I am an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Mary Washington, where I teach courses related to American government, political behavior, public policy, and research methodology. I earned my Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park and my B.A. from The George Washington University. I previously worked as a postdoctoral scholar at both the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, supporting the Public Opinion Learning and Sentiment (POLS) Lab, and at Stanford University, conducting research with the Political Psychology Research Group (PPRG).
Broadly, my research asks how American voters evaluate politicians and hold them accountable in an environment increasingly characterized by high levels of polarization and strong partisan identities. My work has appeared in The Journal of Politics, Public Administration Review, Political Behavior, Electoral Studies, The International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Gender & Politics, Politics, Groups, & Identities, and The Journal of Experimental Political Science. Excerpts from this work were also featured in The Washington Post, Politico, Vox, and The Hill.
I am involved in a number of projects that seek to determine how citizens process new political information, update their opinions, and hold politicians accountable for their actions. In a book project, I address the topic of political compassion. I argue that the determination that a politician is compassionate often depends on citizens perceiving a commonality that links them to the politician. I develop a classification scheme for the sources of commonality between citizens and politicians, including shared experience, shared emotion, and shared identity. These connections are critical in proving to citizens that a politician is truly empathetic and deserving of support.