This section serves as a brief overview of my own personal history and how I came to develop an interest in political science. Many of the opportunities and benefits I enjoy today are due to a combination of fortune, chance and unexpected turns. 

Personal Background

I am originally from Fanwood, New Jersey, which is located about 10 miles southwest of Newark and thirty miles southwest of Manhattan. Growing up, I had the opportunity to be a part of a politically active family. My mother worked for the Port Authority of NY and NJ - a regional governmental agency, my father worked for PSE&G and was a member of their electrical workers union, my grandmother worked for local government for the city of East Orange, and my grandfather worked for the Port Authority and was a member of their teamsters union. My family made sure, from a young age, that I understood I what the purpose of government was and how I could make my voice be heard. I attribute my interest in politics to my family's own political activity and their willingness to instill into me a sense civic duty.  

UNC-Chapel Hill (Undergrad)

I attended UNC - Chapel Hill between August 2012 and May 2016. Originally, I intended to major in chemistry; however, plans changed and I switched to political science during the fall of my junior year. My first exposure to political science research was during the spring of my junior year when I took a political framing course taught by Frank Baumgartner. Surprisingly, I only enrolled in the course because I did not qualify for the spring semester honors thesis seminar taught by the political science department. I had no expectations going into the course, but ended up walking out with a burgeoning interest in political science research. Interacting with Frank during this course, I had the opportunity to apply and participate in the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) and I had the opportunity to later enroll into the death penalty seminar course that led to my coauthoring of Deadly Justice. 

Research Interests