School of Integrative Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

SIS Welcomes New Faculty Member


The School of Integrative Studies welcomes new term assistant professor Shayna Maskell this spring. A Fairfax native, Maskell has also taught at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, University of Maryland, University of California, and University of Southern California. Maskell combines her love of writing with a deep interest in popular art and culture as she researches such topics as the media’s portrayal of race, ethnicity, and gender. 

This spring, Maskell explore a different set of imagery and assumptions through two courses: INTS 312 Images and Experiences of Childhood, INTS 316 Introduction to Childhood Studies and INTS 319 Contemporary Youth Studies. In these courses, Maskell emphasizes not just the historical depiction of childhood, but also explores youth movements and the media portrayal of children from birth to adulthood.

Experienced in teaching writing in a variety of arenas, Maskell uses writing, reading and discussion to encourage students to engage with each topic and finding a deeper meaning that resonates and helps them to gain their own understanding of a text or topic. 

Maskell said, “My favorite thing about teaching is seeing students have an ‘Aha!’ moment…I like to challenge them and see them work through problems.” 

For many students, Maskell’s approach and course content are new. In all of her courses though, Maskell asks students to consider their own beliefs and how those have developed through the years.

She said, “One part of these courses is to cover the depth and breadth of ideas that permeate infancy and childhood…Part of my role is validating where the students’ beliefs come from and then challenging those assumptions.”

Returning to the DC area has provided Maskell with a wealth of material to include in her courses and her engagement with students. She said, “All of this is impacted by the social and political context of today. It’s exciting and important to be here and see how every day unfolds.”



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