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Job Candidates

Hire a University of Houston Graduate Student

Our graduate students have strong records of accomplishment and promise. Some of our recent graduates have accepted tenure-track faculty positions at University of Wisconsin-Madison, George Washington University, University of Idaho and CIDE in Mexico City. Others have been awarded research positions and instructorships at University of Chicago, USAID at William and Mary and Gallup. We are excited to call your attention to students entering the academic job market in Fall 2019. For more information about any of our students, please refer to their websites or contact Professor Scott Clifford, the graduate placement coordinator.

American Politics


Yongkwang Kim (Ph.D. 2020)

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Dissertation: Causes and Consequences of Conspiracy Theories
Dissertation Committee: Scott Basinger (Chair), Scott Clifford, Elizabeth Simas, Adam Enders

Yongkwang’s research agenda is broadly concerned with American political behavior, including political psychology and public opinion. Specifically, his primary interest is political misinformation. His dissertation project contributes to scholarship on political misperceptions by identifying behavioral and emotional consequences of exposure to and beliefs in conspiracy theories. He theorizes that elite rhetoric using conspiracy theory frames (loser/winner, victim/perpetrator, in-group/out-group) fosters citizens’ engagement in politics via conventional activities and thus demonstrates how conspiracy theories can mobilize voters. His research has appeared in professional journals including Journal of Elections Public Opinion and Parties and Public Opinion Quarterly. 


Doug Murdoch (Ph.D. expected in May 2022)

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Dissertation:  Voters’ Demands For Representation: Three Papers on Ideological Representation
Dissertation Committee: Elizabeth Simas (Chair), Jennifer Hayes Clark, and Boris Shor

Doug Murdoch is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Houston specializing in American politics. His current research focuses on representation, legislative process and elections and voting. He has taught a wide range of classes at the University of Houston and Texas Southern University. Currently, he is a visiting research assistant at the Jeju Peace Institute and a Research Assistant at the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs.

Ms. Wright

Jamie M. Wright (Ph.D. expected May 2023)

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Dissertation:  Political Socialization by Celebrity: Exploring the Influence of Celebrity Activism on Youth Political Attitudes and Behavior
Dissertation Committee: Elizabeth N. Simas (Chair), Scott Clifford, Allison Archer, & Johanna Dunaway

Jamie M. Wright is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science, studying American Politics and Comparative Politics, with an expected graduation date of spring 2023. She intends to then enter the non-academic job market pursuing a career in market research or data science. Her primary research interests include political behavior, public opinion, and media effects with a particular focus on the role that social media plays today. She is an experienced and published quantitative researcher, academic, and Ph.D. candidate, demonstrating proficiency in a diverse set of research techniques centered around survey design and experimental methods. She is highly motivated about engaging with and producing research on social and political phenomena geared toward both technical and non-technical audiences. This is evidenced by her publications not only in professional journals like American Politics Research, Research and Politics, and Political Research Quarterly, but also in more public-facing posts in the London School of Economics’ American Politics and Policy blog.

Comparative Politics 


Yu-Ceng Liao, Ph.D. (2021)

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Dissertation title: The Legislative Consequences of Electoral Reform: Adoption of Mixed-member System in Taiwan
Dissertation Committee: Eduardo Alemán (Chair), Jennifer H. Clark, Francisco Cantu, Mi-son Kim

Yu-Ceng Liao (Calvin) is a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Houston. He majored in comparative politics with a minor in American politics. His research and teaching interests focus on the comparative political institution, legislative behavior, political behavior, election, public opinion, democratization and Asian politics. His dissertation focuses on how electoral incentives influence legislative behavior. He explored how electoral reform changing from the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) to the mixed-member majoritarian system affected legislative behaviors in Taiwan. Besides, he is currently working on exploring the mandate-divide under the mixed-member system with a comparison between South Korea and Taiwan. He also has working projects focusing on political dynasties, party leadership and legislative particularism.


