teaching

I have taught a variety of different types of students, ranging from students at the University of Maryland, The City College of New York (CUNY), 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 middle and high school students at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY). I love teaching. At Maryland, I won an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019, selected by the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS).

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, such as my interactions with ruling elites, as well as my 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, 2015 - the present

  • Comparative Politics of the Middle East (GVPT 485, formerly 459E)
  • International Political Relations (GVPT 200)
  • Authoritarianism (GVPT 203, I-series course)
  • Comparative Political Ideology (GVPT 459Y)

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

  • World Politics (PS 10400)
  • Transnational Networks in International Relations (INTL 31177)

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, Boston University). 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:

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

Teaching Interests

I am interested in teaching a wide range of courses in comparative politics and international relations that are related to my research interests, including Middle East Politics; International Politics; Nationalism & Citizen Formation; Authoritarianism; Comparative Politics and Political Theory; Comparative Political Ideology; Tolerance and Multiculturalism in Comparative Perspective; Comparative Political Behavior; Social Engineering and its Critics; International Security; Terrorism; and Transnational Networks in Global Politics.