I am a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the University of Chicago studying American politics. I was previously a Pozen Center for Human Rights Doctoral Fellow and an Urban Doctoral Fellow at the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation. My research interests broadly include public opinion, political behavior, and the role of political and social identities in shaping support for racially inclusive political projects. My research has been published in Social Science Quarterly and featured in the Washington Post, MinnPost, and Reframing Russia.
My dissertation, Shades of White: How White Identity Shapes Attitudes About Racial Politics, argues that white identity is a strong determinant of support for racially inclusive political projects. In so doing, I advance a theory of white identity that varies on two dimensions: consciousness, which indicates the cognitive centrality of white group membership for individuals; and valence, which indicates how individuals interpret this group identity in a broader social, political, and economic context. Individuals interpret their white racial identity as either advantaged (positive valence) or disadvantaged (negative valence) and buy into racial narratives that confirm this interpretation. I use an exploratory sequential mixed methods research design and draw upon in-depth qualitative interviews from a case study location in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan area in Minnesota as well as multiple national surveys of white Americans that develop novel measurement strategies for estimating the two dimensions of white identity. Ultimately, I find that variations along the two dimensions of white identity, and in particular along the dimension of valence, are associated with different levels of support for and engagement with the politics of racial inclusion. My broader research agenda is similarly motivated by questions of how identity shapes political attitudes and behavior, especially around issues of racial justice and policing in the United States.
I hold an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a BA in Political Science and English, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota. (Go Gophers!)