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Professor Spotlight: Dr. Serena Hashimoto

    By Megumi Nomura. May 8, 2014 - 11:41 am

Serena FacebookHPU professor, band manager for Black Square, front-woman of Thistle Kiss, and co-owner of the popular Downbeat Diner & Lounge.

Dr. Serena Hashimoto has got a lot on her plate, yet she still manages to be one of HPU students’ most loved and recommended professors.

Students have described Dr. Hashimoto’s classes as life-altering.

“She opened me to a whole new world that I wasn’t even considering until I took her class,” said HPU sophomore, J.C. Depondicchello. “She’s an awesome professor.”

This kind of feedback is invaluable to Dr. Hashimoto, who has been teaching at HPU since 2001.

After years of scholarship, Dr. Hashimoto says “the most important thing for me is to have a salient inner connectedness with my students.  I care about finding ways to shift people’s consciousness, and that is in turn what shifts mine.”

That she is continuously able to connect with students on a deeper level than textbooks and PowerPoints is what keeps Dr. Hashimoto passionate about teaching. She credits the school for bringing in a diverse population of students who are receptive to her style of teaching.

Speaking on her teaching philosophy, Dr. Hashimoto stated, “Everybody’s going to forget everything you’ve taught them within six months.  Content is secondary.  It’s more important to find a way to help shift students’ ways of perceiving the world.”

By shaping her lessons in such a way that students can relate to the material, Dr. Hashimoto is able to meet her objective of changing the way students think.

“She effectively communicates with her students and I really like the way she structures her class, how she structures her lectures,” said HPU junior Randy Reynolds. “She gives lessons that are actually applicable to real life.”

For Dr. Hashimoto, there is a single most-important life lesson she hopes students will take away from her classes: “Life is primarily about managing your power, if there’s something I hope students learn it’s to not be on the reactive end of their power distribution. A lot of people go through life and allot their power in reaction to life or in reaction to their stories of past.  What I hope to impart on students is that they can be on the directive end of managing their power by reframing their life experience and by retelling their own personal narrative.”

For students who haven’t yet had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Hashimoto can sign up for her Sex and Gender in Communication Contexts (COM 2500) and Communication Theory (COM 3900) classes in the fall.

Photos: private

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