I believe that office hours are the most underused resources at universities. I know visiting your professor during office hours can be scary, but please keep in mind that I really do enjoy when students visit my office hours. You don’t need to have a reason. I also know that some students get nervous and worry that they’ll leave a bad impression. I don’t hold any bit of nervousness against any student. We can talk about class, grades, life, grad school, life balance, tech (e.g. computer and video games). I listed a few reason why office hours are important other than for reasons other than discussing class material.
If you would like a letter of recommendation please first contact me to request a letter of recommendaiton via email or in person. Once I have agreed to write you a letter of recommendation please complete one of the forms below and email it to me. These files are meant to help me write you the best letter I can write you. In the case that we did not have much time to speak during the semester in class or during office hours, I can still write you a letter if you have no other options. Just keep in mind that a letter that only discusses the grade you received in a class is not seen as a great letter of recommendation. Also, please keep in mind that a letter of recommendation may reflect any difficulties you had in the course (e.g. difficulty working with others, difficulty with the materials, etc…). I’ll review this with you when we speak, but incase I forget, feel free to ask. You can even ask me, “Do you think you can write me a strong letter?” just to make sure.
There’s a lot of great resources regarding gradaute school out there. For example, Dr. Scott Plunkett’s website provides several great resources for applying to graduate school. As a first generation student, I found the whole process confusing and relied on mentors to help guide me. Because I know how it can fee to be lost, I’m always happy to talk about graduate school and what going to graduate school means. I can speak to research related to culture, race, social class, gender, technology, collaboraiton, and developmental psychology. Since I have a research based degree, I mostly know about research degrees and career tracks. If you have a question I can’t answer, I’ll point you to someone who can help.
As a first generation student from an immigrant family who grew up in Inglewood I sometimes find that my experiences overlap with some of my students. If you’re not sure what to ask in office hours, just make it to office hours and worry about the question later. We can talk about the experiences of being a first generation students and how that helped me, what I did to become a professor, and balancing family, school, and work life. I’m also happy to just have casual conversations. Maybe you just want to talk about how your day is going? About something related to tech (I love anything tech)? You can also simply stop by to say hi.
Some students feel comfortable approaching me during emergencies, but others feel like they don’t want to bother me or it’s their own responsibility. I’m not sure why this is, but please do reach out to me if you’re going through an emergency (even if you’re not sure if something counts as an emergency). Examples of emergencies include a family member passing away, going through a divorce, losing a job and struggling financially, not having a home, dealing with abuse, or being hospitalized. Please keep in mind that I do have to report cases of abuse, but will do what I can to help you gain access to the resources you need. In the case of an emergency we can explore options that range from giving you an extension on an assignment or helping you withdraw for the semester with no negative consequence to your grades.