Prof Stoddard is a human-environment geographer who is interested in the intersection of nature, society, and social justice. She looks at the ways in which farmed animal production can create environmental hazards and injustice for local communities, including water, air, and soil pollution, as well as the spread of disease. She examines how a changing climate and global economy can exacerbate these issues. Stoddard also looks at the ability of social movements to make powerful changes, especially in the age of social media.
Stoddard’s interest and research on social justice extends into the classroom, including research on critical pedagogies, STEM and social justice, and in her own efforts to create inclusive spaces and practices for learning. Stoddard has been the recipient of multiple grants to examine issues of bias and stereotyping on undergraduate student project teams and the impact this has on student learning and experience. Through this work, Stoddard, and colleague Geoff Pfeifer, have developed a set of modules and tools to create more equitable team dynamics for use by both students and faculty. These tools continue to be tested, analyzed, and modified with support from her student research team and collaborators.
Stoddard believes that teaching, advising, working with, and learning from students is the best job a person can have. She works to provide students with transferable tools, skills, and knowledge that can enable them to succeed in their areas of interest, in their workplace, and as change agents in the world.
WPI’s ongoing efforts to prepare students for an increasingly diverse workforce were highlighted in this Diversity in Action article. “Researchers will teach WPI students how to identify and address bias and work in groups in ways that promote equity,” the article stated.