I received my Ph.D. in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2014, and I’m currently an Assistant Professor in the Political Science department at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley – where I teach courses in judicial politics, constitutional law, political theory, and American political development.
My research focuses on the interactive effects of law and justice in pluralistic democracy. I am interested in the development and sustainment of legal norms, particularly when those norms are placed under political stress. How do systems maintain legitimacy under conditions of durable disagreement over fundamental values?
My current projects are organized around several ‘hotspots’ in contemporary politics–race and the Movement for Black Lives, educational inequality and high stakes testing, and the argument over secular speech and religious tolerance–in an effort to demonstrate the practical utility of abstract debates within political and legal theory on topics such as justice, deliberation, and democracy.
I am the director of the UTRGV Law School Preparation Institute, one of the most successful programs for professional development and legal education in the state of Texas.