My name is Kristin ("Krissy"), and I'm an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of South Carolina. My research adopts a political psychology framework to explore rural-urban differences in political behavior and public health, as well as vaccine and health-related misinformation and attitudes.
One stream of research investigates rurality as a social identity in contemporary politics: how perceiving one's sense of self as being tied to rurality, and how this relates to populist attitudes, immigration, democratic norms, affective polarization, and attitudes toward government.
In addition, I have published research on health policy attitudes and false information, particularly relating to vaccines. I will be continuing my work in this vein through a number of projects. In one of these projects, my co-investigators and I examine the effectiveness of government messaging on vaccines during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This project is funded by an NSF Science of Science: Discovery, Communication, and Impact grant.
I'm also working on two book projects. The first investigates the role of trust in science and its relationship with political behavior before and throughout the pandemic, primarily relying on a large multi-wave survey data set of American adults. The second book project uses interpretive methods and interviews to examine in-depth how an unexpected life event - becoming a parent of a child with Down Syndrome - leads to identity formation, increased political awareness, and political action through forced interactions with street-level bureaucrats and Down Syndrome associations on behalf of someone else.
You can find my published work in academic journals such as Political Behavior, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Geography, Political Science Research and Methods, Political Research Quarterly, the Journal of Experimental Political Science, the International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Social Science & Medicine, JAMA Network Open, and the Journal of Rural Health, among others.
My research has won the Best Paper in the Health Politics and Policy section of APSA (and an honorable mention in another year), as well as the best article award at the International Journal of Public Opinion Research and at the Journal of Rural Health. My work has also been featured in places such as The New York Times, Newsweek, Forbes, FiveThirtyEight, John Oliver's 'Last Week Tonight', and more. In addition, I've written journalistic pieces that have appeared in many outlets, including Time and US News and World Report.
Formerly, I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, and at the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University. I was also an affiliate of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University. Before that, I was a full-time Visiting Instructor of Political Science at Carleton College while completing my PhD in Political Science with a minor in political psychology at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.