Teaching philosophy

As a feminist academic, I acknowledge the role my teaching plays in shaping students' learning experiences and use the classroom as a place for student empowerment and meaningful, critical discussion. My goal as an instructor is to cultivate an atmosphere of supportive scholarship where students are encouraged to think critically about social processes, institutions, and how social constructions affect daily life. Though my home discipline is in the social sciences, my pedagogical strategies have been heavily influenced by my coursework, training, and mentorship from feminist and critical instructors in the fields of agricultural science, education, and the liberal arts. Acknowledging that student identity and opinion shape how knowledge is processed and understood, I utilize various creative instruction methods that include breakout discussions, engaging individual and group activities, service-learning, and applied assignments. 

Courses taught

Pennsylvania State University 
Environment and Society (writing-intensive course) (F2019)

Teaching Assistant, 20 students

Oregon State University
Introduction to the College of Liberal Arts (S2017)

Teaching Assistant, 10 students

Culture, Conflict, and Globalization (F2016)
Teaching Assistant, 25 students


Introduction to Sociology (F2015, Su2016)
Teaching Assistant, 200 students and 35 students


Academics for Student Athletes (W2016-S2016)
Social Science and Humanities Tutor 


Undergraduate Writing Center (F2016-W2017)
Discussion Facilitator, 10 students


Undergraduate Writing Center (W2014-S2017)
Writing Assistant

Professional development

Certificate in College Teaching, Pennsylvania State University (expected 2023)
Writing Intensive Course Seminar, Oregon State University (2021)

Certificate in Online Teaching, Pennsylvania State University (2019)

Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, Foundations in Instruction Series, Pennsylvania State University (2018)

Hannah T. Whitley

PhD Candidate | Rural Sociology & Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment