Teaching and Mentoring

Teaching Philosophy

As a committed teacher within the field of communication, my particular contribution can be characterized as:

Me with my some of my former PhD advisees Drs. Rachel Griffin, Dawn Marie McIntosh, and Richard Jones Jr.

Me with my some of my former PhD advisees Drs. Rachel Griffin, Dawn Marie McIntosh, and Richard Jones Jr.

• Bringing to the forefront the perspectives of historically marginalized groups.

• Taking critical approaches to the study of culture that are attentive to power, history, and ideology.

My teaching philosophy emphasizes the intersection of theory and practice; the classroom is a space where students explore and examine their voices within this space. This can mean different things in an undergraduate class versus a graduate seminar, but what remains constant in my teaching is a commitment to engaged pedagogy. Borrowing this term from bell hooks in Teaching to Transgress, I recognize that when we ask students to examine subjects that invite them to be vulnerable, we as instructors must also be willing to be vulnerable. I believe as hooks does, that a “commitment to engaged pedagogy is an expression of political activism” (203).

Me with my former doctoral advisees Drs. Andy Chuang, Fatima Chrifi Alaoui, Shadee Abdi, and Raquel Moreira at NCA in 2018.

In my undergraduate courses, by emphasizing the connections between the day-to-day lived experience and popular culture texts/artifacts that reflect these practices, my students are encouraged to see the relevance of theory to their everyday experiences. My emphasis on the relationships between theory and practice is an outgrowth of my experiences teaching courses that forefront issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality. These areas of study have the potential to alienate students when addressed solely in abstract terms; thus, these areas of study necessitate grounding in lived experience in order to foster engaged pedagogy.

To create an environment in which students feel empowered to engage materials, the ideals of effective communication must first be put into place: respect, support, listening, and the willingness to connect with both familiar and unfamiliar lived experiences. Each of these characteristics is central to establishing a classroom environment in which students feel that their perspectives are welcomed. Each of the ideals is also of the utmost importance in a graduate seminar. However, what also becomes increasingly important in working with graduate students is mentoring. Mentoring is important in the classroom as we work with students to help them become critical, better writers, and researchers. We push students to find their place in the field and then chart their space for contribution. We teach students both disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledges so they might be conversant in their fields of study and larger discourses. However, mentoring must extend beyond the classroom as we work individually with students to teach them practical and important tasks such as putting together a vita, submitting work for publication or a conference, and ultimately getting a job.

Additionally, we must also talk with them and model for them professionalism, collegiality, and in some cases be willing to draw from our experiences as (minority) faculty so that the road may be a bit easier for our students.

Formal Classroom Instruction:

Gonzaga University


Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies

University of Denver


First Year Seminar: Rhetoric and Performance of Chicana/os, Communication and the Production of Culture, Latina/os in Popular Culture, Qualitative Methods, Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication, Race and Popular Culture, Race and Popular Culture (Online), Monsters in Popular Culture, Monsters in Popular Culture (Service Learning) Feminism and Intersectionality, Latina/o Communication Studies, Feminist Horror in the 2000s (Online), Rhetorics of Monstrosity, Foundations of Communication


Intercultural Communication: History and Foundations, Performance Ethnography, Critical Sexuality Studies, Culture, Power, and Representation, Critical Intercultural Communication, Qualitative Methods, Critical Methods for Studying Culture, Voices of Women of Color, Performative Writing, Monsters in Popular Culture, Feminism and Intersectionality, Performance Studies

Syracuse University


Public Speaking, Rhetoric of Social Movements, Rhetoric of Ethnicity, Performance Studies, Persuasion, Intercultural Communication, Rhetorical Criticism


Communication and Cosmopolitan Studies, Intercultural Communication, Rhetoric, Race, and Ethnicity, Critical Sexuality Studies

Graduate Advising, University of Denver

Me at the University of Denver’s 2017 Graduate Commencement with Dr. Shadee Abdi, Dr. Haneen Al-Ghabra, and Master Sophie Jones.

