I believe that teaching is an important and regularly overlooked part of academic practice. Teaching forces philosophers to engage about their work and ideas with those who don’t have a high level of experience in the field, and hence can force us to clarify our ideas. Good philosophical teaching meets students where they are, and balances between giving students a rigorous and productive intellectual experience while remaining accessible and useful to them.
To that end, I have taken my extensive teaching experience very seriously. I started off as a Teaching Assistant at Binghamton University, where I worked for three years’ worth of courses, including Law & Justice, Introduction to Asian Philosophy, Plato & Aristotle, Medical Ethics, Existence & Freedom, and Environmental Ethics. After moving to CUNY, I taught courses at Lehman College and Baruch College as Instructor of Record, including Justice & Society, Introduction to Logic, Introduction to Philosophy, Computer Ethics, and Contemporary Moral Issues.
At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, I have been heavily involved in teaching the Medical Ethics curriculum to the doctors of tomorrow. This work I find particularly stimulating and challenging, as most of the students have very little formal experience with philosophy, yet they are among those most burdened by potential ethical issues in their day-to-day lives. To this end, the interdisciplinary skill of translating philosophical considerations into practically-useful tools for real-life professionals is one that I have carefully developed over my time there. My responsibilities include small group ethics discussions, bringing specialized ethics consulting to the broader medical curriculum, and evaluating medical student ethics work.
While working as a Teaching Assistant at the NYU Bioethics M.A. program, I have primarily had grading and advising duties, and have worked graduate-level courses like Advanced Introduction to Bioethics, Advanced Introduction to Environmental Ethics, Neuroethics, Moral Intuitions, and Moral Indeterminacy.
In my fifth year at CUNY, I also participated in a year-long Writing Across The Curriculum (WAC) Fellowship. In this professional development context, I worked closely with a group of graduate students and interested faculty at Lehman on better integrating creative and novel approaches to writing into our teaching. I saw these experience transform my teaching and the assignments I give in my personal bioethics curriculum, including the better integration of scaffolding and low-stakes writing into my paper assignments.
My experience with teaching also extends outside the traditional academic classroom. I have been affiliated with the Brooklyn Public Philosophers, who bring philosophy to the people in non-traditional settings, To that end, I have staffed “Ask a Philosopher” booths, where we help members of the general public express their own, unique ideas about life and society. The booths have been located in places such as an upscale furniture store and the Grand Army Plaza subway station in Brooklyn.