Teaching

My philosophy is that a great teacher lights a spark of curiosity that is innate to all human
beings.

Whether I lecture to hundreds of students or lead small seminars, I proceed with three overarching goals in mind. The first and most fundamental one is to cultivate a life-long passion for learning in my students. My philosophy is that a great teacher lights a spark of curiosity that is innate to all human beings. The second objective of my approach to teaching is to give students the tools and cognitive habits that allow them to critically evaluate arguments and consider alternative explanations to claims they encounter. Finally, I seek to equip students with an ability to articulate their own ideas in clear language, whether spoken word or written prose. Together, these principles coalesce to prepare my students for a life of curiosity, respectful yet critical appraisal of differing views, and a measure of comfort with sharing and defending their own ideas. This approach has met with enthusiasm on the part of my students: Vlad is a phenomenal professor! He truly cares about success as a whole and for the individual. He ALWAYS emphasizes he is willing to meet with you and help! He is awesome (from student evaluations, spring 2021).

Classes I Have Taught

Political Violence (POLITSC 3240)