Miller Center

Miller Center National Fellowship

Beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year, the National Fellowship Program, a longstanding initiative of the Miller Center, will fall under the leadership of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation at U.Va.. The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, created in 1980, currently offers the premier graduate fellowship and undergraduate scholarship at the University. To learn more about the National Fellows Program, including how to apply, click here.

Meet The Fellows

Sarah Coleman - History, Princeton University

Project: Redefining American: The Shifting Politics of Immigration Policy at the End of the 20th Century

Coleman photo

Sarah Coleman’s dissertation “Redefining American: The Shifting Politics of Immigration Policy at the End of the 20th Century,” explores how politicians, activists, citizens and the courts competed to define the rights of immigrant persons in the U.S. who did not have American citizenship status in the last quarter of the twentieth-century. With the passage of the landmark Hart-Celler Act in 1965, the United States entered a new era of immigration.  This period of massive immigration led to a fierce struggle, which has been at the heart of contemporary American political history, between activists who fought to ensure rights and benefits for these newcomers and those who opposed open borders and sought to limit the rights of immigrants.

Battles over education, health, welfare, and civil liberties were deeply influenced by this influx of immigration.  This phase in the longer struggle over the rights of immigrants began in the mid-1970s when a network of liberal activists, who had roots in the civil rights movement, successfully fought in the courts to expand the rights of non-citizens to include protection from workplace discrimination, the benefits of the welfare state, and the right to education and other social services. Coleman’s dissertation then looks at the politics of immigration policy that followed these revolutionary court decisions through to the early twenty first century.  In doing so, she traces the development of a movement, within both political parties, to limit the expansion of these rights.  She focuses on some of their success but also on the challenges and obstacles that they have encountered in rolling back the changes that took place since 1965.  

Selected Recent Publications

"Sorry, Trump. Ike's shameful program failed." CNN, November 12, 2015.


Joshua Dunn - Politics, University of Virginia

Project: Judges, Lawyers, and Experts: Law vs. Politics in Missouri vs. Jenkins

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Joshua Dunn is Associate Professor of Political Science and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Government and the Individual at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Dunn's research primarily focuses on constitutional history and judicial policymaking. He is the author of Complex Justice: The Case of Missouri v. Jenkins (University of North Carolina Press), which explores the judicial attempt to desegregate the Kansas City, Missouri school system. He co-edited, with Martin West, From Schoolhouse to Courthouse: The Judiciary's Role in American Education (Brookings Institution Press). He also co-authors, with Martha Derthick, a quarterly article on law and education for the journal Education Next. Previously he taught at the College of William & Mary and was a fellow in contemporary history, public policy, and American politics at the Miller Center of Public Affairs in Charlottesville, Virginia. He recieved his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2002.

Selected Recent Publications

Complex Justice: The Case of Missouri v. Jenkins. (University of North Carolina Press, 2008).

Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University. with Jon Shields (Oxford University Press, 2016).

"The Paradoxes of Politics in Colorado Springs." The Forum 12, no. 2 (2014): 329-42.

"Who Governs in God's City?" Society, 49 no. 1 (2012): 24-32.


Adam Goodman - History, University of Pennsylvania

Project: “Mexican Migrants and the Rise of the Deportation Regime, 1942-2012”

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Adam Goodman is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Beginning fall 2016, he will be an Assistant Professor of History and Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Goodman is a scholar of migration interested in the interconnected histories of people throughout the Americas and received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. His current book project explores the rise of the deportation regime and the expulsion of Mexicans from the United States since the 1940s. He has published articles, essays, and reviews in academic venues such as the Journal of American Ethnic History and popular outlets such as The Nation and The Washington Post.

Goodman's dissertation examined the history of the deportation of Mexicans from the United States since 1942. The project took a transnational approach, using Spanish- and English-language archival sources and oral histories from Mexico and the US to explore the political, institutional, and social history of deportation over the last seventy years. Ultimately, he argued, the history of deportation challenges the US’s identity as a nation that has welcomed immigrants, in turn calling for a reassessment of how immigration policy and the immigrant experience are understood. Goodman's work was supported by a Fulbright-García Robles fellowship, an NEH Summer Seminar on rethinking international migration, and the Immigration and Ethnic History Society's George E. Pozzetta Dissertation Award. In 2014 the University of Pennsylvania named him a Dean’s Scholar, the highest honor the School of Arts & Sciences can bestow upon a student. 

