Emmitt Y Riley, III Proposed Field of Study Political Science
(U.S. Political Institutions and Processes/ Public Policy)
Having extensively researched the Political Science curriculum, the faculty members and their areas of academic research, along with the structure of the program, it is my belief that the Political Science PhD Program at the University of Oklahoma would best fit my research interests and long term career aspirations. I am especially interested in the programs' emphasis on American Politics and Public Policy. The emphases on American Politics, political behavior and political methodology are very intriguing. The opportunity to study in your department members ...view middle of the document...
Growing up I became especially interested in the alarming structural barriers of inequality among people of color. These structural barriers have unequivocally impacted my research interest in race, ethnicity, and gender. It is because of these experiences that I have developed a strong passion for inquiry in affirmative action policies, voter behavior, voter participation, and American political institutions. As a graduate student I was afforded the opportunity conduct independent research with Dr. Byron D' Andra Orey in applying the "Racial Threat Hypothesis" to the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary. In this project we examined, the relationship between black population density on white voter choice in the democratic presidential primary, hypothesizing that in areas where African Americans are a majority white voters will vote for Hillary Clinton. It was this research project that provides me with the foundation for my thesis research.
I am currently completing a Master of Arts Degree in Political Science at Jackson State University located in Jackson, Mississippi. As a requirement for the degree, I am currently writing a thesis in which I am examining the role of race in the 2008 Mississippi Democratic presidential primary, looking specifically at white support for Obama in both rural and urban areas. In this project, I will attempt to disprove two leading hypothesis that have dominated the academic literature in explaining white voter behavior in Mississippi. Scholars such as V.O. Key and Stephen Voss have explained white voter behavior with two different hypotheses: Racial Threat and Racial Context.
I was first introduced to Political Science while attending Mississippi Valley State University. It was my tenure at Mississippi Valley State University that ignited a passion for the inquiry of Political Science Research. I was surrounded by rigorous political and social scientists who provided me with the opportunity to assist in research, serve on panels, present papers, and engage in stimulating in intellectual discourse. These professors served as role models by allowing me to witness firsthand the caliber of their expertise. It was during this time that I was truly inspired to peruse advance study in the field of political science.
As an undergraduate, I received numerous awards, and honors for outstanding academic achievements. As a testament to my scholastic achievement in Political Science under the...