I am an assistant professor in the Department of Politics & Government at Illinois State University. I study direct democracy, electoral campaigns, and public policy.
I'm interested in the relationship between state legislatures and the initiative process. Why do certain states opt to restrict public access to the initiative while others make the process relatively accessible? Moreover, why do legislatures often pass the buck to the public by proposing ballot measures themselves? I also study candidate position-taking strategies. What factors determine whether candidates speak clearly or ambiguously on key issues of the day? How does a candidate's policy rhetoric influence public perceptions and preferences?
I also work to develop free web applications and software to make life easier for academics (e.g. organizing conferences, online peer review for smaller journals, customized web-scrapers, and collaborative surveys).