Teaching Hub

Distinguished Teaching Fellows 2019-2022

Lawrence JacksonLawrence M. Jackson

Distinguished Teaching Fellow, 2019-2022

Lawrence M. Jackson is the Associate Chair & Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Alabama where he teaches Jazz, Contemporary, Choreography, and Dance History. His scholarly interests are centered on/around the sociology of dance and in the relationship in which dance can develop with other disciplines. He is particularly interested in the sociological ramifications placed on the dance community in regard to global race relations.

Teaching Philosophy

My pedagogical approaches are interconnected with my artistic/theoretical research. I strive to regularly adapt my perspective in order to see, support, and provoke students towards integrated learning. My desire is that students engage with, diverge from, and surpass what I offer. Whether I am teaching a movement-centered course, an interdisciplinary course or a lecture/discussion course I believe in the synthesis of embodied and scholarly material. I encourage self-motivated and peer-to-peer learning. Students ask questions, set goals, reflect on experiences, give verbal, kinesthetic, written feedback to peers, and work with one another to find communicative co-operation. This atmosphere encourages students’ willingness to engage in risk and difficulty. I support students in becoming responsible for their own learning, which promotes rigorous investigation toward alert and current artistry. Offering individualized mentorship, while continuing to learn and question as I teach.

A strong work ethic is fundamental to my way of being, and consequently, to my way of teaching. I bring all of my dance expertise and life experience into the classroom. I maintain an ardent devotion to forwarding the field of dance through empowering students to be innovative, resilient, and participatory people and artists.

Allen LinkenAllen Linken

Distinguished Teaching Fellow, 2019-2022

Allen Linken is a clinical assistant professor in the Political Science Department. His research focuses on civil-military relations, and specifically examining and understanding the civil-military gap, which is, broadly, the relationship between civil society as a whole and the military, and the space between understandings of each group. Alongside his research, Dr. Linken teaches a number of courses in the legal milieu, including constitutional law, American judicial process, a course designed to prepare students for the rigors of law school, and a course that examines the role and relationship of law to society. Dr. Linken also coaches and advises the University’s competitive Mock Trial team and teaches courses on improving trial advocacy.

Teaching Philosophy

It is my goal to establish a learning environment that is both accessible and challenging, where students have the opportunity to sharpen their critical thinking skills in the process of experiencing and mastering the course material. Three main efforts, in concert, are used to achieve this goal:

  • First, I ask that students take complex, and often politically charged, concepts and interact with them.
  • Working in tandem with interacting with complex concepts is the creation of a learning environment that is conducive to critical thinking.
  • The last line of effort is to be responsive to my students. This core idea manifests itself in multiple ways. It means being available to them to discuss questions or concerns, as teaching – and learning – occurs both in the classroom and outside of it

The classroom is a wonderful opportunity to provide an environment where the student has an experience that excites them, challenges them intellectually, strengthens their critical thinking and ethical understanding, widens the scope of dialogue in themselves and with their peers, and allows them to have a deeper connection to the material and the world that such material is drawn from, and it is my privilege and great joy to work to create that environment.

Paul Rupar

Distinguished Teaching with Technology Fellow, 2019-2022