I have been teaching philosophy to undergraduates for over six years at a range of institutions across the United States. I also served as a teaching assistant throughout my graduate training, and even during my BA.

One of my foremost goals as an educator is to help students appreciate the philosopher's distinct kind of pro-attitude and disposition toward critical dialogue and shared inquiry at the most general level. More than any specific set of technical skills or competencies, I'm interested in instilling a taste for the sort of careful investigation and rigorous argument that mark philosophy at its best. In my estimation, philosophy’s unique power to kindle this attitude is among the most valuable things it has to offer students, whether they go on to major and pursue graduate study in the discipline, or take only a single course. 

“To be playful and serious at the same time is possible,” Dewey said in How We Think (1910), “and it defines the ideal mental condition.” Most of my energy in the classroom is devoted to helping us strike this important balance together: fixed on getting to the heart of the matter, while retaining a certain looseness of the mental joints and a lightness of the spirit - perhaps most importantly, the ability to laugh. As one student put it in a recent course evaluation comment that has stuck with me: “While it was hard, it was the most free that I felt in a class.” 

Selected Student Reflections (Spring 2024)

PH 034: Introduction to Philosophy: Moral & Political Issues (Claremont McKenna College)

This course has been extremely impactful on my education. […] I knew that I wanted to take a philosophy class that stood out to me. When I read that we would be examining the current issues I was eager to begin. This class has taught me how to engage in very healthy dialogue surrounding very difficult and controversial topics. I really enjoyed how we were all willing to hear each other out while comfortably expressing our own opinions. There was never a point where I felt wrong or afraid to speak out due to the support I received in the small groups. Through these interactions I was able to learn a lot about my peers and their different backgrounds. I found this to be extremely valuable because it opened me up to perspectives I may have not considered otherwise. Overall, this was a very interesting class that taught me skills I can use to not only be a better student, but to be a better listener.

I think many classes, especially at a liberal arts school, claim to be “discussion-based.” However, what I've observed is that they often end up being competitions to earn a good participation grade or impress the professor. This was absolutely not one of those courses. What I will take away most from this class is that every single person, beating all of the 8:00 AM forces that pushed against them, seemed to bring genuine interest to the discussion. We had a class of vastly diverse perspectives, interests, and priorities, and I really feel that led to each discussion lacking very little. This was true the entire semester, but especially so when we moved into the second half of the course and began discussing issues in context. Knowing that I would walk in exhausted and walk out curious and inspired made it a joy to attend this class each day. 

This class definitely had some of the most participation I have witnessed at CMC. Everyone always had very insightful contributions during class discussions, small group discussions, and online discussion posts. Not only did I learn a lot from the curriculum (some of the readings were quite challenging and required attention to detail), but I also learned a lot from my peers. I learned how to sift through difficult content to find the author’s main arguments, which I struggled with before completing this course. Additionally, I learned how to approach difficult, controversial issues and solidify my own stance with evidence to support my claims while also considering objections and rebuttals with an open mind. I will definitely carry this foundational philosophical knowledge with me throughout the rest of my time at CMC and beyond. 

This course was quite eye-opening for me. […] The nice thing about attending a Liberal Arts College is that it forces you to take classes that you would never have taken normally, putting you outside your comfort zone and potentially showing you new areas of interest for yourself. This was definitely the case for intro to philosophy. […] My favorite part of the class was when we moved to modern issues, such as freedom of speech, sexual harassment, and especially reparations. I never thought I’d think about reparations in my life, but because of this class, I was forced to. I ended up writing my final essay on reparations because it was so interesting to me. Overall, I am thankful that I took this course and would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t know exactly if philosophy is for them.

What I enjoyed most was being able to engage in philosophical thinking from various perspectives. […] Exposure to readings from diverse authors with differing perspectives further enriched my understanding of the material by presenting multiple sides of the arguments discussed and challenging me to think from every point of view. While engaging with these readings, I sometimes even found myself frustrated, realizing the complexity involved with solving moral issues. For example, I learned that what may seem ethical in one circumstance may not be applicable to every situation or individual. Overall, I really enjoyed taking this philosophy course and I hope to be able to apply the knowledge I gained not only in my future courses but also in my everyday life.

