I then began an 11-year tenure at the Committee for Modern Courts, a New York City based non-profit dedicated to improving the quality and fairness of the New York State justice system. We worked on and obtained improvements in the way judges are selected, in the way poor people are treated in the Family and Housing Courts, in the jury duty system, in the physical facilities of the state’s courts, etc.
During my last several years at Modern Courts, I began working in the evenings toward my Ph.D. at the City University of New York Graduate Center. I earned my degree in Political Science, specializing in American Politics, in 2000, after publishing my doctoral dissertation. The 400-page dissertation explored U.S. welfare policy, challenging the premises behind the welfare “reform” law that was passed in 1996 and that actually made life harder for poor single mothers and their children. Welfare policy and the politics of poverty is my area of research expertise.
I began my new career in academia in the fall of 2000, when I began a two-year stint as a visiting professor at Elmira College, a small college in upstate New York. I then taught another two years as a visiting professor at Juniata College, a small college in central Pennsylvania, before landing this tenure-track professor job at Santa Fe Community College, where I started in the fall term of 2005.
A person’s personal background and experience has a lot to do with one’s political perspective. I grew up in a lower working-class, single-parent, Jewish, urban family in Brooklyn, New York. I was the first person in my family to finish college. All of these factors have a lot to do with my personal perspective on politics. My lovely wife and I have been married for fourteen years, and we have a charming and brilliant eleven-year-old son. Among many other things, I am an avid reader on politics, a merely decent but enthusiastic tennis player, a good chess player, a really good Scrabble player, a huge fan of the New York Mets, and a big aficionado of all kinds of music.
2000 Ph.D. Political Science
1983 BA in Political Science and Journalism
MWF 1:15 - 3:00 p.m.
T/TH 10:00 - 12:00 p.m.
POS 2041 Syllabus
POS 2041H Syllabus
POT 2002 Syllabus
CPO 2001 Syllabus