“Don’t even think about sitting at the same
desk two days in a row in my class. Settling
into routines is not part of the program.”
For Communication Studies Professor Leeva Chung, student engagement is all about inspiring young minds to make connections that spark learning into action.
“This might sound counterintuitive considering where my career path has taken me, but I really didn’t enter the communication profession to become a teacher. I grew up in the ’70s in San Francisco, and went to five different elementary schools. I really had to adjust to different types of teaching, whether it be 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders all being taught together in one classroom, being bussed into a predominately African-American school as an Asian-American or being taught in a non-traditional format where parents determined the curriculum.
It was challenging at times, but it also taught me how vitally important it is to connect with people. All kinds of people. People who may not look, act, or talk the same, but people who are in search of knowledge, of love, of connection.
I want to get my students thinking creatively and collaboratively, which is one of the reasons I have them work in concert with USD’s E-Waste Collection Center on marketing ideas. It’s a project with a lot of moving parts, but in a nutshell, my students create a marketing campaign for the center and then help implement the strategy over a semester. I want there to be a connection between what they learn, and how they apply it. I also want them to be creative and to take some risks. This project provides them that opportunity.
If you had to explain my style, it’s organized chaos. Literally. I’m organized in my intended outcomes and what I want my students to connect with, but the process by which they get there can be chaos. But then again, that’s life, right?”