About me

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Currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Geography, Politics, and Sociology at Newcastle University, I hold a dual Ph.D. in Political Science and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. I have also been recognized as an Emerging Diversity Scholar by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity. Prior to joining Newcastle University, I taught in the Department of Government at Smith College in Northampton, MA.

My research focuses on the cross-national comparison of gender and politics, specifically the ways contexts shape the gender gap in political attitudes and activities. Utilizing multilevel modeling approaches, my work examines the influence of female political leaders on women’s political participation. Particularly, my research investigates the role model effect of cabinet ministers in democracies, a previously ignored political arena, and the role model effect of legislators in Asia, a grossly underexplored area in extant studies. I also evaluate how social movements affect adolescents’ attitudes toward gender roles and influence their propensity to protest. I have published in Politics & Gender and been featured in The Washington Post Monkey CageThree surprising facts about the protesters at the Republican National Convention and Who were the protesters at the Democratic National Convention this week?

In Gendering Immigration: Media Framing of Immigration and Public Opinion on the Huddled Masses, I analyze gender in media framings of immigration and immigrants and the varying media framings’ impacts on citizens’ attitudes about immigrants. Employing cross-national content analysis and survey experiments, I investigate the gender/gendered differences in the media constructions of immigration and their effects on native citizens’ acceptance of male and female immigrants in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

I have had the pleasure to design and teach Gender and Politics, Comparative Politics of ImmigrationChinese Politics, East Asian Politics Seminar, Government and Politics in East AsiaGlobal Feminisms, and Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies, translating my analysis of gender in my research into course materials that engage students’ interests in exploring critical questions about gender in political institutions and social structures. I chaired the 13th annual Women’s Studies conference on “The Future of Women’s Studies and Women’s Studies of the Future” and organized various activities while serving as the President of the Women’s Studies Graduate Organization. I also served as the student representative on the Women’s Studies Advisory Committee, providing valuable input in the department’s five-year plan.

Prior to joining the dual degree program at Penn State, I obtained an M.A. in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management at the World Learning SIT Graduate Institute in 2010. I received a B.A. in American Studies and Studio Art with a minor in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2006.

When I am not at school, I enjoy reading fiction, watching indie films, and traveling. Traveling to most of Asia, Europe, the Americas, and South Africa have propelled my interest in gender and politics in a transnational, comparative context. My traveling experiences inspire my constant questioning of existing structures and institutions. As I continue to be amazed by the beauty in the world, it is my dream to backpack around the world one day.