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Tariqah Nuriddin, Ph.D.
August 2014


Winner of the Faculty Senate’s Exemplary Teaching Award, Dr. Tariqah Nuriddin, started dreaming of teaching at a historically Black university (HBCU) after one of her Hampton University professors brought a branch of cotton to class.  As the students passed the thorny cotton around the classroom, Dr. Nuriddin recalled that her life changed:  “The strength and resiliency of African Americans was suddenly fortified within me just that simply….I was compelled to wish to contribute to the rich legacy of teaching at an HBCU as a professor.”
Since she began teaching in Howard’s Department of Sociology & Anthropology in 2008, Dr. Nuriddin has contributed significantly to the education of more than 750 HBCU students.  Although she has taught mainly undergraduates, she has also served on numerous thesis and dissertation committees for graduate students.  As a Sociology professor, she has sought “to encourage students to think critically; understand race, class, and gender as central to sociological analyses; identify possible root causes of social problems and analyze possible solutions; and raise student consciousness of the social problems facing them on both a national and global scale.”
To achieve these goals, Dr. Nuriddin employs an eclectic set of teaching and testing strategies.  For instance, she has set up a blog for students to discuss lecture material in her Introduction to Sociology class.  She has integrated journals in her Social Psychology class to stimulate reflection and incorporated hip hop to increase student engagement.  In her course The Family, she has invited students to participate in a genealogy project that focused their attention on family patterns across racial and ethnic groups.  In addition, in her Health Services Research courses, she has helped students develop scientific research presentations.  Regardless of the course, Dr. Nuriddin challenges students to think critically.  For example, a quiz in The Family course poses the following question:
The topic of self-hate was a common theme among many of the film clips.  Please discuss some of the manifestations of self-hate among African Americans.  How does this relate to Dr. Degruy’s discussion of Post Traumatic Slave Disorder?
By using such strategies, Dr. Nuriddin strives to offer her students an “experience.”  “When students enter my class,” she explains, “I like to take them on a journey.  Much like a rollercoaster ride, it is full of ups and downs but at the end of the day when they reflect about the entire experience, my strongest desire is that it leaves them with a lasting impression.”  Indeed it has.  Because of her passion for teaching Sociology, Dr. Nuriddin has deepened not only students’ knowledge of the subject but their interest as well.  “I’ve developed a deep interest in medical sociology since I took your class,” wrote one student.  Another remarked that the family tree project in Dr. Nuriddin’s Family course was “so interesting to me that I decided to develop my research paper in that course into my dissertation proposal.”  Yet another student said of one course, “ I actually ended up changing my major because of it.”

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