I am an associate professor of U.S. and the World at the University of Louisville. I was previously a visiting assistant professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the School of Foreign Service and History Department. My work focuses on religion and U.S. foreign relations.
My teaching and research draw on my experience as a human rights activist and attorney. I earned a PhD from Northwestern University, a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a BA from Colgate University.
My first book, Reagan’s Gun-Toting Nuns: The Catholic Conflict Over Cold War Human Rights Policy in Central America, was published with Cornell University Press. Reagan’s Gun-Toting Nuns won the 2020 Juan E. Méndez Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America, awarded by the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, and the American Catholic Historical Association’s 2021 John Gilmary Shea Prize for the most “original and distinguished contribution” to the history of the Catholic Church. My work has appeared in publications including A Companion to U.S. Foreign Relations, Diplomatic History, Catholic Historical Review, U.S. Catholic Historian, Gender & History, and the Washington Post. My next project, Suffer Little Children: Health, Harm, & U.S. Foreign Policy, examines how U.S. citizens, often together with people outside of the United States, challenged U.S. foreign policy by emphasizing its negative impacts on the health of children abroad. The project is being funded with a sabbatical grant for researchers from the Louisville Institute in 2021-2022.
My previous work has been supported by research grants from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, and the Center for the United States and the Cold War, among others. I have also received a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship and a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.