Teaching (for students)


  • Hope and Joy in Queer and Trans Lives (FNDS 1602)*
  • Social Struggle and Social Change (SOC 302)
  • Introduction to Women’s & Gender Studies (WGST/ANTH/PSYC/SOC 303)
  • Sexualities, Genders, and Bodies (WGST/SOC 366)*
  • LGBTQ Religious Experience (WGST/SOC 388; next offered Fall 2021)*
  • Family, Sexuality, and Human Rights (WGST/ANTH/SOC 451; next offered Fall 2021)*
  • Decolonizing LGBTQ+ Studies (this course will be offered for the first time in Winter 2022)*

*Courses marked with an asterisks count toward the certificate in LGBTQ+ studies.

What can you expect from one of my courses?

My courses are designed to put you in the driver’s seat. I rarely lecture. Instead, I provide context and questions about the readings in advance, and then place your answers and insights at the center of the class. My goal in doing this is to equip you with tools for your own graduate and independent learning in the future. Reading is important because this will expose you to diverse voices and ideas. I also welcome you to bring your life experiences and identities into conversation with the readings.

What is my teaching philosophy (the principles that guide me when I put a course together)?

  • I believe that teaching can always improve. I love learning new approaches and welcome student input. Some of the best ideas for course policies and assignments have come from my students.
  • The scholar Gloria Jean Watkins, better known by her pen name bell hooks, has probably had the biggest impact on my teaching. Her book Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (PDF) is one I return to again and again. If you’re going to read one chapter, I recommend chapter five, “Theory as liberatory practice.”
  • I am committed to trauma-informed teaching and learning. Dr. Mays Imad introduces this concept in a compassionate and accessible way on this podcast episode.
  • In spring 2020, some colleagues and I were interviewed about teaching in a pandemic. The issues we discussed continue to be important as the covid-19 pandemic makes a lasting mark on our lives and higher ed.

Student research projects I have supervised

  • Non-binary identities reading/working group (summer 2021)
  • Discrimination, concealment, & multiple minority status within LGBTQ+ populations (thesis co-chair, winter 2021-present)
  • LGBTQ+ couple relationships (fall 2020)
  • DSM-5 classifications and US trans* communities (summer 2020)
  • LGBTQ+ college student experiences at UM-Dearborn (fall 2019)
  • Asexuality and ace spectrum identities (summer 2019)
  • Queer studies reading group (fall 2018)
  • Applying principles of nonviolent communication to intimate relationships (fall 2017)
  • Transmen’s experiences coming out to parents (fall 2016)
  • Critical disability studies (fall 2016)
  • Representations of transwomen in the media (summer 2016)
  • Black lesbian cultural production (summer 2015)
  • Queer Middle Eastern identity and community formations (winter 2015)
  • Counseling LGBTQ+ college and university students (winter 2015)

An independent study is an opportunity to work one-on-one with a professor to complete a project or learn more about a specific topic of interest to you. Click here to view the University of Michigan-Dearborn independent study contract. Instructions for adding an independent study are provided on p. 2.

What’s all this about a certificate in LGBTQ+ studies? Who is this certificate for?

Any and everyone! LGBTQ+ studies is relevant to a surprising number of fields. Plus, how much did you learn about LGBTQ+ culture and politics in high school?