Selected Recent Publications

Nation of Migrants, Historians of Migration.Journal of American Ethnic History 34, no. 4 (Summer 2015): 7-16.

"A Nation of Migrants." Dissent Magazine, October 8, 2015.

International Migration to the United States: From the Colonial Period to Our Times.” In Dictionnaire des migrations internationales, ed. Gildas Simon. Paris: Armand Colin, 2015. (French)

"The Next Mexican Revolution?" Al Jazeera America (November 20, 2014)


Andrew Kelly - Political Science, Northwestern University

Project: Entering the New Frontier: The Origins and Development of Scientific Capacity in the United States and Great Britain

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Fellowship year: 2012

Mentor: Gerald Berk, University of Oregon

Andrew Kelly has been selected as the Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded Fellowship in Technology and Democracy.

Andrew Kelly is the Patrick Henry Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.  Kelly's dissertation, “Entering the New Frontier: The Origins and Development of Scientific Capacity in the United States and Great Britain,” explores the role of exchanges of scientific expertise and the effect on expanding state capacity in the United States and Great Britain. His fellowship will be supported by the Monell Foundation and is a perfect example of how the Miller Center along with Monell are contributing to a fast-growing new field that seeks to shed light on the co-evolution of technology and democracy.

Kelly is currently working on a new project that examines the growth of private insurance plans within Medicare, and how the public-private partnerships that developed have impacted policy change over time.

Selected Recent Publications

Rocco, Philip, Andrew S. Kelly, Daniel Beland, and Michael Kinane, “The New Politics of US Health Care Prices: Institutional Reconfiguration and the Emergence of All-Payer Claims Databases.” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (Volume 42, Number 1: 5-52.  February 2017).

Kelly, Andrew S.  “Boutique to Booming: Medicare Managed Care and the Private Path to Policy Change.”  Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (Volume 41, Number 3: 315-354.  June 2016).​


Heather Lewis - History, New York University

Project: Scaling Down: Half a Century of Community Control in New York City's Schools, 1945–95

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Heather Lewis is Associate Professor of Art and Design Education at the Pratt Institute’s School of Art and Design.

Lewis’s teaching and research integrate the history of education, art and design, and urban development through the prism of New York City’s urban communities and their changes over time.

The community control movement in education was part of a multi-pronged movement targeting housing, employment, healthcare, policing and welfare in many of New York City's African-American, Puerto Rican, and Asian communities of the late 1960s. While the movement for community control of schools paralleled and intersected with organizing in other fields, it had a distinct trajectory and a unique set of outcomes because of the role public education is supposed to play in producing the conditions for citizen participation in democratic governance.

Spanning a half-century in New York City's school system (1945–95), Lewis interpreted the historical trajectory of multiple efforts to scale up educational reform by scaling down governance and bureaucracy. Her dissertation claimed that improvement was possible because educators and school board members in these decentralized districts were driven by a similar moral commitment to societal and school change as were the community control activists in the 1960s. Given the limitations of the school system's decentralized structure, a downturn in the local and national economy, and the continued resistance of the teachers' and principals' unions to community control, local district leaders' accomplishments in the '70s and '80s were significant. Lewis's dissertation posited that while the continuity of leadership and improvement in educational outcomes in these districts may not have been representative of the 32 community school districts created under decentralization, the districts' broader social and political contexts were not atypical. Rather than treating the two districts as idiosyncratic, her dissertation argued that other New York City community school districts with similar student populations and committed leadership could have followed a different course if there had been more effective support from the central school system, teachers' and principals' unions, elected officials and the public.

Selected Recent Publications

New York City’s Public Schools From Brownsville to Bloomberg: Community Control and its Legacy (Teachers College Press, 2013).

Future Teachers and Historical Habits of Mind: A Pedagogical Case Study. History of Education Quarterly, 56, no. 2 (February, 2016)

Assessment by Design: Scaling up by Thinking Small.” in Reframing Quality Assurance in Creative Disciplines (2015): 107-116.


Chris Loss - Higher Education and History, University of Virginia

Project: From Democracy to Diversity: The Transformation of American Higher Education from World War I through the Cold War

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Fellowship year: 2005

Mentor: Julie Reuben, Harvard University

Chris Loss is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Higher Education and Professor of History, Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, at Vanderbilt University.

Prior to joining the faculty at Vanderbilt University, Loss was a research fellow in the Governance Studies Program at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He also worked in academic administration for four years in the Office of the Vice President and Provost at the University of Virginia. Loss holds doctorates in higher education and in history from the University of Virginia.

