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PhD students acquire the skills necessary to make theoretical and empirical contributions

Job Placements and Candidates

2017-2018 Job Market Candidates

American Politics

Shane Redman

CV   Website

Shane's research interests include American politics, judicial politics, representation, public opinion, political behavior, women and politics, and identity politics.  His dissertation, Diversity and Judicial Legitimacy in State Trial Courts, has received a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the Law and Social Sciences Division.  In this project, he employs original survey experiments to examine the relative impact of descriptive and substantive representation on judicial legitimacy among women and African Americans.  In addition to a forthcoming article in Justice System Journal, Shane has also published articles in American Politics Research and Vanderbilt University Law Review En Banc.

Dissertation Committee:  Chris Bonneau (chair), Kristin Kanthak, Victoria Shineman, Gregory Caldeira (The Ohio State University)


Matthew Zarit

CV   Website

My research interests include American politics, executive branch politics, public management, government contracting, political behavior, and interaction between branches of government. I approach these areas in a variety of ways, including gathering government data to create unique datasets, qualitative research, and experimental methodology. My dissertation looks at how organizational hierarchy limits executive control over federal agencies through the lens of government contract awards and campaign contributions by vendors to the president.  

Committee: George Krause (Chair), Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, Jon Woon, and Jon Rogowski (Harvard)


Comparative Politics

Alejandro Trelles

CV    Website

Alejandro’s research focuses on elections, electoral management, and electoral boundary delimitation. His dissertation examines the differences between de jure and de facto independence in electoral management bodies (EMBs) in Latin America and Africa, and the mechanisms that allow de jure autonomous EMBs in the developing world to become de facto independent. He has conducted fieldwork in Venezuela, Mexico, Ghana, Kenya, and Egypt. His work has been published in Political Geography, Electoral Studies, Latin American Politics and Society, Journal of Politics in Latin America, and Política y Gobierno. He also has two published books about politics in Mexico (Random House Mondadori 2004 and 2006) and a book chapter on electoral geography, political representation and minority rights in Mexico (TEPJF 2017).  

Committee: Scott Morgenstern (Chair), Barry Ames, B. Guy Peters, Louis Picard (Graduate School of Public and International Affairs), Staffan Lindberg (University of Gothenburg), and Joshua M. Kivuva (University of Nairobi)


Sofia B. Vera Rojas

CV   Website

Sofia’s research interests include comparative politics, political institutions, representation, public opinion, political behavior, corruption, and comparative political economy. Her research examines how institutions and mass attitudes interact to shape representation and political accountability. Her dissertation focuses on political accountability for corruption and the institutional and contextual factors that influence citizen responses to political elite’s exposed corruption. She uses a mixed-methods approach in her research, working with experimental, quantitative, and qualitative data.

Committee: Aníbal Pérez-Liñán (chair), Scott Morgenstern (co-chair), Steven Finkel, Victoria Shineman, and Steven Levitsky (Harvard)


Yu Xiao

CV   Website

Yu Xiao studies the political causes of economic decentralization, with a regional focus on China and Latin America. In her dissertation, she proposes a game-theoretical model to explain why certain authoritarian regimes pursue economic decentralization even without strong bottom-up pressure. She theorizes that high levels of political centralization facilitate economic decentralization policies when economic decentralization is a top-down process. In addition to comparative political economy, she is also interested in China-Latin American relations and has coauthored three book chapters on this topic.


International Relations

Michael Neureiter

CV   Website

My research interests include migration and migration policy; democracy promotion and the protection of international human rights; mass media and public opinion; and quantitative research methods and program evaluation. My dissertation On the Origins and Effects of Contemporary Immigrant Integration Policy in Western Europe is a compilation of three individual studies on the causes and consequences of variation in immigrant integration policies in (Western) Europe. For this research project, I have received the Klinzing Grant for Dissertation Research on Contemporary Europe, a highly competitive grant awarded by the European Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh. When I am not busy working on my dissertation or other research projects, I enjoy watching movies, traveling to new places, and spending time with my wife and three-year-old son.

Committee: Steven E. Finkel (chair), Daniela Donno, Jude C. Hays, and M. Najeeb Shafiq (Administrative and Policy Studies)



Prior Placements


Sarah Cormack-Patton, Postdoctoral Scholar, Europe Center at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Eric Loepp, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Reynaldo Rojo Mendoza, Assistant Professor, San Diego State University

Cassie Schwartz, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University College London


Aaron Abbarno, Democracy Fellow in Comparative Politics and Democratization, Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance

Miguel Carreras, Assistant Professor, University of California, Riverside

Scott Cook, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University

John Polga-Hecimovich, Visiting Assistant Professor, Wake Forest University

Yen-Pin Su, Assistant Professor, National Chengchi University


Kristen Coopie Allen, Assistant Professor, Wright State University

Néstor Castañeda-Angarita, Lecturer, University of Southampton

William T. Daniel, Assistant Professor, Francis Marion University

Padi Hallam Joseph, Project Director, YouGov

Shawna Metzger, Lecturer, National University of Singapore


Brian Phillips, Assistant Professor, CIDE (Mexico)

Amy Erica Smith, Assistant Professor, Iowa State University

Dan Tirone, Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University


Basak Yavcan Ural, Tenure track position at OBB University Ankara, Turkey

Amy Erica Smith, Research Coordinator for LA Public Opinion project, Vanderbilt University

Juan Carlos Rodríguez, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia


Maria Andrea Castagnola, Adjunct Professor, Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico/Political Science Department

Ana Carolina Garriga, Assistant Professor, CIDE, Mexico City)/Political Science Department

Agustin Grijalva, Professor, Universidad Andina, Quito-Ecuador Law School

Ekaterina Rashkova, Post Doctoral Fellow, Leiden University, Netherlands

Laura Wills, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

Galina Zapryanova, Postdoctoral Fellow, European University Institute MaxWeber


Liying Ren, Assistant Research Fellow, Institute of Social Science Survey/Peking University

Stacy Bondanella, Assistant Professor, Gonzaga University/Political Science

Miguel García, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

Andrew Lotz, Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh/Political Science

Lisa Pohlman, Polimetrix/polling firm


Luis Jimenez, Assistant Professor, UMASS-Boston

Heather Elko McKibben, Assistant Professor, University of California-Davis

Katherine Floros, Assistant Professor, University of Missouri

Rosario Queirolo, Assistant Professor, Universidad de Montevideo, Uruguay


Zeki Sarigil, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey

Kostas Kourtikakis, Visiting Lecturer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Matthew Weinstein, IA-Office of the Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh

Morgan Marietta, University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs


Stephanie McLean, IPSOS-Reid Polling

Tara Stricko-Neubauer, Assistant Professor, Kennesaw State-Georgia

Nils Ringe, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Francesco Stolfi, Assistant Professor, LUISS Guido Carli University, Italy