Teaching

I used to think that the world was all separated from each other, and that I would never be able to change people’s thoughts about inequality. But now I see that the world regions have all formed connections economically, politically, and environmentally, and that by changing some people’s views I can start a movement to begin changing the world.
— Student, Introduction to World Regional Geography
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Courses Taught

Introduction to World Regional Geography
Theories of Organizations and their Roles in Community Change
Sociology of the Environment
Complex Organizations
Organization of Economic Space
Community Economic Development
Race and Ethnicity in American Communities

In their words...

“I used to think that Geography is only about where countries & regions are located. But now I know that Geography is the study of complex processes that cause the distribution of people, industries, governments, poverty, etc.”

“I used to not think about what kinds of things are happening in other countries and even sometimes in this country. But now I am very interested in what is going on in other countries as well as our own. This thinking has brought me to wonder what kinds of things I can do to start seeing the change I want to see.”

“When I started this class, i was expecting to learn more about world regions that i was not familiar with, such as Africa and South America. I thought I knew a lot about the region I am from. However, after the class, I gained completely new understandings and new perspectives to see the region I thought I knew. This class helps me look at places and regions that are not commonly exposed on social media. It also helps me understand the complexity of the world, that certain situations are driven by multiple factors.”

“Before starting this class, I didn’t think I’d have much interest in applying myself to causes that reflect global political conflicts. But as the quarter went on, I’d realize everything is so interconnected. By this I mean that if I want to make an impact on the world, it can start from something small and relate it to greater things. I also want to point out that I admired the way this course allowed for a setting where I could share ideas with my peers in a safe space and get a better understanding for the world we live in.”

“I used to think that there were no significant effects of colonization, but now I know that colonization hindered so many countries, and the effects are still visible today, like the borders in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

“I used to think that only highly populated areas and metropolitan places were greatly affected by climate change and global warming. I also didn’t realize how our history and agriculture / environment tendencies have impacted our current world. But now I realize how whatever we do now in our world greatly affects future generations & history. I didn’t realize how corrupt this world is and that I can truly make an impact.”

“My thinking has become more nuanced regarding how a history of colonialism can influence current day economies. I hadn’t really considered how controlling powers would set up an economic system that relies on having a wealthy country and an export country dynamic, and how that can persist for many years.”

“I used to think that:
- South Africa was just the south portion of Africa
- India was a completely Hindu country
- Chocolate was mostly produced in South America
- The US was always in conflict with Afghanistan
But now I know:
- South Africa is its own country.
- India is Hindu and Muslim
- Chocolate is largely grown in Africa
- Afghanistan helped the US in the war with Soviets”

“I used to think that Sub-Saharan Africa was mainly underdeveloped due to its own internal issues with only some lingering effects from their history of colonization
But now I know that many issues stem directly from their history of colonization and the continued attempts and success of neocolonialism performed by previous colonizers, and not just internal issues.”

“I used to think that regions & countries weren’t as dependent on other countries for certain resources and economic success as much as they actually are. I’ve become much more familiar with the different ways regions are connected, whether it’s trade, colonization, economic, social, etc.”

“I used to think that development/industrialization was a justified reason for land cultivation/colonization. But now I think that it is not as important because of the harming of land, destruction of habitats, deforestation, and violating land that belongs to others.”

“This class has made me question the mentality that other people have about life and what makes them happy.”

“I used to think that learning geography is just about how the environment such as location, climate, patterns, etc. will affect humans and the population.
But now I know that it’s actually a really complex system involving so many other things (like women’s inequality, conflict between countries) and how different countries interact and respond to each other.”

“I feel more globally aware and have a better understanding of certain regions’ histories, cultures, economies, and conflicts.”

“I used to think many regions of the world (other than the Americas) were not colonized by European powers. But now I know that most regions are in fact colonized in some way, and that Fiji, a paradise now, used to exist in a region under colonial rule that negatively affects those living there now.”

“I used to think I knew a lot about world geography from when I took it back in high school. But now I realize there is so much more I need to learn about other countries. I never really considered connecting some regions with others and how they are affected mutually. After taking this class, my interest in world regional geography has grown.”

“I used to think I wanted to stay in the US but now I don’t. I used think think cultural claims to land were BS, but now I understand the struggle and sentiment of their movements. I used to think countries’ economic situation resulted only from their own actions/policies, but now I know that their issues have many more external factors involved than I had thought about.”

“I used to think conflicts around the world have one simple solution, but now I realize that these problems are much more complicated and need time to resolve. Random borders splits cultural regions, but borders that are created with religion and culture in mind still cause conflicts.”

“I used to think the world is so much broader and isolated by borders and distances, but now I realize how the world is closely  bound together through different aspects.”

“I used to think that
- There was a solution to every problem
- Equality throughout the world was pretty stable
- Colonization came with little conflict
But now I
- Know that there are still places that have problems that will take a while to fix
- Equality is still a huge problem and efforts are still begin made to fix it
- Colonization came with a lot of force and power and was not easy”

“I used to think meditation and mindfulness were hard and confined to sitting somewhere with your eyes closed.  But after the arboretum exercise I have a new appreciation for taking time to reflect and be grateful for the world around me.”