Teaching

I teach classes in security studies and comparative politics at St. Andrews. I also contribute lectures on ethnic politics, methods of causal inference, and research ethics to team taught classes at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

Courses Offered (click title for syllabus):

In 2014 and 2017, I was recognized for excellence in teaching by the St. Andrews Students’ Association and received, respectively, the Innovation in Teaching Award and the Excellent Module (Arts/Divinity) Award for IR4548 Force and Statecraft.

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Winners of the 2014 St. Andrews Students’ Association Teaching Awards

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Winners of the 2017 St. Andrews Students’ Association Teaching Awards

Asking for Recommendation Letters:

First, you should put some time and consideration into determining who to ask for a recommendation letter. A good reference should know you well enough to make their letter specific and personal. Generalities rarely impress. For both undergraduate and graduate students, in order to write for you, I need to have taught you in a small seminar, have advised your dissertation for at least a semester, or supervised you as a research assistant.

You should also make sure that you have excelled in the eyes of your letter writer in some tangible way: be it through academic achievement, dedication, improvement, or another quality your future employer or graduate program would value. I write supportive but above all honest letters.

Second, writing a good recommendation letter requires time and effort. I need a minimum of two weeks notice in order to fit you in my calendar. More is better. Aim for a month. Also, you should always ask for a reference prior to submitting my contact information to any organization. What if I have to decline to write for you?

Finally, be as organized as you can in asking for a reference. Doing so saves me valuable time and energy. You can ask for a letter either via email or in person. Either way, please include the following in a single email or hard copy packet:

  • a list of all graduate programs/jobs/grants you are applying for and the corresponding due dates for submitting the reference letters
  • a note indicating anything you want me to highlight in my letter (I do not have time to read through program materials myself)
  • your current CV/resume
  • a copy of your application essay or cover letter