Elisa Avila, a PhD student in Community and Environmental Sociology, is among the 2020 TA Award winners honored for excellence in teaching and instructional continuity.
Avila is focused on place, environmental justice, and race. Her past work centered on regional patterns of racial exclusion. Currently, she is working on how communities that experience environmental justice issues develop local knowledge and practices to mitigate risk. As a TA, she has taught Introduction to Community and Environmental Sociology.
“My teaching philosophy focuses on compassion and accountability through thoughtful communication,” Avila said. “My goal is to keep communication open and clear, helping students find a sustainable path to meet their goals. I believe it is crucial to encourage and support students’ intellectual curiosity, while building an appreciation of seeking new perspectives. Opening the classroom to curiosity and dialogue allows the classroom to be a medium for processing both readings and the real-life challenges students face. I believe encouraging intellectual curiosity and compassion in the classroom helps students develop a strong foundation for their future roles in civil society.”