I am a Ph.D. Candidate studying Political Psychology at the University of California, Irvine and an Instructor at Loyola Marymount University. My advisors are Kristen Monroe, Marty Wattenberg, and Michael Tesler.
I grew up in a political bubble – the Maryland/Washington DC area, just outside of the beltway. Some of my earliest political experiences include protesting the Iraq war on the National Mall, lobbying for clean energy in Annapolis, MD, and interning for the then-Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer. I worked on Capitol Hill at a truly historic time- from President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009 through the healthcare “summer from hell” (townhalls anyone!?). I witnessed the fallout from the auto and bank bailouts, the passage of the economic stimulus, and the rise of the tea party (quite literally — tea bags sent as warning messages to Congressional leaders). I watched healthcare devolve into an irate and bitter national debate. And I didn’t even see the worst of it. Needless to say, these experiences have been invaluable to my understanding of American politics and personalities that govern both politics and policy.
Why political psychology?
I pursued graduate school in part to understand the minds at work inside the beltway. Today I consider political psychology to be my primary field of inquiry and that which best represents my academic interests, pursuits, and expertise. As an interdisciplinary field, political psychology mirrors the ever-increasing reality of an interconnected world in which knowledge is conceived, communicated, and exchanged across geographic lines, across spheres of inquiry, and across boundaries between what has traditionally been considered public and private spaces. The work of Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Machiavelli, Michels and Rousseau, each of whom theorized on the state of nature, ‘savage man,’ and the relationship between leaders and their followers, are psychological inquiries from the perspective of political theory. Political psychology is perfectly situated to revisit these theories, to employ modern analytic techniques, and to progress our understanding of human nature, behavior and social interaction as it manifests within different political contexts.
When I’m not working, I primarily serve the demands of my two black cats, Genie and Max Weber. I also enjoy hiking, paddling, and swimming along the coast of California.
For me, the personal is political.