Dissertation Director/Advisor: Current

• Wanda Lakota, Communication Studies

• Charles LuLevitt, Communication Studies

• Caleb Green, Communication Studies

• Taisha McMickens, Communication Studies

• Miranda Olzman, Communication Studies

Ph.D. Director: Degree Granted


• Jessica A. Johnson, Adjunct, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Dominating the Disease: A Transitional Feminist Perspective of US Health Coloniality

• Sara Baugh-Harris, Adjunct, Theater Program, Agnes Scott College, Julia de Burgos, Embodied Excess, and (un)Silenced Memory: A Decolonial Feminist Analysis of Performances of Resistance


• Jeni Hunniecutt, Visiting Researcher, Center for Wounded Veterans, Higher Education, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, Rethinking Reintegration and Veteran Identity: A New Consciousness


• Sergio Juarez, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, California State University, Fresno, Resilience and Struggle: Exploring the Experiences of Undocumented College Students Through Chicana Feminist Theory and Dialogical Performance

• Shadee Abdi, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, San Francisco State University, Navigating the (Im)Perfect Performances of Queer Iranian-American Identity

Recipient of the 2018 Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Communication Studies Division of the National Communication Association Best Dissertation Award

Recipient of the 2018 Intercultural and Intercultural Communication Studies Division of the National Communication Association Best Dissertation Award

• Haneen Al-Ghabra, Assistant Professor, Department of Media and Communication, Kuwait University, The Ethics of Representation: Muslim Women Reenacting and Resisting Whiteness


• Robert Gutierrez-Perez, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, University of Nevada, Reno, Joteria-Historias: Theories From the Fringes

Recipient of the 2016 Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Communication Studies Division Best Dissertation Award


• Fatima Zahrae Chrifi Alaoui, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, San Francisco State University, Former Qatar Post-doctoral Fellow on U.S.-Arab Relations, Arab Studies, or Islamic Studies, Georgetown University, The Vernacular Discourse of the ‘Arab Spring’: An Analysis of the Visual, the Embodied, and Textual Rhetorics of the Karama Revolution

• Raquel Moreira, Associate Professor, Communication Studies, Graceland University, Bitches Unleashed: Women in Rio’s Funk Movement, Performances of Heterosexual Femininity, and Possibilities of Resistance

• Krishna Pattisapu, Director of Diversity Recruitment and Retention for the School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder, Celebration, Resistance, and Change: Queer Gender Performers of Color as Public Pedagogues


• Andy Kai-chun Chuang, Associate Professor, Communication Studies, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, Performing the Personal Within the Organizational: Communicating Professional Identities Through Taiwanese Commercial Airline Pilots’ Personal Narratives

• Kathryn Hobson, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, James Madison University, Performing Queer Femme-ininities: Passing, Playing, and Camp

Recipient of the 2014 Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Communication Studies Division Best Dissertation Award


• Dawn Marie McIntosh, Independent Scholar, Performing an Embodied Feminist Aesthetic: A Critical Performance Ethnography of the Equestrian Sport Culture

• Beverly Natividad, Adjunct Professor, Communication Studies, Mt. San Jacinto College, former Frederick Douglas Teaching Fellow, Bloomsburg University, Caring Work: Opening a Space of Possibility for Exploring Transnational Feminist Solidarity Between Privileged and Marginalized Women

• Patrick Shaou-Whea Dodge, Associate Professor, Clinical Track and Associate Chair, Communication Studies, University of Colorado, Denver – International College at Beijing, The Performance of Intercultural Communication: China’s ‘New Face’ and the 2008 Beijing Olympics

• Amy Zsohar, Visiting Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, Gustavus Adolphus College, Love Through a Wide Angle Lens: A Mythic Narrative and Feminist Critique of the Reality Competition Dating Show More to Love


• Richard G. Jones Jr., Associate Professor, Communication Studies, Eastern Illinois University, Communicating Queer Identities Through Personal Narrative and Intersectional Reflexivity


• Rachel Alicia Griffin, Associate Professor, Communication, University of Utah, White Eyes on Black Bodies: History, Performance, and Resistance in the National Basketball Association (Recipient of the 2008 African American Communication and Culture Division and Black Caucus of the National Communication Association Outstanding Dissertation Award)

