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Highlights & Happenings

CSDI Graduate Affiliates Sara Kirshbaum and Mellissa Meisels Win Department Awards

Kirshbaum_final  Meisels_final

Congratulations to Sara Kirshbaum and Mellissa Meisels! Sara was awarded the 2023 Erwin Hargrove Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award and Mellissa the 2023 Best Graduate Student Research Paper Award.

CSDI Welcomes 2023-2024 Postdoctoral Fellows Amna Salam & Rachel Lienesch


Amna received her PhD from the University of Rochester in Political Science. Her research centers on strategic behavior in the legal system, and how various actors in the judiciary work to advance their ideological interests. 

Rachel received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University. Her research focuses on American political behavior, political psychology, race and ethnicity, and identity. Her book project explores how individuals respond when two salient identities are put into conflict, with a specific focus on how White Democrats navigate a social and political world in which the political party they support increasingly engages in messaging that threatens their racial identity.

The Spring 2023 Vanderbilt poll was released on May 3rd

More on the poll and its findings can be found here




The Fall 2022 Vanderbilt poll was released on December 14th

More information on the poll and its findings can be found here.



CSDI is now accepting applications for 2023-24 Post-docs and Senior Visiting Scholars

Post-doctoral fellowship applicants should submit materials electronically at:

Senior Visiting Scholar applicants should submit materials electronically at:

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, but priority will be given to those received before January 20, 2023.

CSDI Graduate affiliate, Michael Shepherd Wins APSA Dissertation Award

Congratulations to Michael Shepherd who has been awarded the APSA Class and Inequality Section best disseratation award for his disseratation, Unhealthy Democracy: How Partisan Politics is Killing Rural America.


CSDI Co-Director, Dean John Geer and CSDI Graduate Student, Mary Catherine Sullivan appear on MSNBC's Morning Joe


John Geer and Mary Catherine Sullivan appeared on MSNBC's  Morning Joe to discuss their research on American unity.  Watch the entire interview.