Academic Department: Psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis
As a teacher and researcher, my "big picture" goals are to foster critical thinking and contribute to the development of positive relationships among people across racial and ethnic groups and other collective social identities. These goals are reflected in pedagogical approaches in my introduction to psychology, cross-cultural psychology, and even statistics classes where, for example, I encourage collaborative and applied learning with diverse peer groups. As a researcher, I am interested in contributing to our understanding of processes that both hinder and improve race relations. For example, some of my research suggests that perceived competition for resources (e.g., educational, economic) creates greater distance between minority groups. However, my research also suggests that educational approaches that encourage critical thinking about concepts such as race can benefit students by lessening prejudice and enabling more diverse peer groups. Finally, as a researcher, I am interested in the "science of science;" specifically, I work towards integrating technology into the development of new methods of conducting social science research. For example, some of my current research uses the virtual world Second Life to examine how resource competition affects relations between people.