Assistant Professor of Instruction
Acting Director, Latino Media Arts & Studies Program
As scholars, we work with all of these theories and methodologies that are biased along the lines of race, gender and so many other things. In our eagerness to recover one history, it can be all too easy to marginalize another. So I ask my students to consider not only who’s telling the story and how it’s being constructed, but also how our own privilege in the academy can function to perpetuate inequality.
I encourage them to really listen to each other and to think about how we can create new language and frameworks that bring marginalized histories to the fore.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach classes that I wish had been offered when I was beginning my academic career. Having the opportunity to take a class with 30 other students who are excited to talk about Chicana/o cinema or Latina feminisms and media would have helped me find my way to film and media as a career even earlier in life.
Mira Lippold-Johnson, MFA
Assistant Professor of Practice
Director, UTLA Program
Moody College feels like home to me. I got my MFA from the RTF department not so long ago, and it was during my time in graduate school that I discovered how much I loved teaching. The values I learned as a student in the school – hard work, iterative practice, collaboration and critical thinking – have become my values as a teacher.
When a student walks into a classroom, they implicitly open themselves up to the possibility of transformation. They agree to take in new information, to listen to other points of view, to put in the work to improve their understanding or skills. I’ve always loved being a student, and I want to maintain that kind of open mentality within myself, but I also want to help create that for others.
My goal for UTLA students is that they come out of the program with a deep understanding of the entertainment industry – the kind of understanding that will empower them to make decisions about how they want to build their own careers within it.
Working in both documentary and narrative fiction has allowed me to approach teaching in a multifaceted way. I like to integrate both documentary and fiction elements in my teaching.
I enjoy listening to students’ perspectives and find their questions and insights inspiring. They make me see film in a different way, and that is one of the greatest joys of teaching.
I want to help students think outside the box and expose them to different ways of thinking about filmmaking. I would like to expose students not only to the art of film but also give them the space to think about their role and how they engage with the practice of film.
I was drawn to Moody College because it is a community of talented individuals who have a will to jointly change the world through creative storytelling. Stories provoke conversations to help trigger a shift in values and mindsets.
The industry is constantly evolving, and there are so many avenues for creating content, with a wildly diverse audience to consume it. I hope to inspire collaboration that will lead to innovative development of creative storytelling within Moody College, where diverse mediums of communication are practiced and celebrated.
My interest in education was sparked by having a remarkable professor. She taught me how I can turn things I value and enjoy into scholarly work and research. I hope to offer these same tools to my students to enhance their understanding of the world.
My students and I grapple with the politics of representation that media powers tend to show us. Popular understandings of race, gender, sexuality and socioeconomics are all revealed in varying forms of popular culture and media.
Media can be read differently based on the viewer, and with its political power, media representation can lend to ongoing discussion and alternative readings that are productive to inclusive conversation.
Moody College has offered me a space to fully develop a curriculum that focuses on studying media and popular culture in general, and Black media and popular culture specifically. Moody College’s amazing student base, faculty and staff have supported me in this development.
In the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, we are preparing future clinicians to go into the world and serve individuals with a variety of communication disorders. As clinicians, we rely on research to guide our clinical practice so that it is based in evidence. For that reason, it’s crucial that individuals included in research reflect the diverse world in which we live.
The majority of research addressing the characterization and treatment of individuals with communication disorders has been conducted in monolingual English speakers. Having grown up in a bilingual environment, a major source of my curiosity comes from the disconnect that I’ve observed between the available evidence and the needs of the community.
As a clinician-scientist, it’s important that my research be applicable to the broader population and guides clinical decision-making in culturally and linguistically diverse populations. I hope to inspire students to view their own diversity as an asset that will facilitate their ability to serve a variety of clients and improve care for underserved populations.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Because speech-language pathologists have the unique position to positively change someone’s life, clinical practice is directly translated to the way that I teach. I want to ensure that students seamlessly take information from the classroom to various clinical settings and real-world situations.
Our students are some of the most intelligent and capable in the nation, and they also contribute to the creativity that is a huge facet of Moody College. The ability to “think on your toes” is essential in clinical practice. That creative skill includes realizing something isn’t working, throwing plans out the window and re-working ideas mid-stream to better support the client and the situation.
I want to inspire my students to continuously learn and serve by guiding them to empathetically address clients, families and communities. That means learning how to have difficult conversations, always considering functional needs and finding the bright spots in an ever-evolving practice.
Note: Additional full-time faculty hires will officially be featured closer to their start dates.