Michigan State University


Minority Politics Initiative Job Search

Minority Politics Initiative

The study of minority politics has always been an important part of understanding American politics, but in the last ten to fifteen years it has become the central element in understanding post-9/11 American and world politics. It includes the study of mass political behavior and psychology, political decision-making and opinion change, gender and intersectional politics, the politics of immigration and refugees, American political institutions, the politics of religion, criminal justice, and many other areas of research that are of interest to students, faculty, practitioners, and social scientists generally. Michigan State’s strengths in political science, psychology, gender and LGBTQ studies, criminal justice, Chicano/Latino studies, African-American and African studies, and Muslim studies are a foundation on which we are building to become a national leader in this critical research area.  

We hope to attract scholars with comparative and American political expertise on the integration, assimilation, and representation of minority, immigrant, and refugee populations; the role of violent conflict and lack of economic opportunities in the lives of minority populations; the role and rise of nativist and populist movements as a response to the empowerment of these populations; increasing ethno nationalism and subsequent persecution of religious minorities around the world (e.g. Russia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia); and the underrepresentation of women in national parliaments in the US and around the world.







Minority Politics Lab

The primary vehicle we will use to maintain continued collaboration across units will be the minority politics lab environment. There are many dimensions to this lab environment that will facilitate continued research collaboration, increased grant activity, graduate student recruitment, and interdisciplinary programming across the units.

Activities in the "lab" will include:

  • Symposium: 3 speakers a semester, 1 for each partner within the group. These talks will be focused around a yearly theme chosen by the lab partners.
  • Bi-weekly meetings with all lab partners and graduate students (rotating across unit spaces). These meetings will create a continued momentum for testing ideas, sharing research progress, grant opportunities, etc.
  • Shared press releases and a newsletter that highlight the research being done by the lab partners and students. We will also engage our students in creating and maintaining a social media presence for the group, including a twitter account and a blog.
  • We will create a listserv that will be used to share information, upcoming talks, and research collaboration across the partners.
  • "Sandbox" workshops where new empirical techniques are taught and practiced in a computer lab environment. These workshops could be a part of our speaker series or could be separate opportunities for folks to share their own expertise with our lab partners and students.
  • Shared graduate student recruiting across partners. By creating a community of scholars with shared research interests, we will be able to offer all of our graduate recruits a unique experience that will give us an advantage during recruiting season. 





The Positions

American Politics

(Housed in Dept. of Political Science

We seek an Assistant or Associate Professor in Political Science in American politics. We are particularly interested in those whose research and teaching interests are in race, ethnicity, gender, inequality or minority politics in the U.S. context.

Click here for a link to the ad

Deadline: September 17, 2018

Comparative Politics

(Housed in the College of Social Science.)

We seek an Assistant Professor in Political Science in Comparative Politics. Applicants whose research and teaching (graduate and undergraduate) falls in the politics of identity and representation (related to ethnicity, race, religion, race, caste, tribe, region, gender, sexual orientation, and/or class) in the comparative context are especially encouraged to apply.

Click here for a link to the ad

Deadline: October 1, 2018

Political Psychology

(Housed in Dept. of Psychology)

We seek an Assistant Professor in Psychology whose substantive focus is in political psychology, particularly on minority politics. Successful candidates will have a promising research agenda in Psychology (their tenure home) and in Political Science. We are particularly interested in researchers studying political psychology in a way that connects both with the multicultural initiative in the Psychology Department as well as with hires in minority politics in the Political Science Department.

Click here for a link to the ad

Deadline: October 1, 2018

Our team

Eric Gonazalez Juenke

Associate Professor of Political Science


Eric Gonzalez Juenke is an Associate Professor of American Politics in the Department of Political Science and currently directs the Chicano/Latino Studies Program (CLS). His research focuses on Latino and African-American elite and mass behavior, particularly in the context of state and federal elections. 

Ani Sarkissian

Associate Professor of Political Science


Ani Sarkissian is an Associate Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Science whose work on religion and politics examines how state policies related to religion affect and are shaped by religious demographics, and how religious beliefs and practices affect individual attitudes and behaviors toward minorities and outgroups. She is also a core member of MSU’s Muslim Studies Program. 

Joe Cesario

Associate Professor of Psychology


Joseph Cesario is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and studies racial bias in decision-making. Specifically, he studies cognitive, physiological, and behavioral processes that are more "automatic" (fast, uncontrollable, unintended, or non-conscious), as they pertain to race, such as with police decision making.


Nazita Lajevardi

Assistant Professor of Political Science


Nazita Lajevardi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. Her work explores mass public opinion about Muslims in America, voter ID laws that affect racial and ethnic minority populations, and the representation of minority political preferences. 


Bryan Wilcox-Archuleta

Postdoctoral Fellow in the Dept. of Political Science


Bryan Wilcox-Archuleta will join the Department of Political Science in January 2019 as a postdoctoral fellow. His research interests include American politics, political behavior, race and ethnic politics, and quantitative methods. His work demonstrates that variation in local context impacts important political attitudes and behaviors. 


Kesicia Dickinson

Ph.D. Student in the Department of Political Science

Kesicia Dickinson earned a B.S. in criminal justice at Jackson State University, where she graduated summa cum laude. Before joining the political science department at MSU, she worked for a Mississippi-based civic engagement organization where she led numerous campaigns to increase statewide voter participation and create economic development in rural communities. Her research focuses on race and politics– specifically representation, women of color, and elections. Kesicia plans to pursue a career in academia while remaining active in community engagement and social advocacy. She hopes to create and strengthen existing pipelines that connect persons of color to political science doctoral programs.


Erika Vallejo

Ph.D. Student in the Department of Political Science

Erika Vallejo is an RGV native from Texas. She obtained her B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from UTRGV. Before joining the political science department at MSU, she worked as a Marketing & Program Specialist for an educational company. Her research interests include American politics, specificially gender, race, and labor relations.


Aliyah Mcilwain

Ph.D. Student in the Department of Political Science

Aliyah McIlwain, native to Southfield, Michigan, joined the Political Science Doctoral Program in the fall of 2018 as a University Enrichment Fellow. Before joining the department Aliyah graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lincoln University receiving a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science. Aliyah’s research interests involve studying educational disparities and inequalities using education policy documents and text-as-data. Her research interests are at the intersection of public policy and data science.