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Terri Nelson

Terri Nelson



World Languages and Literatures
Office Phone(909) 537-7104
Office LocationUH-201.38

Office Hours

Tuesday: 12:00-13:00
Friday: 9:45-10:15, 13:45-14:15


Dr. Terri Nelson has been teaching at CSUSB for over 25 years. In 2015, she attended her first Reacting to the Past conference and began implementing this highly active and engaging strategy in Humanities capstone courses.The central premise of Reacting is that ideas and life are interwoven: the study of ideas cannot be undertaken without consideration of the social context in which they emerged, and that the study of people requires an awareness of the intellectual constructs that have shaped their societies and cultures. In Reacting games, students assume the character and ideology of historical figures (most often real people but always based in history) who must respond to challenging political, social, cultural, and economic events.

Dr. Nelson has received multiple awards for teaching, including the CSU's Faculty Innovation & Leadership Award (2020), the Reacting Consortium's Brilliancy Prize (2020), CSUSB Outstanding Originator Award (2008), the California Language Teacher's Outstanding Teacher Award (2004), the Paul Allen Foundation's Outstanding On-Line Course (Honorable Mention, 1998) and the College of Arts & Letters Outstanding Teaching (Instructionally-Related Activity; 1996, 2004, 2020). Her research is focused on gaming in the college classroom.

Dr. Nelson is serving as the CAL Fellow for Online Teaching in Spring 2021.


  • Doctor of Philosophy in French (Northwestern University, 1995)
  • Certificat d'√Čtudes Politiques (Institut d'√Čtudes Politiques, Paris, 1989)
  • Master of Arts in French (Middlebury College, 1988)
  • Bachelor of Arts in French (University of Utah, 1987)
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology (University of Utah, 1982)



  • Faculty Innovation & Leadership Award, California State University (August 2020)
  • Brilliancy Award, Reacting Consortium (August 2020)


Fall 2021:

  • FREN 3114: Paris: Historical and Cultural Capital, main campus Tuesdays 10:30-11:45
  • CAL 1110: Reacting to the Past: Humanities Perspectives (Threshold of Democracy: 403 BCE)
  • SSCI 1110: Reacting to the Past: Social Sciencesa Perspectives (Threshold of Democracy: 403 BCE) at PDC, Fridays 2:30-5:15
  • WLL 3920: Great Works, Revolutionary Ideas, and Important Discoveries at PDC, Fridays, 10:30-1:15

Spring 2021:

  • Honors 3100 / 3100: Epistemological Revolutions: Critical Moments in the Intersection of Natural Sciences & Humanities (Reacting to the Past: Technology & Society), main campus, Mondays & Wednesdays, 9:00-11:45 (with Dr. Becky Talyn)
  • WLL 3920: Great Works, Revolutionary Ideas, and Important Discoveries, main campus, Fridays, 10:30-1:15