Professor of Political Science; Political Science Department Chair; Director of Social Justice & Community Engagement
Political Science / Academic
- Hopkins Center 216
B.A., M.A., University of Akron
M.A., Ph.D., University of Maryland
My interest in politics started in college when I spent summers working as a community organizer for a consumer rights group in Buffalo, NY. In addition to my studies, I spent time during college managing a number of state legislative campaigns in Ohio and working as a legislative fellow in Maryland state government. At Austin College, I most enjoy the opportunity to spend time getting to know a diverse and exciting set of students. Together, we explore topics that excite us by asking and seeking answers to questions of enduring significance such as: What motivates politicians? How do fundamental differences of opinion coexist peacefully in a democracy? How resilient are our political institutions to anti-democratic movements and ideas? Is it possible to pursue both equality and liberty? In addition to our time together, I take a keen interest in the lives my students lead after they leave Austin College. Some have gone on to get PhDs, others are successful lawyers, and many others work in government at all levels. But beyond this, and most important to me, is that I find my students leading lives built on a foundation of engaged, purposeful, and thoughtful citizenship.
- American Government & Politics
- State & Local Government
- Public Policy
- Campaigns & Elections
- Quantitative Methods
Research on Teaching:
Community based scholarship relating to partnerships between faculty, students, and area nonprofit agencies.
Research in Political Science:
Issues related to Representation in State Legislatures and Congress and a variety of topics surrounding campaigns and elections including: the party elite, interest group activity, political debates, and the political behavior of working class voters
I am the campus coordinator the following programs:
- Washington Semester Program at American University
- The Social Entrepreneurship for Poverty Alleviation (SEPA) summer grant writing program.
- Pi Sigma Alpha, The National Political Science Honor Society
My current research focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning in political science. A sample of past publications include:
“The SEPA Grant Writing Program: Regional Transformation through Engaged Service Learning.” 2019. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. 3 (2): 79-92.
“What’s the Matter with the White Working Class? The Effects of Union Membership in the 2004 Election.” 2010 with Peter L. Francia. Presidential Studies Quarterly.
“Interest Group Activity in U.S. Elections.” 2008 with Paul S. Herrnson. The Role of Non-Party Actors in Elections, eds. David Farrell and Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck. Baden, Germany: Nomos-Verlag.
The State of the Party Elites: National Convention Delegates, 1992-2004. ” 2007 with John S. Jackson III and John C. Green. The State of the Parties: 2004 and Beyond 5th edition, ed. John C. Green. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
“The Christian Right Goes to Washington.” 2005 with John C. Green. The Interest Group Connection 3rd edition, eds. Paul Herrnson and Clyde Wilcox. Washington D.C.: CQ Press.
In addition to serving as the faculty coordinator of the WSP and SEPA programs, I also sponsor the College Democrats, Chi Tau Chi fraternity, and Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society.