I am the Tyson Distinguished Professor in the University of Portland’s Department of Political Science and Global Affairs. I was born and raised in a small farming community in rural Minnesota, from an area known as the home of the “Jolly Green Giant.” I attended the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and graduated with a with a B.A. degree in political science. I received my M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from the University of Notre Dame.
Since arriving at UP, I have taught courses on US Politics, Congress, the Presidency, Public Policy, Public Administration, American Political Thought and Western Political Theory as well as courses on Central Europe and Food Politics and Policy in the United States and the European Union. I have also taught summers in London, Salzburg, and Central Europe (Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, and Krakow).
My research interests and publications cover the presidency, Congress, presidential-congressional relations, American Political Development, and food policy issues. I am the co-author of a book on Congress, The Public Congress, published by Routledge Press.
I have served on and chaired numerous University of Portland committees. I was also the Chair of the Department of Political Science for fourteen years and the Interim Dean of UP’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2017-2018. I am currently UP’s faculty athletics representative to the NCAA and the WCC and the Chair of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Athletics.
My outside interests include biking, hiking, travel, reading political history and trying my hand in the kitchen.
This year I will be teaching a course on Congress in the fall and one on the presidency in the spring. There is plenty material there for rather lively discussions.
My goal is to help students make sense of the political world they inhabit. I try to show students that, regardless of what they intend to do when they graduate, politics will have relevance for their future endeavors, from starting their own business to working for large corporations, non-profits, non-governmental organizations, and even the government itself. I aim to help them become thoughtful citizens who will assume the responsibility of tending to the needs of our republic and passing it on to future generations.
Thoughts on UP
In my time on The Bluff I have seen the construction of many exceptional buildings on our campus, considerable growth in our student body and faculty, the addition of new and exciting majors, and the creation of many opportunities to prepare our students to meet the challenges of our dynamic and increasingly interconnected world. Still, despite these changes, the university has retained its commitment to providing students with the personal educational experience that has been its hallmark through the years.