Teaching


My job is to demystify the educational experience so that students at any level of education are in a position to succeed. In the teaching of undergraduate students, I specialize in philosophical methods and philosophical writing as the key inroad to success in the philosophy classroom. In the teaching of graduate students, I focus on various aspects of professionalization, including writing, but also I provide pedagogical training and offer consultations on individual development plans, funding applications, and other core aspects of life as a PhD.

View my Teaching Statement online or feel free to download it.


Undergraduate Teaching & Pedagogy

Sole Instructor

As sole instructor, I have taught two undergraduate courses:  Introduction to Ethics (a lower division ethics course) & Punishment and Responsibility (an upper division ethics course). In these classes, I teach contemporary topics in moral theory by primarily living philosophers. While I respect and regularly cite works by Aristotle, Kant, Hume, and Mill, I have noticed that students often have difficulty appreciating the current significance of their philosophical contributions.

As an instructor who aims to attract potential majors and demonstrate the value of philosophy even to non-majors, I instead teach works by a broader sample of contemporary philosophers while focusing on philosophical issues students are likely to find relevant.

A great deal of philosophical work produced in the last few decades deals with the sort of moral phenomenon my students are likely to find engaging. Nomy Arpaly, for example, explores the moral and epistemological significance of actions performed by folks suffering from various forms of irrationality, including serious mental health issues. Since every student in the classroom is likely to understand the impact of mental health issues, they can see the direct relevance of the material, and they are more likely to identify as potential experts on the course content because of their vast experiences.

Of course, students should read historical philosophers as they advance in the major, and I am happy to explain how these philosophers shape contemporary debate, but I prefer to offer introductory students a taste of the sort of philosophy that sustains my own love for philosophical thought and research.

You can view and download sample syllabi on the Job Docs page.

Teaching Assistant

I have worked as a Teaching Assistant for 10 courses, amounting to 20 discussion sections with around 30 students in each section. These discussion sections are taught independent of the lecture, and the content and format of these sections are largely left to the discretion of the Teaching Assistant.

In section, I focus on relaying the underlying structure and narrative of the course, teaching philosophical writing, and facilitating discussion.


Graduate Student Teaching & Pedagogy

In 2014, I joined the UC Humanities Research Institute as a member of the Humanists@Work Graduate Advisory Committee. For the year of my tenure on the committee (and in subsequent years as an affiliated PhD student), I worked as a part of a multi-campus interdisciplinary team to develop a highly experimental model of participatory graduate student professionalization.

I co-organized two Humanists@Work Graduate Career Workshops – held in Sacramento and Los Angeles. In addition to facilitating and moderating several discussions during these and other workshops, I have since presented on panels discussing the Humanists@Work methods at the 2018 Western Association of Graduate Schools conference, as well as at the 2018 Connected Academics Summer Institute held at Georgetown University.

See some reflections HERE