A love for teaching and mentoring, in addition to a background in coaching, motivated me to pursue my Ph.D.
My student-centric teaching philosophy bolsters research-led learning while introducing students to public history as a critical production of knowledge, rather than as an inert source of information about the past.
In all of my classes, I share my research as a means of encouraging students to draw broader connections between the local and the global, and between the past and the present.
I work to address inequality in higher education and academia through centering students’ strengths and fostering a community both in and beyond the classroom.
In my time as both an Instructor of Record and a Teaching Assistant at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I have developed four central goals:
1. create a student-centric learning environment;
2. connect history to the public realm;
3. foster diversity and accessibility;
4. center an interdisciplinary & global perspective
My teaching also informs my work as a mentor, where I seek to explain and simplify college courses and the research process for students from diverse, underrepresented backgrounds. I have received formal mentorship training as a Mellon Engaging Humanities Fellow and work closely with Promise and McNair scholars.
I am equipped to teach a range of courses, including the following fields:
U.S. in the World
African American History
Labor and Capitalism
Black Freedom Struggle
Oral History Theory and Practice
Histories of Race and Foreign Policy
History of South Africa
History of the Present: Informing the Public in the Digital Age
This course allows students to play an active role in not just recording the past, but making sense of the present. From vaccine misinformation to attacks on the teaching of Black history in schools, recent headlines highlight the challenges experts face in communicating to the general public. The context of the COVID-19 pandemic has made digital communication and the rapid sharing of knowledge, including “fake news,” more closely felt, lending even more primacy to fringe ideologies. To combat the mainstreaming of perilous narratives, we must center the histories undergirding the present, and communicate them effectively to a broader audience. Though content intensive, this course will include a comprehensive introduction to the qualitative research methodologies that are emblems of the best scholarship in the field of History. Students will be completing a rigorous group research project throughout the course, while getting a grasp of classic literature in the field, as well as a number of public-facing pieces that draw connections between current events and the historical processes that undergird them.
*I have taught this course as Instructor of Record, please email for a detailed syllabus
African Self-Liberation: Scholarship and Fiction in the Era of Decolonization
I have designed this course as an upper-level undergraduate course, which will task students to explore a variety of both novels and scholarship centered on African history. Much of the work we read was produced during the period of self-liberation struggle across the continent. Students will understand the relationship between fiction and nonfiction as a means through which to depict African self-liberation. By privileging African authors, this course also forces students to view literature and text as a form of self-liberation and identify formation during the post-WWII period. The course is organized in a rough chronological order and spans the continent. The use of the term "self-liberation" is intentional, compelling students to center the African role and agency in their own self-liberation from colonial rule.
Relevant Teaching Experience
Instructor of Record
I designed my own syllabus for this UCSB course, graded all final projects, delivered the lectures, and supervised two teaching assistants.
History of the Present: Informing the Public in the Digital Age (Summer 2022)
Teaching Assistant (Section Leader)
My duties were to teach three weekly sections and to grade all of the work of students in my sections.
Survey of African History to 1800 (Winter 2020, Spring 2021)
Survey of African History, c. 1800-1945 (Winter 2019)
The American People, c. 1830-1920 (online Winter 2021; )
The American People, c. 1492-1837 (Fall 2019)
The American People, c. 1917-present (Spring 2019)
World History, c. 1700-present (online Spring 2020; Fall 2018)
World History, prehistory-1000 CE (online Summer 2023)
Teaching Assistant (Course Reader)
My duties were to grade the work of 100 students per course and assist with administrative work, create assignments
U.S. in the World, c. 1945-present (Spring 2018, Spring 2022)
Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness:
I LOVED having Mattie Webb as a TA for this Hist 2A course over the summer. She was amazing at not pressuring students but enabling a supported learning environment which made her students want to participate and contribute to group discussions. She had very clear instructions for assignments and her requirements, planned out and precise yet helpful and fun lesson plans, and was overall a great teacher! Could not profess my love for her or her teaching style enough."
“Mattie was super welcoming, she had a great understanding of the material with an enthusiastic attitude! She was very helpful and quick to respond to emails, making her really accessible. I loved having Mattie as a TA this quarter and would love to have her as a TA again for another class!”
"Mattie is an excellent TA. She is able to get everyone enthusiastically involved each week. She is really quite good."
“Mattie is very enthusiastic and jolly in our section. She always comes on zoom with a smile which opens up a positive space for us. She is very helpful and accommodating to our circumstances."
“Mattie is probably the best TA I’ve ever had! She was so enthusiastic and always had like a Language/Word of the Week for us just to introduce us a little more to the varying cultures in Africa. Her class/zoom room was always a very comfortable place to talk and share our ideas but I am a little shy so I tried participating through the chat function. I think that Mattie was a very great TA and helped me so much in learning and understanding the material we were presented”
“She clearly put in the hours outside of class in order to be able to explain points of confusion for us. The structure of our sections was quite wonderful, with sheets at the beginning of section that had our day plan etc.; so organized!! I have a lot of respect for her as a teacher.”
“I love the environment she creates and the resources she provided to help us with or essays. I'm glad that a good amount of class was dedicated to her writing expectations.”
“I’m happy to call Mattie the best at UCSB, an inspiring mentor, a committed student advocate"
“After the first week, Mattie began sending out reading guides and helping us to prioritize what was most important in each week's material to focus our studying. This was incredibly helpful. The Google Docs assignments were also very helpful, especially when it came to writing for the midterm. Our midterms were given back with lots of very thoughtful feedback, which I really appreciated. Even though we didn't meet face to face, Mattie was a very effective teacher, which was incredible. She did a great job adapting to the online format and being incredibly understanding of everyone's situations."
“Her strength is definitely her adaptiveness. The way that she managed to keep adapting to new difficult circumstances with ease was very remarkable. This strength also showed in the way that she would accommodate to her students’ needs all the while providing the best education possible. In that case, her leadership strengths showed as well.