Here you will find several of my work samples from my academic career at American University. The samples below range from policy memos to research papers to opinion pieces to comprehensive semester projects. In selecting my topics for each, I chose to write about issues that are both highly influential in current politics, yet seldom discussed in academic circles.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have explored each of the issues in-depth, fill in some of my own knowledge gaps, and contribute to the relevant academic conversations. Therefore, I am proud to present the following as writing samples and as an overall representation of the kind of analysis that characterizes my work.
Sample Press Release: Senator Bob Casey Roundtable on Opioid Epidemic
PDF: Sample press release
This sample press release was written for the GOVT-443: Applied Political Writing class at American University. As a semester-long project, I followed the Casey-Barletta campaign in my home state of Pennsylvania with my own parallel versions of elements that would be included in a communications plan, such as media advisories, press releases, a communications calendar, a speech, and others. This press release is based on an imaginary event that I would plan if I were running the campaign.
Moral Relativism and the Dangerous Ethical Dilemmas in the U.S. Intelligence Community
This work sample is a final analysis paper written May 7, 2018 for the GOVT-426: U.S. Intelligence Community class at American University. It argues that ethics in the U.S. Intelligence Community are designed to be governed by certain institutional checks that are currently failing to fulfill their purpose, leading to dangerous ethical dilemmas such as the destruction of enhanced interrogation video tapes, an issue which has recently become controversial again in light of the nomination of Gina Haspel to be the Director of the CIA.
The Constitutional Framework for the Balance and Limitation of Presidential Powers
This work sample is a paper written May 4, 2018 for the GOVT-226: Constitution, Presidential Power, and the War on Terror class at American University. It outlines the historical context, constitutional input, and past precedent regarding checks and balances in answering the question of whether the Constitution intended to create a balance between presidential power and limitations, and indeed, whether one exists in reality.
Democracy and the Legal Framework for Presidential Electoral Integrity
This work sample is a literature review paper written April 26, 2018 for the GOVT-315: Elections and Voting Behavior class at American University. It summarizes the scholarly foundation regarding democratic principles and applies those criteria to the U.S. laws and institutions governing presidential elections in order to argue that elements of the U.S. electoral system are inherently undemocratic.
Cryptocurrency and Financial Technology Regulations
This work sample is a policy memo written April 16, 2018 for the SISU-280: Comparative/Global Governance class at American University. As a Treasury Department intern at the time it was written, I found myself captivated by financial technology (FinTech) regulations and the drastic market fluctuations caused by crytocurrencies like Bitcoin. Therefore, the policy memo discusses their developments and the resulting issues and makes recommendations for addressing them.
Intelligence Analysis as Support for Policy and the Military
This work sample is an analysis paper written April 5, 2018 for the GOVT-426: U.S. Intelligence Community class at American University. It lays out the importance of intelligence analysis in informing the decisions of policymakers and military leaders, while demonstrating the need for community-wide standards and complete objectivity among all IC analysts in order to provide the most effective support possible.
In Pursuit of Synergy: An Analysis of HUMINT and the Importance of Other Collection Disciplines
This work sample is an analysis paper written March 1, 2018 for the GOVT-426: U.S. Intelligence Community class at American University. It analyzes the different intelligence collection disciplines available to the Intelligence Community and weighs their costs and benefits in showing that synergy through all-source collection–not solely human intelligence (HUMINT) as is often believed–is necessary to carry out the IC’s mission.
The Internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II: A Constitutional Gray Area or Institutionalized Racism?
This work sample is a midterm paper written February 13, 2018 for the GOVT-226: Constitution, Presidential Power, and the War on Terror class at American University. It discusses emergency presidential power and the gray area surrounding the constitutionality of U.S. policies targeted at Japanese-American citizens during WWII.
Research Design: A Review of Literature and Methodological Choices in the Study of the Rohingya Refugee Crisis
This work sample is a final narrative research design paper written December 13, 2017 for the SISU-206: Intro to International Studies Research class at American University. It is the culmination of a semester-long project on Myanmar and the ongoing Rohingya Refugee Crisis, and documents the research process from topic selection to final paper. In it, the issue is analyzed through three different research perspectives (large-n, small-n, and interpretivist methods) with justifications and trade-offs given for the use of each, as a methodological framework for a further research project.
It is accompanied by a presentation version of the same information.
Oh Rats!: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Ward Wealth and Government Rat Treatment Services
PDF: Oh Rats! (paper)
This work sample is a statistical analysis paper written December 4, 2017 for the GOVT-310: Intro to Political Research class at American University. It was co-authored with Alex Mead (Poli Sci ’20) as part of a final project analyzing primary data from the 311 Call Center, provided by the Chief Technology Office of the D.C. Mayor. Using statistical processes such as T-tests and correlation, we found that despite high inequality in the District of Columbia, there is no difference in mean wait time for a rat treatment service request to be completed between high-income and low-income wards.
After submission, the paper was selected for presentation to The Lab @ DC, an initiative of the DC Mayor’s Office which conducts social science research to inform public policy.
‘Civics Made Easy’: Addressing Low Civic Engagement Among Youth in America Through Technology and Social Media
This work is part of a solo community action project for the SPA-362: Leadership Development Lab II class at American University. For the project, I conducted research on civic engagement among youth in America, identified key factors that influence one’s political participation, created a questionnaire in order to gather primary data from my peers, and compiled that information into a policy memo with recommendations for addressing the issue.
Each component of the research portion was carried out to inform the final step of planning and implementing my own solution to the problem, in which I plan to create a social media campaign called Civics Made Easy (Twitter: @EasyCivics) that will produce informational YouTube videos on key issues in civics, government, and current affairs that are often misunderstood or overlooked. The goal of this venture is to make civic engagement more understandable and easily accessible for the next generation.
Change and Continuity in U.S. Foreign Policy
This work sample is a midterm essay written October 16, 2017 for the SISU-230: Analysis of U.S. Foreign Policy class at American University. It analyzes the historical global involvement of the United States in order to determine that U.S. foreign policy has been characterized by change, rather than continuity.
On Job Automation and Technological Unemployment
This work sample is a policy memo written April 3, 2017 for the SISU-105: World Politics class at American University. It summarizes the current issue of job automation and technological unemployment while also analyzing several proposed solutions to this problem.
The Interconnectivity of Economic Growth and Climate Change
This work sample is a policy memo written March 7, 2017 for the Econ-100: Macroeconomics class at American University. It seeks to explain the close relationship of economic growth and climate change, as well as illustrate how macroeconomic concepts such as game theory, the free rider problem, and negative externalities play a large role in determining solutions to climate change. Finally, it assesses several current policies in the ongoing debate over this broad issue.
Pepe the Frog, Participatory Culture, and the Sociopolitical Significance of Memes
This work sample is a research paper written December 9, 2016 for the WRTG-106: College Writing, Intensive class at American University. It analyzes the modern trend of memes and their political usage through the lens of participatory culture and civic engagement.
The Process of Democratization in Hungary: Initial Success and the Subsequent Souring of Liberal Democracy
This work sample is a research paper written November 7, 2016 for the GOVT-130: Comparative Politics class at American University. It discusses the historical and political development of democracy in Hungary after the fall of the Soviet Union, as well as analyzes more recent examples of democratic backsliding under the authoritarian regime of Viktor Orbán.
The Flawed Media Coverage of the Syrian Refugee Crisis
This work sample is an opinion essay written September 20, 2016 for the WRTG-106: College Writing, Intensive class at American University. It argues that modern media coverage of the Syrian Refugee Crisis is flawed and inadequate, and relates this issue to readings from the course.