I’ve taught both undergraduate and graduate students at USC for over twenty-five years. Once upon a time, I taught a broad range of classes from introductory sociology, to classes on changing family forms, race, Chicana/Latina women, the U.S.-Mexico border, and women in transnational perspective. I was constantly making new syllabi! I’m happy that in recent years, most of my classes have focused on immigration, and qualitative research methods.
Some of my most challenging and gratifying work has been helping students to craft and design their own research projects. I think of myself as a guide, passing on some traditions and helping students formulate research questions and design research that will provide analysis of contemporary social issues. I regularly do this at the undergraduate level in the two-semester Sociology Honors Thesis class, and in the two-semester graduate-level Qualitative Methods seminar, and also as an advisor for the empirical paper (what we call the MA thesis here) and the PhD dissertation. Chairing a PhD student’s work occurs over a span of 5 to 7 years, and I am always amazed to see young scholars grow and develop over the years.
I’m enormously proud of my graduate students, both current and former, and from them I’m always learning about new sociological approaches and different subfields. The Former PhD Students button to the right links to the PhD students I have chaired, and to their own faculty webpages. The Text-readers button links to several edited books that been adopted in sociology classrooms across the country. The Syllabi button links to a sample of recent syllabi, giving you an idea of how I organize my classes.