Training K-12 Teachers
One way to create an inclusive teaching environment is to teach topics that are not European-centric or North American-centric. Although students live in a transnational, globalized world, our history books and lesson plans fail to reflect many of the historical moments that impact their lives. From personal experience, I know how empowering and affirming it is when minoritized students see themselves reflected in classroom materials. Therefore, due to my background and expertise, I strive to advocate for Southeast Asian Americans, whose history and experiences differ greatly from other Asian Americans. Our stories are often ignored in K-12 programming even though we play a vital part in American history in the 20th-century. In doing so, I hope to inspire and empower Southeast Asian Americans and other minoritized students who rarely encounter lessons that are relevant to their own communities.
I have trained educators and created pedagogical materials for K-12 teachers on ways they can include Southeast Asian Americans in their lesson plans. Please click the link below for one of my lesson plans Where is “Home”? A Case study of Cambodian-American Immigration and Deportation, intended for K-12 American English teachers and K-16 Puerto Rican teachers. My lesson plan begins on page 105 in the English version (Access Here, in English) and page 113 in the Spanish version (Access Here, in Spanish).
Mentoring & Outreach
I have mentored and volunteered to help first-generation students, community college transfer students, students in Cambodia, and international students in the United States.
Mentoring students from abroad: I try to provide equity to underrepresented students abroad who are interested in studying in the United States. I helped a Syrian mother practice and learn English over Skype; despite electricity issues, she was a dedicated student who dreams of getting an MBA in the US or the UK. While doing ethnographic fieldwork in Cambodia, a still developing country, I volunteered with EducationUSA by presenting best practices for writing personal statements, a mystifying document for Cambodian students who are unfamiliar with assessments outside of test scores. Privately, I edited college application materials for two Cambodian women who went on to study at Brandeis University and the University of Hawaii.
Mentoring students in the United States: At the University of Michigan, I volunteered with Changing Gears, a program dedicated to helping community college transfers. I spoke on panels sponsored by Changing Gears to give advice to transfer students who were interested in applying to graduate school. Additionally, I mentored two community college transfer students in the Changing Gears program, meeting with them twice a month to check in on their progress. My form of mentorship is intentional and inclusive. Knowing transfer students often lack a sense of belonging post-transfer, I tell my mentees about events they might be interested in and I put them in touch with other scholars on campus.
Additional Pedagogical Training
Learning is a lifelong pursuit. I continue to participate in additional pedagogical training and professional development workshops in order to enhance my teaching, particularly in ways that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in academia.