Celeste Atkins serves as an Instructional Designer II for Digital Learning where she combines her sociological training, graduate training in college teaching, and over a decade of teaching experience at the college level to support online course design. She earned her BA in sociology at California State University San Bernardino and her MA in sociology at the University of Southern California - both with an emphasis on race and gender. Celeste is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona’s (UA) Center for the Study of Higher Education and expects to earn her PhD in spring 2021. Her doctoral research is focused on how sociology faculty from traditionally marginalized backgrounds teach about privilege and inequality. Before transitioning to UA as full-time staff, Celeste wrote a successful grant for the POD Network’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Educational Development Fellows Program in the amount of $12,000 for a collaboration between Cochise College and UA’s Office of Instruction and Assessment (OIA) to develop a series of faculty development workshops on inclusive pedagogy. She is continuing that work with colleagues from Digital Learning and OIA to transition those workshops into mostly asynchronous online line workshops and is collaborating with Digital Humanities to create immersive online activities to help faculty better understand microaggressions and power dynamics as students experience them.
Before joining the Digital Learning team, Celeste taught sociology full-time at Cochise College, a two-year institution, serving as the department chair for Social and Behavioral Sciences for five years. There, she was awarded the 2019 Pacific Sociological Association’s Early Career Award for Innovation in Teaching Sociology and was nominated by her students for faculty of the year. Since beginning her doctoral program, she has contributed to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning with an original approach to teaching Introduction to Sociology, two book reviews, and several American Sociological Society Teaching and Learning Section newsletter pieces. She has published her dissertation research in two different edited texts with a third forthcoming. Celeste is honored to be a 2020-21 recipient of the Dr. Maria Teresa Velez Diversity Leadership Scholarship and the 2020 Hans. O Mauksch Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Sociology recipient.