PH 164: Political Philosophy: Current Debates (Claremont McKenna College)

This course allowed me to think more deeply on issues which are of primordial relevance in today’s world. The issue of reparations is particularly topical as states come to terms with past injustices and the ways these have shaped the world today and its structures. I feel like the course has equipped me to better navigate the problems that may come to even more of a forefront as time goes on and inequalities continue to rise. I believe that the value of this class resides in its objective to leave students with knowledge that is applicable to many of the problems that lead to the stalling of our societies. I enjoyed the collaborative nature of our class and thought that our discussions allowed for a better understanding of the core concepts of the course. The importance of discussion and participation ensured a classroom environment which was conducive to the learning of all participants. 

This class taught me how to look closer at the details of the authors’ writing to understand the nuances in their arguments. I had multiple conversations with Professor Frigault where he would correct me on my word choice because of the way these seemingly small details altered the meaning of the author's argument. This is a powerful lesson that I will take with me to the classes I take. I also really enjoyed the discussion time we had in this class. The opportunity to flesh out the ideas from the reading with my classmates really helped me get a better understanding of the themes of the readings. Sometimes I would come to class thinking one thing but then one of my classmates would point out another facet of the reading that would change my whole perspective. This exercise helped to foster good conversation and collaboration. 

I’m grateful that this was my first higher-level philosophy class because it gave me the opportunity to deeply delve into a few select and intimately connected topics. Often I have found that some classes’ topics are too broad to leave the course feeling like I have a good grasp of its landscape, but I thought that, especially for political obligation, this class extensively dug into a wide range of perspectives and arguments all focused around the same central issues. When it comes to the most recent books we read, I firmly believe that as time goes on and more states crack down on their present injustices, their attention must shift over to their past injustices and, simultaneously, their present ramifications. For this reason, I am glad that our class got a head-start on this issue as we think about what sufficient reparations are, to whom they are due, and how they should be carried out going forward. 

I considered political obligation and my role as a citizen much more (and more deeply) than I would have without this class. The timeliness of those considerations is also a key part of why I am grateful to have taken it. I am not sure if I feel more empowered as a citizen, but I definitely feel more aware which is good. One of the most important things I have gotten out of this class is my understanding of structures. I had some conception of them before, but Young’s work outlined structures and structural injustice in a way that changed how I see the world. I am now aware of how people can act well on an interactional level but poorly on a structural level, and how common this is. I am not yet sure what to conclude from this understanding, but I look forward to getting closer to a conclusion as I continue to live and see structures at play. 

I am quite proud of all the material that we were able to cover and the different topics and theories that I was exposed to. Seeing that this was my first upper level philosophy class (besides logic) I was pleased to be able to experience the great conversations that my classmates and I were able to have. I feel I have been able to progress greatly in regard to political theory and it has made it very interesting to view the current events going on through this lens. I’m glad that Dr. Frigault brought great energy each and every day and helped make the classroom an environment that supported interesting and important conversations. I look forward to continuing my courses in philosophy and I am glad this class prepared me well and fostered my ability to dissect and dive into philosophical theory.

Courses Taught (2018-Present)

Claremont McKenna College

PH 164: Political Philosophy: Current Debates

PH 034: Intro: Moral & Political Issues (×10)

Coker University (Hartsville, SC)

SOC 102: U.S. Social Problems: Race and Inequality 

University of Colorado, Boulder

PHIL/WGST 3110: Feminist Practical Ethics

PHIL 2270: Philosophy and Race

PHIL 1100: Introduction to Ethics (×5)

Boston University

PH 150: Introduction to Ethics

PH 034_ Syllabus (SPR 24) Front Page.pdf
PH 164_ Syllabus (SPR 24) Front Page.pdf