Statement of Research Interests:
I am interested in the causes and consequences of political violence at numerous levels. When studying conflict at the state level I am particularly interested in how political institutions, both domestic and international, influence international policy. I am also interested in studying conflict at a more individual level by examining such topics as the individual level determinants of participation in civil violence (e.g. civil wars, violent protests) and the dynamics of refugee populations that have been displaced by violent conflict.
Statement of Teaching Philosophy:
As cliché as it may seem, I believe that each individual has a nearly limitless capacity to learn. Whether a person desires great breadth of knowledge or great depth, I believe that, with diligent study, any degree of mastery can be achieved by anyone. As a teacher, I strive to facilitate this process in two ways. First, I try to provide an environment in which students can feel free to seek out further knowledge by asking questions and voicing concerns without fear of “sounding dumb.” Second, I strive to “translate” the material at hand into a version that “fits” with what the students already know. While the latter may be hard to do, especially without sacrificing some of the detail of the subject at hand, I believe that such a goal should be the ultimate aspiration of all teachers.
While being a full time graduate student eats up most of my day, I still find time to play video games, go on bike rides, participate in activities at my local church, and practice my “foreign language” skills in Russian and Python.