I’m originally from Ohio, growing up in its Appalachian region in Southeast Ohio. I loved, I mean loved – and still love sports. Growing up I may have been a bit fanatical but I’ve mellowed since then 🙂 Being raised in an athletic family with a dad as a coach has its advantages – I understood strategy in baseball and basketball at a very young age – teamwork, discipline, and hard work were also very well understood. And it had its peculiarities – what do you mean it’s not normal to watch game tape and help your dad grade his team’s performance at 11:00pm as an 12 year old? I graduated from Ohio University with a degree in education (’05) and wanted to teach and coach like my old man. I started down this path and coached and coached high school basketball – Head Freshman Coach and Assistant Varsity Coach right out of student teaching. A couple years later I coached JV baseball and won the league and post-season tournament – good players make coaches look real good! Then I started teaching full-time and coached 8th grade basketball, freshman baseball and was an assistant to my dad’s varsity baseball team. After teaching high school for 4 years I returned to Ohio University and earned a master’s degree in Political Science (’12) where I studied financial crises and how governments and international organizations respond to financial crises. It turns out that what people believe about how an economy should function has a pretty big influence on how they recommend combatting a financial crisis. I returned to teaching high school because, well, the Ph.D. programs I was accepted to wouldn’t fund me – no thanks! The following year I was accepted to multiple programs and chose the University of Oregon. I earned my Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Oregon (’21). I was awarded a Fulbright-Schuman Fellowship and studied the European Debt Crisis and why Ireland, Greece, and Portugal all responded differently to their bailouts from the IMF, EU , and ECB. National identity works in mysterious ways.