Assistant Professor of Political Science
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 Introduction 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 420 Policy Innovation
Explores successful and failed public policy experiments by state and local governments. Examines the origins of policy innovations and what factors encourage policy entrepreneurship. Introduces advanced quantitative analysis skills. Culminates in an original, independent research project. This course serves to meet the capstone requirement of the Department of Political Science.
Ph.D. in Political Science, University of California, San Diego (2010), B.A., Drew University (2004)