Teaching

Teaching

My goals as a teacher of political science are two-fold. First, I seek to impart to my students practical and highly adaptable skills for finding answers to well-formulated questions. Even before students begin their technical training in statistics or formal theory, they already have access to one of the most powerful faculties for understanding the world. It is their intuition that allows them to formulate intelligent, well-informed research questions and design feasible ways to test plausible answers to those questions. I hope to devote my classes to helping students develop their own taste for interesting puzzles, instincts for theoretical inquiry, and critical eyes for sound methodology. This interplay of creative and critical thinking will help students well beyond the confines of the ivory towers, as they confront real world challenges in their respective vocations.

Second, I hope to help students develop substantive interests in world affairs. By emphasizing breadth as well as depth in the materials that I cover, I seek to provide students with ample opportunities for finding problems in international affairs that truly interest them. By being exposed to a wide range of issue areas and literatures, students attain not only a holistic picture of the International Relations (IR) scholarship past and present, but also clarity as to where they might carve out a niche for themselves. Though not altogether surprising, my experience advising students in small groups as they develop their papers—an integral component of Professor Jack Snyder’s undergraduate courses—largely reinforced my conviction that students produce the best work when they are truly interested in their topics. A substantive interest, solidified in the classroom setting, may one day become a decisive factor in a student’s career choice.

In pursuing these two goals, I emphasize conversational style of teaching. The instructor begins the conversation by laying out the main questions at the heart of any given literature. I proceed to invite the students into the discussion, as they critically engage some of the major theoretical answers represented in the literature. During the process, we collectively work to formulate potential research questions and blueprints for methodologically sound investigation. Over the course of the conversation, students also develop a sense of ownership and the confidence necessary to produce quality work of their own.

Here’s a list of my previous and current teachings.

Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Assistant Professor

  • Political Economy in the Shadow of Conflict. Fall 2017; Spring 2020-22
  • Theories of International Relations. Spring 2016-18, 2021-22; Fall 2016-17, 2019-22
  • Political and Economic Challenges in Energy and the Environment. Spring 2017
  • Global Energy Fundamentals, co-taught with Prof. Deborah Bleviss. Fall 2015

Columbia University. Teaching Assistant

  • Theories of International Relations (field survey). Prof. Robert Jervis. Fall 2012-14
  • Nationalism and Contemporary World Politics. Prof. Jack L. Snyder. Spring 2012
  • International Relations. Prof. Robert Jervis. Spring 2011
  • Power and Progress in International Relations. Prof. Jack L. Snyder. Fall 2010-11