I am a postdoctoral scholar in race and ethnic politics in the Department of Government at William and Mary and an incoming assistant professor in the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona. I received my PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 2023. My research interests broadly include public opinion, political behavior, and the role of political and social identities in shaping support for racial equality. My research has been published in Social Science Quarterly and featured in the Washington Post, MinnPost, and the UCL Centre for US Politics Working Paper Series in American Politics.
My book project, Shades of White: How White Identity Shapes Attitudes About Racial Politics, argues that white identity is a strong determinant of support for racial equality. 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 equality. 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!)