When a 4th grade teacher asked me in a “getting to know you” questionnaire what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wrote “teacher.” I don’t remember that, frankly, but I wasn’t surprised either when I discovered the document in my 40s. In each job I had after college, I thrived on the initial challenge but eventually started contemplating “what’s next?” It wasn’t until I became an instructor at Washington State University that I found the job I knew I’d never tire of. Teaching continues to be the hardest, most humbling, and most rewarding job I’ve ever had.
When I teach, I endeavor to instill a passion for life-long learning, a learning that involves more than the course material. What I hope “sticks” from an experience in my classroom is not necessarily the discrete facts or theories but an appreciation for the questions raised, the insights into self and community gained, the passions or injustices stirred, and the opportunities or doors opened. To that end, I emphasize the relevancy of course material to students’ current life experiences through service learning and community partners in the classroom.
The general areas I teach: environmental communication, climate change communication, environmental humanities (graduate level), science communication, and public service campaigns.