I was born and raised in Alpena, a small lakeside town in northeastern lower Michigan. I attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, for my undergraduate education, earning a Bachelor of Arts in political science and women’s and gender studies in 2014. While a Marquette student, I took part in three internships: one as an intern for the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative in my hometown, one as a congressional intern for Senator Herb Kohl in his Milwaukee field office, and one as a research intern for the Office of Foreign Assets Control in the Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C. Though these experiences were phenomenal, the truly transformational experience of my undergraduate career was my research fellowship granted by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Marquette. Under the advisement of Dr. Paul Nolette, I examined U.S. Supreme Court fundamental right to marry jurisprudence from 1888 to 2013. Using a framework developed from the Supreme Court’s decision referencing the four “incidents of marriage” in Turner v. Safley (1987), I analyzed the relevant jurisprudence along Equal Protection and Due Process lines and made general predictions regarding future judicial action. This project ignited in me a spark wherein it became clear that academic politico-legal research is what I am meant to do. I sought out graduate programs with especially strong programs in American legal politics and a strong commitment to preparing students for the professoriate. With this in mind, I chose to attend Syracuse University for my graduate education beginning in the fall of 2014.
As alluded to above, my research interests revolve around law and courts. Specifically, I am interested in how courts act as rights protectors, especially when other branches of the federal government have similar rights-protection prerogatives. I am interested in larger questions of separation of powers and especially the judiciary’s place in the American political system, especially as it relates to the courts’ relationships with the executive bureaucracy. More generally, I am interested in American political development, constitutional law, law and society, and the politics of race, religion, and gender.