I am a PhD candidate in political science at the University of California, Merced, as well as a lecturer at California State University, Stanislaus. My research expertise primarily focuses on comparative politics, but with an emphasis on authoritarianism. However, my teaching expertise covers both comparative and American politics.

My dissertation focuses on judicial independence in authoritarian countries. I examine three factors that influence an incumbent autocrat's decision to grant a greater degree of independence to their judiciary. First, I argue that access to natural resources disincentivizes judicial independence, but only in the context of authoritarianism. Second, I argue that the presence of opposition among political elites incentivizes autocrats to establish judicial independence, but only under conditions of reduced coup risk. Third, I argue that the presence of strong opposition among the mass public also incentivizes autocrats to establish judicial independence, but only when this opposition is primarily non-violent and disorganized. My research interests extend beyond judiciaries under authoritarianism, and I have published research on state propaganda and protests.

I have taught several political science courses on a variety of topics, including American Government, Institutions of Democracy, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior, Judicial Politics, Authoritarian Politics, and Transitions to Democracy.