I am an associate professor and the associate chair in the department of political science at Tulane University. My research focuses on American political behavior, political socialization and public policy. I earned my Ph.D. in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2004 and my B.A. in Political Science from the College of Charleston in 1998. I authored A Midwestern Mosaic: Immigration and Political Socialization in Rural America (Temple University Press, 2012) and Cultivating Democracy: Civic Environments and Political Socialization in America with James G. Gimpel and Jason E. Schuknecht (Brookings Institution Press, 2003).

My research broadly examines political behavior, including political socialization, public opinion and voting behavior. In addition to understanding how children’s attitudes toward politics develop, I am most interested in the interplay between political attitudes and knowledge about public policy – especially immigration and education policy – and voting and support for political parties and candidates. I am currently working on several projects related to attitudes around education reform nationally and in New Orleans. I am also part of a research team working on gender and political socialization among children. I have published (or have articles forthcoming) in the Journal of Politics, Social Science Quarterly, American Politics Research, Rural Sociology, Urban Affairs Review, Politics & Policy, the Journal of Political Marketing, the Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy, and the Journal of Political Science Education, among others.

I am the recipient of a Monroe Fellowship (2017-2018) at the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South and have been awarded research grants from the Carol Lavin-Bernick Faculty Grant, the Tulane Committee on Research, and the Newcomb College Institute.  I have been awarded the Honors Professor of the Year from the Tulane Honors Program, a Duren Professorship from Newcomb-Tulane College, and have worked with numerous students on their honors theses and independent projects. I am the director and creator of the Summer Minor Program in U.S. Public Policy at Tulane and have run a monthly departmental workshop for junior faculty since 2008. I serve on the editorial board of Urban Affairs Review and am the co-director for the New Orleans chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network, a nationwide organization dedicated to bridging academia and public policy.

I am the proud parent of two daughters and one very old, little white puffball dog. In my limited spare time, I enjoy traveling, scrapbooking, and watching silly reality TV competitions.