Teaching

I have published several pedagogical pieces, most of which focus on the use of games and simulations in undergraduate education.

Previous courses and syllabi: (at the University at Albany unless otherwise noted)

  • RPOS 102: Introduction to Comparative Politics and International Relations (Summer 2019, Winter 2020, Summer 2020)
    • Why do some countries like North Korea pursue nuclear weapons while a majority do not? Why do some countries take more aggressive efforts to try to deter climate change than others? What accounts for the rise in nationalism in many nation-states? What explains the rise of violent transnational extremist groups such as the Islamic State? In this course, we will explore the theories and concepts through which political scientists try to answer these contemporary questions. In doing so, we will examine both classical and contemporary works in the subfields of comparative politics and international relations. At the conclusion of the course, students will not only have an understanding of major theories and concepts in these political science subfields but will also be to apply them to some of the most pressing political issues of our time. Gen. Ed: Social Sciences, Challenges for the 21st Century.
    • Student feedback: “I appreciate how this course involved diverse reading assignments, despite not having an assigned textbook. This course is perfect for students to acquire a general understanding of different theories, as well as how political decisions are made across the globe. I found the course to be enriching and the instructor to be passionate and interactive.”
    • CWillis RPOS 102
  • RPOS 362: Nationalism and Nation-Building (Fall 2019)
    • The resurgence of nationalist movements over the past several decades has highlighted the importance of understanding theories of nationalism and nation-building. This course will examine questions important to the study of nationalism and nation-building such as: what is the difference between a nation and a state? How does nation-building impact citizenship? How do nationalist politics impact the relationships between countries? What is the impact of nationalism on regional integration and vice-versa? Answers to these questions and more will be explored both through theoretical lenses and case studies.
    • CWillis RPOS 362
  • CEHC 310: Research Seminar in Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (Fall 2019)
    • In many undergraduate classes, students are consumers of research created by others. Students read historical case studies of disasters, examine regression results of probing the relationship between democracy and terrorism, peruse interviews with government officials from homeland security agencies, and scrutinize surveys of public opinion of privacy and security. What is often unclear is the research process lurking behind these final results. The mission of this course is to shed light on the research process in the areas of emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity. Over the course of the semester, students will conduct literature reviews, develop hypotheses, construct research designs, collect data, test hypotheses, and communicate findings. Students will start by creating a literature review on a topic of the student’s interest, identifying a falsifiable research question of interest to them in an area related to his or her concentration and subsequently investigating the question using the procedures and methods of social science.
    • CWillis CEHC 310