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About Me

I received my Ph.D. from the University of South Florida, School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies in Government with a dual concentration in comparative politics and quantitative methods.  I am versed in both frequentist and Bayesian methods using R, Stata, LaTeX, and beginning ArcGIS. Currently, I am a university instructor of comparative politics.

My current research examines political participation, extremism, authoritarianism in the Eastern European and North Caucasus contexts.  I have published on topics ranging from an examination of political participation of the Belorussian protests of 2020, the Polish state of democracy under PiS' (Law and Justice) disagreements with Brussels over their judicial and media crackdowns, Russia's war on Ukraine, as well as Chechnya's Ramzan Kadyrov's roll in Ukraine.

I am also interested in Chechnya and relations between the state and its people, as well as the spread of Wahhabism in the region, and its relation to global jihadist ideologies vs. ethnic nationalism and gazavat. In particular, I am examining the case of Chechen battalions fighting on behalf of Ukraine 2014- present. I am creating an original database of over 100 interviews, statements and social media posts to support this effort.

 

I've interned for Former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) and The United Nations, Department of Political Affairs. I completed field research and language training in Moscow, Russia. I am also a former United States Marine. 

 

I was a panel participant in the United Nations Association: UN Millennium Development Goals 2013 in Tampa.  I have been a peer reviewer for the American Journal of Political Science and Political Behavior.  I am also a contributing author to The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality.

I also have some public scholarship in Foreign Policy, WaPo's The Monkey Cage, & The Globe Post.

While in Rochester, I was a Visiting Ph.D. Student Scholar at the University of Rochester. 

 

I'm also a wife to a journalist and a mom to two kids and an English Bulldog and a pot-bellied pig. 


Because of my husband's job, we've moved around a lot, particularly during my Ph.D. work.  From Milwaukee to Tampa, to Rochester, NY, and now back to Tampa. 

 

I love cooking, hiking, Christmas in Boston, Russian Winters, and Fall in Western New York.

I also like to curate playlists related to my research or teaching interests. You can find my newest initiative for fun in this regard below.  

#decolonizeyourplaylists is a fun but informative series I began on Twitter to expose my followers and beyond to the underground music scene of Ukraine.  

Russian artists tend to get much more play and press, I think, as a result of a fascination that still permeates related to Russia's Soviet past.  In other words, this is a hangover of Russia's colonial past whether or not those artists intend that or not. My goal is not to exclude Russian artists (unless they are colonial in presentation) but rather to include Ukrainians in this space as uniquely Ukrainian, even if they were performing in the Russian language. Below is a list of some of the songs I have included in the Twitter series so far.  It will be an ever-expanding list.

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