Becki Scola Ph.D

Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science Department
Office: Barbelin 204
Phone: 610.660.1921
Fax: 610.660.1284

Curriculum Vitae (CV)


M.A. and Ph.D., University of California, Irvine B.A., Arizona State University, Summa Cum Laude 

Professional Experience

Becki Scola joined the Saint Joseph’s University faculty in the Fall of 2009. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine in 2009, her M.A. in Social Science from the University of California, Irvine in 2004, and her B.A. in Women’s Studies from Arizona State University in 2001. Her research interests include American institutions, gender politics, race/ethnic politics, and anti-hunger policy.

Dr. Scola has published in State Politics & Policy Quarterly, Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, and Politics & Gender. Her book, Gender, Race, and Office Holding in the United States: Representation at the Intersections (Routledge) investigates the effect of institutions on women’s legislative representation across the fifty United States, specifically analyzing the variation in the level of representation among white women and women of color state legislators. Dr. Scola is also completing a project that examines anti-hunger advocacy in Philadelphia as well as a study that examines the relationship between women’s descriptive representation and voter turnout across the states.

Dr. Scola is The Washington Center Internship Program Liaison for the SJU campus (, and advises the Women's Leadership Initiative (

Courses Taught

Introductory Courses
POL 111 Introduction to American Government & Politics

An introduction to the theory and process of democratic government in the United States. Emphasis is placed on an examination of the relationships among American values, politics, governmental institutions, and public policy.

POL 150 Diversity and Inequality in the United States
This first year seminar investigates how inequality in wealth distribution inherently structures and impacts other cleavages within the U.S. polity such as race/ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality, which may undermine a truly informed and participatory democratic system. Specifically, we will discuss how these patterns affect politics in the U.S. – in other words, whose voices are reflected in the political world and where? The course’s substantive focus will critically examine the relationship between the empirical evidence of inequality and how this relates to policy.

American Government and Politics Courses
POL 308 Congress and the Legislative Process
The U.S. Congress was designed to meet the representational and legislative needs of the republic. In this upper division course, we will study the inherent tension between the representing and legislating by simulating the behavior of members of the House of Representatives. We will pay particular attention to the work of committees, constituent representation, and the introduction and passage of legislation.

POL 323 Women, Gender, and American Politics
This course is designed to provide students with a critical examination of women as political actors. We analyze various forms of women's political participation, both in the traditional spheres of what is considered politics -- women as voters and politicians -- and also in more "non-traditional" spheres of political activism, focusing keenly on the differences among women in an effort to understand how the intersection of gender, race, class, sexuality, and age influence women's political activity.

POL 324 Race and Ethnic Politics in the U.S.
This course will study how different minority groups engage the political system, from the mass level to the elite level. We examine the major theories that attempt to explain the roles of race and ethnicity in U.S. politics and the ways in which individuals use race and ethnicity as resources for political organization. It is designed to explore conceptual and methodological issues, while focusing on how racial and ethnic groups shape and are shaped by the American political system. This examination and analysis will not only enhance our understanding of these groups’ political roles, but will demonstrate that the U.S. political system cannot be adequately understood without understanding the political dynamics of race and ethnicity.


Gender, Race, and Office Holding in the United States: Representation at the Intersections. Routledge Press, 2014.

“Predicting Presence at the Intersections: Assessing the Variation in Women’s Office Holding across the States.” State Politics & Policy Quarterly, 2013.

“Women of Color in State Legislatures: Gender, Race, and Legislative Office Holding.” Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy 28(3-4), 2006. (Also published in Intersectionality and Politics: Recent Research on Gender, Race, and Political Representation in the United States, Carol Hardy-Fanta, ed. New York: Haworth Press, 2006.)

“Finding Intersection: Race, Class and Gender in the California Recall.” Politics & Gender 2(1), 2006. (With Lisa García Bedolla)

“Race, Gender and the Recall Vote.” In Shawn Bowler and Bruce Cain, eds., Clicker Politics: The California Recall Election. New York: Prentice Hall, 2005. (With Lisa García Bedolla)

Magazine Articles