Professor Loss specializes in twentieth-century American history with an emphasis on the social, political, and policy history of American higher education. He has most recently co-edited a publication with former Miller Center fellow, Patrick McGuinn, a publication, The Convergence of K-12 and Higher Education (2016.) His scholarship has appeared in the Journal of American History, the Journal of Policy HistorySocial Science History, the History of Education Quarterly, and the Journal of the History of Psychology, among others. From 2010-12 Loss was a fellow on the Teagle Foundation’s National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education. In 2012-13 Loss was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Presently, Loss is working on a new book project, Front and Center: Academic Expertise and its Challengers in the Post-1945 United States, which explores the rise of interdisciplinary centers and the growing jurisdiction of experts in U.S. politics and public policy in modern America.

Selected Recent Publications

The Convergence of K-12 and Higher Education (Harvard Education Press, 2016)

Between Citizens and the State: The Politics of American Higher Education in the Twentieth Century (Princeton University Press, 2011).

The Institutionalization of In Loco Parentis after Gott v. Berea College (1913).Teachers College Record 16, no. 12 (December 2014)

"The Land-Grant Colleges, Cooperative Extension, and the New Deal."in Roger L. Geiger and Nathan M. Sorber, eds. Perspectives on the History of Higher Education: The Land-Grant Colleges and the Reshaping of American Higher Education 30 (2013): 285-310.

"From Pluralism to Diversity: Reassessing the Political Uses of the Uses of the University.Social Science History 35, no. 4 (Winter 2012): 525-49.


Patrick McGuinn - Political Science, University of Virginia

Project: The Institutionalization of Federal Education Policy, 1965–2000

McGuinn photo

Fellowship year: 2002

Mentor: Maris Vinovskis, University of Michigan

Patrick McGuinn is Professor of Political Science and Education at Drew University.

Partick McGuinn has assumed full professorship as Professor of Public Policy and Education at Drew University (Summer 2016). He recently co-edited with former Miller Center fellow, Chris Loss, a publication, The Convergence of K-12 and Higher Education with Harvard Education Press (2016.) McGuinn's first book, No Child Left Behind and the Transformation of Federal Education Policy, 1965-2005was honored as a Choice outstanding academic title.  He is also the editor (with Paul Manna) of Education Governance for the 21st Century: Overcoming the Structural Barriers to School Reform.  Patrick has published many academic articles and book chapters and has produced a number of policy reports for the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for American Progress, and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.  He is a regular commentator on education policy and politics in media outlets such as Education Week, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the NJ Star Ledger and was recognized in the top 100 of the Education Week Edu-Scholar rankings for the past three years.  He is a former high school social studies teacher and the father of four daughters in public school.

In his dissertation, "The Institutionalization of Federal Education Policy, 1965–2000," McGuinn argued that the expansion and institutionalization of federal education policy must be understood in the context of the institutional incentives that shape the behavior of political actors in the national government. The development and eventual public acceptance of a powerful equity rationale for federal intervention in education during the 1960s led to the creation of new educational institutions for research, policymaking, and administration at the national level.

Selected Recent Publications

The Convergence of K-12 and Higher Education (Harvard Education Press, 2016)

No Child Left Behind and the Transformation of Federal Education Policy, 1965-2005 (University Press of Kansas, 2006)

The New Politics of Education: Analyzing the Federal Education Policy Landscape in the Post-NCLB Era.” with Elizabeth DeBray-Pelot, Educational Policy 23, no. 1 (2009): 15-42. 


Margaret Pugh O’Mara - History, University of Pennsylvania

Project: Cities of Knowledge: Cold War Politics and the Roots of the Information Age Metropolis, 1945–75

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Margaret O'Mara is Associate Professor of History at the University of Washington.

O'Mara's research interests include: Silicon Valley, national politics, economic globalization, postindustrial cities, and higher education. Her current research project examines the technology industry's impact on politics, culture, and place since 1970. She also works with government, business, and civic organizations on projects exploring how innovation drives growth and change.  Most recently, she was the lead curatorial advisor to the Bezos Center for Innovation at Seattle's Museum of History and Industry.

