Educator

Teaching Philosophy: I am passionate about integrating anti-oppression pedagogies while advancing my primary teaching objectives: to enhance students’ moral and intellectual development. My assignments are rigorous, and my temperament is playful. I am a practitioner of positive psychology, and I am known for creating learner-centered classrooms. I am a multidisciplinary educator and emphasize the intersection of theory and practice. All my courses are rooted in anti-racist, anti-oppression, and multicultural pedagogies. Listed below are the various college- and graduate-level courses I have developed and taught in legal studies and the humanities.

Legal Educator

Rutgers University, Honors College

Religion & Law is a First Amendment curriculum that promotes legal literacy and religious literacy as two fundamental civic competencies for undergraduates in the Honors College of Rutgers Camden, NJ.

Religious Freedom Center

As executive director of the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute, I recruited and led 42 faculty and staff to create from scratch a national legal education program for non-lawyers that promoted legal literacy and religious literacy as fundamental civic competencies:

Curriculum for Religious & Civic Leaders

  • Religion and Human Rights
  • Foundations of Religious Liberty
  • Religious Liberty and Contemporary American Public Life
  • Religion and News Media
  • Capstone Project

Curriculum for K-12 Educators

  • First Amendment Approaches to Religion & Public Schools
  • Histories of Religious Liberty in America
  • Legal Foundations for Teaching About Religion in Public Schools
  • Religions of the World

We sold these courses to the following partner schools, who signed contracts agreeing to pay the Newseum per student, per class, per semester, thus generating a new revenue stream for the Religous Freedom Center:

  • Baptist Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA
  • Claremont Lincoln University, Claremont, CA
  • Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA
  • Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
  • Starr King School for the Ministry, Berkeley, CA
  • Virginia Tech, Dep. of Religion & Culture, Blacksburg, VA
  • Virginia Union University, Arlington, VA
  • Wesley Theological Seminary Washington, DC

Humanities Educator

Jefferson University, College of Humanities

  • Debating U.S. Issues examines pressing current political, economic, or social issues in the United States with special attention to taking creative and intellectual risks when exploring real-world problems.
  • World Religions uses the academic study of religion to examine how people within a variety of religions—Oglala Lakota of the Great Plains, Yoruba of West Africa, Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism—view contemporary social issues such as the ecological and economic crisis; war and capital punishment; abortion and euthanasia; and gender and sexual orientation.

University of the Arts, School of Critical Studies

  • Love, Power, & Justice examines current political and legal trends of religious animosity with special attention to the recent U.S. Supreme Court cases on the travel ban and religious-based refusals of wedding services to same-sex couples; as well as changes in the U.S. Supreme Court in light of women’s constitutional rights to privacy and abortion, and the impact of the #MeToo movement.
  • Violence, Sacrifice, & the State examines the intersection of race and immigration in the context of the government’s contemporary and historical practices of separating African, indigenous, and migrant families; as well as child marriage laws in the U.S., the government-sanctioned “theotorture” of Muslim detainees in Guantanamo; and strategies for reforming the state through non-violence civil disobedience.

Rowan University, College of Humanities

  • Religions of the World also uses the academic study of religion to examine how people within a variety of religions view contemporary social issues.
  • Introduction to the Bible as Literature uses the academic study of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament to promote religious literacy and analytical thinking.

My Learning Disabilities

On a personal note, it is important for you to know that my love of learning was born of suffering. During graduate school, I was diagnosed with three learning disabilities, which I now view as a core part of my identity as an anti-oppression educator. I know the importance of using various learning strategies and technological tools to guarantee students’ success. The fact that I learn differently than most people, led me to spend a lifetime studying how people learn. It has made me who I am and has prepared me to be an advocate for organizational systems that reward all learning styles.