I am a fellow at the Robert A Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania and an instructor at Penn. I also conduct the research for the Slate podcast Whistlestop and a book companion to the podcast. I work at the intersection of 4 disciplines— history, political science, media studies, and communications. My scholarly interests include Congress, the media, public policy, and the Supreme Court. I also have a significant interest in the substance of public policy. I am a passionate and devoted teacher with substantial teaching experience across multiple disciplines. I love to experiment in the classroom with innovative methods and course elements.
I wrote a doctoral dissertation entitled, Mount Rushmore: The Rise of Talk Radio and Its Impact on Politics and Public Policy, which I am converting into a book for Harvard University Press.
I have authored pieces for CNN.com, Politico, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Baltimore Sun, The Daily Beast and Time Magazine's history blog, and contributed insight to pieces for other media outlets includingThe Wall Street Journal and Buzzfeed. I have also appeared on radio and television programs, including the Michael Smerconish Program, StandUP with Pete Dominick, The Leslie Marshall Show, and Backstory with the American History Guys.
I have been fascinated with politics and the media for as long as I can remember (I recall being confused when my preferred candidate lost the mock presidential election in kindergarten). I loved to read behind the scenes books that detailed the inner-workings of politics during my youth. In college and graduate school I have channeled this passion into study of politics over the last half century.
I am also passionate about exploring ideas and trying to find creative solutions to society's seemingly intractable problems. I love debating public policy, and teaching about it and the policymaking process.
I received a PhD and a MA in history from the University of Virginia and a BA in political science (with honors) and history from the University of Pennsylvania.
Outside of work, my passions include sports, especially Philadelphia sports, food and cooking, reading fiction, dogs, technology, furniture, contemporary art, and Philadelphia.