Rosalyn L. Cooperman, Professor of Political Science, earned a Ph.D. (2002) in political science from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. (1991) in political science from Indiana University, Bloomington. An expert in American government, congressional campaigns and elections, and women in politics, Dr. Cooperman has presented her research at numerous conferences. Her work has appeared in academic journals, including the Journal of Politics, American Political Science Review, and Social Science Quarterly. Her research examines political behavior of Democratic and Republican party activists, women’s political candidacy in Congress and state legislatures, as well as their campaign finance structures.
A recipient of the American Political Science Association’s Jack L. Walker Outstanding Article Award, she was honored for an article she co-wrote that examines the recent growth of party polarization in American politics. The article, “Activists and Conflict Extension in American Party Politics,” identifies party activists as a main source of polarization between the Democratic and Republican parties, as party activists with extreme views on a variety of issue dimensions encourage candidates to take non-centrist positions. Since 2004 she has served as a principal investigator for the Convention Delegate Study, a survey of party delegates, and served in 2016 and 2018 as a policy expert for Gender Watch, sponsored by the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation.
Dr. Cooperman also has firsthand experience working in the political arena. Before coming to UMW, she served as a campaign manager for Hoosiers for Jill Long, as a Lyndon B. Johnson Intern in the office of Congresswoman Jill Long and as a committee aide for the Montana State Legislature.
She is the recipient of several University of Mary Washington professional activity grants, an American Political Science Association graduate student grant, and several Vanderbilt University grants.