Interim Provost Mendez
Mendez graduated from Santa Clara University in 1998, receiving a B.S. in Combined Sciences. From there she went to Indiana University, earning an M.A. in Political Science in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Political Science in 2003.
Dr. Mendez’s research focuses primarily on political information processing, political behavior and political communication. Her recent work includes studying gendered patterns in perception of candidates for political office. She is a leading expert on women running for office, and elections more broadly. She regularly provides commentary to local and national media outlets including MSNBC and KOCO News 5, and a variety of print outlets. She is the author of the book Descriptive Elections: Empowering the American Electorate, and over thirty-five peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Her work has been published in leading 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 Journal of Political Science. Dr. Mendez served four years as co-editor of Political Research Quarterly, a high impact generalist journal in political science. She also continues to teach courses in Public Opinion, Voting and Elections and Survey Research.
As a first generation college student, Dr. Mendez knows firsthand the value of an undergraduate education and understands the importance of a land grant education. She understands the challenges many students face based on her own personal experiences, where she struggled to connect during her first year and find a major. Her experiences with undergraduate research and study abroad, along with the mentorship of her advisor and a key faculty member has shaped her advocacy for students and faculty throughout her career.