Dissertation Committee Member: Degree Granted

• 2017 Brendan Hughes, Communication Studies

• 2017 Stephanie Webb, Communication Studies

• 2017 Shanna Katz Kattari, Social Work

• 2016 Leslie Rossman, Communication Studies

• 2016 Brian Schrader, Communication Studies

• 2015 Gladys Antonio, Communication Studies

• 2014 Lisa Ingarfield, Communication Studies

• 2014 Marissa Yandall, Communication Studies

• 2013 Daniel Foster, Communication Studies

• 2013 Cassidy Higgins, Communication Studies

• 2013 Gordana Lazic, Communication Studies

• 2012 Matthew Dunn, Communication Studies

• 2011 William Murphy, Communication Studies

• 2011 Julia Khrebtan-Hoerhager, Communication Studies

• 2011 Danielle Rado, English

• 2010 Chih-Yun Chiang, Communication Studies

• 2010 Jacquelynn McDaniel, Communication Studies

• 2010 Jennifer Morrison, Communication Studies

• 2010 Niki Latino, Mortridge School of Education

• 2009 Adriana Nieto, Religious and Theological Studies, DU-Illif School of Theology Joint Ph.D.

• 2009 Kate Zittlow Rogness, Communication Studies

• 2009 Noell Jackson, Communication Studies

Masters Committees

Thesis Director: Degree Granted

• 2017 Sophie Jones, Communication Studies, “Shapeshifting and Sexuality: An Autoethnography of a Selkie”

• 2014 Linshan Fu, Communication Studies, “Wealth and Acculturation: A Qualitative Study of Wealth During Chinese International Students’ Acculturation”

• 2008 Brett Craig, International and Intercultural Communication, “Contradictions in Creole Identity: Reflections from Cape Verde”

Master’s Comprehensive Exams Advisor: Degree Granted

• 2017 Sarah Jordon, Communication Studies

• 2015 Yiqun Chang, Communication Studies

• 2010 Kathryn Hobson, Communication Studies

• 2008 Chih-Yun Chiang, Communication Studies

• 2008 Jolene Collins, Communication Studies

Master’s Comprehensive Exams Committee Member: Current

• Catherine Cattarello, Communication Studies

Master’s Comprehensive Exams Committee Member: Degree Granted
• 2015 Anaa Mansouri, Communication Studies

• 2010 Brian Schrader, Communication Studies

Master’s Thesis Committee Member: Degree Granted

• 2018 Carissa Kepner, Anthropology

• 2017 Madeline Morrow, Music

• 2017 Maritza Hernandez-Bravo, Anthropology

• 2012 Daisy Vargas, Religious Studies

Undergraduate Thesis Committee Member: Degree Granted

• 2016 Moriah-Rose Davis-McKnight, Gender and Women’s Studies

• 2015 Sophie Jones, Gender and Women’s Studies

• 2014 A. Paige Mills, Gender and Women’s Studies

Master’s Committees, Syracuse University
Thesis Director: Degree Granted
• 2005 Sandra Kellogg, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, “We Cannot Remain Silent: Remembering 9/11 Through Vernacular Poetry”

• 2006 Marsha Atteberry, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, “Challenging the Fat Monster:(Re)constituting the Fat Female Body”

• 2006 Diana (Martinez) Bowen, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, “Diaspora, Cultural Tourism, and Formations of Home: A Pilgrimage to Ecuador”

Faculty Guided Research Project Advisor: Degree Granted
• 2005 Jacqueline Smith, Communication and Rhetorical Studies “Negro, Colored, African American: The Journey of a Name and Self Acceptance”

Thesis Committee Member: Degree Granted
• 2007 Howard Johnson, Communication and Rhetorical Studies

• 2007 Erica Clarke, Communication and Rhetorical Studies

• 2006 April Park, Communication and Rhetorical Studies

• 2006 Yu-Lon Chou, Communication and Rhetorical Studies

• 2006 Elizabeth Wimer, Communication and Rhetorical Studies

• 2006 April Park, Communication and Rhetorical Studies

• 2005 Thomas Dunn, Communication and Rhetorical Studies

Comprehensive Exams Committee: Degree Granted
• 2005 Andrew Lee, Communication and Rhetorical Studies