Published: Aug. 30, 2021
Headshot of Jone in front of a brick background

Jone Brunelle is a fourth year PhD student studying Communication. Her research focuses on conceptualizations of culture and ethnic, national, and cultural identities, and the role of language in socially constructing these category boundaries. Jone was recently awarded a Teaching Excellence Award based on her teaching philosophy and dedication to her students. We asked Jone 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 of teaching is connecting with my students one-on-one in office hours and before and after class, whether it's about the course or just getting to know each other in general. Especially this last year, it was nice to remember that we're all supporting and encouraging each other.

Please tell us a bit about your pedagogical philosophy.

I want my students to use course concepts to help them think about their own experiences in a different way. We do a lot of reflective writing, and when a concept really clicks for them they start to share examples from their own lives. I love when they bring their own expertise and unique interests to the conversation. They recommend interesting podcasts and media related to what we talk about in class but with their own spin, and this can stretch class conversations to places I wouldn't anticipate.

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

My students are a resource! I asked them at the beginning of the semester what worked or didn't for them in previous classes; and we scrapped things that didn't work for us as we went along. Keeping things simple and straightforward in terms of tech activities and online platforms was what worked best this past year, but that could change with each semester.

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

I have two recommendations that are really different from each other: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch and The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Dark Matter is a sci-fi book that has to do with the concept of time and parallel universes, two subjects that I like because I like to think about "what-if...". The Poet X is unique because it's written in verse. The author doesn't need many words and still says a lot.