Campus / News / October 8, 2014

Knox welcomes well-traveled professor

It’s been only four weeks since Professor Teresa Gonzales came to Knox as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology-Sociology, but she has already adjusted to the new environment.

Assistant Professor of Anthropology-Sociology Teresa Gonzales comes to Knox from the University of California, Berkeley and Smith College to teach urban studies, organizational theory, public policy, sociology and ethnography. (Sarah Choi/TKS)

Assistant Professor of Anthropology-Sociology Teresa Gonzales comes to Knox from the University of California, Berkeley and Smith College to teach urban studies, organizational theory, public policy, sociology and ethnography. (Sarah Choi/TKS)

Gonzales, who has resided in New York City, California, Georgia and South Carolina, spoke of Galesburg in relation to her past locations.

“I find Galesburg to be much more diverse, in terms of both socioeconomic status and also ethnic and racial differences. Where I was at, there wasn’t as much diversity, so I really welcomed that. There’s a very diverse student body, so that means the discussions in class are very vibrant, and ideas are not always the same.”

Not only does she specialize in urban studies, organizational theory, public policy and sociology, she is an active blogger and ethnographer.

“I don’t want the information to stay within the walls of the academy,” Gonzales said. “I want to translate it in a way that is accessible to a wide audience, and sometimes that can be very difficult. … I want to make sure that I’m doing it in a way that’s ethical and reciprocal.”

Gonzales expects to branch fieldwork in Galesburg for her own students.

“I’m teaching a community engagement and building course, having students go out and create asset maps, talk to residents in various parts of the city, not just downtown Seminary Street, in terms of getting a better understanding of what the issues are within Galesburg.”

Gonzales’s interest in further pursuing her studies was inspired by studying her own hometown.

“I grew up in Pilsen in Chicago, and at the time, it was a low-income community predominantly Mexican-Americans and immigrants. I would go home for break, and started noticing my neighborhood was changing in ways that were rapid and didn’t make sense to me. So I became interested in trying to understand what that phenomenon was.”

She further explained her experience with the students at Knox.

“At Knox, students have the time to rustle with ideas there’s a lot more reflection and situation in terms of how is what we’re learning in class both affecting me, but also affecting how I move through society and how I’m interacting with others in society. I can really see how students are deeply thinking about these things in ways that students in other campuses I’ve taught did not.”“At Knox, students have the time to rustle with ideas there’s a lot more reflection and situation in terms of how is what we’re learning in class both affecting me, but also affecting how I move through society and how I’m interacting with others in society. I can really see how students are deeply thinking about these things in ways that students in other campuses I’ve taught did not.”

Sarah Choi

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