagues, and by applying lessons from psychology of teaching.
Teaching has given me the rare privilege to contribute to an individual’s growth. In turn, my students have expanded my understanding of my own research by critically engaging with the subject matter. Their curiosities and capacities constantly humble me and have instilled a strong desire to teach throughout my career. Thus, my responsibility as a teacher is to be approachable and engaging, as well as to provide an environment that best cultivates these skills and promotes critical thinking.
Some selected accolades.
University of Virginia Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award in Social Sciences and Education. 2018. (I'm going to brag... this is one of top five University-wide awards, and the highest across the fields of psychology, economics, anthropology, sociology, and education!)
University of Virginia Department of Psychology Graduate Teaching Award. 2018.
University of Virginia Distinguished Teaching Fellowship. 2016.
Human Nature, Genocide, and Capitalism.
Imagine participating in an experiment in which you are asked to shock a fellow participant who answers questions incorrectly. You are to shock the participant at increasing rates for every answer they get wrong. Eventually, you are required to shock them at a level capable of killing them. How far would you go? What factors are important in understanding how far you would go? Can evidence from such an experiment provide enough insight into why you may, or may not, be capable of committing acts of genocide?
This is a course in critical social psychology using the case study of human nature and genocide. The goal is to critically analyze experimental social psychology by applying it to the study of human nature and genocide. We will do this by studying classical social psychology paradigms and experiments. We will also engage with theories such as evolutionary psychology, psychoanalyses, Marxism, and critical theory—allowing us to compare and contrast various ways of studying human behavior. Full syllabus here.