Associate Professor of Political Science and Department Chair
J.R. Howard Hall
Ellen Seljan teaches courses on American politics, Congress, parties and interest groups, public policy, and research methods. Her research examines trends in public finance at the state and local levels of government. Her ongoing work analyzes the effects of fiscal institutions on state and local finances, as well as municipal tax capacity. She has published articles in State Politics and Policy Quarterly and the National Tax Journal. She previously taught at the University of South Carolina.
POLS 103 Intro to American Politics
The politics of the founding period; interactions within and among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; the federal division of institutionalized powers; public opinion, interest groups, and political parties; the policy process in areas such as defense, welfare, civil rights and liberties, and international affairs.
POLS 201 Research Methods in Political Science
Introduction to the methodological principles and issues in political science research, using readings within and beyond political science. Identifying variables and mechanisms, developing and testing theories, collecting and measuring data, and assessing a study’s ability to achieve causal inference. Introduction to different approaches to research, including experiments, case studies, and regression analysis. Strongly recommended for sophomores or juniors who have declared a POLS major, as this course is a prerequisite for thesis and some senior capstone courses.
POLS 350 Congressional Politics
Constitutional foundations and the unfolding of various concepts of legislative power throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and into the 21st century. The dynamics of Congress, its staffing, and how it and individual members manage different visions of legislative power. Other branches of government examined to illuminate the functioning and malfunctioning of the legislative branch.
POLS 400 Senior Thesis
Ph.D. in Political Science, University of California, San Diego (2010), B.A., Drew University (2004)