I am a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Political Science at Penn State University. My graduate work has been supported by a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship. My major field of study is comparative politics and my secondary fields are American politics and political methodology. My research is broadly focused on comparative political institutions and public opinion, and more specifically on federalism and state politics. My dissertation explores the relationship between subnational authoritarianism (or the variation in state levels of democracy) and support for democracy in national federal democratic systems. I argue that subnational authoritarianism has the potential to effect public opinion about democracy by directly influencing the ability of state governments to represents citizens, as well as indirectly by affecting subnational economic and political performance.
My dissertation and much of my other research is cross-regional. My dissertation includes countries from six continents and I have a published piece using Afrobarometer data. I do however, have a particular interest in Latin American politics, predominately Brazil. In July of 2017, I traveled to Brazil, specifically the states of Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul, to conduct interviews to support my dissertation.