My cultural and racial background, as well as academic training, has prepared me to establish my teacherly ethos as a strong non-western scholar of color who pays attention to the needs of the diverse student populations. In my class, students are global rhetorical agents who bring diverse cultural, racial, and language backgrounds. Considering student background as an important asset, my class establishes a pedagogical environment of intercultural learning leading students to forge interdisciplinary actions in order to perform global-civic engagements and impact transnational communities via writing and rhetoric.
I practice intercultural pedagogical framework in my class that helps students to recognize their cultural, linguistics, and racial, differences not as barriers but as resources for producing meaning in writing, speaking, reading, and listening. I use this framework as an approach in the teaching of writing with an understanding that there are varieties of Englishes and the meaning of language changes while used in different socio-linguistics contexts. I begin my semester by fostering intercultural sensitivity by taking time to understand each student’s background by holding one-to-one conferences, writing an introductory reflection, and organizing Diversity and Intercultural Workshop. In the workshop, students practice research, writing and communication to develop a concrete plan of action to address problems of social, environmental, racial, and cultural injustices in corporate settings within and beyond the US. This workshop has been successful in helping students learn the importance of diversity and inclusion and exposure to the real-world issues that could be solved via intercultural learning. This leads to the development of academic writing, research, as well as racial and social consciousness that gets manifested in projects that are focused on addressing issues like ways to solve racial and social injustices, attracting volunteers towards community work, and creating accessible websites for health epidemic among others.
Global Civic Engagements
I position the power of writing, communication, and digital media technology for engaging with the local and international community to address the issues of lack of inclusivity and social injustice in my classroom. I believe any kind of social injustices could be tackled by assembling a community. My classroom becomes one of such assemblages where my students bring their cultural, racial, consciousness as their strength to propose solutions to the global inequalities such as issues of social injustices regarding gender, race, languages, and cultures via the rhetoric of inclusivity and writing. For example, one of my upper-level business writing classes worked to support Code for Nepal, an international organization working for increasing digital literacy among marginalized women in Nepal. It was shocking for a lot of students to know about how indigenous women in Nepal are marginalized and what’s the status of their digital literacy. Students wrote and won $1500 grant money from Purdue’s Office of Engagement to support the organization. Some grant money was invested in the purchase of Facebook Ads for Code for Nepal that reached to over 300,000 people. Student’s work helped the organization to promote their digital literacy campaign for marginalized girls in Nepal and this also helped students to get a study-abroad kind of experience from my class as they practiced their leadership skills and also performed a cross-cultural engagement. Similarly, I serve my graduate student community through writing as well as advocacy. As an Assistant Mentor of first-year graduate students at my institution, I make sure that while teaching and mentoring, I adopt to inclusivity. I make sure that the voices and concerns of the mentees are heard by the upper administration and everyone feels welcome while teaching and working as a graduate student employee at my institution.
Overall, I believe that local and global awareness in any professional job can benefit from that kind of attunement; at the same time, I recognize the value of student’s rhetorical agency as a critical component of my teaching philosophy. By implementing intercultural learning as a pedagogical framework to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in supporting global communities will help students in negotiating their rhetorical personas wherever they move in their career.