In 2011 I earned my PhD in the interdisciplinary field of International Studies. I am a historian in my interest, a political scientist in my approach, a writing and study skills aficionado in the classroom, and an artist in my spare time. I enjoy giving the gift of learning in as many fields and ways as possible to my students so that they can succeed in whatever professional path they may choose. Here's a bit more detail about my academic background: As I mentioned, my academic background... [more]
I teach European History at Notre Dame College. I have also taught European history at the University of Tuebingen, Germany and European politics in international relations at Colorado College.
I tutored writing at Oberlin College and the University of Denver. In both universities, I tutored a range of levels from undergraduates to Ph.D. students. I also tutored writing in any academic subject, as well as professional writing, including resumes, grants and cover letters. I have also worked as a professional editor for an academic journal, "Human Rights and Human Welfare."
I have previously worked as a Lecturer in the Writing Program at Case Western Reserve University, a Tier 1 research institution. I began working in university writing centers in 2000 and have applied writing pedagogy across the disciplines in my teaching career for the last nine years. In addition to my work as a freelance writing consultant and editor, I also teach graduate seminars in Professional Communications for individuals pursuing careers in international affairs.
Government & Politics
I currently teach Western Civilization at Notre Dame College. Also, in my dissertation I studied the Reformation period (15th-16th century Europe) in the context of international political questions.
My experience as a writing tutor and a tutor for students with disabilities gave me ample experience with integrating teaching good study skills into interdisciplinary subject matter. I take content-based questions (for example, a question about a text) as opportunities for teaching a study skill (e.g. how to read efficiently, synthesize and understand material.). I also take a step-by-step approach in assignments, breaking up large tasks into many small ones so that each task can teach a student about how to approach their study. I believe study skills are learned by doing, so I encourage students to try new approaches and redo them if they do not work the first time.
I was a Social Science and Writing tutor at the Learning Effectiveness Program (LEP) at the University of Denver (1 year). The LEP was an opt-in program for students who had documented learning disabilities and wanted to work regularly with tutors to improve their abilities to master different subjects using good study skills. As a tutor, I was required to attend trainings with counselors who guided us in adapting our teaching techniques to specific learning disabilities. I therefore learned to adopt different strategies (such as using audio and visual materials) as learning aids with students. After working at the LEP, I transferred my tutoring work over to the Writing and Research Center at the University of Denver for the next three years. This Center worked with the entire university population, so my skills from the LEP allowed me to identify when I needed to adopt different approaches with students with learning disabilities (whether or not they chose to disclose their disability or not). This allowed me to be flexible while respecting students' choices to be open or not about their learning capabilities.
I have taught for four years in higher education (political science and international relations) and also worked as an academic writing consultant for three years. I have also served as a career mentor and volunteer admissions interviewer for prospective students to my alma mater, Oberlin College. Between these three contexts, I have worked with a broad cross-section of students at public universities (University of Colorado at Denver, for example), liberal arts schools (e.g. Colorado College, University of Denver), and internationally (the University of Tuebingen, Germany). This gives me breadth in my understanding of academic cultures and expectations, which are both important for students applying to college to consider. In interviewing students for Oberlin, and also advising current students about college and career paths, I always ask students about the kind of learning environment they value, and help them learn about the institutional culture of the places they are applying to. When your values and an institutions parallel one another, then it is likely a good fit; so I work with students to demonstrate that there is a good match between them and a school to maximize chances of acceptance.
Integrated Social Studies, according to the Ohio Department of Education, includes history (American, world, and European), political science, economics, and introductory coverage in the fields of sociology, anthropology and psychology. In the course of my studies through my undergraduate degree through my graduate education (MA and PhD), I have taken significant coursework in all these areas. My Ph.D., which was in International Studies, included significant coursework and research in politics, political economy, and international history. I was a history major as an undergraduate. I have also taught research methods at the college level, largely based on the approaches taken by social scientists in fields such as sociology, anthropology, and psychology.