Provost and Senior Vice President Dr. Mendez
A first-generation college student, Mendez graduated from Santa Clara University in 1998, receiving a bachelor’s degree in combined sciences. From there, she went to Indiana University, earning a master’s degree in political science in 2000 and a Ph.D. in political science in 2003. She then became an assistant professor of political science at the University of Houston (2003-2005) before joining the OSU political science faculty in 2005.
Mendez was named interim provost in January 2021 following the announcement of Dr.
Gary Sandefur’s retirement. She has served as a member of President Shrum’s senior
leadership team, co-chair of the strategy steering committee, co-chair of OSU’s Pandemic
Response Team as well as co-chair of the campus-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
(DEI) Task Force. During her time at OSU, she also has led initiatives to increase collaborative research
opportunities across academic colleges and campuses, increased online degree offerings
and enrollment as well as led efforts to examine and provide recommendations for possible
reforms to general education at OSU.
Prior to that, Mendez served as vice provost of academic affairs and a professor of political science, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (2018-2019), associate dean for research and facilities (2017-2018), interim associate dean for research (2014-2015) and political science department head (2011-2014; 2015-2017).
Mendez’s research background is rooted in political information processing, political behavior and political communication. Her work has been published in journals including Journal of Politics; Political Research Quarterly; Social Science Quarterly; Political Psychology; Politics and Gender; Journal of Women, Politics and Policy; PS: Political Science and Politics; Journal of Media Psychology; and the Journal of Political Science.