Biz has been teaching journalism and filmmaking since 2012 with NuVu Studio, and served as a Graduate Student Instructor for various upper-level political science courses at UC Berkeley from 2015 to 2017.
Below, you can find brief descriptions of her teaching experience, as well as feedback from past students and examples of student work. For teaching inquiries or more information about her teaching experience, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form found here.
In Documentary Filmmaking, students learn how to make their own films that tell the stories of their local community and its residents. They work in groups to create short documentary films about subjects of interest to them. Prior to pitching their story ideas, students learn technical skills about camera operation, how to create compelling frames, how to develop a narrative over the course of a film, and how to contact and interview potential subjects. They learn the entire process of creating a documentary, from pre-production (including researching ideas, pitching, and developing interview questions), to production (including filming and directing), to post-production (including editing and sound design). In this increasingly visual world where videos are an ever-greater presence in our daily lives, and where making films is more accessible than ever before, learning how to craft a compelling video with an engaging story is more vital than ever. Many students have gone on to continue to make their own films after the course, applying the skills they learned during the process.
"Biz was an awesome coach! She helped me stay on task, edit, take videos and so much more. It felt like a very safe environment and I felt really comfortable."
"I learned how to edit videos and I improved on filming, interviewing, editing, and contacting people. I loved the people in my group because we worked so well and we had very good and meaningful conversations. Biz was an amazing coach and I am so grateful to have my group members and coach in this amazing documentary filmmaking studio."
"I loved this studio and how it provided many opportunity to engage in local issues. I felt that the documentary film studio allowed me a door into some of the most important issues in our time and community. In addition I found the teaching of this studio very good, and I came to be proficient in a large set of new film making skills."
"I started off with an initial idea of creating a film on the stigma/judgement of homelessness. After filming a few interviews I slowly started to change my idea. My group and I started to add in other factors and so the film became much bigger than just the issue of stigma and judgement. it became about the trauma & the experiences people face, the challenge of substance abuse, a variety of programs that are good and some not so great. The initial idea stuck, but it was just adapted and elaborated on. I collaborated really well with my group members. We each had to compromise sometimes when it came to our different ideas for how to go about creating the film but overall we worked really well together. I set out to learn more about camera techniques and also the component of storytelling. Biz really helped me learn all about these two things and I achieved my goals."
"This was one of my favorite studios! While I personally prefer non-documentary film-making, this was SUPER fun to do. I personally don't like interviewing people very much, (I'm pretty bad at carefully listening to people for a long time) but still had fun speaking with the interviewees, and really enjoyed with the other parts. I'd say I most enjoyed trying to make a unique style, avoiding the easy-to-fall-into cookie cutter documentary format."
"I absolutely loved this studio. Throughout the whole process, I was very hands-on and provided several ideas...I also think that I collaborated very well with Biz, whom I adoreeeeee. She was super chill, and I loved that she took time to make sure we all knew how to use the cameras and equipment. She helped us whenever we needed help, and gave equal help to each of the groups."
Documentary Filmmaking with NuVu Studio
Political Science Courses
Ms. Herman lead very efficient, comprehensive, and directed discussion sections.
Ms. Herman is a clear communicator who is especially effective at unpacking dense sections of curriculum into easily comprehensible explanations and concise summaries. This ability is further augmented by her strong organizational skills and willingness to work through individual questions.
Ms. Herman's extensive availability to students in the weeks and days leading up to the paper due date was immensely helpful. Her proofreading of drafts was also an invaluable aid.
The GSI was adept to responding to students' best ways of learning. The teaching style was effective and clearly showed a concern for the different needs of students by providing a structured discussion section.
Biz was very aware of what students were struggling with, and encouraged us to ask questions so that we could collectively understand the material.
Biz was very helpful and encouraged discussion among her students. She gave us outlines of the lecture that helped us to recap course material.
Biz was a very knowledgable and enthusiastic instructor. I appreciated Biz's eagerness to help her students succeed- she regularly scheduled extra office hours to ensure every student was able to get the help they needed.
1971 War in Bangladeshi Textbooks
This research examines of how official narratives of Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War have shifted over time in national social studies textbooks. Since independence, history textbooks in Bangladesh have been sites of political contestation, undergoing a number of politically-motivated revisions with each new regime that comes into power.
With the goal of examining these changes and the effects they have had on the Bangladeshi population, this study includes three levels of analysis: (1) an institutional analysis, which considers the actors and institutions that develop curricula and textbooks, (2) a textual analysis, which dissects the narratives of the 1971 Liberation War in Bangladeshi social science textbooks and curricula from 1971 to the present, and (3) classroom observations, which focus on how textbooks are used in lessons and how students interact with that history.
The study is comprised of a year’s worth of intensive data collection in Bangladesh and includes over 30 school visits, 150 curricular documents, and 100 interviews across Bangladesh’s seven districts. Through these analyses, this research concludes that revisions of the narratives by those who have held political power over the years has been done in search of political legitimacy. Further, these revisions have both hindered the quality of the entire educational system in Bangladesh by unnecessarily expediting the textbook generation process, and led to a perception of a lack of a "true history" in the country’s collective memory.
An oral history and documentary photography project, A Woman’s War documents the lives of women engaged in recent conflicts worldwide, as well as their struggle for justice, rights, and their identity as female fighters. Women have played key roles in recent conflicts, serving as combatants, nurses, organizers, spies, and more.
Over the past three years, I have documented the stories of 116 women in five countries: revolutionaries of Egypt’s recent uprisings, women on all sides of the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, women of the North Vietnamese Army, Protestant and Catholic women of the decades-long Troubles in Northern Ireland, and freedom fighters of the 1971 Bangladeshi Liberation War.
Though the locations and conflicts vary greatly, A Woman’s War reveals concerns and emotions common across time and place. The story of each woman is a powerful narrative of trauma and survival, of hatred and belonging, of forgiveness and peace. Theirs are histories that many of their families, communities, and nations have yet to confront, yet whose acknowledgement and documentation are vital if these countries—and the women who have given so much to them—are to find justice and peace.