Ariana Nussdorf has been teaching math, science, and business classes for over a decade. She attained her bachelor's degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and her master's degree from the University of Southern California. She serves on FIDM’s Executive Faculty Council and is an Outstanding Faculty Award winner, an award given annually by the student body to outstanding faculty members.
In addition to her academic career, Ariana is a community leader in Downtown Los Angeles and has organized neighborhood events that bring the community together and activate public spaces. She serves on several community boards and committees including on the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council and the LA Fashion District BID (Business Improvement District). She's the founder of Ayan, LLC, an organization that promotes community, compassion, and culture.
Do you have a particular style or philosophy about teaching?
Learning can be a very vulnerable experience, but sometimes you can learn more from getting something wrong than you can from getting something right. My goal is to create an environment in the classroom where students feel safe to make mistakes so they can learn from them. I also like to keep things lively in the classroom by cracking jokes and using colorful analogies. It's fun to make a room full of students erupt into laughter, but it's also effective. Humor lubricates what can otherwise be a dry subject.
Describe a favorite class project:
In my chemistry class, I assign a project where students use the concepts that we've covered in the course to understand the chemistry surrounding something of interest to them and then present it to the rest of the class. Because of my students, I've learned numerous fascinating things like why sticking your finger into beer foam makes it dissolve, how dry shampoo works, and why coffee wakes you up.
Please Note: The information contained herein was confirmed at the time of original publication.