Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz


Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz joined the Political Science Department in the fall of 2009. She received her Ph.D. in May of 2009 from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses on political participation, racial minorities, public policy, inequality, and political geography. Professor Pearson-Merkowitz’s research has appeared in some of the top political science journals including the Journal of Politics and the American Journal of Political Science.

Professor Pearson-Merkowitz is also well versed in real world politics and the policy process. She worked for several years as a Legislative Director for a top elected official in the Maryland statehouse and has served on the governing board of several interest groups. She has also helped run several state legislative and congressional campaigns and has spent significant time as a political fundraiser for a variety of candidates and political parties. She serves as the internship adviser for undergraduate political science majors. In this capacity she helps students locate and apply to internships locally, across the country and abroad.

Professor Pearson-Merkowitz is also the former Director of Social Science Institute for Research, Education and Policy (SSIREP) at the University of Rhode Island.


Political participation, racial minorities, public policy, inequality, and political geography


  • Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, 2009
  • M.S., University of Maryland, College Park, 2006
  • B.A., Hampshire College, 1998

Selected Publications

See publications on Google Scholar