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 courses in the fields of American politics, political psychology, and food politics.  Within American politics, I am prepared to teach introductory courses as well as advanced courses on public opinion, political parties, 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. Finally, I strive to combine my academic interests in political science with my passion for food as I work to develop a new course on food politics scheduled for Fall 2020.

Courses Taught at Penn State

Fall 2019

PLSC 447: Analysis of Public Opinion and Political Attitudes, MWF 1:25-2:15
PLSC/WMNST 428: Gender and Politics, MWF 3:35-4:25

Courses Taught at UNC Chapel Hill

POLI 209 Analyzing Public Opinion

In this course, students learn how to study public opinion in an empirical manner. This class challenges them to think about the factors that influence public attitudes on political issues, primarily in the United States. They learn basic statistical and programming techniques using R to analyze public opinion data like a professional political scientist. Additionally, they learn how to use Qualtrics to create original public opinion surveys. This course consists of three general elements: lectures, where students learn about prominent research on the factors that influence public opinion; lab sessions, where students develop skills necessary to analyze data and construct effective survey instruments; and class/group discussions where the class discusses current events related to public opinion in American politics and brainstorm research ideas.

POLI 100 Introduction to American Government

This course provides an overview of American government and politics at the national level. In this course, students first learn about the political institutions that comprise our political system. We discuss their origins and the ways in which they structure our society. We then transition into learning about the behavior of both the American mass public and political elites. Students discuss how everyday Americans make political decisions and how their elected representatives respond to the public’s political sentiments.