About Me

I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois Springfield. My research focuses on candidates and competition in congressional elections, political institutions, specifically Congress and political parties, and representation.

My dissertation, which I completed in July 2020, examines how the rules of state political parties influence who runs for Congress and the outcomes of congressional primary elections. In spring 2019, I was awarded a Nancy Mergler Dissertation Completion Fellowship at the University of Oklahoma, which is a university-wide fellowship awarded to doctoral candidates in the final phases of dissertation writing, and allows a student to devote time to completing their dissertation. More information pertaining to the dataset I created for this project can be found on the Data tab.

At UIS, I have taught PSC 402: Legislative Politics, PSC: 406: The American Presidency, PSC 451: Empirical Political Analysis, PSC 502 Methods of Inquiry, and PSC 511: Graduate Seminar in American Politics. Previously, I have taught American Federal Government and U.S. Congress at the University of Oklahoma. In addition to teaching traditional, in-person classes, I have online teaching experience. You can see more information about these courses on the Teaching tab.

Some of my work has appeared in Party Politics, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, and Congress and the Presidency. Additionally, I have presented my research at several professional conferences including the American Political Science Association annual meeting, the Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting, the Southern Political Science Association annual meeting, and the State Politics and Policy Conference.

Prior to joining the University of Illinois Springfield, I earned my BS in Political Science at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, and my MA and PhD in Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. Additionally, I’ve served as a Graduate Fellow at the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center and as a Congressional Intern for former Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen.

Contact: mgera2@uis.edu