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About me

Visiting Assistant Professor at Davidson College

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

I am a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Davidson College. My research focuses on African politics, international law and organizations, comparative democratization, 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 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.

As part of my outreach, I have played a founding role in Leaders of Africa, an organization that shares the experiences of thought leaders, educates, facilitates collaboration and community, and conducts research and builds capacity related to political, economic, and social policy and leadership in Africa and globally. In particular, our Leaders of Africa Institute aims to promote advocacy for the good and knowledge production on the African continent by engaging undergraduate and post-graduate scholars on the African continent. For my efforts, I was awarded the Michigan State University Non-African Faculty with the Most Outstanding Contribution to Development of Africa Award in 2019.

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