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):
- IR3060 Rebellion and Revolution
- IR4548 Force and Statecraft
- IR5001 International Security
- IR5064 The Military in Politics
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.
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