Teaching Experiences & Interests
I have built extensive teaching experience, both in graduate school and as a postdoctoral fellow. At Harvard, I co-taught a course in Mind, Body, Health, and Medicine at the Harvard Extension School, and served as a Teaching Fellow for Brain Sciences for Future World Leaders. I have also taught or co-taught two undergraduate Psychology courses at Johns Hopkins. In addition, I have served as a Teaching Fellow/Assistant in a total of five undergraduate courses, with enrollments ranging from 50 to 70 students. My responsibilities in these courses included developing course curriculum, creating and delivering lectures, supervising labs, grading all assignments, advising students (one-on-one meetings), and managing teaching assistants. Evidence of my passion and aptitude for teaching was recognized by the Johns Hopkins University, where I was awarded the Teaching Award in Psychological and Brain Sciences.
In the future, I am prepared to teach a broad range of introductory undergraduate and graduate courses in Psychology and Neuroscience, notably Introductory Psychology, Research Methods, Cognitive Psychology/Neuroscience, Sensation, Perception, and Memory, and Introduction to Cognitive Psychology. I would also welcome the opportunity to teach more advanced courses outside of my area of research, notably, The Psychology of War and Genocide, Positive Psychology, and Human Sexuality. Finally, I would be excited to develop and teach advanced courses that would apply principles of psychology within less traditional or more applied contexts, such as Psychology of Popular Culture and Cyborg Psychology and Artificial Intelligence.
Teaching Goals & Strategies
One of main pedagogical objectives is to inspire students about Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, and to make the material accessible to and exciting for every student. Doing so successfully entails partly presentation information in clear and captivating ways, and translating complex abstract concepts into a more tractable medium. I do so using my expertise in programming languages and presentation software, including visual animations. I additionally strive to make the material come alive by creating a personal connection between the students and the content presented (e.g. presenting material within the context of popular culture). Appealing to students’ personal interests and episodic memories helps them to grasp concepts more easily, and increases the likelihood they will retain the information over the long-term.
I further believe in the importance of making students become active participants of science, not just passive consumers. I achieve this by integrating demonstrations and exercises into my lectures, which foster an interactive learning environment. I also believe in capitalizing on innovative technologies, such as TELlab, which allow students to personally conduct experiments from beginning to end in their preferred environments. These experiential learning methods allow me to engage all types of students. Importantly, they allow me to equip students with vital skills, such as critical analysis, troubling shooting, and effective communication, that they can transfer beyond my classroom and across all domains of life.
I have individually mentored 10+ research/thesis students in behavioral and neurophysiological (EEG and neurostimulation) programs, all of whom have gone on to medical schools or graduate research programs. My approach to mentoring entails striking a balance between providing all the support and direction students my need, and giving them enough space to explore and even learn from mistakes. Ultimately, I aim to instill within each student the passion and skills required to thrive as a life-long learner.