Through a social justice, student-centered perspective, my aim in teaching undergraduate students is to expose systems of inequality and empower them by revealing how historical actors have resisted oppression. In teaching graduate students, I also aim to empower students to make changes, but I do this by discussing the developments of the fields of History and Latinx Studies and demystifying academia so that they may find their place within it and push on its boundaries.
Centering inquiry and discussionI, I strive to create an environment ripe for critical conversations. Through engagement with primary sources, poignant secondary literature. and discussion leaders students engage in rigorous conversations about race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in the United States and Latin America.
Archival engagement allows students another lens into the people, events, and concepts we study all semester long. Students learn textual analysis and strategies like reading against the grain to make informed conclusions about both the past and present.
With support from MSU's LEADR lab, I have worked on various digital humanities projects including websites that feature maps of migration to Michigan; biographies of Latino Michiganders; content on Mexicans in Grand Rapids, and social issues that effect Latinxs.
Students are encouraged to think about how to use what we learn in academia to provide both equity and justice to marginalized peoples in the United States. From housing inequality, immigration, labor, and a variety of other social issues, students write, research, and produce in a way that keeps social justice in the foreground.
Both informal and formal mentoring are key to student success. I intentionally demystify academia for my students, especially the first generation scholars, so they can make more informed decisions. Using my own journey as a first-gen student in need of mentoring, I have an opportunity to help students thrive.
Students in my courses are steeped in narratives of people they have never heard about before. Foregoing a concentration on some of the most well-known populations and figures in traditional U.S. history, students engage with historical actors who were working-class, racially marginalized, women, queer, or somehow outside of mainstream ideas about who is American.