Teacher Spotlight: Dr. Nisha Kunte Brings Global Perspective to Classroom


Aidan Chung

History and Social Studies Teacher Dr. Nisha Kunte.

Alia Sajjadian, Opinion Editor

Since joining the Sage Hill faculty in 2013, Dr. Nisha Kunte has stood out because of her diverse course load and the thoughtful perspective she brings to the classroom. Teaching AP Art History, AP Psychology and Ethnic Studies, she delivers engaging and passionate lectures that challenge her students to understand the broader implications and applications of the content they learn in the classroom.

 She tries to fuse her classroom to the outside world. During their recent day trip to Los Angeles, she and her AP Art History students toured the Broad Museum, explored the architecture of the Walt Disney Concert Hall and discussed their observations while enjoying lunch downtown. Even though she has viewed the art in her curriculum countless times, she “never gets bored looking at the art work” and speaking about it with her students. She has designed her other course, Ethnic Studies, which has been designated as a Sage Center Designated course, in the style of a college seminar with the intent of challenging her students to think deeply. 

Another one of the reasons she cherishes this class is because it allows her to “think hard about the things that I studied for a long time in school, keep up with current research in the field, and come up with ways to communicate complex ideas to my students.” But some of her most memorable classroom moments come from her AP Psychology classes. 

“There’s something about the class that allows for silly tangents, inside jokes, and class bonding,” she said.

Dr. Kunte attended Columbia University, where she majored in Asian American Studies, and recalls her two most favorite classes as David Eng’s Queer Diasporas seminar and Gayatri Spivak’s Narratives for Living seminar. 

“I never worked so hard to think about what I was reading,” Dr. Kunte said.

She continued her education at University of Southern California, where she earned master’s degree and doctorate in American Studies and Ethnicity. In her free time, Dr. Kunte enjoys baking, knitting, drinking tea and muses that she strives to live her “cottagecore fantasy.” She lists her newest favorite movie as Everything Everywhere All At Once, while her legacy favorites include All About Eve, A Room with a View and Clueless. In the future, she would love to visit the ancient city of Petra in present day Jordan and Borobudur Temple in Indonesia, “both of which seem otherworldly.”

Dr. Kunte encourages Sage Hill students to have a similar sense of appreciation and genuine curiosity for what they are learning and the world around them. Her advice is simple and direct: “Do the reading and then use your brain to think about what you read.”