I am an assistant professor within the Department Political Science at the University of Miami. Previously, I was Postdoctoral Scholar affiliated with the GenForward Survey at the University of Chicago.
I received my Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University in June of 2020. My work is featured in Perspectives on Politics, Political Behavior, the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, the Washington Post, and GenForward’s Race and Place: Young Adults and the Future of Chicago.
I study how local-level institutions, especially schools and neighborhoods, act as microcosms of democracy. I find that these institutions can simultaneously serve as sites that exacerbate existing racial inequalities while also holding the potential to foster agency and equal political voice. I investigate these roles and their effects on political participation by leveraging multiple methodological approaches, including experiments, survey data, in-depth interviews, focus groups, and archival research.
My book project—forthcoming at Oxford University Press— explores the ways in which civic education courses shape the political attitudes and behaviors of high schoolers along the lines of race and ethnicity. More specifically, I find that content and teaching practices that center the local knowledge and grassroots political action of marginalized groups have the ability to forge more empowering civic learning experiences for young people. This project grew out of my dissertation, which received three awards from the American Political Science Association, including the E.E. Schattschneider Award for best doctoral dissertation in field of American government. This work utilizes a mixed-methods approach that includes the following: archival research; statistical analyses of a nationally representative surveys; a survey experiment distributed to nearly 700 high schoolers within Chicago area classrooms; observations of 24 Chicago high school classrooms; statistical analyses of an original survey of 300 Chicago high school social studies teachers; in-depth qualitative interviews with 30 high school social studies teachers; and focus groups with 32 Chicago high school students.
This research is informed by a diverse set of academic literatures including race and ethnicity, political behavior, socialization, urban politics, and education policy.
I believe that research is most powerful when it is placed into the hands of individuals who are entrusted to institute policy change. As a public scholar, I have contributed to research at a number of organizations including the Obama Foundation, iCivics, GenForward, the American Bar Foundation, and the Institute of Higher Education and Democracy.
In addition to research, I am deeply committed to teaching. As a former public school teacher and a first generation college student, I am committed to ensuring that students can leverage the knowledge and skills they acquire in the classroom to play an active role in shaping their communities and the decision-making processes of elected officials.
Currently, I teach Race and Ethnic Politics and Urban Politics courses at the University of Miami. During the 2020-2022 academic year, I taught American Politics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago . I also developed a new Social Studies Content for Teachers course for both graduate and undergraduate teaching candidates within Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy that I taught between 2020-2022.
Previously, I served as a teaching assistant for a number of political science courses, including Intro to American Politics and Government, Environmental Politics, and Political Parties and Elections. I have also advised dozens of undergraduate research projects as a teaching assistant for the department’s Undergraduate Honors Thesis Seminar and Jamie Druckman’s Studying Public Opinion course. During the 2019-2020 academic year, I chaired the Graduate Teaching Committee within the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University and served as a Graduate Teaching Fellow through the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching.
Prior to beginning graduate school, I worked as a 5th grade teacher within the San Antonio Independent School District. In 2014, I received the district’s Rising Star Award, given to exceptional first-year teachers within the district. I am an alumnus of Teach For America and have tutored dozens of students through Nurturing Wisdom Chicago.