Katherine Vigilante

Senior Lecturer in Political Science and Chair, Oxford College Honors Program

Katie Vigilante, Senior Lecturer in Political Science, received her A.A. from Oxford College in 1990, her B.A. from Emory University in 1992, her M.A. from Emory in 2002, and her Ph.D. from Emory University in 2010.

She was a doctoral teaching fellow at Emory University in 2000-2001 and entered doctoral candidacy in 2004.

Completing her doctorate in 2010, titled: Deconstructing and Constructing Activism: A New Measure of Applied to the 50 U.S. State Courts of Last Resort. Her research interests continue to be about courts, particularly the effect of campaigns on judicial indpendence.

Professor Vigilante's primary interest is in American Politics, particularly in judicial institutions and judicial policy making. She also has a scholarly interest in elections and voting behavior as well as research methods and design with a particular emphasis on measurement. 

Professor Vigilante's mentor, William Shapiro, brought her to Oxford to begin her teaching career in 2007. She expects to make this her home, offering a series of courses that compliment her own research in courts as well as empirical methods in political science to Oxford students declaring political science majors.

Her teaching interests and courses include:


  • Introduction to Politics
  • National Politics
  • Civil Liberties and Rights
  • Constitutional Law
  • Political Research Methods and Design
  • Voting and Elections
  • Intermediate National Politics


AA| Oxford College| 1990

BA| Emory University| 1992

PhD| Emory University| 2010

Courses Taught

Introduction to Political Science (Pols 101Q)

National Politics of the U.S. (Pols 100)

Political Science Research Methods (Pols 208Q)

Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties in the U.S. (Pols 353)

Constitutional Law: Institutions and Constraints in the U.S. (Pols 352)


Chair, Oxford College Honors Program


Peppers, T., Vigilante, K, and Zorn, C. 2012. RANDOM CHANCE OR LOADED DICE: THE POLITICS OF JUDICIAL DESIGNATION. University of New Hampshire Law Review. Voume 10, no. 1. pp. 69-97.


AGLS. 2012. Portland, Oregon: The Implementation of an Inquiry Driven General Education Program for Freshman and Sophomores at Oxford College.

Research Interests

Judicial Politics and Policy Making. 

Judicial Activism and the Politics of Judicial Elections

Measurement and Research Design

Scholarship of teaching and Learning