In an increasingly globalized world, anthropologists can play an important role in collaborative efforts to solve global problems. Yet most graduate students in cultural anthropology are still trained in the “lone wolf” model of solitary field research and publication. My goal is to teach graduate students from anthropology and allied fields to do rigorous, collaborative research that can promote sustainability, social justice, and global health.
The "Captain" that Almost Wasn't: How My Teaching Idealism was Challenged and Renewed by ASU
I still watch Dead Poets Society whenever it comes on TV, and it remains one of my favorite films (“Oh captain, my captain”!). While it inspired me to teach, it also set me up for “failure”; one from which ASU saved me, when I realized that my purpose as a teacher has a different kind of transformational value.
The Professor’s role is defined by impact. We shape student lives through instructing, evaluating, advising and mentoring in the classroom and beyond. In the highly intimate roles as a PhD advisor, this level of influence goes both broader and deeper than what is often experienced with undergraduate students. It is broader because these relationships extensive interaction. The time spent as a PhD student is, in many cases, a form of an apprenticeship for becoming a faculty member.
I hope that my own expertise and commitment excites students and that their interests guide my explorations. I have encouraged knowledge of and enthusiasm for syntax (my own area) but have also been excited to work with students in areas that are not my own. The below points make some of my mentoring attempts more concrete.