Teaching

My teaching interests include international relations, international security, foreign policy, political psychology, and experimental methods. As an Assistant Professor at Colgate University, I teach a variety of courses in International Relations at different levels including courses in American foreign policy, intelligence analysis, international security, and introduction to IR theory. In addition to my teaching experience, I also completed two teaching certificates at Duke University focusing on pedagogy and effective teaching techniques: the Teaching Politics Certificate Program and the Certificate in College Teaching. Below, you will find information for the courses I have taught at Colgate. For a full copy of my teaching philosophy, please contact me. Please click on each course's heading to access a sample syllabus of that course.

This senior seminar course delves deeply into the diverse explanations for the causes of war and explores how states engage in international conflict. In this class, we address critical issues and questions focusing on the conduct of war and international security. Why do states engage in warfare to begin with? Under what conditions is war more or less likely in the international system? Which factors make states more likely win conflicts? In doing so, this course builds upon the knowledge students have already attained as political science and international relations majors while also introducing new ideas and concepts at a high level of intellectual engagement. Students engage with academic scholarship employing a variety of methodological and conceptual approaches, apply the concepts addressed in class to real-world events, and conduct their own research.


This course introduces students to the complex and important process of obtaining, analyzing, and using intelligence in American foreign policy. The course is centered around six critical questions regarding intelligence analysis and its impact on statecraft: What is intelligence? Who makes up the intelligence community? How do policymakers use intelligence? Why do intelligence failures happen? How do we collect and analyze intelligence? What are the challenges facing the intelligence community in the 21st century? By answering these questions, the course tackles critical problems to the collection, analysis, and use of intelligence to meet the American national interest. Throughout the course, we pay close attention to the challenges both policymakers and intelligence analysts face in obtaining, processing, and using information.

This course focuses on the theoretical traditions underlying American foreign policy (AFP), key concepts in the conduct of foreign policy, and the application of these theories and concepts to historical and contemporary events. Students who take this course will acquire the tools to become well-informed observers and analysts of AFP. We begin by delving into the sources that shape foreign policy decision-making, including domestic politics and the impact of international relations paradigms on policy makers. We then examine the tools of foreign policy to understand how policy makers implement foreign policy decisions. Finally, we analyze contemporary challenges and problems in AFP by applying the theories and concepts discussed earlier in the course. In doing so, we tie together our understanding of how foreign policy decisions are made, how these decisions are executed, and which policy problems are most critical to AFP today. 

What are the causes of war and the conditions for peace in international politics? This course answers this question by providing students with an introduction to critical and enduring approaches to understanding international relations. Students examine theories about what states want in the international system, how states achieve these aims, and how states handle contemporary problems facing the world today. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, the causes of war, alliance politics, globalization, nuclear weapons, humanitarian intervention, terrorism, and cybersecurity.

This course serves as an introduction to key concepts in international politics. It is designed to provide students with an understanding of how the international system has evolved and currently operates. In the first section of the course, we  examine competing perspectives on the morality of war and study how key concepts, such as power and self-interest, contribute to the onset of international conflict. In the second part of the course, we discuss the factors that make peace and cooperation in the international system more likely. Finally, in the third section, we apply the concepts covered earlier in the course to current problems of war and peace. This course is meant to be of value of both those students for whom this will be their only class in political science as well as those students who seek to continue their education in international relations.