TABLE OF CONTENTS
!! Teaching Statement
!! Sample Lectures from Undergraduate Health Psychology: Health Disparities
I have a strong commitment to teaching and mentoring that has grown over years of experience. I
feel honored to have had the opportunity to educate students and respect this privilege by
constantly trying to sharpen my teaching skills. Over the past 14 years I have instructed students
at various levels of training. At the undergraduate level I have taught classes ranging in size
between 12 and 1300 students. My lecturing style is adaptable to a range of audiences and always
promotes student participation even amongst larger groups. I organize classes to be very
interactive, encouraging students to use each other as learning resources. While I have primarily
taught courses in the area of health psychology, over the past few years have also taught related
areas such as Abnormal Psychology, Introductory Psychology and Psychology for Social Work.
Considering my research and clinical experience, I am confident in teaching a wide array of
courses at all levels of training.
At the postgraduate level I have taught classes in the Masters of Health Psychology and Doctorate
in Clinical Psychology programs ranging from 16 to 20 students. Since students in these
programs are mostly clinically focused, I have structured my classes to be very experiential, providing
students the opportunity to practice empirically based interventions that can then be applied in
their therapeutic work. I have also served as a clinical supervisor for first year doctoral students
from a cognitive behavioral perspective. At this level of training, my primary goal is to instill
confidence in budding psychologists. My supervision encourages students to examine the impact
of interventions on the therapeutic relationship and the process of change over the course of therapy.
During both individual and group supervision, I process students’ own reactions to the therapeutic
process to encourage self-reflection and teach students to heighten their awareness of the here and
now during therapy.
Over the past seven years I have also taught communication skills and physicianship to medical
school students. These interactive small group teaching sessions merge by research and teaching
interests to improve patient-physician communication and heighten awareness of psychosocial
concerns in medical settings.
I have enjoyed mentoring students in research and appreciate the importance of integrating
students in research projects early in their training. As a professor I have supervised 29 students
working in my research lab. While supervising individual research projects I encourage my
research students to collaborate on projects together to foster teamwork and shared learning
across different levels of study. I convene journal clubs where students present their own or
others’ research and train students to take an analytical approach to research. I encourage
students to share their findings through publications and presentations, thus I have provided
financial support for students’ attendance at professional conferences.
Having taught in the United States and Australia, I have experienced differences between the two
systems and appreciate the strengths of both. After arriving to the University of Sydney, I had to
tailor my teaching style to accommodate these differences. For example, in Australia I team-
taught courses with colleagues in the school with similar research interests. Therefore, in each
course I work with my colleagues to coordinate the course syllabus and assessments, while
lecturing only in my portion of the class. This structure provides students the opportunity to learn
from individuals with expertise in specific areas while fostering a manageable teaching load
amongst faculty. Upon returning to the United States, I am now teaching the communications
arm of a physicianship course. Having worked across settings and topics, I am looking forward
to sharing the new insights I have gained towards development of future course offerings.
I perceive each course I teach as a unique community that is shaped by the talents and interests
of both the students and me. As with any community, the strength of the community relies on
the involvement of all of its members. I believe my role as a professor is to facilitate the development
and growth of this community in a culturally-sensitive manner. To achieve this I encourage mutual
respect amongst the students and I that develops trust over time.
Each class is an opportunity to for students to learn more about themselves and the world around
us. Education is a door to examining our strengths and weaknesses as humans within a social context.
I aspire to teach students how to learn, regardless of the topic being taught. I encourage students to
apply lecture materials to their personal experiences so they learn materials for the sake of
knowledge, rather than in preparation for assessment. Throughout classes I stress individuality of
thought and reward students when they challenge common assumptions and share alternative
perspectives. This approach to teaching fosters an environment where students feel empowered to
think independently and critically. I have had much success in applying this philosophy as
evidenced not only by positive student evaluations, but by also being asked to work on curriculum
development initiatives within my departments.
My teaching is guided by the following four principals:
1) Enthusiasm for Teaching I am an enthusiastic individual by nature, and when I enter a
teaching environment my enthusiasm grows to indescribable levels. I believe an effective teacher
must be enthusiastic not only about the topic but, more importantly, about the learning process.
