Samantha PetteyDr. Samantha Pettey

Assistant Professor, Political Science & Public Policy


About Me

I happily joined the History, Political Science and Public Policy department in the Fall of 2016. I grew up in southeastern Massachusetts and am grateful to be back in such a beautiful part of the state. 

My interest in politics began at a young age, so studying politics was a natural fit for me. I love teaching students how our political system impacts their lives, but also how they can make a difference. To that extent, I teach a range of courses on American government but my true passion lies in teaching (and researching) state and local politics and women in politics.  

Aside from teaching, I have completed a couple of internships and am happy to share my experiences with students on the importance of internships, and getting involved in local communities. I worked on a campaign for a local election as the volunteer coordinator, and interned for a Parks and Recreation department.

Research/Creative Interests

My current research focuses broadly on female candidates. I am particularly interested in the impact institutional features and demographic characteristics have on state-level candidate emergence and success. Further, I'm working on pieces examining stereotypes voters use to evaluate candidates in Congress.


“Female Candidate Emergence and Term Limits: A State-Level Analysis”. Political Research Quarterly (forthcoming).

Book Chapter: Jenkins, Shannon and Samantha Pettey. 2013. "Redistricting in Massachusetts" in The Political Battle Over Congressional Redistricting. Eds. Miller, William and Jeremy Walling Lexington Books.

Conference Presentations

“Women-Friendly Districts in the States: A Look at the Gap Between Female Democrats and Republicans”. Midwest Political Science Association: Chicago, Illinois. April 5-9, 2017.

"Women-Friendly State Legislative Districts". Midwest Political Science Association: Chicago, Illinois. April 7-10, 2016. 

"Female Emergence and Term Limits: A State-Level Analysis". Midwest Political Science Association: Chicago, Illinois. April 16-19, 2015. 

"Candidate Evaluations: The Impact of Gender and Party" with Regina Branton and Tiffany Barnes. Southern Political Science Association: New Orlean, Louisiana January 9-11, 2014. 

"Women's Emergence as Governor and the Family Factor". New England Political Science Association. Newport, Rhode Island. April 22-24, 2010. 

Contact Information

Office: History House #9



Office Hours Spring 2018

Mondays 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Wednesdays 2:00pm - 3:30pm

or by appointment 



Ph.D., University of North Texas, 2016

M.A., University of Rhode Island, 2011

B.A., University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 2009


Courses Taught

POSC 201: US Government, and Public Policy

POSC 210: Political Science Research & Methods

POSC 315: Campaigns and Elections

POSC 315: Women in US Politics 

POSC 315: State and Local Politics 

POSC 315: US Political Institutions

POSC 323: Political Behavior