Before starting at Pitt, I completed my BA (Social Science) and MA (Secondary Education) at West Virginia University. I became certified as a Social Studies and Spanish teacher while student and substitute teaching for two years. My Master’s thesis/study examined and confronted the pronounced xenophobia within my students by facilitating multicultural lessons and intercultural contact. During my time as an educator, I became interested in the way governments use the education system as a medium for public diplomacy to create a national consensus and historical memory amongst their citizenry. I desire to research nation-building projects in Latin American during the Cold War through the lenses of education to better understand the legacy and historical memory of U.S. relations with the region(s).
Advisors: Michel Gobat and Lara Putnam
U.S.-Latin American Relations
Teaching Experience & Pedagogical Training:
Teaching Assistant for Sociology 101 – West Virginia University – 2012-2013 Academic Year
Over 1500+ hours teaching Social Studies – Grades 7-12 – 2013-2017
WVDE Professional Teaching Certificate – Social Studies Grades 05-Adult
WVDE Professional Teaching Certificate – World Languages: Spanish 05-Adult
Shepherd, Samuel. (Forthcoming) “Confronting Islamophobia in the Rural Appalachian Classroom.” Multicultural Perspectives Journal (2017)
Conferences & Presentations:
“Curricular Limitations and Student Perceptions in a Global Age”, Graduate Symposium on Developing Institutional Inquiry on the Foundations of Education. West Virginia University, March 2017.
“Confronting Xenophobia in the Social Studies Classroom”, Benedum Collaborative Conference of Educational Inquiry, Lakeview Resort and Conference Center, April 2017.
“Confronting Islamophobia in Appalachia: Causes, Lessons Learned, & Hope for the Future.”, WVU 150 Year Anniversary Celebration of Scholars - MountaineerTalks series, Gluck Theatre, April 2017.