Focus Carolina

Focus Carolina: Viji Sathy

A professor in the College of Arts & Sciences’ department of psychology and neuroscience, she combines her expertise in inclusive teaching and innovative educational instruction to challenge and engage her students.

Viji Sathy
Viji Sathy (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Inclusive teaching is a way to ensure that instructors are working towards equity in the classroom, says Viji Sathy, a professor in the College of Arts & Sciences’ department of psychology and neuroscience and an expert in inclusive teaching and innovation education instruction.

“When we teach inclusively, we’re really aiming to help all of our students, but we find that this is especially helpful for underrepresented students, our first generation college students,” she said.

With remote learning, instructors see differences in the resources students have access to in the online environment. Some may have a poor internet connection and lack a quiet place to study.

“This is a chance and an opportunity, I think, for all of us to recognize our students come to us with different resources and abilities and to be able to use that diversity to our benefit in the classroom,” she said.

When teaching, Sathy may have her students complete assigned reading before class and then apply the concepts they’ve read about in class. “What we would think of as homework becomes part of the classwork. And what’s really beautiful about that design is that oftentimes, like in a course like mine, in which the homework can be quite challenging, students are not having to struggle to do that on their own at home without any resources available to them.”

To stay engaged with her students during the pandemic, Sathy sometimes has a theme for her online classes, such as bringing pets to class or meeting in outdoor spaces.

To learn more about inclusive teaching, listen to these two segments of Focus Carolina.

Every day, faculty members at UNC-Chapel Hill engage in groundbreaking research, innovative teaching and public service that makes an impact in our community and the state, nation and the world.

Tune in to Focus Carolina during morning, noon and evening drive times and on the weekends to hear their stories and find out what ignites their passion for their work. Focus Carolina is an exclusive program on WCHL, sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You can listen to WCHL at 97.9 FM or 1360 AM.

Read a transcript of this interview.


Read a transcript of this interview.