Undergraduate Engagement

My approach to teaching is constructed around my lived experience as a learner within various settings. I draw on my early years in the British system in the Caribbean, the American educational system during my undergraduate years and the Swiss system in graduate school. These experiences inform my understanding of teaching as a primarily facilitative endeavor; one in which faculty engenders critical thinking, and encourages a connection with the material so as to master the content, all while promoting civic awareness. I believe that teaching can extend beyond the confines of the classroom and involves mentoring. I enjoy working with undergraduates and below are some of the projects that I’ve worked on with students.

Thesis Reader

2023. Jenkins, Quentin. “If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another”: Black LGBTQ students and their experiences with discipline and punishment in schools.

Undergraduate Research Panels

California Sociological Association (2021) – In this session, undergraduate students present their research that engages the topic of structural inequality through race, indigeneity, class, sex and gender lenses. Research focused on identifying the roots of inequality, social movements that challenge the existing power configurations, and community engagement and organizing that seek to uplift marginalized populations. Find out more, here.

California Sociological Association (2020) – In this session, undergraduate students who conducted first-rate research on a range of topics including race, indigeneity, class, sex and gender demonstrate the need for an intersectional understanding of these issues, so as to unveil the underlying structures at work in our society. But, more importantly how to disrupt and challenge those very structures to create a more just world. Find out more, here.

Summer Research Projects

Exploring the Sociopolitical Dynamics of Covid19 Pandemic Coverage in the United States – Narratives and reporting have the power to change public opinion, promote specific public policy, and re-frame public discourse on a subject. In this summer-long project, students explored the sociopolitical dynamics of COVID-19 pandemic coverage in the United States. We focused on mainstream media coverage of the pandemic, exploring the ways in which narrative shifts control the public’s image of the pandemic and serve to re-entrench structures of inequality. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques, the goal was to determine, if and when a narrative shift occurs between February 1, 2020 to present, and the causes of these narrative shifts. Students, Dan Tan & Kahan Shah, learned the basics of qualitative research methods, how to develop a dataset within the Quirkos environment, while also deepening their knowledge on structures of inequality and how those are reproduced in society. Find a copy of the project presentation here.

Money and Power: A Reexamination of Theoretical Conceptions of Pornography in the Age of Subscription-Based Social Media Platforms – Engaging theoretical conceptions of pornography as well as exploring the history on the topic, von Behren sought to understand how the existence of OnlyFans disrupted and exposed flaws in the way we understand work, and sex work in particular, especially during the Covid19 pandemic, as well as the form and function of pornography in the US. Find a copy of Zach von Behren’s paper presentation here.