I was born in Missoula, MT and grew up outside of Philipsburg, MT (population ~900) in the shadow of the Pintlar mountains, where the paternal line of my family homesteaded and have lived continually for over 100 years. My family’s story is a purely Montana one; we’ve worked (ranching, mining, and logging) and played on Montana’s incredible landscapes for over a century.
I graduated from Granite (County) High School in 2008 and then, as a first generation college student, attended and graduated from the University of Montana, where I earned a bachelor's degree in political science. I grew increasingly interested in empirical research and returned to the University of Montana to pursue a master's degree in political science, graduating in 2015. From there, I went on to earn my PhD from the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia (graduating in 2020), specializing in public opinion and social science research methodology. I then completed a one year stint as a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University, where I engaged in research related to civic engagement and interest group politics. Since Fall 2021, I have held an appointment as Assistant Professor of Political Science at Utah Valley University.
As one may venture to guess--considering the landscapes and culture that shaped my childhood and young adult life, I count a wide variety of outdoor recreation activities among my interests.
My Erdős Number is 5: B. Kal Munis → Nicholas S. Ialongo → Chen-Pin Wang → Malay Ghosh → Gutti Jogesh Babu → Paul Erdős