ASU faculty who inspire: Katie Hinde

April 26, 2022 · 4 min read · By ASU Online
ASU associate professor Katie Hinde shares how her father’s activism inspired her journey to the innovative online learning environment of ASU Online. 

How a father’s activism sparked lifelong curiosity

Arizona State University associate professor Katie Hinde brings her passion for global health and biological anthropology to her students each and every day. Her journey as an educator began during her childhood. Growing up in rural Ohio, Hinde saw how her father struggled to adjust to civilian life following the Vietnam War.

“My dad was a Vietnam veteran, and he had a lot of mental health challenges from his service,” Hinde said. “He tried having a number of traditional jobs, and [he] was never fulfilled by them.” Hinde’s father eventually found his calling as a peace activist and street singer, sharing his experience as a veteran to educate the public and inspire future generations.

Seeing her father’s passion for activism and commitment to making the world a better place made a lasting impact on Hinde. “I think in so many ways, my dad's activism was an inspiration to me,” she stated. “Because although we can seek education to satisfy our own curiosities about the world, we have the biggest impact when we take that learning and bring it back to our families and communities.”

While Hinde’s father passed away before she became a professor, his memory lives on through his influence on her life and career. “As I've progressed in my career as a professor, I see the imprint of my dad's influence more and more in the work I do,” associate professor Hinde explained. “It's a really wonderful thing to have that connection across time with him, even though he's no longer actively with us to see that.”


Why Hinde enjoys teaching online courses

Katie Hinde’s ASU Online courses offer the perfect environment to form meaningful connections in the classroom. In fact, she credits the online format with helping her break down the digital walls between her and her students. “By teaching in online spaces and building assignments where there's a back and forth dialogue between me and the learner, I'm able to reach the more introverted students, or students whose schedules don't let them come to office hours,” she said.

The result is an exchange of ideas, knowledge and perspectives that aren’t always possible with in-person learning. As Hinde put it, “The online learning environment just takes away all of those boundaries between who gets to talk and how we can build our conversations in meaningful learning ways.”

In this video, Hinde talks about her upbringing and how her experiences as an ASU Online professor helped her become the educator she is today.

How her courses make an impact

One of the associate professor’s favorite courses to teach is Maternal and Child Health. Focusing on pressing global health issues, the course combines biology, neurobiology, anthropology and psychology to paint a complete picture of mothers' and infants' roles in family units, communities and nations. “Students get to move between very specific cell-based knowledge, all the way out to society,” Hinde explained.

For professor Hinde, the course is especially fulfilling as it allows her to bring her research outside the lab and to a broader audience. “Translating the research I do into educating all these different stakeholders is what makes that work worthwhile and fulfilling to me as a professor,” she noted.


The inspiration of innovation

ASU’s innovation in the online learning space was a big selling point for associate professor Hinde. “One of the big reasons I was excited to become a professor at ASU was the way in which this institution has deeply invested in online education,” she recalled. “ASU has done an exceptional job of bringing together expertise around how to effectively teach, how to teach online, and how to construct courses that reach online learners in ways that are unique and exceptional compared to a classroom.”


Where will your inspiration take you?

Hinde took her father’s activism to heart and it inspired a career that took her from humble beginnings to her achievements as an associate professor at ASU. No matter who or what inspires you to further your education, the world-renowned faculty at ASU Online create a collaborative environment where students from all walks of life can shine. As Hinde put it, “Online education opens up courses to people all over the world. ASU's virtual classrooms are phenomenally exciting because it brings learners from literally across the world together.” In the classroom and beyond, ASU Online faculty members, like associate professor Katie Hinde, help foster connections and make a real, lasting impact that goes beyond the screen.

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