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 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 253 Public Policy
Introduction to major issues in contemporary U.S. public policy, including the environment, social policy, criminal policy, education, health care, and the economy. Examination of the policy-making process, including the role of key policy makers, audiences, and institutions; methods of evaluating public policy, focusing on the difficulties of attributing causal efficacy. Students-led debates and exercises.
Ph.D. in Political Science, University of California, San Diego (2010), B.A., Drew University (2004)