Meet The New Council Members: Caroline Tolbert

Caroline TolbertCaroline Tolbert is the Professor of Political Science and Collegiate Scholar at the University of Iowa. Her work weaves together a concern with diversity and inequality, elections and representation, and subnational politics and policy. She has contributed to many subfields including digital politics and informatics, voting and elections, electoral systems, public opinion, American state politics, direct democracy and race & politics.

Tolbert has published more than 50 articles in political science journals and 8 books. She is the coauthor of Why Iowa? (2011) on the presidential nominating process. She is also co-author of Educated by Initiative: The Effects of Direct Democracy on Citizens and Political Organizations in the American States (2004) and co-editor of Democracy in the States: Experiments in Election Reform (2003) and Citizens as Legislators: Direct Democracy in the United States (1998). She has written three books on the digital politics, including Digital Cities: The Internet and the Geography of Opportunity (2012), Digital Citizenship (2008) and Virtual Inequality: Beyond the Digital Divide (2003). Digital Citizenship was ranked as one of the twenty best-selling titles in the social sciences by the American Library Association. She is a co-author of the American government textbook We the People, with Benjamin Ginsberg, Ted Lowi, and Margaret Weir (W. W. Norton).

Tolbert was named a Collegiate Scholar at the University of Iowa for outstanding research and teaching. She is the recipient of four best paper awards, awards for frequently cited articles, and two book awards. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Democracy Fund, MacArthur Foundation, HUD, and the Smith Richardson Foundation. She was Program Chair for the Midwest Political Science Association, President of APSA’s State Politics Section (2011-2013), and one of the founders of VIM (Visions in Methodology) conferences to mentor women scholars. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Statement of views:  As a part of the APSA council, I aim to create bridges and improve communication among scholars across subfields using different methodological approaches. Rather than subfield silos, I seek a broad education for our students & collaboration between faculty using multiple methods of inquiry. I want to work on student mentoring, education and professionalization. This includes improving APSA’s mentoring program via pairing of mentors and mentees by involving Section presidents. I am committed to promoting diversity in the Association via awards, mentoring, conferences and the publication process of APSA’s journals. Finally, I seek ways that we can reward research that engages and addresses real world policy problems. I believe these conversations will help scholars to tackle the many political and policy problems we face in the new century.

The APSA Nominating Committee met on February 13, 2015, and nominated the slate of officers and council members to serve beginning in fall 2015. The call for nominations was circulated widely among the membership with outreach to APSA committees and organized sections. The nominating committee made its decisions after careful deliberation and due consideration for the diversity of the field and the varied interests of political scientists. There were no additional nominees from the members, and council members and officers were approved in October 2015 by the APSA Council, under its power to fill interim vacancies (APSA Constitution, Article V). APSA welcomes the new council members and other officers to APSA leadership.