B.S. and M.S. in political science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1989)
Ph.D. in political science, University of Hawai'i at Manoa (2000)
My research interests in political science involve comparative political history and the political economy of development, especially as applied to Asia and the Middle East. I've published several peer-reviewed journal articles on agrarian reforms in Vietnam that originated from my dissertation field research there in the mid-1990s, and I've also published work on state formation and nationalism in Cambodia. Another area of scholarly interest is effective pedagogy and the use of simulations in the teaching of international relations and comparative politics. This work has been published in journals such as International Studies Perspectives and the Journal of Political Science Education.
I grew up in a small rural town in Maine and am the first member of my family to go to college, making my career in academia a combination of happy accident and hard work. In my teaching, I emphasize the analytical and problem-solving skills that I have found most useful in my own life and which foster creative and innovative thinking - the type of thinking that is needed to remain competitive and productive as one moves through life. I believe that it is important for students to expand their awareness of multiple perspectives through rigorous study and to be able to effectively communicate practical solutions to social problems. Students in all of my courses are required to present well-constructed arguments, orally and in writing, and must justify their conclusions using available evidence.