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Who We Are

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Who We Are

Dr. Mackenzie Israel-Trummel

Dr. Israel-Trummel is an assistant professor of Political Science and an affiliated faculty member in the department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Oklahoma. She is a co-founder of the Community Engagement + Experiments Lab and a faculty advisory board member. Her research focuses on race, gender, and political behavior in the United States, and she is interested in how identity shapes political experiences and behaviors. Much of her research involves surveys and experimental methods. She earned her PhD from Stanford University. 

Dr. Allyson Shortle

Dr. Shortle is an associate professor of Political Science and co-founder of the Community Engagement + Experiments Lab, where she serves as a faculty advisory board member. Her areas of specialization include American public opinion, political psychology, immigration, race and politics, and religion and politics. She also has expertise as a survey methodologist in the areas of survey and experimental design, and lends support to organizations seeking to increase civic engagement as well as physical and mental health in local communities around the U.S.  The Ohio State University PhD (2012).

Dr. Andrea Benjamin

Dr. Benjamin earned her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2010. Her research interests include Race and Politics, Local Elections and Voting behavior, and Public Opinion. 

Her first book, Racial Coalition Building in Local Elections: Elite Cues and Cross-Ethnic Voting, explores the potential for Black and Latino Coalitions.  Using the Co-Ethnic Elite Cues Theory, the book shows that Blacks and Latinos rely on endorsements from co-ethnic leaders when casting their ballots.  This is especially true when race and ethnicity are salient in the campaign.  This book was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.

Andrea Benjamin is originally from Northern California and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis.


Dr. Johnson is an Associate Professor, teaching courses in American political behavior (including mass media, campaigns and elections, and public opinion). His research agenda focuses on how information (be it reporting on the part of the media, campaign advertising, a public service announcement, or a candidate's biography) affects attitudes toward political actors and issues. Tyler serves as the Director of Graduate Studies and directs the Cortez A.M. Ewing Public Service Fellowship. He earned his PhD in Political Science from Texas A&M University.

Dr. Joy Pendley

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Dr. Pendley is a Professor of Practice, teaching community engaged research courses.  Students in this course work with community organizations to provide evidence based research that the organizations need.  Students conduct community surveys and interview with leaders, stakeholders and Oklahoma legislators.  She also has a research project looking at the success of underrepresented students in higher education.

Dr. Ana Bracic

Dr. Bracic is a co-founder of CEEL and serves on its faculty advisory board.  Her research is predominantly in the field of comparative politics, and focuses on questions of human rights, discrimination, the persistence of social exclusion, and ground-level effectiveness of human rights institutions, such as NGOs.  Most of her research relies on lab-in-field and survey experiments.  In order to gather data from severely underrepresented populations, such as the Roma in Central Europe, Dr. Bracic uses innovative approaches to measurement, like videogames.  Her research was recently published in the American Political Science Review.  Dr. Bracic earned her PhD from the Politics Department at NYU in 2013.