University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Samuel Stoddard

Samuel Stoddard

Professional Title: 

Graduate Student


Thompson 630



B.A. in Philosophy, Ithaca College; Masters in Secondary Education, Pace University


I am a doctoral candidate (PhD expected Spring 2018) specializing in American Politics.  My research interests include political participation, political behavior, political parties, and elections.  My dissertation seeks to unpack the strong correlation between educational experiences and voter turnout.  I use quantitative data from the National Education Association and original qualitative research to explore how young citizens' attitudes and behaviors are affected by high school experiences that honor their achievements, connect them to their communities, and demonstrate the value of public institutions.  I have also conducted research on state political parties for the Brookings Institution, examining the diminished power of these vital quasi-public institutions in America's increasingly crowded and complex political landscape.  Before joining the Department of Political Science at UMass Amherst, I was a secondary school teacher and education advocate in Brooklyn, New York, and earned my Masters in Education at Pace University.  I am an experienced undergraduate instructor in the fields of American politics, public policy and legal studies; in addition to my teaching at UMass Amherst, I have taught undergraduate courses at Assumption College, Clark University, Smith College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. 

I am a doctoral student studying American Politics.  My research interests include campaigns and elections, voting behavior and political parties.

Dissertation: Why Education Matters: Political Participation and Interpretive Experiences at High School


  • Political Science