I believe that transformative learning often occurs when individual study is combined with peer-based activities. For this reason, my pedagogy is designed around participatory strategies that encourage social learning, such as roundtable discussions, games, online modules, and interactive research presentations that facilitate collaborative synthesis of course materials.
One of the new courses I developed and taught at HSU is entitled: “Living in the Anthropocene: Environmental Change & the Human Condition.” This course critically examines relationships between environment, health, and society, with a particular focus on globalization and development. During the Fall 2019 semester, we visited HSU’s Wildland Fire Lab, which is one of 3 fire labs in the United States to learn more about fire ecology and how it connects with the social theories covered in our course material. At the end of the semester, students hosted an art exhibit of creative works that explored aspects of and relationship between environment, health, and social life and built upon course concepts and themes. Read more about it here.
Students from one of my courses at Ohio State University hosted a mini-conference during the last day of the semester to showcase their independent research on global crises.
Costa Rican undergraduates and Ministry of Health officials who I co-trained in applied anthropological methods to conduct the largest epidemiological survey ever to be conducted in Costa Rica and the first of its kind in the tropics
I helped develop and co-instruct the public outreach program, “Music and Spanish in the Andes Language Learning Academy” (MÁS ALLÁ), which focused on teaching language, culture, and music to high school students in central Ohio. This experiential learning opportunity served as most students’ first university encounter. Here is a fun shot taken after we ‘flipped roles’ and had our high school students teaching visiting Fulbright teachers how to play the zampoñas and sing the canto “La Paloma.”
At Ohio State University, I re-designed and sole-taught capstone courses that focus on globalization and its cultural, economic, environmental, and health effects on communities in the Global South. One course was entitled “Crisis! Anthropological Perspectives of Global Issues” (taught 6 semesters) and the other “Cultural Conflicts in Developing Nations” (taught 2 semesters). The last course I taught at Ohio State covered issues related to colonialism (both historical and modern e.g. neoliberalism), linkages between political economy and health, and the effects of global environmental crises on local communities.
Mentorship is also intrinsic to my pedagogy. Through my ongoing research programs in Latin America, I have mentored undergraduate and Master’s students from universities in the United States, Peru, and Costa Rica on topics relating to wastewater pollution, sustainable development, and environmental crises and policy.
Commemorating the last day of fieldwork with undergraduate sociology and anthropology student interns from Universidad de Costa Rica who worked on the MERA Investigation.