I have taught a variety of different types of students, ranging from students at the University of Maryland-College Park, CUNY-City College, and Yale University to mid-career graduate students in the United Arab Emirates at the Dubai School of Government (now the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government) to advanced middle and elementary school students at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY). I love teaching, and at Maryland, I won an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019.

My teaching emphasizes active learning strategies to engage and motivate students. For example, in my introductory-level International Political Relations course at Maryland, I often include behavioral economics games, Prisoner’s Dilemma role-playing scenarios, and TV or film clips—including from “Game of Thrones,” “The Walking Dead,” and “The Hunger Games”—to add interactivity to lectures. I also bring my lectures to life with detailed, contemporary examples, drawing from my fieldwork in the Middle East and experiences working in international development in Vietnam and the Balkans.

In teaching, my overarching goal is to build a strong base of content knowledge; help students develop their own well-reasoned and evidence-based views; and sharpen critical thinking skills, without sacrificing tolerance and a passion for problem-solving. I have been a member of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) and the Gulf Comparative Education Society (GCES).

Teaching Experience

University of Maryland - College Park, 2015 - the present

  • Comparative Politics of the Middle East
  • International Political Relations
  • Authoritarianism
  • Comparative Political Ideology

City College of New York (CUNY), 2013 - 2015

  • World Politics
  • Transnational Networks in International Relations

Dubai School of Government, 2011

Instructor for “Comparative and International Politics of the Middle East and North Africa,” a graduate course that I designed, while still a Ph.D. candidate at Yale and conducting my fieldwork abroad, for master’s degree students (with Noora Lori). Created syllabus, gave lectures, led discussions, and emphasized active learning strategies, such as behavioral economics games and a Jeopardy game show on the politics and history of the region to help students prepare for the midterm.

Yale University, 2009-2013

Teaching Assistant for three undergraduate courses (taught sections, graded tests, assessed research papers):

Johns Hopkins University, Center for Talented Youth (CTY), 2003

Teaching Assistant for two college-level courses offered to very bright middle and high school students, selected through a nationwide talent search:

  • Data Structures and Algorithms (Computer Science), Franklin and Marshall College.
  • Logic: Principles of Reasoning (Philosophy), Loyola Marymount University.

Teaching Interests

Comparative Politics; Middle East Politics; International Relations; Nationalism & Citizen Formation; Political Theory; Comparative Political Theory; Authoritarianism; Comparative Political Ideology; Political Behavior in the Middle East; Comparative Political Socialization and Learning; Social Engineering and its Critics; International Security; Terrorism; Transnational Networks in Global Politics; Experiments in Political Science; and Qualitative Field Methods.