My philosophy of teaching reduces to one simple idea: teachers can either compel students to learn, or inspire them to want to learn. The former is generally accomplished by enforcing course requirements such as assignments, readings, deadlines, and exams. The latter requires a teacher to complement this enforcement with a commitment to fostering students’ interest in a subject. Though both methods can be effective, creating a desire to learn facilitates understanding, retention, and appreciation of the material. This philosophy, which is informed by my experiences as a student and a teacher, guides my work as a professor of American politics.
I have taught multiple sections of American Presidency (PS 312), American Politics (PS 200), Legislative Process (PS 311), Junior Honors seminar (POLS 495), and American Politics seminars at the graduate level (PS 510, 511) and undergraduate levels (PS 496). I also serve as faculty advisor to student clubs, facilitate a number of independent studies and honors projects and have been a professor in the Fred Harris Congressional Internship Program since Fall semester of 2006. I have also been nominated for several teaching awards, including Outstanding Teacher of the Year, the Presidential Teaching Fellowship and Outstanding New Teacher of the Year. I received the College of Arts and Sciences’ Award for Teaching Excellence in Spring, 2010.