Published: Aug. 13, 2021
Emily standing high above a town and body of water

Emily Loker is a 4th year PhD student studying Communication. Her research focuses on the practice of social justice pedagogy within the communication discipline. Emily was recently awarded a Teaching Excellence Award based on her teaching philosophy and dedication to her students. We asked Emily a few questions to learn more about her as a teacher and get to know her better. Read more below!

What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part about teaching is seeing students lighting up as they continue to deepen their understanding of themselves and the world around them. I am especially excited when I hear a student get inspired to take further action to address social injustices.

Please tell us a bit about your pedagogical philosophy.

I use critical pedagogical practices in my courses to highlight the ever-present power dynamics in any given interaction (including in the classroom).

Is there a particular story from the classroom you would like to share?

During our fall COVID semester, I had a student stay on after class. I asked him what I could help him with and he said "I'm getting the sense that you and our textbook author (Kathryn Sorrells) don't look favorably at capitalism. I've never questioned the value of our economic system and I'm curious to know more about why you and the author view capitalism that way." His openness to engage in a conversation challenging a fundamental part of our lives was inspiring and impressive.

What is a favorite teaching resource you would like to share with other graduate teachers?

My favorite resource is my fellow graduate teachers! I love exchanging ideas with them!

What is a good book you have read recently and why did you enjoy it?

I read Britt Bennett’'s The Vanishing Half over winter break. It's a beautifully crafted and complex engagement with racism over decades.