I primarily teach law and politics courses in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration including Principles of Law (PSC 3500), Constitutional Law I and II (PSC 3510, PSC 3520), Issues in Contemporary Law (PSC 4550 and PSC 6500), and the occasional topics course such as Religion, Privacy and the Constitution. Each of these courses is crosslisted with Law and Social Thought. I also regularly teach an orientation course that is a university requirement for all first year students and occasionally teach the gateway course for Law and Social Thought.
Before coming to the University of Toledo I was a visiting assistant professor at Ohio University and Drake University and a lecturer at my graduate institution, University of Wisconsin. During that time, I taught a range of political theory courses including Introduction to Political Theory, Modern Political Thought, Contemporary Political Theory, Legal Theory, and a graduate seminar on Freedom. I also taught American National Government.
I am committed to teaching law and politics in a way that fosters the objectives of a liberal arts education. My goal is to use my disciplinary expertise, research background, and teaching experience to foster liberal academic values such as critical judgment, self-evaluation, creative problem solving, academic freedom, interpersonal engagement, and communication. I believe that university education, at its best, promotes students’ self-realization in the near term and their ability to continue that process over their lifetimes. We do that poorly when we overemphasize objective content and learning by rote. We do this well, in my view, when we demonstrate good intellectual practices through personal example, scholarly engagement, and student exercises that foster creative and evaluative thinking.
Like a growing number of political science faculty, I firmly oppose teaching constitutional law to undergraduates in the “junior law school” format. I design my Constitutional Law sequence to emphasize constitutional theory and politics from the perspective of current methods and research in political science. If you are interested in what that looks like, please take a look at my syllabus for Constitutional Law I (soon to be renamed Constitutional Politics and Theory) which gives a complete description. The process of course design is ongoing. As you can see, I still use a casebook but it is no longer the central focus of the course.
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