Research ultimately does not have a meaning for me as a scholar unless I can translate fragile ledgers, nineteenth-century newspaper articles, pollen samples, and herbarium specimens into a smooth narrative about the past. The audience is different when I am working in a classroom rather than at my desk working on an article, but the act of simplification, translation, and narration is the same. I see my work as a historian as fundamentally the same when writing up research and leading a class: in both the process of creating a coherent historical narrative has to be made visible to the audience.

I began my teaching career at the Umbra Institute, an American study abroad program in Perugia, Italy. I had the good fortune to have colleagues who were not only committed to academic rigor, but also to using service learning projects to engage students in the local community. At the end of my time in Perugia, I developed a new curricular concentration, the Food & Sustainability Studies Program. I am still the associate director for this program and participate in curricular planning and development.

As a doctoral candidate at Harvard, I have taken courses to learn more about cognitive psychology and innovative pedagogy. I also served as a Bok Center Pedagogy Fellow, working both with first-time teaching assistants in my program, but also organizing campus-wide series on pedagogy and inclusive classrooms. I also made the video below as part of a course on using research in cognitive psychology to improve teaching.

Both my doctoral coursework and my research have given me the knowledge to teach courses in American history, global history, environmental history, food history, and sustainability. My interest in pedagogy and cognitive psychology has prepared me to teach those courses well, and be ready to develop new syllabi for any kind of student.

My teaching portfolio is a record of my efforts to improve my teaching, and the results of time advising students inside and outside of the classroom.