Pioneer Spotlight - Dong Isbister
Dr. Dong Isbister, assistant professor of women’s and gender studies, began teaching at UW-Platteville in fall 2013. She teaches Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (fall 2013 and spring 2014); Space, Place and Gender (fall 2013); and History of Feminist Thought (spring 2014).
Isbister has a Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from Ohio State University, where she focused on culture and representation as well as transnational feminism. Other topics she has researched and taught include ethnic studies, feminist methodology and qualitative research.
What do you enjoy most about teaching your courses?
I enjoy engaging students in collaborative learning activities and critical reflections of course materials that enable them to more deeply relate to what they are learning. I try to place my teaching and research into a broader framework of cultural studies and transnational feminism and weave together multiple disciplinary approaches in the classroom.
What qualities do your students possess that impress you the most?
My students have impressed me with their critical thinking skills and open-mindedness to various topics and learning activities.
How do you hope your classes help prepare students for their careers and life in general?
I would like to share a few of my students’ comments from Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies because they will help answer this question.
“This class met two of my general education requirements for the university, but it has also has changed my perception on how to view things in life.”
“This class has made me think about layers of identity and explore how oppression like racism, sexism, gender and power are comparable and interwoven.”
“This class has made me really think about how I will someday raise my own kids.”
“Even though this was a required class for me to complete my general education at the university, I’m extremely grateful that I had the chance to take this class. Besides broadening my horizons about different issues about women’s studies, it gave me the opportunity to interact with other students I wouldn’t have talked to otherwise. I was given the chance to not only voice my opinion, but in a class like this with people from many different backgrounds, I could sit and listen to what others had to say on different issues. As I leave college and enter the workforce, this class will play a helpful guide throughout my life and in my different endeavors.”
Interview conducted by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education.
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