Welcome to my professional page. I am currently Assistant Professor of Political Science at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, where I teach courses in comparative politics and research methods. I obtained my PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh in April 2013, where I was also affiliated with the University's European Union Center of Excellence.
My research program is located at the intersection of comparative politics and international relations, with regional expertise in European politics. Recent work has appeared in JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies.
My dissertation forms the basis of a book project that is currently under contract with Oxford University Press for completion in 2014, following the upcoming European elections. The project explores institutional change in the European Parliament and its effect on the career paths of its membership. To do so, I examine the role of legislative professionalization and national political party gatekeepers on the career behavior and advancement strategies of European Parliament legislators. The project uses a major new source of quantitative data that I have collected on the personal and professional backgrounds of all European deputies, 1979-2009, and which will be extended through 2014 following the elections. It also relies on over fifty qualitative interviews that I have conducted with legislators and other political experts in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Poland.
I am originally from Charlotte, NC, and also hold an MA in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a BA magna cum laude with Honors in Political Science and French from Wake Forest University. For more information on my educational background and ongoing projects, please refer to my CV, research, and teaching pages.
When not crunching numbers and completing my dissertation, I am an avid traveler and swimmer.