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Image by Shane Rounce

Recognizing Interconnection

My goal is to equip people with tools for thinking critically while listening deeply, affirming diversity while seeking commonality, and embracing difficulty while cultivating compassion. My pedagogy prepares people to address both professional and planetary needs by training them to navigate differences and make a difference. I empower people to recognize the interconnection of our shared dignity across our current divides—religion, race, class, gender, and species.

Perpetual Process

My teaching practice flows partly out of my own experience as a student. During my first year of undergraduate studies, I took Readings in Women’s History. The professor helped us uncover very different stories from the one that I grew up hearing in Texas public schools. My eyes were opened when I realized that attending to dynamics like gender drastically shifted our perspectives on the stories that shape our lives. I have developed that insight into a perpetual process of always improving present understanding and practice through better attention to the missed and marginalized.

Reviewing for the Exam
Support Group

Listening for and to others

This process means training people to clearly articulate their own viewpoints with integrity while also mindfully listening for and to others. Listening for others means working to hear the unheard, while listening to others means heeding the power of marginalized voices to transform prior misconceptions. To facilitate this goal, I foster an equitable learning environment that involves everyone grappling with the topic according to their abilities.

Experiential, Collaborative, Contemplative

My frequent use of experiential, collaborative, and contemplative techniques catalyzes an enhanced understanding of the material. For example, I regularly use breathing exercises to emphasize aspects of contemplative religious traditions, reduce stress, or just provide a break. A favorite practice comes from teaching on a documentary about the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s retreat center, which uses a bell throughout the day to call people’s attention regularly back to gratitude in the present moment. Inspired by that discipline, I started using a meditation app to ring a bell periodically during discussions. At ten-minute intervals we stop whatever we are doing to remain silent for the thirty seconds while the tone sounds. Punctuating our meetings with such contemplative interludes provides space for reflection on the topic, calming of tension, and cultivation of awareness.

Image by Free To Use Sounds
Image by S Migaj

Promoting Mutual Understanding, Empathy,

and Compassion

I see my role as an educator as involving more than just offering answers---I strive to empower people to live the questions.


In sum, I aim to form people into not merely critical thinkers but compassionately critical thinkers. Compassion is empathy in action. Empathy enables us to feel with others, accurately understanding their perspectives. Critical thinking equips us to analyze those views, evaluating what's at stake. Compassionately critical thinking empowers us to apply our acquired knowledge and skills toward doing good for all. Promoting mutual understanding, empathy, and compassion, the education that I provide prepares people to make more than money—my pedagogy helps us make the world a better place.  

Publications: Publications
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