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About me

Assistant Professor at Michigan State University

The study of politics globally is both a science and an art

I am an Assistant Professor in Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. My research focuses on democratization and election quality in African countries, particularly the role of international factors in regime transitions and resilience. I also conduct research on the development of political parties and the attitudes of political elites in Africa. The aim is to understand how elite attitudes influence the prospects for democratization and election quality.

With the support of MSU fellowships and grants, including University Distinguished Fellowship (2011-2016), I conducted fieldwork in eight African countries. The resulting dissertation project entitled, My Brother’s Keeper? The Effects of African Regional Organizations on Election Quality, is in the final stages of being transformed into a book manuscript.

During my fieldwork, I discovered my interest in examining political themes through photography and film. Images and shots of political phenomena capture emotion, context, and language. My photography and videography work contribute to my efforts to share my analysis of African politics with broader audiences and serves an instructive device with students. It has led me to the conclusion that the study of politics globally can be both a science and an art.

In 2018, I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from MSU, B.A. in International Affairs with Honors from The George Washington University, receiving the 2009 Elliott School of International Affairs’ Distinguished Scholar Award. From 2007 to 2008, I was a visiting student at Oxford University. I subsequently was in the Teach For America corps from 2009 to 2011, teaching Social Studies and English Language Arts in the Boston Public Schools.

Life Outside of Political Science

  • Traveling
  • Photography and videography
  • Amateur astronomy
  • Tennis
  • Casual running
  • Football (soccer): Chelsea (Premier League), Aston Villa (Premier League), Kaiser Chiefs (PSL South Africa)
  • American football: Michigan State Spartans, New England Patriots