I am an Administrative Associate Professor of Women’s Political Leadership at Newcomb Institute at Tulane University. My research interests focus on the intersection between identity and representation.
I am particularly interested in how individuals negotiate their multiple identities in political contexts, especially within legislatures. My book, Women Take Their Place in State Legislatures: The Creation of Women’s Caucuses (Temple University Press, 2018), investigates the role gender and political party play in women’s ability to act collectively on behalf of themselves and their constituents. This work has led to subsequent projects on the impact of women’s caucuses including a collaboration with co-authors on the role of Black women navigating both Black and women’s caucuses.
Not surprisingly, my work with women legislators has led to an interest in the public policy produced for and by women. I have projects concerned with equal pay legislation as well as sexual education policy. My long-term research agenda reflects a commitment to understanding how identity shapes elite political behavior and how women intervene to shape gendered political institutions. In particular, I have a series of papers with co-authors concerned with women’s legislative co-sponsorship patterns and institutional design.
I obtained a Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University. I also hold an M.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Alabama and a B.A. in Mass Communications from Loyola University-New Orleans.