O'Mara's dissertation, "Cold War Politics and the Roots of the Information Age Metropolis, 1945–1975," examined the effect of Cold War politics upon urban space in the United States during the 30 years following World War II. She specifically explored the way in which the increased national focus on higher education and scientific research during the 1950s and 1960s strongly encouraged the suburbanization of people and industry – particularly the rapidly growing advanced scientific sectors – in metropolitan areas in many different parts of the country, including the major metropolitan areas of Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Northern California's Silicon Valley.

Selected Recent Publications

Pivotal Tuesdays: Four Elections That Shaped the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).

"The Environmental Contradictions of High-Tech Urbanism." in Jeff Hou, Ben Spencer, Thaisa Way, and Ken Yocum, eds., Now Urbanism: The Future City is Here (Routledge, 2014).

"The Uses of the Foreign Student.Social Science History 36, no.4 (December 2012).

Cities and Suburbs." in Lynn Dumenil, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History (Oxford University Press, 2012).


Jesse Rhodes - Political Science, University of Virginia

Project: Making the Educational State: The Transformation of Educational Governance in the U.S. from a Nation at Risk to No Child Left Behind

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Jesse Rhodes is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Rhodes's major areas of scholarly interest are social policy (especially education policy), political parties, and the American presidency. His book, An Education in Politics: The Origins and Evolution of No Child Left Behind, has been published by Cornell University Press. With support from the Spencer Foundation, he is also analyzing the effects of education standards, testing, and accountability policies on citizenship; and with a Faculty Research Grant, I am investigating patterns of presidential partisan rhetoric. His research on political parties includes a longterm project, with Sidney Milkis, on the developing relationship between the presidency and the political parties during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama; and a multi-article study, with Shamira Gelbman, of the factors that inhibit or permit parties to embrace new positions on racial issues. 

Rhodes' dissertation blended historical and quantitative methods to model the development of new governing arrangements in education at the state and federal levels from the late 1970s to the present. As it showed, a national reform coalition composed of business elites, governors, and conservative intellectuals set a new agenda for education policy stressing high standards and accountability for results, profoundly shaping the trajectory of state educational policymaking during the 1980s and 1990s. However, the structure of opportunities and constraints provided by a diverse federal polity mediated the diffusion of the new educational agenda, helped create feedback loops that led to the reformulation of educational agendas and the refocusing of reformers on national government involvement, influenced the formation of new educational coalitions and organizations, and provided platforms and prestige for strategically placed individuals and groups to shape both state and national education debates. This policy feedback fed the increasing nationalization of educational governance, culminating in No Child Left Behind (NCLB), that has characterized the past two decades. However, states' commitment to the reform agenda have continued to be mediated by their unique political and racial environments, producing a patchwork of reform that belies NCLB's nationalizing pretensions.

Selected Recent Publications

"Financial Capacity, Ideology, and Political Donors in an Era of Deregulation." with Brian F Schaffner, Raymond J La Raja. (2016)

"Learning citizenship? How state education reforms affect parents’ political attitudes and behavior." Political Behavior 37, no. 1 (March 1, 2015): 181-220.

"The transformation of partisan rhetoric in American presidential campaigns, 1952–2012." with Zachary Albert. Party Politics (October 19, 2015)

An Education in Politics: The Origin and Development of No Child Left Behind (Cornell University Press, 2012).


Tracy Steffes - History, University of Chicago

Project: A New Education for a Modern Age: National Reform, State-building, and the Transformation of American Schooling, 1890-1933

Steffes photo

Fellowship year: 2004

Mentor: Jonathan Zimmerman, New York University

Tracy Steffes is Associate Professor of Education and History at Brown University.

She teaches courses on American educational history. Her research interests include the development of American education system, citizenship, social and democratic theory and practice, state-building and social movements. 

Steffe's dissertation examined the national systematization of American education as public schooling was standardized across the United States from 1880 to 1930 and formulated into a single, hierarchical system. She argued that the expansion of state authority over schooling and the growth of state-level educational administration from 1880 to 1930 enabled a national-level coordination and systematization of schooling which amounted to the origins of a national education system. While the federal government played a role in creating this system, national systematization emerged through a complicated process of cooperation and competition between private and public actors at local, state, and national levels. As states assumed greater regulatory and oversight powers over local schools, they looked to one another and to national structures for guidance in shaping their school systems, cooperating in some respects and competing in others. American schooling, like American governance more generally, was powerfully shaped by traditions of federalism and private power and thus looked and operated very differently than national systems abroad.

Selected Recent Publications

School, Society, & State: A New Education to Govern Modern America, 1890-1940. University of Chicago Press, 2012


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