Courses Taught

*Click course title to view syllabus

  • Instructor, Minority Groups and American Politics (POL330)
    • Every Semester
    • Course Description:In general, the groups most likely to reap the benefits of society are those in the majority. In this class, we will talk about why that is the case, and if that is even always the case in the first place. Among other things, we will discuss what a minority group is, how group-status affects the resources you have access to as well as your day-to-day life, where hierarchy and inequality exist in U.S. politics and whether it is acceptable/legitimate, what “privilege” is, how subconscious biases influence your political opinions, and whether “color-blind” policies are the solution to group-based tensions and inequality.
  • Instructor, Political Psychology (POL625)
    • Every Fall
    • Course Description: This course is intended to introduce students to political psychology. Political psychology – because of its interdisciplinary nature – accompanies a great deal of methodological and theoretical diversity. The field is theoretically diverse, by drawing heavily from cognitive psychology, social psychology, political science, and communication. The field is also methodologically quite diverse, perhaps more so than many subfields in political science. Some of the most influential pieces have employed qualitative techniques; others have used surveys, experiments, content analysis, and supervised and unsupervised text analysis.
  • Instructor, Quantitative Methodology II (POL682)
    • Every Spring
    • Course Description: This course provides an introduction to basic regression techniques. The class builds upon POL681 by reinforcing knowledge regarding linear regression and the Gauss-Markov assumptions underlying the classical linear model.
    • *Course materials available upon request.
  • Instructor, Programming for Statistical Analysis in R (POL596A)
    • Every Fall
    • Course Description: This course is a companion workshop to POL 681, which you should already be enrolled in. As you embark on learning about more applied statistics in POL 681, this workshop
      will provide you with the basic tools needed to conduct statistical analyses using the magic of computing, which is generally preferred over the noble yet time-consuming task of doing analyses by hand (although yes, you will still need to do some analyses by hand before the year is over :-)). Specifically, you will be introduced to the R Statistical Computing Environment, a free, open-source implementation/extension of the S programming language, and shown how to use R to do statistical analyses. In this course, we will cover everything from answering “what is R?,” to downloading R, loading data sets, manipulating data, doing basic statistical analyses, and even a bit of programming, as time permits.
    • *Course materials available upon request.
  • Instructor, The Psychology of Group Conflict and Cooperation (POL511A)
    • Every Spring (8-week online course offered through International Security Studies Program at UA)
    • Course Description: Ultimately, all political phenomena, including issues related to international security, boil down to interactions between humans – usually, groups of humans. As such, people’s lay theories and beliefs about how humans think and make decisions in groups significantly affect how they approach political issues, including those related to international security. Research on group psychology offers a means of informing, critically evaluating, and improving these lay theories and beliefs. Decades of research have been done in the fields of social and political psychology on how groups of people interact with one another, why interactions between and within groups often become hostile or counter-productive, and how interactions between and within groups can be adjusted in ways that encourage cooperation and peace. In this course, we will seek to understand, broadly: why do groups sometimes conflict and sometimes cooperate with one another? We will start by broadly reviewing what psychologists have discovered regarding inter- and intra-group behavior. Students will then learn about what small-scale laboratory research has told us about when and why conflict versus cooperation might result from group interactions. Next, we will spend considerable time examining how this research has been applied to understanding a range of international security issues, including war and peace, ethnic conflict, terrorism, genocide, international trade, foreign aid, immigration, and refugees. Assignments will require students to critically evaluate their own as well as others’ understandings of how group psychology influences contemporary international security issues and come up with concrete, novel ways in which group psychology might inform efforts to handle international security issues now and in the future.
  • Instructor, Public Policy Analysis (POLS236)
    • January 2015 – May 2015
    • Course Description: The nature of politics and policy with emphasis on synthesizing broad knowledge bases to inform policymaking. In this course, students learn the basic principles of public policy analysis such as identifying public problems, constructing alternative interventions, collecting evidence, detailing policy proposals, and evaluating policy effectiveness. Students also directly engage in cost-benefit analysis regarding contemporary public issues.
  • Instructor, Bureaucracy and the American Political System (POLS210)
    • August 2014 – December 2014
    • Course Description: Introduction to the administrative arm of American national, state, and local government. Students learn how bureaucracy has become important enough to the functioning of the federal system that it has been termed “the fourth branch of government.” Theories are reviewed regarding bureaucracy’s role as a political institution of the first order, not just as an implementer of policy. Students engage critically with issues of bureaucratic power, structure, and democratic control.
  • Teaching Assistant, Introduction to American Politics (POLS150)
    • January 2013 – May 2013
    • Instructor: Dr. Michael Combs
    • Course Description: Introduction to American Politics spanning American history (from the American Revolution to contemporary issues), current political institutions, political parties, interest groups, media and politics, and public opinion.