Spotlight: Claremont Graduate University
March 26, 2014 10:00 AM
Claremont Graduate University (CGU) is the graduate university of the Claremont Colleges Consortium. Nestled at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, Claremont is a small, charming, eight-college town known as ‘The City of Trees and Ph.D.s.’ Ranked as the fifth-best place to live in the United States by CNN Money, Claremont provides a lovely environment for those looking to continue their education.
The mission of CGU is to prepare a diverse group of outstanding individuals to assume leadership roles in the worldwide community through research, teaching, and practice in selected fields. As an independent graduate institution, CGU is striking in its global linkages and partnerships, innovative in the ways it teaches, and responsive in its research to social issues and needs. CGU knows that advanced education is essential for the well-being and future of increasingly complex societies and the college is sensitive to the aesthetic and moral dimensions of professional life.
Department of Politics and Policy
The Department of Politics and Policy, located in the School of Social Science, Policy, & Evaluation at CGU, is passionate about high-touch, high-quality graduate education incorporating faculty and student collaboration. The department enjoys innovative research in public policy and evaluation, as well as a strong commitment to transdisciplinary scholarship. The unique focus on merging interdisciplinary fields is what some of the world’s ablest graduate students demand, as well as what solving some of the hardest policy problems requires.
Uniqueness of CGU's Program
CGU’s Department of Politics and Policy is unique in its interconnections between faculty and staff, as well as its transdiciplinary approach to public policy education. One distinctive feature of the program is the engagement of the faculty in collaborative research with students. This interaction leads many students to graduate with research output in hand. In addition, as a member of the Claremont Colleges Consortium, students have access to not only our core faculty but also the network of policy professionals located in the surrounding universities.
Under the School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation, public policy students are able to create linkages between policy, evaluation, politics, economics and psychology. Also, several faculty work in the emerging field of computational analytics, with particular application to policy. A few examples of this can be seen through the work of the department chair Dr. Heather Campbell as she applies agent-based modeling to understanding dynamic causes of environmental injustice, and Dr. Hal Nelson as he marries agent-based modeling with geographic information systems (GIS) data to map proposed energy projects and provide early warning systems for citizens and municipal governments.
Founded in 1983, the Claremont Institute for Economic Policy Studies is a research arm of the interdisciplinary economic, politics and policy programs at CGU. Graduate students and faculty from the Claremont Colleges and a group of research associates are involved in the work of the Institute.
In addition to providing research assistantships and engaging in specific research projects, the Institute frequently organizes seminars, conferences, workshops, and professional meetings such as the Asia Pacific Economic Association and the Western Economic Association International on various aspects of political economy and economic policy.
The Institute focuses on a wide range of policy issues which are analyzed from an array of approaches including formal models, econometric techniques, informal theory, and historical case studies. Common themes in Institute projects involve the need to pay careful attention to data, the historical and institutional situations in which formal theory and statistical methods are applied, and the importance of political influences on economics and policies. Such emphasis is often referred to by labels such as public choice or political economy analysis or the new institutional economics. While focusing on the role of incentives, the Institute emphasizes issues of imperfect information, collective action, coordination and principal-agent problems, cognitive limitations, and differences in objectives and mental models that generate deviations from the predictions of simple full-information unified-actor models of rational choice.
Developing an international reputation for producing high-quality policy research and analysis of domestic and international economic policy issues, the Institute has become a leader in promoting cooperative work between economists and political scientists on the political economy of economic policy, public choice analysis, the new institutional economics, and comparative and international political economy. A major focus of research is on the relationships among institutions and economic performance, including economic growth, inflation, migration, and currency and financial crisis. As a result, the Institute is considered a leader in the development and evaluation of measures of social, political, and institutional variables to be used in empirical research in political economy.
Heather E. Campbell
Heather E. Campbell, Ph.D., is Chair of the Department of Politics and Policy. Her Ph.D. is in Public Policy Analysis. She teaches courses in cost-benefit analysis, the policy process, policy analysis, and multivariate regression analysis. Her current research focuses on environmental justice and urban environmental policy. In 2012, she and Elizabeth Corley published Urban Environmental Policy Analysis (ME Sharpe).
Jacob Leos-Urbel, Ph.D., is the Nicolai-Blair Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and Policy. His Ph.D. is in Public Administration. Before returning to Ph.D. study he worked with the Urban Institute, Abt Associates, The After-School Corporation, and the U.S. Peace Corps. He teaches courses in policy evaluation, social statistics, and child and youth policy. His research focuses on education and child and youth policy, particularly policies that operate outside the traditional classroom.
Jennifer Merolla, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Policy. Her Ph.D. is in Political Science. She teaches courses on legislative process and public policy, political psychology, minority political behavior, and multivariate regression analysis. Her research focuses on race and ethnic politics, women and politics, religion and politics, and the effect of terrorism on democracy. In 2009 she and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister published Democracy at Risk: How Terrorist Threats Affect the Public (University of Chicago Press).
Hal Nelson, Ph.D., is Research Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Policy. His Ph.D. is in Public Administration and Policy. He teaches courses in energy policy, international environmental politics and policy, and regulatory policy. Before joining the Department of Politics and Policy, he worked in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He is a senior advisor to the Center for Climate Strategies and a principle in the development of the Sustainable Energy Modeling Project (SEMPro). His research focuses on climate policy, citizen engagement, and decision-making.
Jean Schroedel, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Politics and Policy. Before returning full-time to the faculty, she served as Dean of the School of Politics and Economics at CGU. She teaches courses in women and public policy, women and the law, the legislative process and public policy, and the modern presidency. Her research focuses on policy making at the national level, voting rights, religion and policy, and public policies affecting women and children. In 2001 Schroedel’s book, Is the Fetus a Person? A Comparison of Policies Across the Fifty States (Cornell University Press) was awarded the American Political Science Association’s Victoria Schuck Prize.
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