Empowerment Based, Participatory Teaching
“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” - Angela Davis
In her role as an educator, Dr. Nnawulezi aims to deepen students' awareness of social inequities, introduce conceptual and methodological tools to appraise these inequities, and provide examples of models that show how to collaborate with communities to intervene on social inequities.
She expects undergraduate and graduate students to increase their critical consciousness, develop ecological thinking, and consider alternative perspectives. In her courses, students also develop and share their ideas about complex social topics. She maintains a structured classroom environment using evidence-based practices to create the conditions necessary to meet her empowerment-based teaching aims.
Her strengths as an educator lie in her ability to create a supportive and participatory classroom environment that encourages students to engage in constructive dialogue on how inequity contributes to health and teach skills that will help students to work with communities to respond to these inequities. Students routinely comment on her ability to develop critical thinking, promote open and safe class discussions, and help them to balance their personal and professional lives.
Undergraduate and graduate courses taught by Dr. Nnawulezi
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the diverse field of community psychology. Community psychologists believe that individual, families, communities and social structures are interconnected. Community psychology research and practice utilizes multi-level, participatory theories and interventions to understand and improve social problems (for example, police brutality, homelessness, health disparities, and intimate partner violence). Community pyschologists value social justice, diversity, empowerment, prevention, resilience, human rights, participatory action research/action science, strength-based practices, liberation, and well-being. In this course, students will learn the major tenants of the field, understand how to frame social problems, and create transformative solutions.
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
- Identify and understand the key values and constructs of community psychology
- Apply community psychology constructs and values to social issues
- Describe how community psychologists respond to social issues
Human Diversity in Research and Intervention
This purpose of this course is to explore human diversity in the research and practice of psychology. Similarities and differences across a wide variety of human diversity, including ethnicity, race, age, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, ability, community/cultural context will be discussed. This course includes a focus on understanding the definitions, development, meanings, values, and implications of diverse identities and experiences in society, in our lives, and in psychological work with research participants and intervention clients. While the course explores some writings on the generalities within and between groups, intersectionality (the fact that we all have multiple identities that operate interactionally) makes this unidimensional view quite incomplete. Thus, the larger approach is on theoretical and practical guidelines for developing an understanding of the salience of diversity in psychological work and how one functions as a culturally competent psychologist in a complex, multiply diverse society. The course utilizes primary and secondary source readings, including first person accounts, research, and intervention case vignettes as a means to explore how issues of diversity are manifest and can be traversed as professional psychologists.
The goal of this course is to support student development as a participatory researcher. The aim of this course is to:
In this class, students assess the ecological context related to their issue, learn how to gain entry into community settings, identify and interview key informants, begin positive and effective collaborative relationships, and discuss ethical dilemmas that often emerge in community work.
- To learn about the broader ecological context of your targeted social issue;
- To engage in a critical reflection of your relationship to the targeted social issue within the Baltimore community
- To develop relationships with the critical stakeholders vested in the selected social issue, such as advocates/constituents, service providers, organizational leaders, and policy makers; and
- To connect with a community setting in which the student may be interested in doing research and/or intervention work.
Qualitative Research Methods
The goal of this introductory graduate course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the qualitative research method process including design, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of findings. This course is designed to introduce students to the basic tenants of qualitative research as well as increase your capacity to carry out high quality qualitative research studies. Dr. Nnawulezi introduces students to multiple analysis strategies and theoretical approaches to guide their work.