I have taught “Introduction to Sociology,” “Social Research Methods,” and “Sociology of Immigration” as the sole instructor at the University at Buffalo. My primary aims as a teacher are: (1) cultivating sociological thinking; (2) emphasizing active learning; (3) adapting to students’ learning styles; and, (4) creating a conducive classroom environment for learning.

 

Introduction to Sociology (Fall 2015)

Course Description: Sociology is the scientific study of human society and social life. In this course, we analyze how people influence and are influenced by other people and the social structures in which they live. We examine key concepts, theories, and ideas in sociology, including subfields such as culture, social class, gender, race and ethnicity, social institutions, and social change.

 

Social Research Methods (Fall 2016 and Spring 2019)

Course Description: This course is about using scientific rigor to examine the world around us. It requires re-evaluating everyday methods of gathering information and drawing conclusions and using theory, causal modeling, and carefully collected data to arrive at logical, complete, and better-supported explanations of events and social phenomena. Students will learn about and practice doing sociology. The skills developed provide the foundations necessary to conduct professional research and to become better consumers of information.

Sociology of Immigration (Spring 2016 and Spring 2017)

Course Description: This course provides a sociological framework for exploring historical and contemporary immigration, primarily (but not exclusively) to the United States. We use theories of international migration to understand how and why people move from one country or region to another; to explore the immigrant experience in terms of social, economic, and spatial adaptation; and to consider racial and ethnic experiences of migration past, present, and future.

Anonymous students who nominated me for the Adeline Gordon Levine Excellence in Teaching Award in the Department of Sociology at University at Buffalo wrote:

 

“This instructor is knowledgeable, helpful, and engaging.”

 

“Patient, informative and I learned a lot from this course! A great professor that I'd love to take again.”

 

“She was very passionate and well informed. She challenged us to rethink and reanalyze the ways that we looked at immigration.”

 

“Aysegul is so genuinely excited about teaching. Because the topic is so close to her personally, her passion shines through. One of the kindest instructors I’ve had at UB.”

 

“Aysegul is a passionate and respectable instructor, she cares very deeply about migration issues which became very evident when she lectured in Sociology of Immigration. She is very patient and gives all of her students a fair chance a earning a good grade. She is the only graduate student instructor that I felt comfortable approaching and seeking advice from. Every time I have gone to her office hours she has given me her utmost attention and even made me think about the possibilities of my future and most importantly I have never felt as though she was rushing me out of her office. Rather, she would always contribute to the conversation in a manner that could leave us talking for hours! Out of all of the graduate student instructors I have had, (in both departments, Environmental Design and Sociology) Aysegul is my favorite because she is understanding, fair, optimistic, reassuring and inspiring. (and cat lover just like me)”

 

“As a research assistant under her in Fall 2018, I embarked on a study about Syrian refugees with Ms. Aysegul Ozgen, and she has been a fantastic instructor imparting sociological and personal knowledge. Besides being a dedicated individual to her work, Aysegul made sure that my dedication was of similar levels by always being available during office hours and online. Despite being extremely knowledgeable about her specialization on immigration, she demonstrated patience and understanding in my curiosity toward the subject and never made me feel my opinions were unwelcome. Aysegul also guided and exposed me to learning beyond 4 walls (for example, she directed me to visit a place in downtown Buffalo where I could see refugees first-hand), broadening my understanding on the subject matter. In addition, she also provided advice on matters such as life after college, graduate school and how I could determine my suitability for it. More than just an instructor, I felt that Aysegul was a mentor who was always willing to go the extra mile for me. I never felt pressed nor pressured working as a research assistant, and I am glad that I took up the position and learnt tremendously under her. For reasons stated above I would like to nominate her for the Excellence in Teaching Award.”

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