Teaching

Courses Taught

South Dakota State University

Civil Rights and Liberties (Fall 2016; Fall 2018) [Syllabus]

  • Description: This course explores constitutional politics and contemporary public policy issues through the study of judicial politics surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision-making. Some of the topics that will be addressed are: rival theories of constitutional interpretation; First Amendment free speech; criminal procedure under the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments; Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment; and Fourteenth Amendment due process (e.g., abortion, LGBT rights) and equal protection (e.g., affirmative action, school desegregation). At the end of the course students will appreciate the key role that the Supreme Court has in the American political system and in shaping controversial social policy.

The American Presidency (Fall 2018)

  • Course description and syllabus coming soon!

Courts & Judicial Politics (Spring 2018) [Syllabus]

  • Description: This course examines the judicial process, or how the law and politics interact, by studying the following topics: judicial selection, court organization, lawyers (training and role), criminal and civil trials, and judicial decision-making. The course material confronts the myth that judges, lawyers, and courts are not political. Throughout the semester we will discover that the judicial process is extremely political unlike what is depicted in movies and television shows, and we will discuss how the courts make and impact public policy through their decisions.

Politics of Inequality (Spring 2018) [Syllabus]

  • Description: This course confronts the inequality present in the American political system. Some of the topics that will be addressed are: economic inequality (e.g., income gap, minimum wage, the rising cost of living) political inequality (e.g., voting rights, representation, campaign finance), social inequality (e.g., Native Americans, African Americans, women, LGBT). The course material explores and analyzes the causes and effects of inequality, the role of political actors and institutions in both perpetuating and remedying inequality, and contemporary current events relating to issues of inequality. At the end of the semester, students will be better prepared to work with people with diverse backgrounds and have a better understanding of how the political process can be used and/or altered to begin correcting economic, political, and social inequality.

American Government (Fall 2016; Spring 2017; Fall 2017) [Online] [Syllabus]

  • Description: This course provides an overview of the federal government by studying the following topics: the structure and functions of government (e.g., the Constitution and federalism), political culture (e.g., the media and political parties), elections, institutions (i.e., Congress and the Supreme Court), and public policy. The course material focuses on the role of government in American society and how citizens, political elites, and policymakers interact to shape public policy. At the end of the semester, students will appreciate the complexity of the American political system and understand the importance of political participation.

Constitutional Law (Fall 2017) [Syllabus]

  • Description: This course explores the U.S. Supreme Court’s institutional and political role in deciding constitutional issues regarding the separation of powers, federalism, political rights, and Native Americans. Some of the topics that will be addressed are presidential authority over foreign and domestic affairs; executive branch policymaking; Congress’s legislative power; voting rights; reapportionment; campaign finance reform; states’ rights; and tribal sovereignty and authority. At the end of the course students will appreciate the key role that the Supreme Court has in the American political system and in shaping the scope and limitations of government powers.

The President & the Congress (Spring 2017) [Syllabus]

  • Description: This course explores the role of the U.S. President and Congress in the American political system through the study of theories that guide research on these two branches of government and contemporary political issues. Some of the topics that will be addressed are: presidential power and elections, congressional power and elections, congressional behavior (i.e., member goals and strategies, parties, leaders), congressional policymaking, and interbranch relations (i.e., how Congress and the President interact with one another, the bureaucracy, and the Supreme Court). At the end of the semester, students will appreciate the political and institutional dynamics within and surrounding the President and Congress and the role and influence of both in policymaking.

Honors College Independent Study: Individualism in the U.S. Senate (Fall 2017)

Independent Study: Women Executives Around the World (Spring 2017) [with Evren Celik Wiltse]

Kent State University

Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties (Spring 2015) [Syllabus]

  • Description: This course explores constitutional politics and contemporary public policy issues through the study of judicial politics surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision-making. Some of the topics that will be addressed are: rival theories of constitutional interpretation; First Amendment free speech; criminal procedure under the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments; Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment; and Fourteenth Amendment due process (e.g., abortion, LGBT rights) and equal protection (e.g., affirmative action, school desegregation). At the end of the course students will appreciate the key role that the Supreme Court has in the American political system and in shaping controversial social policy.

Courts (Fall 2014) [Syllabus]

  • Description: This course examines the judicial process, or how the law and politics interact, by studying the following topics: judicial selection, court organization, lawyers (training and role), criminal and civil trials, and judicial decision-making. The course material confronts the myth that judges, lawyers, and courts are not political. Throughout the semester we will discover that the judicial process is extremely political unlike what is depicted in movies and television shows, and we will discuss how the courts make and impact public policy through their decisions.

Guest Lectures

South Dakota State University

“The Institutional Presidency & the Iran Nuclear Deal” Current World Problems [Honors] (October 17, 2016)

Kent State University

“The Supreme Court as Policymakers: Implementing and Achieving Compliance” Courts (April 28, 2014)

“Affirmative Action: Grutter v. Bollinger” Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties (April 14, 2014)

“Research Design” Political Methods (February 13, 2014)

“The Judiciary” American Politics (October 7, 2013)

“Interest Groups” American Politics (April 16 & 17, 2012)

Teaching Assistant

Kent State University

  • Dr. Christopher P. Banks (Spring 2014)
    • Courts
    • Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
  • Dr. Daniel P. Hawes (Fall 2012)
    • Public Policy Methods I [Graduate]
  • Dr. Ryan L. Claassen
    • American Politics (Spring 2012)
    • Public Policy Methods II [Graduate] (Spring 2013)

Teaching Interests

American Political Institutions (Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Presidency)
Constitutional Law (Civil Rights and Liberties, Governmental Powers)
Political Behavior (Political Parties, Interest Groups, Campaigns and Elections)
Public Policy
Women and Politics
Quantitative Political Methods

Honors and Awards

South Dakota State University

  • Instructional Design Services Online Teaching Success Story
    • D2L Online Quizzing (April 20, 2017)
  • Thank-A Professor Program Thank You
    • Civil Rights and Liberties (Fall 2016)

Website Last Updated: 7/17/2018

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