Ariel Sincoff-Yedid
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Welcome! I’m Ariel. I’m a diversity, inclusion, & social justice professional. You can learn more about my academic expertise and my professional experience below. I’m always interested in connecting with people around these topics and discussing new opportunities for full-time work, teaching, or consulting. Please get in touch by email.

About Me:

I’m a California native, though I’ve lived and studied all over the country and abroad.  Throughout the range of my formative experiences, I’ve been remarkably consistent in my interests and my commitments, and in craving more knowledge and understanding of the world around me.  

My social awareness was present from a young age, and I became involved with organizations focused on diversity and dialogue in my teens.  I was the student who took Chemistry in the summer so I could take additional classes in Religious Studies during the school year.  

As I’ve grown intellectually and professionally, I’ve deepened my understandings of difference and diversity, and how and why people behave as we do (perhaps the legacy of being raised by a therapist).  

But ultimately, I’ve always been focused on tangible change.  I’m motivated by a gut-level commitment to making the world a better place, and doing so in ways that are both meaningful and demonstrable.  I’m captivated by transformation, which is part of why I love cooking and baking, and consuming art in all forms.  

Professionally, I enjoy putting my planning skills and desire to map ideas to good use, and am particularly adept at envisioning the big picture and enacting the detailed plans to get there.  

Academic Work:

Broadly speaking, my academic and intellectual work examines how people form their identities, and how others may construct or inform those identities.  Topically, I focus on gender, sexuality, and religion, with extensive concentration on Islams and Muslim communities both domestically and abroad.

I analyze how governments and laws, as well as interpersonal interactions, shape who we are and how we come to know and understand other people.  I also conducted interviews with men and women in Beirut, Lebanon for earlier research.  

All of my intellectual work is in support of fostering greater empathy, equity, and authenticity within and across communities.  

I received my PhD in Gender Studies from Indiana University in November 2018, with a doctoral minor in Sociology.  I received my MA in Gender Studies from IU, a Graduate Certificate in Middle East Studies from The George Washington University, and a BA in Political Science from Union College.   

My doctoral dissertation examines contemporary Muslim identity construction in the United States in relation to identity discourses around gender, sexuality, and race.  I analyze a diverse range of American laws and policies alongside narrativized interpersonal interactions and prominent rhetoric to more thoroughly and specifically illuminate significant trends in identity construction.

The project contributes to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies scholarship by applying analytic tools and lenses to the ways that law is used to prioritize fixity over stability, fear and hatred over acceptance, and essentialism over dynamism.  It contributes to public understanding of how dominant conversations and laws affect the material realities of Muslim lives and shape constructions of identity.

Teaching:

I teach because I am an optimist.  My optimism is reflected in my conviction that we as people and as learners - in every setting - can do more and can do better for one another, and I believe in the transformative power of a learning space where all are students and all are teachers. 

My motivating philosophy and primary goal as an educator is to help people become more porous to the world around them.  With that orientation, people develop the skills, tools, and desire to reflect on their own experiences and ideas and are able to recognize and understand others’ realities.  My teaching is dynamic, interactive, and reflexive.  

At Indiana University, I designed and taught three introductory and intermediate courses addressing identities, power and politics, and social norms and boundaries in the Department of Gender Studies and a residential honors program.  I also taught multiple iterations of an introductory course on gender, culture and society.  Altogether, I’ve taught 200 students from varied backgrounds and levels of familiarity with these subjects.  

I have a proven ability to make my subject matter expertise relatable and transformative for diverse audiences, and to support and facilitate my students’ intellectual and personal growth.  

Students have said: 

  • “This course’s real life applications are the most valuable part of this course, in my opinion. This course deals with sometimes sensitive issues and subjects, and Ariel knows how to approach these subjects extremely well, fairly, and without judgment or offense.”

  • “She was very much herself. She had the attitude that we were equal to her despite the fact that she was our teacher. This created a great, comfortable environment for discussion and learning.”

  • “I found this course eye-opening. I loved the diverse opinions and backgrounds regarding gender. Ariel is fantastic at asking questions to both stimulate and direct discussion and keeps everyone feeling comfortable while challenging their views (of course a certain amount of discomfort should be expected). She made it fun to learn. Best prof I’ve had at IU.”

  • “Learning about gender in Islam helped me learn to question my biases and critically think about my own assumptions…She is able to phrase things in a way that makes difficult concepts easy to understand.”

  • “I believe Ariel’s passion and enthusiasm for the course topics aids in her effectiveness as an instructor. She is ALWAYS willing to discuss topics out of class, and I believe she goes above and beyond her duties as a professor.”

  • “The instructor knows when to further explain material to students. She senses confusion on these hard topics and clarifies. She is always willing to revisit topics for clarification. You can clearly tell she wants us to succeed.”

  • “I wish I could rate Ariel higher than ‘strongly agree’ in these areas. She is hands down the best teacher I’ve ever had. She always has a clear grasp of what she intends to say before she says it. She also knows how to rephrase questions/comments when students aren’t fully understanding.”

  • “She was TERRIFIC in facilitating and encouraging discussion. She let us think. She let me be confused just long enough to form my own ideas. She is great. I would recommend her to anyone…I loved this course. Truly it was incredibly stimulating and exactly what I needed out of my semester.”

  • “This course was fantastic. Very elegantly designed, interesting, great discussions. I left with my worldview turned on its head (in a good way). I would love to take a class on ANYTHING from this instructor.”

