Academics - Faculty Profiles

Rachel VanSickle-Ward, PhD
Associate Professor of Political Studies

Rachel VanSickle-Ward, PhD


MA, PhD, University of California, Berkeley

BA, Pitzer College

Research Interests:

Public policy, American politics, California/state politics, women in politics, legal politics and policy-making

Recent Courses:

  • Introduction to Public Policy
  • Law and Politics
  • US Electoral Politics
  • The Battle over Birth Control (Scholar in Residence Seminar, fall 2012)
  • California Politics
  • Women in Politics
  • Research Methods
  • Direct Democracy

Selected Publications:

The Devil is in the Details: Understanding the Causes of Policy Specificity and Ambiguity. SUNY Press. Forthcoming.

“An [Un]clear Conscience Clause: The Causes and Consequences of Statutory Ambiguity in
State Contraceptive Mandates,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. Forthcoming. With Amanda Hollis-Brusky.

“Making it Personal: Assessing the Impact of In-Class Exercises on Closing the Gender Gap in Political Ambition,” Journal of Political Science Education. Forthcoming. With Jill Greenlee and Mirya Holman.

“The Politics of Precision: Specificity in State Mental Health Policy,” State and ¬†Local Government Review 42 (April 2010):

Recent Conferences and Invited Talks:

Panelist, “Election Year Politics and Economics,” Inland Empire Forecast Conference, hosted by the Inland Empire Center at Claremont McKenna College and the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Ontario, CA, October 2012.

“An [Un]clear Conscience Clause: The Causes and Consequences of Statutory Ambiguity in State Contraceptive Mandates,” paper presented at the International Conference on Law and Society, Honolulu, HI, ¬†June 2012. With Amanda Hollis-Brusky.

“Making it Personal: Female Students and Running for Political Office,” paper presented at the Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, January 2012. With Jill Greenlee.

“Are Latinas More ‘Dovish’ Than Latinos? Evidence from the 2006 Latino National Survey,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago,IL, March 2011, and the Annual Meeting of Western Political Science Association, San Antonio,TX, April 2011. With Adrian Pantoja.

Additional Information:

Curriculum Vitae