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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 the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. My research focuses on African politics, comparative democratization, international law and organizations, election quality, and human rights, particularly the role of international factors in regime transitions and the protection of human rights. Underlying my research and teaching is my desire to bridge international relations and comparative politics.

With the support of MSU fellowships and grants, including the University Distinguished Fellowship (2011-2016), I have 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. Most recently, I was one of the winners of MSU's Global Focus photography contest in 2018. 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 and a B.A. in International Affairs with Honors from The George Washington University in 2009, receiving the 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