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Jennifer L

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Northwestern University


Political psychology, Political behavior, Public opinion, Political Science, American Politics, Survey research, Social networks, GIS in R, R programming, Text as data, Machine Learning, Data visualization, Data science


I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Northwestern University. My research interests surround topics in American politics and I use computational social science methods to answer my questions. My research surrounds topics of morality, partisanship, social networks and place of residence and how these factors influence personal political attitudes and behaviors. I use a variety of methods including text as data, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in R and machine learning in my work. I largely code in R but am happy to mentor students who have minimal background in data science. Outside of academics, I am a big fan of The Office and Parks and Recreation. I love to cook (my friends think I make the best chicken noodle soup) and I love to travel. My favorite thing to do at airports is plane spotting since I am quite a fan of airplanes too. I am originally from Miami, Florida but now live in Chicago, Illinois.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Is 'The Squad' a Squad? Legislative Network Cohesion and Effective Lawmaking

When elected to Congress, lawmakers often have varying priorities that reflect what they promise their constituents on the campaign trail. However, getting a law passes is a lot of work (cue "I'm just a Bill" from School House Rock). Therefore, lawmakers often find it easier to collaborate with each other to write, sponsor and advertise their policy ideas. A notable example of this is seen among the members of The Squad. They share similar legislative priorities including Medicare for All. So, how do members in this Squad collaborate and can we spot other "squads" out in the floor of Congress that is not as well known by the public?

Love Thy Neighbor (and Their Politics?): Neighborhood Partisan Composition and Personal Political Engagement

Political behavior does not exist in a vacuum. We are more likely to vote and to tune in to political events when our families and friends do the same. However, what role does the neighborhood play? In the current political climate, if a Democrat lives in a majority Republican neighborhood, are they going to be more likely to vote and be more protective of their political attitudes compared to Democrats living in more Democratic areas? In this project, the goal is to see whether neighborhood partisanship affects behaviors like turnout and attitudes towards political issues.

The Role of Military Service on Political Attitudes

Military service often demands that the person enlisted respect the Constitution and American founding values. But people enter military service from many walks of life. How does experience in the military affect one's attitudes about American political institutions and democracy as a whole?

Coding skills

R, Qualtrics, LaTeX, HTML, Python, Jupyter Notebooks

Languages I know

English (native); Mandarin Chinese (native)

Teaching experience

I teach R programming to undergraduate and graduate students at Northwestern University. My lectures cover a broad array of material including data visualization, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in R, social networks, Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and a lot more.



New College of Florida
BA Bachelor of Arts (2020)
Psychology and Political Science
Northwestern University
MA Master of Arts (2022)
Political Science
Northwestern University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Political Science

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