Name: Cassidy D. Ellis, PhD
Title: Assistant Professor, Educator
PhD, University of New Mexico
MA, University of Alabama
BA, University of Alabama
From: Slapout, AL
Explain your role in our unit: While I'm teaching classes in-person this semester, my primary role is in the UC Online undergraduate BA program in Communication. Once fully in this role, I'll be teaching and developing online courses particularly around media communication and Rhetoric of Science.
Why do you like teaching and/or teaching online: Teaching is exciting for me because I love helping people better understand themselves and the world around them. It's an important job because, when done well, students come away from classes with new knowledge and, hopefully, tools to live more ethically and compassionately. Education really is power, and it's a pathway for social transformation. So, for me, teaching is part of my broader investment in social justice. As an introvert (who's really good at pretending to be extroverted), I also really enjoy teaching online because I'm able help students with those same skills, but from the comfort of their homes (and I get to be in the comfort of my home too!). I think online education is an important way to make higher education more accessible to people who might not have been able to go to college during their "traditional" years and to people who might have obligations preventing them from attending in person.
Any remark or thoughts for our alumni: A couple of things I've been thinking a lot about recently are values alignment and boundaries in my work. I think it's important that we regularly reflect on how (if) our work is aligned with our values and on what kinds of boundaries we need to ensure our own self-care and happiness both within and outside of the workplace.