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Degree Program University
Ph.D. Rutgers University
M.A. Rutgers University
B.A. The College of Wooster

My Siena Experience

My Teaching Philosophy

I hope I empower students to ask the right questions, to write and think well, and to be confident experts in their field. A hand-on, interactive approach is the best method I have found for doing this. 

What I Love About Siena

Our students are the best part of teaching.
I love that a Siena student will email me after a class has ended about the "Hannanh Arendt" film he saw because we read Arendt's book Eichmann in Jerusalem about the "banality of evil" in the wake of the Holocaust.
I love that a Siena student will watch an episode of the tv show "The Simpsons" (where a Latino student coming into Lisa's class) and says that he thought about the reading we had about Latinidad and the politics of identity. 

Siena students care about the world, they care about social justice and community building -- and that makes for a lively classroom with space to disagree, agree, and  to become empowered learners.

When a student comes into his or her own by thinking critically and originally -- when that "click" moment happens of understanding and empowerment -- I think that is always rewarding because we both learn something. 

Teaching at a Liberal Arts school means that our students can think broadly and creatively -- those are the kind of empowered learners we need in the 21st century.

My Favorite Courses to Teach

There isn't a class I don't enjoy teaching at Siena College. I appreciate my Introduction to Political Theory students because they come from all three schools and yet they gel together for a conversation about poltiical ideas from rights to lying in politics to equality and justice. In fact, it's always amazing to see the Management major who turns out to be a brilliant interpreter of John Locke who was so important for the American revolution. Or the biology student who is a beautiful writer about equality. Or the Political Science student who avoided theory only to find out that there is more Machiavelli in the world than she knew.

I've taught Human Rights as an Honors level seminar in Political Science twice; both times my students have spoiled and humbled me with the level of work they could do. Human rights cases typically emerge after some terrible horror has occurred -- genocide, torture, rape -- so the material is challenging on multiple levels. But our students face difficulty head on. All of these students present their original research projects which have an academic and practical component at Academic Celebration in May. I love their work which is smart and original. And I love what we all learn together. Come to my office and you can see photos and my doodle of the class and their research projects. Students rise to the occasion in an Honors class!

"Women and Politics" is close to my heart because the students are always so thoughtful and interested in the topic. I'm lucky that the class has always been an even mix of women and men. Our discussions about gender and leadership, public policy, women in liberal and conservative movements, and how ideas of masculinity and femininity shape our personal and political lives is always lively! 

My Professional Experience

Year Title University
2007 - Now Assistant Professor Siena College
2005 - 2007 Visiting Assistant Professor Siena College
2000 - 2005 Visiting Instructor Providence College

Current Research

My research interests revolve around representational politics in terms diversity: gender, race, ethinicity, and class in popular culture and politics.
I have a forthcoming book chapter on "'Cash or Credit?: Sex and Mad Men" for an edited book collection (Bloomsbury Press). I am also working on student debt and citizenship work which I presented at the American Political Science Association meeting (August 2014), the politics of bad examples, and I have an ongoing interest in the work of the Greek-French thinker Cornelius Castoriadis.
You can also look at my two recent blog posts at the Hannah Arendt Center located at Bard College at and

Articles & Book Reviews

  • Remembering Democracy in Claiming Women's Human Rights
    Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, vol. 22
    Winter, 2010
  • The Imaginary and a Political Quest for Freedom
    differences, vol. 13
    Fall, 2002

Awards & Distinctions

  • June 26-July 28, 2006 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute fellowship, 'Human Rights in Conflict: Interdisciplinary Perspectives' CUNY Graduate Center
    Category: Other
    National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute fellowship, 2006

Books & Book Chapters

  • Blackwell's Encyclopedia of Political Thought
  • Feminism and Popular Culture



  • Debt and the Citizen
    March, 2011
    8th Annual Conference in Citizenship Studies, Detroit, Michigan
  • Bad Examples, Feminist Politics, and Risky Judgments
    New England Political Science Association Meeting, N/A, Unknown
  • Global Citizenship and the Politics of Good Intentions
    American Political Science Association Meeting, Toronto, Canada
  • Social Imaginaries of Women's Human Rights
    11th Annual Comparative Literature Conference, N/A, South Carolina
  • Simone de Beauvoir and the Politics of Ambiguity
    American Political Science Association Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Smart, Funny and Romantic?: Femininity and Feminist Gestures in Chick Flicks
    Southern Political Science Association Meeting, N/A, Unknown
  • What Democratic Love Requires
    Western Political Science Association Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Human Rights, Sexual Autonomy and Femininity in Distress
    American Political Science Association Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Impossible Professions, Possible Practices
    estern Political Science Association Meeting, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Orientations to the Past: The 'Mournful Joy' of Frederick Douglass
    Western Political Science Association Meeting, N/A, Unknown