I seek to teach students how to ask good questions, assess and synthesize information, engage in analytical reasoning, and communicate effectively. I hope to inspire them to continue to ask and answer questions after they’ve completed their final exams. I use the content of a political science course to motivate critical thinking and writing, not as material to be memorized. Learning the art of clear communication—written and oral—is one of the hallmarks of a college education, and I design my syllabi with this goal in mind.

Current Courses:

Ethics in Data Science GOVT391/DATA202

This course addresses topics at the intersection of political communication, data science, ethics, and policy. We will examine how changes in the structure and forms of political communication affect the relationships between government actors, the media, and the public; and affect the production of data that can be used to study those relationships, with added consideration of the ethical implications of the creation, sharing, and analysis of that data. While the course will emphasize the effects of the Internet and social media, it will do so in the context of understanding the similarities and differences of these effects compared to earlier historical transformations of the media and information environment. The study of political communication presents many intriguing questions. What has been the historical impact of “democratizing” news sources? How have Facebook and Twitter altered the way that elected officials communicate with, and campaign to, their constituents? How has the proliferation of news availability affected the public’s information consumption and political knowledge? Who uses the data that people create through their mobile devices and online behavior, what are they doing with the data, and how is that data being protected? What kinds of data do campaigns have about potential voters, and why does that matter? We will tackle these and other questions during the semester.

Past Courses:

Intro to American Government and Politics 201
Political Behavior 374
Two Americas: Polarization in Religion and Politics GOVT 391/RELG 308
Social and Psychological Influences on Political Behavior 401
Politics in the Era of Social Media 401

Future Courses:

DCSI American Politics Institute