Dr. Samantha Pettey

Assistant Professor, History & Political Science

Samantha Pettey
(413) 662-5551
History House, Rm 10


Ph.D., University of North Texas, 2016

M.A., University of Rhode Island, 2011

B.A., University of Massachusetts Dartmouth,


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 

POSC 401: Race and Ethnic Politics 

About Me

I happily joined the History and Political Science 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) Congress, 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 in Texas.

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. Click here to listen to my NPR Academic Minute on my latest research.


Peer Reviewed Articles

“Female Candidate Emergence and Term Limits: A State-Level Analysis”. Political Research Quarterly. (2018) 71(2): 318-329.

“To Run or Not to Run? U.S. House Campaign Advertising” with Regina Branton and Jared Perkins. Journal of Political Marketing. (201): 1-20.

Research Notes

“The Impact of Gender and Quality Opposition on the Relative Assessment of Candidate Competency” with Regina Branton, Ashley English, and Tiffany Barnes. Electoral Studies. (2018). 54: 35-43.

Book Chapters

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

Non Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Term Limits Encourage More Women to Run for Office in US State Legislatures. 2018. The Lon- don School of Economics US Centre daily blog on

American Politics and Policy. Access Here

“Why We Should Expect Gains for Democratic Women in the House on November 6th”. 2018. The London School of Economics US Centre daily blog on American Politics and Policy. Access here

Conference Presentations

"Institutional Factors and Women's Descriptive Representation: A Look at the States". Midwest Political Science Association: Chicago, Illinois. April 4-8, 2018.

“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.

Office hours

Online Mondays 10:00-11:00 a.m. and Thursdays 1:00-2:00 p.m.