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Dr. Kwan Spotlighting a UH Woman Each Month

What is your position and title at UH?
I am an Associate Professor, as well as the Director of Undergraduate Studies, in the Department of Sociology. I am also a Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies faculty affiliate and the Director of Tennis, Adaptive Athletics at UH.

How long have you worked at UH?
I joined the UH faculty in the fall of 2007.

What are your job responsibilities and duties?
I teach courses and conduct research. I also help administer the undergraduate program in Sociology and the Adaptive Tennis program.

Do you teach or engage in research and if so, what are the details?
I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in research methods, as well as gender and the body. My research examines the social construction of bodies, embodied resistance, and body modification practices. I am currently working on the second volume of Embodied Resistance, as well as a book about authenticity, stigma, and cosmetic surgery.

If you teach, what is your teaching philosophy?
My goal is to share my knowledge, but also to model the way as a just and mindful instructor.

What do you enjoy about your work?
I enjoy the autonomy and freedom to research aspects of the social world that I find interesting.

What are your career goals in the next five years?
I hope to have published another 3 books, and I hope that the Adaptive Tennis program will be thriving.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment is adopting and training a beagle that a rescue group slated for euthanasia because he was too fear aggressive. Although he is still a work in progress, five years later I have made considerable strides.

What advice or encouragement would you give UH staff and students?
Be kind to one another, and be mindful. Think of the consequences of what you do, including how you act, what you say, and even what you eat. Empathize.

What is something about you that many co-workers and students do not know about you?
Because I enjoy baking, I seriously contemplated a culinary degree over of a Ph.D. My first published article was on cake forms and principles of art history. I still bake a fair bit in my spare time. I am a proponent of making one’s cake and eating it too!