Yuyang Pu (Ph.D. expected in May 2022)

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Dissertation: An Inquiry into the Rhetoric of China’s Anti-corruption Campaign
Dissertation Committee: Nikolay Marinov (Chair), Tanya Bagashka, and Francisco Cantú

Dr. Yuyang Pu is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Siena College. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Houston in 2022. His research interests include political communication, public opinion, and political representation with a primary focus on China. In his dissertation, he investigates the rhetorics of China's anticorruption campaign and its effects on public opinion. He also studies female underrepresentation in China. His teaching expertise ranges from Introductions to Comparative Politics and International Relations, Chinese Politics to Research Methods (R programming).


Hui Zhou (Ph.D. expected in May 2022)

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Dissertation Title:  Bureaucracy and Accountability: The Politics of Disciplining Bureaucrats in China (2001–2020)
Dissertation Committee: Ling Zhu, Jennifer Clark, Ryan Kennedy, Hongtao Yi

Hui Zhou is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of political science at the University of Houston. His research interests include social policy and comparative politics, with a regional focus on China. His dissertation examines the causes and consequences of government accountability in China through the lens of crisis management, information control and policy outcomes. His research has appeared in Journal of Contemporary China, Social Science & Medicine and the International Journal of Legal Medicine.

International Relations


Tom Hanna (Ph.D. expected May 2023)

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Dissertation Title: Authoritarian Leadership Politics and Autocracy Promotion
Dissertation Committee: Tyson Chatagnier (chair), Francisco Cantu, Scott Basinger, Patrick Shea

Tom Hanna is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of political science. He studies international relations and comparative politics. His specific research interests are authoritarian politics, ideology, conflict and international political economy. His dissertation examines the role of leadership ideology and rhetoric in nondemocracies in fostering autocracy promotion or threats to democracy. He graduated with a B.S. in political science with a minor in economics, summa cum laude from the University of Houston.  

Burak Giray

Burak Giray

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Dissertation Title: UN Peacekeeping Operations: Conflicting Interests and Effectiveness. 
Dissertation Committee: J. Tyson Chatagnier (Chair), Patrick Shea, Nikolay Marinov, Michael Greig (University of North Texas)

Burak is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of political science. His major field is international relations and his research interests include the composition of UN peacekeepers, effectiveness of peacekeeping missions, supply-side of peacekeeping and peace settlements. His current research examines the factors affecting peacekeeping effectiveness. In addition, Burak is interested in studying how local-level interaction strategies of peacekeepers affect the legitimacy of UN peacekeeping missions. Burak was recently awarded the DAAD PRIME (Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience) fellowship. He will be a postdoc at the Hertie School in Berlin, Germany and a visiting scholar at Uppsala University, Sweden through August 2024.

Political Representation of Women


Myriam Shiran (Ph.D. expected in May 2023)

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Dissertation Title: Conservative Backlash: Exploring Moralization of Women’s Political Participation
Dissertation Committee:  Ryan Kennedy (Chair), Scott Clifford, Patrick Shea, and Christina Xydias

Myriam Shiran is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Houston (UH). Her research interests focus on the political representation of women, as well as environmental and climate change justice. Her dissertation investigates the mechanisms of conservative backlash against inclusionary policies and increasing presence of women in politics following the implementation of gender quotas. She utilizes a mixed method research design, leveraging longitudinal and comparative text analysis, cross-national surveys, and survey experiments. Myriam has received a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) at UH. She holds an M.A in sociocultural anthropology from Tehran University, Iran. 

Political Theory 


Ndifreke Ette, Ph.D. (2019)

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Dissertation Title: Carl Schmitt’s Middle Course: ‘The People’ as Actors within the Constitution
Dissertation Committee:  Jeffrey Church (Chair), Jeremy Bailey, Alin Fumurescu, Peter C. Caldwell (External Adviser, Rice University)

Ndifreke Ette is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of political science, where his research focuses on democratic theory, modern political thought, constitutionalism in the Weimar Republic and Carl Schmitt’s political thought. His dissertation investigates Carl Schmitt’s ideas on popular participation in politics. At University of Houston, Ndifreke has taught courses on American government and the political theory of modern conservatism and progressivism.