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Teaching Experience

Sierra has experience teaching a variety of courses, class sizes, and formats. Specifically, she has taught five large sections of Social Psychology (71-278 students) and five smaller sections of Research Methods lab (19-27 students) in online, hybrid, and in-person formats. In the fall, she is excited to have the opportunity to teach a medium-size section of Intimate Relationships (114 students).


In addition to Sierra's instructor of record experience, she has been a graduate teaching assistant for 9 different classes, two of which were graduate-level courses (i.e., Meta-analysis and Teaching Practicum). She has also guest lectured for classes such as Research Methods, Psychology of Women, Personality Psychology, and History of Evolutionary Psychology.


Sierra has diligently pursued opportunities to mentor students outside of the classroom as well. For example, as graduate student advisor for the Psychology Club, she frequently (a) hosts research talks, professional development workshops, and panel discussions, (b) connects students with opportunities such as volunteer work, internships, and research positions, and (c) serves as a resource for first-generation, underrepresented, and marginalized students. As another example, as a graduate student researcher in two labs, Sierra frequently mentors undergraduate research assistants (RAs) on how to (a) conduct literature reviews and identify gaps in the literature, (b) generate novel hypotheses, (c) design studies, (d) follow study protocols, (e) code data, (f) analyze data, and (g) interpret the results.

Teaching Philosophy

Sierra views teaching and mentorship as an opportunity to provide students with a set of tools that will help them navigate the world effectively. To accomplish this goal, Sierra's teaching philosophy is centered around (a) promoting life-long learning by encouraging students to apply concepts to their own lives, (b) facilitating the development of critical thinking skills and an appreciation for psychology as a science, and (c) fostering an enthusiastic, comfortable, and inclusive learning environment for students from all backgrounds. Moreover, she draws from universal design for learning principles in her courses to increase accessibility and flexibility, and to support students with a variety of abilities, strengths, and challenges as they work toward these goals.

Awards & Recognition

Recently, Sierra was awarded Florida State University's 2023-2024 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for instructional excellence. She is very grateful for her students who nominated her for this university-wide honor, as well as her mentors for shaping her into the instructor she is today. Sierra looks forward to continuing to learn, grow, and serve her students for many years to come!

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