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Professional

Experience:

I provide subject matter expertise of critical importance across fields and industries right now, as well as extensive experience developing and managing programs.  My experience is, put colloquially, from soup to nuts!  

I have conducted capabilities/needs assessments and developed conceptual programmatic architectures, taught material across a variety of settings, managed programmatic and organizational logistics, and evaluated trainings and programs.  

In my professional positions, I have consistently been granted responsibilities and asked to contribute far beyond their original scope because I have demonstrated broad capabilities and insights.  All of the organizations I have worked at have benefitted from streamlined organization and clearer procedures upon my departure.  I value both efficacy and efficiency and it shows in my work, which has positively impacted diverse communities and constituencies.  

My skills and expertise center in six core areas:

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Expertise

  • Curricular Development

  • Curricular Evaluation

  • Strategic Planning and Institutional Organization

  • Program Development and Implementation

  • Operations and Logistics

 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Expertise

In addition to my graduate training in diversity, equity, and inclusion topics and theories, I have worked with diversity-focused organizations in professional and volunteer capacities for fifteen years.  My topical expertise has resulted in being awarded over $32,000 of support for my research and teaching, including a $25,000 dissertation completion fellowship, recognition of teaching excellence, funding to present at conferences, and subject-matter training underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

I taught multiple versions of an introductory course on gender, culture, and society to 100 students of diverse backgrounds in the Department of Gender Studies at Indiana University.  I have presented original research to diverse interdisciplinary audiences at national and international conferences, and served as invited speaker and facilitator at events across Indiana University.  

Curricular Development

My curricular development experience spans formal educational courses and informal educational programs.  

I have designed and taught three introductory and intermediate courses addressing identities, power and politics, and social norms and boundaries in the Department of Gender Studies and a residential honors program at Indiana University.  I revised the curricula of these courses based on student feedback, and adapted courses for diverse lengths of classroom instruction and course duration.  I have taught collegiate classes from 6 to 16 weeks, and from 50 minute classes to 2.5 hour classes.  

I have also applied my topical expertise as a consultant, and developed a conceptual architecture and content for a comprehensive gender, sexual health, and sexual assault educational program for college students.  

Curricular Evaluation

As an educator and professional, I know that all educational and training programs and all products must be dynamic, contextual, and responsive to those consuming the content.  Beyond my experience developing and implementing courses and programs, I have extensive experience in curricular and programmatic monitoring and evaluation.  

At one non-profit organization, I worked specifically in the Evaluation Unit, where I wrote and edited mixed-method surveys for use in workshops, conferences, and training programs on science and technology topics across four continents, as well as wrote and edited the evaluation reports including data preparation and analysis and programmatic recommendations.  Within that organization, I took on responsibility for evaluating an international collaborative research program funded by a university abroad and conducted across continents, including reviewing 1000 pages of technical reports and writing a 50-page evaluation and recommendation report.  

At another non-profit organization, I developed the first survey used to assess participant knowledge and growth in all multi-day educational programs, providing quantitative and qualitative data for reporting to grantors.  

And as a consultant, I provided subject matter expertise and key tactical input on a first-of-its-kind multi-phase survey instrument on sexual health competence developed from 4000 student responses in partnership with an R1 university.

Strategic Planning and Institutional Organization

Across organizations I have contributed to strategic planning, from initial needs assessments through execution of programs and operational streamlining.  

At Indiana University, I led the development and implementation of a needs assessment survey with ~550 responses used for organizational planning and advocacy by the Graduate Student Government.

 At one non-profit organization, I earned multiple promotions based on my abilities to develop strategic and efficient goals, procedures, and evaluation metrics in operations, programs, and development, transcending my initial departmental position.  I have also led the development of governing documents and codes of conduct at student organizations.  

I value the cultivation of institutional knowledge, and have developed handbooks and guides at multiple organizations so that knowledge and the wisdom gained through practice are available to ensure collective success.  

Program Development and Implementation

In addition to my curricular planning, execution, and evaluation experience, I have developed and implemented short-term events and long-term programs.  At one non-profit organization, I worked with the programs team to develop and expand their informal educational program offerings in the United States and Europe. 

As a consultant on a sexual assault and sexual health educational program, I conducted on the ground discovery interviews with college students across three campuses regarding social climate and experiences navigating dating, sexuality, and consent.  

During a presidential primary season, I mobilized community members across New Hampshire on global poverty issues by conducting training sessions on issues and activism, and obtained commitments from multiple presidential candidates.  

Even as an undergraduate student, I developed, planned, and executed nationally-recognized events and leadership retreats on campus for the Union College Multi-Faith Council and large-scale events in Schenectady, N.Y. with 400 student attendees for the Union-Schenectady Alliance.  

I have extensive experience working with organizational leadership, from department heads to executives, college and university administrations, and municipal bodies, and have engaged with political leaders at the local and federal levels.  

Operations and Logistics

As a professional, I have consistently improved operational efficiency and clarity.  At one non-profit organization, I streamlined and managed the organization of the Evaluation Unit’s deadlines and workload in conjunction with all of the programs teams.  

At another non-profit, I elevated planning and execution of all special events and educational program logistics by developing written event plans for effective event execution and maximum clarity among staff, and executing multiple events and multi-week educational programs.  Shortly after joining that organization, I was asked to assume responsibility for managing all of the event logistics and deadlines for the domestic and international participants in a multi-week training program.  I also significantly improved the relationship with that organization’s largest grantor/landlord liaison by developing clear, efficient forms and conducting greater compliance with policies and procedures.  

Contact

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