Dr. Commins' expertise is in U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America and U.S. trade policy. In particular, Dr. Commins focuses on U.S. policy toward Mexico, including border issues, and immigration politics.
In the classroom, Dr. Commins is known for stretching her students beyond their comfort zones. She challenged students during the 2012 Democratic National Convention to conduct their own primary research by creating and administering a survey of protestors outside the convention. The survey asked protestors about their income levels, religions and reasons for demonstrating. Students used the results to challenge and enhance their understanding of who protests and why.
Dr. Commins often does presentations for various organizations throughout the Charlotte community. She has presented to Senior Scholars, Lifelong Learners, rotary clubs and high schools.
Part of the Charlotte community for nearly 15 years, Dr. Commins is a respected expert highly capable of all types of interviews.
- "Teaching immigration: Integrating Pedagogical Best Practices," Migration and Citizenship, Newsletter of the American Political Science Association Organization on Migration and Citizenship, Summer 2013
- "Understanding U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America: Lessons from a comparison of NAFTA and the Colombian Trade Promotion Agreement," The Latin Americanist, Summer 2013
- "The Model Organization of American States: Improving Student Outcomes," International Congress, Latin American Studies Association, Washington, D.C., May 2013
- "US Foreign Policy Challenges Facing Obama: The Joseph M. Scolnick, Jr. Memorial Roundtable," International Studies Association South, Oct. 2012