Welcome to my professional page. I am currently Assistant Professor of Political Science and Co-Coordinator of International Programs 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 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.
My book, Career Behaviour and the European Parliament: All Roads Lead through Brussels?, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. 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, 1979-2014, that is available on the research tab of my page. 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.
Related research has also appeared in JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, European Union Politics, Journal of European Integration, The Journal of European Public Policy, and in the form of various ongoing working papers and projects. For additional information on these projects, please consult my research/data page.
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. I hold graduate studies certificates in European Union studies and Western Europe studies from the European Union Center of Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh and studied German language and culture as a FLAS scholar at the Middlebury College German School in Vermont. I speak both French and German fluently and have also studied Dutch and Polish.
When not crunching numbers and researching, I am probably teaching, traveling, or at the gym.
For more information on my educational background and ongoing projects, please refer to my CV, research/data, and teaching pages.