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My dissertation took a three prong approach to understanding liberal democracy in the world from 1972 to today. My first empirical chapter examined recent trends in liberal democracy utilizing several longitudinal strucutral equaiton models including latent growth curves.
After describing these cross-national trends and investiagating differences by region and level of development the second empirical chapter focused on predicting these recent trends utlizing predictors from modernization theory, dependency/ world systems theory, world polity theory, and other global factors. The final emprical chapter focused on the consequences of liberal democracy for population health using maternal mortality as my key outcome of interest.
My work bridges the fields of political sociology, global health, and international development to explore global social change. My research utilizes a comparative, cross-national perspective to examine how structural forces including political institutions, world institutions including IGOs and INGOs, and features of political economy impact the well-being of populations across nations.
My dissertation, “Discerning Democracy: Trends, Predictors, and Distributive Impacts on Health” explores the main mechanisms by which liberal democracy influences health, considering the potential role of direct and distributive effects.
Other work specifically examines gender inequality and its impact on health outcomes such as HIV/AIDS, and also the influence of gender stratification on political outcomes such as women's political representation.
In addition to my quantitative, cross-national analyses, I am also investigating health challenges at the local level in rural Uganda. Initially I volunteered at a health clinic in the Bududa district of eastern Uganda near the Kenyan border run by a NGO based in the U.S. This initial trip in 2013 allowed me to witness on the ground the ravaging effects of malaria and HIV on health in the area. This first trip was quite an eye-opening experience and I have since traveled back to rural Uganda several times over the past four years, developing an active research site at the Bududa district. I am actively working on research based in the site including an article on malaria, privatization, and the challenges of public care in addressing health inequalities.
My teaching repertoire supports my research agenda While at UNC I taught required undergraduate courses on research methods and data anlaysis. In addition, I taught substantive courses on social movements and collective action, formal organizations and bureaucracy, and social interaction.
In adidtion to these undergraduate courses I served as a teaching assistant for graduate courses including linear regression models, the analysis of categorical data, structural equations with latent variables, and longitudinal and multilevel data analysis.
I also sharpened my quantitive teaching skills by serving as a teaching assistant for the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research including latent growth curve models (2009-2015) and growth mixture models (2012-2014).