Fall of 2024 will mark my fourth term of teaching Sociology 101 (Sociological Perspectives) at UNC - Chapel Hill, the state's flagship public university. Teaching has quickly become a passion, as I find it deeply fulfilling to demonstrate to undergrad students that thinking sociologically is useful not only in our discipline, but across majors, in the workforce, and in our personal lives. In exploring concepts related to the tension between structure and agency, I seek to strengthen the three "C's" in my students -- compassion, curiosity, and critical thinking -- which will serve students well across domains of their lives. 

My 101 course is designed specifically to allow students to demonstrate growth. Students work all term long on a practice research proposal exploring a question of their choice, broken down into smaller sub-assignments. The purpose of this design is three-fold: 1) it allows students to explore an area of special interest to them, 2) it reinforces to students that sociology is a social science, and 3) it allows them to receive and incorporate feedback from me and their peers as they go. Students report that this structure allows them to focus on the joy of learning, instead of being worried about their grade.

Recognizing that students have unique learning preferences, I intentionally use multiple methods of content delivery, including interactive lectures, small group discussions, review games, practice quizzes, and video clips illuminating sociological concepts. I typically teach 40 undergraduates at a time, and I work from the assumption that all students want to learn and grow, and that each student already comes to the course with valuable knowledge and perspectives to share.

Student Feedback

Instructor of Record: SOCI 101

Spring 2024

“Professor Shelton–Ormond demonstrates a clear passion for teaching, which is reflected in her diverse efforts within the classroom to introduce unfamiliar material in a clear and compelling way. For example, she implemented a significant amount of interactive assignments in place of lengthy lectures to allow for us students to test our understanding of the material in more tangible ways. This not only allowed me to gain relationships with my peers, but also deepened by understanding of material overall. I found myself excited to come to this class and gained a new interest in sociology. Furthermore, as a person, professor Shelton–Ormond is kind and compassionate in looking out for us not just as students but also as individuals. Overall, she is an incredible professor.”

"Prior to this class, I truly had no idea of what sociology even means. Now, I routinely ponder about the material after class ends and also believe I have been given a great opportunity to think critically, sociology aside. Thanks for being understanding and always being available after class to answer questions. No doubt throughout the rest of my career, I will think back to this class."

“Professor Shelton–Ormond did an amazing job at including all her students and producing a comfortable learning environment. I always enjoyed hearing class discussions, as well as lectures from Professor Shelton–Ormond. Thank you so much for your dedication!”

“Professor Shelton–Ormond has been one of the best professors that I have had at UNC. The way that she structures her class really keeps her students in mind. For example, her grading policy is very straightforward, and I knew exactly what I needed to do to get the grade I want in the class. She gives really in–depth feedback on all of our assignments, which is helpful for allowing me to see where I can improve my work."

“She made learning engaging through her well thought out teaching style. While we had lecture days, every single time she encouraged students to speak up when they had a thought about our topic for the day or with any questions. I think that this made learning the material much easier as she was involved with the student comprehension through her open conversation lectures. Additionally, she provided many activities that gave students the opportunity to look at a piece of media whether that be text, movie clips, etc. and relate it back to the course. This combined with her professional and helpful demeanor proved especially beneficial to my learning experience.”

“I loved the structure of how our assignments built into our final paper, it kept reminding me that the content we were learning in class was relevant to sociological research as a whole. The small group participation days were my favorite days of the semester, I loved all the activities we had and how they were relevant to us as people while we still learned sociology content!”

Fall 2023

"Professor SO was truly the best teacher I had my first semester of freshman year. I learned more and retained more in this class than I have ever done in my other classes. She provided us with all the resources we needed. I would recommend this class to any student, regardless of their interest for sociology."

"Professor Shelton–Ormond was extremely understanding of students and made an effort to connect with us on a personal level. She learned everyones names in class, played music before class to establish a relaxing environment, and was never afraid to share her personal anecdotes to provide examples of sociological concepts. She provided in– depth feedback quickly on our assignments and was always very encouraging. She budgeted class periods for review sessions before exams and planned small group activities for us to explore sociological topics on our own. All around, she created a learning environment that was effective, encouraging, and fun to be in."

"Anna Shelton–Ormond was an excellent teacher and made everyone feel comfortable. I am not usually the type of person to answer questions and speak a lot in class, but I felt very conformable to do this in her class. Class time was educational but engaging, and I always found myself looking forward to this class."

"Anna is very organized with assignments and easy to talk to. The work is reasonable and easy to follow. I liked how she used different teaching methods to keep the class interesting. This was my favorite class; I always felt good in my understanding when I left. Anna is one of the best instructors here on campus. Her care for the course and students is amazing."

"As a senior, Prof Shelton–Ormond is easily one of the best professors I have had the privilege to learn from. She is kind, makes class fun, and is very understanding. Our class was really quiet but her personality did not waiver! Had I been exposed to this course sooner, I seriously would have considered a second major in sociology. She pushes students to learn but is not too hard to the point of stressing out students. I have learned so much! Her ability to interact and lecture is better than most professors who have been doing this for a long time."

Summer 2023

"Anna came to every class with a well–prepared and clear lesson plan. She had multiple formats of activities (lectures, large class discussion, small group discussion, PollEv, videos) that helped students engage with course concepts differently. She treated every student with respect and heard out everyone's contributions, relating them back to course concepts no matter how off topic we would get. I also appreciate how willing she was to talk to students after class about course material as well as answer questions related to sociology and research in general. Amazing instructor! 10/10 would recommend her to anyone with any interest in sociology."

"Anna had a great outline for the class, and the course–long research question was a really good way for us to interact with the course content deeply."

"Professor Shelton–Ormond did a great job making learning easy. She used a mixture of teaching methods to help everyone in the class learn better." 

Teaching Assistant: Guest Lecture on Qualitative Methods in SOCI 251 (Spring 2023)

"Anna taught at a well pace, kept us all interactive, and made the material interesting to learn about!"

"She made everything super clear and was great at answering questions"

"The energy and enthusiasm brought to the lecture made it easy and compelling to listen to."

"I was unsure on how to [build an interview guide] before the lecture and it offered a lot of clarity."

Courses: Instructor of Record and Teaching Assistant

Instructor of Record ("Teaching Fellow")

Spring 2024: SOCI 101 (Sociological Perspectives)

Fall 2023: SOCI 101 (Sociological Perspectives)

Summer 2023: SOCI 101 (Sociological Perspectives)

Teaching Assistant

Spring 2023: SOCI 251 (Data Collection Methods)

Fall 2022: SOCI 180 (Global Population Health)

Spring 2022: SOCI 101 (Sociological Perspectives)

Fall 2021: SOCI 130 (Marriage and Family)

Spring 2021: SOCI 122 (Race and Ethnicity)

Fall 2020: SOCI 122 (Race and Ethnicity)