Center for Community Engagement

Audio: Policymaking in the classroom

Professors of Political Science Ashley Burns and Kerry Ratigan

Next year, professors of political science Kerry Ratigan and Ashley Burns will offer students the chance to dig deep in public policy. Listen as they share stories of their own research and why they're excited to bring policy into the classroom.


After nearly a decade of researching health care policy in China, assistant professor of political science Kerry Ratigan is ready to ask students to tackle real policy questions in the classroom. "Because I'm interested in inequality and social policy, and these issues that have real implications for peoples’ everyday lives, I think it's important push students to think about how you would go about solving these problems," she says.

Listen as she shares some of her major findings in her social policy research in China and why she's excited to bring her research on Chinese policies to the classroom.

For Ashley Burns, assistant professor of political science, public policy is an opportunity to do "problem-driven work." Burns has spent years looking at public housing as a way to understand social stratification, particularly in the American south. "I’m trying constantly to weave together who we are and the things we’ve been through with what we are reading in class," she says. "Luckily, I think that teaching public policy makes it a lot easier to do that."

Listen as she talks about how she got her start researching public housing in the U.S. south and her hopes for her students today.