Faculty Spotlight: Kerri J. Tobin, PhD
December 15, 2020
Baton Rouge - This school year has been unlike any other. Trying to navigate assignments while also staying safe during a pandemic has proven to be a major stress factor, especially for college students. However, LSU faculty are extremely supportive of their students, with many professors advising their students to reach out to them for help. Kerri Tobin, PhD is one of these professors. “Your professors care about your wellbeing, and it’s okay to reach out if you are struggling. We’re all doing our best,” she says when asked to provide advice for students.
Dr. Tobin has always had a strong connection to her students. She says her favorite thing about being a professor is teaching her students and forming connections. She says she admires how the students at LSU are able to see the world through new and different perspectives. And Dr. Tobin has had a hand in this, as she works to make research available to all, not just academics. She wants students to be able to access, read, and understand sources, thus allowing them to explore new perspectives and ideas.
Dr. Tobin’s own research also centers around the best interest of students: her primary focus is student homelessness. She was recently interviewed about student homelessness on NPR’s On Point. Dr. Tobin is a passionate advocate for research-based support systems for homeless students across the U.S. She brought this issue to the attention of LSU students when she arranged a screening of the documentary, “The Homestretch” for the College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE). This documentary focuses on homeless youth and their journey to build a new life. It breaks down stereotypes about homelessness and raises awareness of how many young people are affected by it. She wanted to show that homelessness affects not only young children, but college students as well.
Dr. Tobin teaches courses on poverty, multicultural education, and social studies methods in the School of Education. She also teaches a course on homelessness in Ogden Honors College. She was awarded the Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching award by Ogden in 2020. She was also awarded with the CHSE Early Career award in 2018.
In addition to this, Dr. Tobin is the program lead for the Master of Arts in Teaching for grades 6-12. Students apply for a full-time teaching job through this program that will lead to their teaching certificate for grades 6-12.