I’m from the Midwest and I care deeply and passionately about politics and international affairs and helping people better understand how politics impacts all aspects of life.
My dad was in the US Navy for 23 years and I consider San Diego, California my hometown, even though I was born in St. Louis, Missouri and relocated there after my dad retired. I’ve also lived in Baltimore, Maryland. I graduated high school in 1971 and my biggest claim to fame was securing a congressional nomination to the United States Military Academy, although I didn’t attend.
After high school, I went to college for three years, but like many at that age, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. In 1974, I enlisted in the US Army and spent my entire three year tour of duty in Germany along the Iron Curtain with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. It was an eye opening experience and motivated me to study politics and international relations.
After leaving the military, I enrolled at the University of Missouri at St. Louis and majored in political science with an emphasis in international relations. I earned my BA in 1979 and my MA in 1982. I’m the first in my family to attend university. I’ve also completed coursework toward the PhD, but my mentor suggested that I not write my dissertation because the academic job market was changing and positions were getting hard to come by. Best advise I ever got. I also was a new father, so I needed to go to work to support my family.
I’ve held a lot of interesting positions during my work life. I’ve worked in finance, education, and the private sector. At age 61, I returned to college and earned an Associates in Applied Science degree in biotechnology and worked in plant science for almost five years.
I’m always looking for new challenges and to learn new things.
In terms of politics, I’ve worked in and managed political campaigns at the state and national level. While a graduate student, I taught American politics and statistics as a teaching/research assistant. I presented a paper on Soviet foreign policy at the 1981 meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. My MA thesis addressed American and Soviet military budgets and how force structure in Europe was dictated by those budgets. I taught American politics and international relations (full time and as an adjunct professor) for a number of years at the high school and community college level. I’ve also written my own blog for a number of years and I have worked in broadcast media as a political commentator. I started Politics From The Heartland in 2020.