Each class I use my enthusiasm to ignite students’ interest and model for them the excitement and
joy one can experience while learning. Enthusiasm in teaching motivates students to act and
action promotes learning, which in turn, promotes growth. My goal as an instructor is to
encourage students to think critically and I strongly believe that passion and enthusiasm foster
2) Collaborative Relationship with Students I value the collaborative relationship between
professor and student. Professors provide material for students to ponder, while students provide
questions for professors to explore. By maintaining a collaborative relationship with students I
am modeling for them effective communication and respect. If I am to receive the respect of
students I teach, I must respect the knowledge they have to share and the lessons they have to
teach me. While I provide feedback to students’ performance using formal assessments, I solicit
feedback from them using formal evaluations throughout the course to tailor the class according
to their evolving interests and needs.
3) Respect for Diversity of Learning and Experience As an ethnic minority, I embrace
diverse thinking and appreciate the diversity of students I teach. Students bring with them their
knowledge shaped by their cultural and psychosocial experiences. I welcome students to share
their experiences with the class to teach one another of their culture and to provide alternative
perspectives to the subject matter. As a professor, I believe it is my role to foster an environment
in which students feel comfortable sharing their opinions and insights regarding the class subject
honestly and openly. If students practice asserting their thoughts amongst a class audience, I
believe they will be prepared to assert their thoughts in other arenas in their life, professionally
and personally. Having taught large introductory courses as well as smaller seminars/tutorials, I
appreciate the role of class environment and individual differences in learning. I try to tailor
courses to be as tailored to individual learning styles as much as possible.
4) Multi-Modal Teaching Design My respect for diversity in learning described above
translates into how I disseminate information in the classroom. Considering that individuals vary
in their verbal and visual-spatial skills, I believe it is important to utilize a variety of teaching
modalities to encourage effective encoding of class material. I teach each lecture amid the backdrop
of a PowerPoint presentation to stimulate students’ visual and auditory senses simultaneously. I also
call on talented artists to teach lessons with videos and music. I often invite guest speakers to
share their personal experiences with students so they can associate a particular individual who
exemplifies the theory previously discussed in class. In addition, I believe that guest lecturers
provide students the opportunity to ask questions that formal lectures may not have stimulated. I
have also asked students to participate in activities (e.g. a diversity experiment required in a
Psychology of Diversity class) or engage in particular behaviors (e.g. behavioral change project in a
Health Psychology class) so they can apply, personally, the lessons learned in the classroom. As
a student and as a professor I have appreciated how much personally applying class material
encourages information to transcend into knowledge. Teaching Interests
My research and clinical experiences make me best suited for teaching in areas surround clinical
health psychology. However, I have also taught in several related areas and am eager to expand
into new areas. I am currently qualified to teach the following classes based on previous
teaching, preparation, coursework, research endeavors, and clinical experience:
Health Psychology: I have taught this course over the last 10 years at the undergraduate, masters
and doctoral levels.
Abnormal Psychology: I have taught this course for three years.
Psychology of Stress Management (Stress & Coping): I have taught this course previously and
have trained numerous trainees and practitioners in this area.
Introductory Counseling Skills: I have previously taught this course to medical students and
also have provided clinical supervision to doctoral level trainees in clinical psychology.
Introductory Psychology: I have lectured and developed assessments for this course and can
teach this course based on my coursework and previous clinical experience.
Psychology of Diversity: I previously prepared for this class and can teach this class based on
my research area and clinical experience.
Psychology in Medical Settings: I can teach this course based on my clinical and research
Community Psychology: I can teach this course based on my clinical and research experience.
Environmental Psychology: I was a teaching assistant for this course and provided guest
Psychological Assessment and Evaluation: I can teach this course based on my coursework,
supervision and clinical experience.
Qualitative Methodology: I can teach this course based on my experience conducting
qualitative research as well as training students and colleagues in qualitative methodology.
Behavioral Medicine and Global Health: I can teach this course based on my research, teaching
and clinical experience.
" Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide
"Each year over 7.9 MILLION (in 2008) people die of cancer
" It is expected the death rate due to cancer will grow to nearly
13.1 million by 2030
"Approximately 70% of cancer deaths
occurred in low to middle-income
"Cancer-causing viral infections
(e.g. HBV/HCV and HPV) are responsible
for up to 20% of cancer deaths in
low-middle income countries
INEQUALITIES IN CANCER
"The survival rate for many common cancers has increased
by more than 30 per cent in the past two decades.
"However in developing countries, cancer patients are
approximately twice as likely to die from the disease
#Treatment aims tend to focus more on
palliative rather than curative care