Teaching, Lab and Mentorship

Pedagogical Philosophy- Teaching and Mentorship

My teaching interests and pedagogical philosophy reflect a strong belief in the value of education as a tool of empowerment among those disenfranchised by the boundaries of race, class, gender and citizenship. Inspired by the attacks of the Rehnquist Court on Indian Sovereignty, in 2002 I established the first course of its kind at Stanford- detailing Native American history, sovereignty and American Indian Law. Entitled “Native Americans in the 21st Century” the class has become a core element of Stanford’s Native American Studies curriculum. The course reflects the breadth of interest I have in fields as diverse as tribal governance and development policy, environmental justice, the roots of Pan-Indigenous Identities and activism in the 1960’s and contemporary Indigenous theory. In 2004 I received an Award for service to the University, The Anne Medicine Mentorship Award. I teach introductory courses in Anthropology (Introduction to Anthropology), Native Peoples of North America, Prehistory of North America, Indigenous and Postcolonial Archaeology as well as several other graduate courses.

Mentoring at Stanford

Murray House: Stanford's Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Focus House In addition, I serve as a Resident Fellow (similar to a House Master at Harvard) in one of the Undergraduate residences. In 2004, I established Murray House as the Academic Theme House for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. I teach an in-house seminar (the only one of its kind at Stanford) entitled “Race Class and Gender at Stanford”. Students meet every week over dinner to discuss a range of topics in organized lectures, discussions and student presentations. I am also teaching an all-freshman seminar dealing with class, wealth and Immigration in the United States “Ethnographies of North America”.

I emphasize the need for students to put down their electronic devices, focus and take charge of their own education. I want to help them understand how each discipline (CSRE, anthropology, archaeology, history) generates both its data and questions. I want them develop the skills necessary to become life-long learners and to remain curious about what their own questions and likely career paths may look like. I think that this approach has paid dividends for the students. Last year I was given a second University Award- The Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Faculty Recognition Award for Teaching and Mentorship.