About Me

Welcome! I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park. My primary subfield is American Politics with specific interests in interest groups, legislative politics, and polarization. My secondary field is quantitative methods with a particular interest in modeling the organizational structures of interest groups. I have worked in a variety of academic roles over the past few years including serving as an instructor of record, a teaching assistant, a research assistant (for various faculty at Maryland, Princeton, and Tennessee), and as the assistant director of a departmental program. At present, I work with Prof. Sarah Croco with two separate classes within UMD's Honors Global Communities LLP: "Saving the World with Data" and "Using Data to Solve Hard Problems." My dissertation focuses on the importance of context, or issue space, for the formation, longevity, and political activities of interest groups. I present a theoretical framework arguing that groups do not exist in isolation but are part of a larger issue space where they interact with and are affected by other groups. These dynamics are critical to understanding the life cycle of groups relative to their engagement in the policy process. I illustrate these dynamics across three in-depth empirical analyses that test the theory across common, complex, and polarized issues. My work has been published or is forthcoming in Political Science Research and Methods, Political Research Quarterly, Interest Groups & Advocacy, and Pursuit. Work that is under review or that has been invited for revision and resubmission at a journal can be found in my CV or on my "Research" page.

Before starting graduate school at Maryland, I graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. I am also a graduate of the Chancellor’s Honors Program at UT. Outside of academia, I have interned for a U.S. Senator’s field office and on the Hill for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

For more information about my academic qualifications, including publications, please see my CV..