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About Me

I am a PhD student at UCLA in the Department of Political Science, where I study American Politics and Methodology. My research primarily focuses on the politics of gun ownership in the United States, though I am broadly interested in the study of state and local politics and representation in American Politics.

 

While at UCLA, I have been advised by Dr. Daniel Thompson and Dr. Lynn Vavreck. I am pursuing numerous projects on the politics of the Second Amendment and gun ownership in the United States, and this work has been funded through UCLA's Graduate Summer Research Fellowship (Summer 2023), and the year-long Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship (Academic Year 2023-24). With my colleague Barney Chen, our work on studying the effects of mass shootings on legislative behavior has been funded by UCLA's Initiative to Study Hate. 

 

Previously, I have worked as a Congressional intern, a state and local policy researcher for an advocacy group, a waiter, and an outdoor supply salesman. I have also directed grassroots political campaigns and worked as a community organizer, which has led me to testify before numerous state legislatures and submit expert written testimony on gun violence prevention legislation that was read before the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives. 

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I am also an avid backpacker and birdwatcher (and very amateur bird photographer). I shoot traditional recurve archery and have been trying to become more proficient in the use of the atlatl. 

Education

2022 - Present

Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science

University of California, Los Angeles

My doctoral research investigates the politics of gun ownership in the United States. My work in the American Politics and Methods subfields is advised by Dr. Dan Thompson and Dr. Lynn Vavreck.

2020 - 2022

Master of Public Administration

The University of Alabama

I pursued my MPA through an accelerated degree program offered by UA. I graduated with top honors and with funding as the 308 Grace Street Scholar for my research in multiple-use forest management practices in Alabama. 

2018 - 2022

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The University of Alabama

I graduated summa cum laude with my degree in Political Science as a University Fellow. 

Grants, Fellowships, and Awards

Grants:

ISH Research Innovation Fund Recipient (Summer 2023). $15,000 Grant awarded by the UCLA Initiative to Study Hate for research project: Hate-Inspired Mass Violence and Vicissitudes in Legislative Behavior and Governmental Responses.

Fellowships:

Graduate Summer Research Mentorship (GSRM), UCLA Graduate Division, Fellowship for mentored research with Dr. Lynn Vavreck for summer term (June-August 2023)

Graduate Research Mentorship (GRM), UCLA Graduate Division, Fellowship for mentored research with Dr. Lynn Vavreck and Dr. Dan Thompson for full academic year (August 2023-June 2024)

308 Grace Street Scholar (Fall 2021) Selected as top returning student for UA’s MPA program to conduct funded policy research. Prepared paper “Multiple-Use Forest Management in Alabama: An Effective Balance of Interests or an Unrealistic Ideal?”

Awards:

Best Paper Award – UA Department of Political Science (Spring 2022). Award from the faculty of the UA Dept. of Political Science to the graduate or undergraduate student with the best individual research paper.

Distinguished Leader Award (Spring 2022). Awarded for outstanding student leadership and service by the UA Division of Student Life.

 

Best Social Science Research (Spring 2021). Awarded first place for independent research project "COVID-19 and Sky-Rocketing Gun Sales" at the 2021 Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Conference at UA. 

Will Byington Student Officer of the Year Award (Spring 2021) Awarded top honor for student organization officers for service as President of Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault.

 

Outstanding Sophomore (Spring 2020) University-wide award recognizing one sophomore for extraordinary contributions to the UA campus and Tuscaloosa community.

 

University Fellows Experience (8/2018–5/2022). One of 24 students recruited annually for four-year fully funded honors program at UA with curriculum focused on social justice and leadership.

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