©2019 by Jennifer Nations. Proudly created with Wix.com

MENTORING AND TEACHING

Universities play a valuable role in civil society by promoting critical thinking and broader awareness. I take very seriously the part I play in empowering students to be active participants in the social world. I encourage my students to engage with social theories and data through courses and research apprenticeships in order to give them the tools they need to categorize and critique information and the organizational environments we inhabit.

I have enjoyed teaching courses on social inequalities, public policy, and social problems. I have mentored students on collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data and have supervised an undergraduate honors thesis which won departmental recognition. I look forward to teaching additional sociology courses, especially teaching quantitative and other methods courses. 

As a teacher, I strive to support diverse student perspectives, experiences, and learning styles through course design and through the content I teach. I especially strive to support first generation students. In recognition of my work in this regard I was awarded the campus Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Distinguished Teaching Award at UC San Diego in 2017.

 

OVERVIEW OF COURSES & MENTORSHIP

All courses taught at UC San Diego

Winter and Spring 2019
Winter and Spring 2018

FORMAL MENTORSHIP

During Spring of 2019, I hired an undergraduate research assistant who has updated a dataset on state-level higher education expenditures. I instructed this student in basic quantitative methods and research design.

During 2018, I mentored four sociology major undergraduate students as research assistants. Students were enrolled in a research and writing course, I was their research mentor. We focused on research design, case selection, and conducting textual data analysis. 


One student continued conducting research with my guidance and in 2019 wrote and presented an honor's thesis in the UC San Diego Department of Sociology.

Fall 2017

Spring 2017

Syllabus

SOCIAL INEQUALITY AND PUBLIC POLICY

Undergraduate course, fulfills UC San Diego Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion requirement. Course focuses on differences between poverty and inequality and provides an overview of U.S. social policies focused on the amelioration of each. This includes traditional social welfare policies (cash assistance, Medicaid) as well as education and tax policies. Policies under scrutiny are those that target income and basic social supports, but readings and assignments address the ways that policy design and implementation are affected by, and influence, racial and gender inequalities.

Summer 2016

Syllabus

SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Undergraduate course. Course traces the process by which an issue or event becomes defined as a social problem. Students learn about the social construction of a social problem by studying sociological theory, primarily from social movements literature, and then trace the origins and consequences of specific social problem mobilizations, such as the 1996 Clinton welfare reform and 1980s crack epidemic and war on drugs.

Spring 2015

Syllabus

SOCIAL INEQUALITY: RACE, CLASS, AND GENDER

Undergraduate course, fulfills UC San Diego Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion requirement. Students were introduced to leading sociological theories on the causes of inequality, specifically in the areas of social class, sex and gender, and race/ethnicity. Each subject area was taken in turn. Students were first introduced to the consequences of discrimination and inequality in each area, then we discussed why inequalities existed and persisted. Course concluded with a focus on the intersections of disadvantage and efforts to alleviate inequalities.