I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Stephen F. Austin State University. I was previously an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Nazarbayev University.
I earned my PhD in Political Science from the University of Iowa with major fields in International Relations and Comparative Politics and a minor field in Political Methodology in 2013. I research the foreign policy of arms with a focus on their role in shaping the relations between states. Before entering graduate school I was an enlisted soldier in the Utah Army National Guard. I was a Russian linguist and counterintelligence agent and served two combat tours in Iraq (2003-04 and 2007-08). I completed my enlisted service after 9 years and held the rank of Staff Sergeant.
I earned a Master in Stratgic Intelligence degree while working full-time as a translator for the Researve Language Support Project (RLSP) through the US Army. I was born in the small town of Ephraim, Utah and graduated from Payson High School in Payson, Utah in 1997. I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Ukraine from 1998-2000. During my service in Ukraine I lived primarily in the Donbas (Donetsk and Gorlovka) but also spent 7 months living in Zaporozhye. This experience, along with my experiences in the military have had a profound influence on the way I see the world and in my interests in political science.
PhD in Political Science, 2013
University of Iowa
Master in Strategic Intelligence, 2007
American Military University
BS in Business Administration (Minor in Russian), 2005
Utah State University
Combat tour in Iraq 2003-04 was a Tactical Human Intelligence Team (THT) leader with 3rd Infantry Division to Baghdad and with 101st ABN Div from Iskandiriya to Mosul. Earned Bronze Star and Knowlton Award. (Rank was SGT (E5))
Worked 2.5 years for Reserve Language Support Program (RLSP) translating open source documents. Served as quality control for 2 years approving and preparing over 27,000 pages of documents for upload to HARMONY intelligence database.
Stationed at Camp Bucca in 2007-08 where I worked as a counterinsurgence agent for compound during surge. Responsible for analyzing records of detainees and separating the extremists from the rest of the population. Developed a system to identify extremists.
Final rank was Staff Sergeant (E-6), drilled remotely for final year of enlistment while attending first year of PhD program at University of Iowa.