Profile - Dr. Melody Hoffmann

Newspaper staff meeting

Instructor Profile

Meet Dr. Melody Hoffmann
Instructor of Communication

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Communication Studies, University of Minnesota; Master of Arts (MA) in Media Studies, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee; Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Question and Answer

  • Question

    Would you list some recent accomplishments?



    • Community Innovations Grant recipient, Bush Foundation. In partnership with Cycles for Change ($10,000) (2015)


    • Bike Lanes are White Lanes: Bicycle Advocacy and Urban Planning. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press (2016)
    • Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for All? Co-editor with Aaron Golub, Adonia Lugo, and Gerardo Sandoval. New York: Routledge (2016)
    • “‘Swerve! I’m on my Bike!’: Mediated Images of Bicycling in Youth- Produced Hip Hop.” Culture on Two Wheels: The Bicycle in Literature and Film. Edited by Jeremy Withers and Daniel Shea. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. (2016)
    • “Recruiting People Like You: Socioeconomic Sustainability in Minneapolis’s Bicycle Infrastructure.” Incomplete Streets: Processes, Practices, and Possibilities. Edited by Stephen Zavestoski and Julian Agyeman. New York: Routledge, 2015. 139-153. (2015)
    • “Who is World Class? Transportation Justice and Bike Policy,” with Adonia Lugo. Urbanities 4(1): 45-61 (2014)

  • Question

    What is your approach to teaching?


    My teaching is based on expanding the boundaries of the classroom, introducing students to the people they study, challenging them to create their own media and fostering respectful student debates about current social issues.

  • Question

    How would you describe what happens during one of your most successful classes?


    A successful class period results in a robust class discussion about a current event or social issue. Students disagree with one another, learn from each other's viewpoints and share their personal experiences.

  • Question

    What makes your curriculum interesting or valuable to students?


    My curriculum is valuable because we study the media we interact with on a daily basis. But students discover that their interactions have been reproducing status quo and antiquated understandings of society. Students learn to see the sexism, racism and classism embedded in mainstream media. They discover alternative media texts that speak more directly to who they are.

  • Question

    How do you think students describe your teaching methods and classes?


    Students have referred to me as strict and laid back. I am sarcastic. I have a personable demeanor in the classroom but expect excellence out of their work. Students would say I bring in a lot of current events and issues that represent our course content. They'd also say I am bad at writing things on the whiteboard; I much prefer to have a deep discussion with them.

Fun Facts

  • Fun Fact #1

    I use my bicycle as my primary mode of transportation. Because it is a two-hour bike ride to school, I try to take the bus to Anoka-Ramsey as much as possible. Driving is my last resort.

  • Fun Fact #2

    I make a mean batch of vegan cookies!

  • Fun Fact #3

    I am a huge Minnesota Lynx fan.

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