Published: Aug. 30, 2021
Sandra with glasses on top of her head

Sandra Ortiz-València is a 3rd year PhD student studying Spanish. Her research focuses on how cultural production shapes and supports racial identity. Sandra was recently awarded a Teaching Excellence Award based on her teaching philosophy and dedication to her students. We asked Sandra 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?

Sharing experiences and learning from my students' perspectives

Please tell us a bit about your pedagogical philosophy.

Content is less important than self-reflection and self-improvement

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

I always make fun of my Spanish accent, which sounds like if I have a lisp

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

Games and playful activities are a great resources because they lessen the pressure that students feel about the content

What are your recommendations for continuing or increasing student advocacy and engagement?

Show students how the class content is connected to their past, present and future lives

Tell us a fun fact about you that is not related to your teaching and research.

When I speak English, I usually mix the words "jaywalk" and "hijack"

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

"The things we lost in the fire" by Mariana Enríquez. Its universe is somehow realistic and plausible, but also spooky and unsettling

If you could have dinner with anyone (living or dead), who would it be and why?

I would have dinner with the virago Dull Gret (Mad Meg) from Pieter Bruegel the Elder's painting, because she is mysterious, interesting and fearless