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Rachel S

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of Virginia


Political Psychology, Public Opinion, Media Studies, Race and Ethnicity, Gender, Food Politics, Immigration


I am a political scientist with interests in political psychology, public opinion, news media, and the intersections of racism and sexism. I am currently working toward my PhD at the University of Virginia. My dissertation project focuses on the political legacies of narratives linking race, gender and sexuality that were originally used to justify the lynching of Black men during Reconstruction. I also have interests in the politics of food, agriculture, and sustainability, shaped by assistant teaching the Politics of Food, editing for the Environmental Working Group, and working at a farmers market. In my free time I make kombucha, sew, and play with my cat.

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.

#SayHerName: Effects of Victim Gender on Policing Attitudes

Activists and academics have noted that police brutality against Black women is often under-reported in news media. This project will use a survey experiment to determine if the distinct ideas about Black women and Black men as victims of police violence affect Americans' attitudes on policing.

Coding skills

R, Stata

Teaching experience

I have served as a teaching assistant for the following classes in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia: Politics of Food, Mass Media and American Politics, Public Opinion and American Democracy, and Men, Women, and U.S. Politics. I especially enjoy the opportunity to work with my students individually to help them improve their research, writing and critical thinking skills.


Work experience

Environmental Working Group (2016 - 2018)


George Washington University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2015)
Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Virginia
MA Master of Arts
University of Virginia
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

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