Teaching and Mentorship

My goal for students taking my courses is that they develop the intellectual flexibility to understand humans through an anthropological, evolutionary perspective. I want them to understand evolution as a framework to clarify the relationship between natural selection, human behavior, our ancestors, and our primate relative. In coursework and as a mentor, I emphasize basic scientific tools of observation, prediction, hypothesis testing, and offer ample opportunities to practice these skills so that students can draw their own conclusions. Successful teaching allows students to see their own concerns and lives reflected in the material. I make anthropology tangible, relevant and accessible for all my students, regardless of their background. The sweep of our discipline makes it easy to demonstrate a long and critical history of women and people of color researching, theorizing and impacting our understanding of human behavior and evolution. My job is to create opportunities for students to develop and express excitement about course material, to notice when that happens, and then to capitalize on their excitement by enhancing and enriching their experience.