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I retired as a journalism professor from the University of Kentucky in 2017. Before UK, I taught at the University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Washington, Penn State University, and University of Nevada-Reno. (I was tenured at UW and UK and retired as a full professor). My classes included media law, radio and TV news, and numerous political science courses. I also supervised student TV newscasts.

My B.A. is in political science from UC-Berkeley. I have an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from UCSB with a concentration in constitutional law, constitutional history, judicial process, and American politics. I also have a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law.

I am the author of five books, including James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, published by Oxford University Press in its "Pivotal Moments in American History" series.  I have also written about a dozen law review articles and 90 newspaper commentaries, many of which have been published in major papers around the country.

Prior to pursuing an academic career, I worked for 10 years in radio and TV news at stations in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Reno, and Tucson. I am originally from White Plains, New York. 

I live in Hendersonville, North Carolina, with my wife, Elisa Devera, and our golden retriever, Emma, 13 (in the back). Lily passed away in July 2021.

For three years, I have served on the board of the Friends of the Henderson County Public Library. I am the publicity chair and help with news coverage, ads, and encourage membership and participation at events.