Teaching Philosophy

My goal as an instructor is to create a classroom environment in which all students can garner a solid understanding of historical and current political issues, as well as the skills to examine these topics in a critical manner. I encourage students to approach the course material with an open mind, yet I value class discussions where students from all demographic and ideological orientations can interact in order to develop and express their opinions. Leaving my class, students should possess a deeper awareness of debates within our discipline and society more broadly, along with an improved ability to convey their views on these problems orally and in writing. My teaching philosophy ultimately involves three main principles: fostering critical analytical and communicative skills, promoting application of course material to the current political context, and encouraging students to evaluate empirical research from the perspective of a political scientist.

Teaching Interests

I am interested in teaching courses within the fields of American politics and political psychology. My experience teaching data-intensive courses in graduate school and at Penn State has also prepared me to teach undergraduate courses on political science research methods. Within American politics, I am prepared to teach introductory courses as well as advanced courses on public opinion, political parties, race and politics, interest groups, and women in politics. Within political psychology, I am qualified to teach courses focused on the individual level such as information processing and issue framing as well as courses focused on the group level such as identity politics. Because of my vast experience developing original online courses, I also am interested in creating new learning opportunities for students who prefer to complete their studies in an online environment.

During my tenure at Penn State, I have developed a passion for teaching interdisciplinary classes. I developed an original Food Politics course that incorporates many of the aforementioned subdisciplines within political science and combines them with scholarship from nutrition, anthropology, and sociology. Students leave this course with a greater understanding of the ways in which political science theories can be applied to topics like food that may appear to exist outside the political realm. Additionally, they appreciate that other social sciences and the hard sciences complement findings from political science and elucidate issues with which political scientists continue to grapple.

Courses Taught at Penn State

PLSC 1 American Politics: Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

PLSC 197 Public Opinion and Political Attitudes: Summer 2020, Summer 2021, Summer 2022

PLSC/WMST 428 Gender and Politics: Fall 2019, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

PLSC 447 Analysis of Public Opinion and Political Attitudes: Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020 (World Campus), Spring 2021, Spring 2021 (World Campus), Summer 2021 (World Campus), Spring 2022, Summer 2022 (World Campus), Fall 2022, Spring 2023

PLSC 466 Political Psychology: Spring 2020, Fall 2021

PLSC 497 Food Politics: Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

PLSC 494H Honors Thesis in Political Science: Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

PLSC 496 Independent Study in Political Science: Spring 2020

Courses Taught at UNC Chapel Hill

POLI 209 Analyzing Public Opinion: Summer 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Summer 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

POLI 100 Introduction to American Government: Summer 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Summer 2017 (online), Fall 2017 (online), Summer 2018 (online), Fall 2018 (online)