Courses in Fall 2022

Introduction to Sociology

This course offers an introduction to the theories, concepts, methodologies, and themes of the discipline of sociology. During the semester, we will explore the linkages between individuals and the larger cultures, contexts, groups, and institutions in which they live in order to better understand the structure and function of social interaction, human behavior, and the institutional frameworks of society. The overarching purpose of the course is to develop a “sociological imagination,” which students can then use to make sense of current social issues and patterns of everyday life. We will cover classical sociological thoughts and contemporary explanations, with an emphasis on social inequalities.

Research Methods and Design in Social Sciences

How do social scientists know what they know? This course strives to address that question by introducing students to social science research processes, including literature review, research design, data collection and analysis, and research dissemination. The course will also cover the ethics and politics of conducting social research. Students will learn how to consume, evaluate, and conduct social science research. This course will have an emphasis on the role of peer feedback in the research process. Students will design a research proposal on a topic of their choice in the social sciences.


Qualitative Methods for Endangered Language Preservation

I am a Qiang ethnic minority woman raised in southwestern China’s Tibetan corridor. I have been empowered by education and sustained investment from family, mentors, and friends in my personal and intellectual growth. My lived experiences as an ethnic minority woman of color inform my intellectual life and enable me to engage with faculty and students from diverse social backgrounds. I am committed to conducting research with underserved and marginalized communities in the Global South and teaching and mentoring underprivileged students in the college and the wider community.

I further translated my intellectual pursuits into concrete actions to empower youth from the Qiang and Tibetan communities. I worked with these underprivileged students to develop a critical understanding of their cultural heritages and toolkits to access intellectual and professional opportunities. From 2017 to 2018, I collaborated with Nathaniel Sims to design and teach these students in a community workshop series for documenting endangered Qiang languages. From 2020 and 2022, I have collaborated with other researchers to organize the Himalayan Languages of Sichuan workshop to bring a series of online lectures and funding to participants who intend to learn methods and access funding to document their endangered native languages.

In an environment that continues to exclude ethnic minorities and devalue their languages and culture, the workshops and online forums have provided intellectual and material resources (scholarships and paid work) that helped several participants transform into teachers and potential researchers of their language tradition.