Angela Giron, an assistant clinical professor in Arizona State University’s online Master of Liberal Studies program, spent 30 years in front of and behind the camera as an actress and director. Although she was raised in Arizona, she gathered her professional experience all over the world. She lived and worked in Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, London and Paris, and traveled extensively to many other places.
When Giron decided it was time to change course, she was drawn back to Arizona because ASU’s theater program brought in well-known New York director Marshall Mason.
“I jumped at the chance to study under him and I came back to the idea of what got me engaged in theater and film in the first place,” she said. “I always loved research, and understanding the history behind the characters. I thought what I’d like to do was finish an undergraduate degree, get my master’s and then teach in the humanities.”
That’s exactly what she did. She returned to ASU in 2002 and earned her MFA in theater and film in 2005. For the last seven years, Professor Giron has taught in the Master of Liberal Studies program, which is one of ASU’s fastest-growing online master’s programs. She has designed and taught courses ranging in topics from the 1950s and 1960s to cultural taboos.
“It’s so interesting to teach liberal studies,” Giron said.
She draws heavily on her theater and film background, incorporating some element of film into every week of her online courses.
“Film is such a great philosophical and social tool,” she said. “Being able to use digital media enhances the student’s experience greatly. It can’t just be about reading a textbook.”
Giron is passionate about utilizing her own broad experience to enhance her students’ intellectual curiosity.
“I love being able to see students grow as human beings,” she said. “How they’re able to widen their perspective. Getting them to think critically and less binary is very exciting. It’s not entirely changing perspectives, but adding to the layering of perspectives and, in turn, being enriched by the students’ perspectives.”
In all her online courses, what Professor Giron values most is instructor presence.