About Me

I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at SUNY New Paltz where I teach classes on a range of topics in American politics and public policy as well as social science research methods.  I serve as an Associate Editor at Urban Affairs Review where I edit the Urban Affairs Forum -- a website that publishes accessible articles on urban affairs research. I am also a contributing author to Ed Greenberg and Benjamin Page’s introductory American politics textbook The Struggle for Democracy.

My research broadly revolves around ideas related to the geography of American politics with an emphasis on local government, budgetary politics, public policy, public goods, and social behavior.  Most of my work involves the use of geographic information systems (GIS), mapping, point pattern analysis, and other spatial and non-spatial statistical methods.  I have published on a range of topics including the spatial relationships that exist between cities and how they impact budgetary decisions, 311 programs, and use of spatially-weighted survey metrics (Full CV). You can find my work in American Politics Research, Political Geography, Urban Affairs Review, and Social Science Quarterly.

I currently have three ongoing projects:

  • Teachers, Trees, and Trash. This project is focused on better understanding the spatial dynamics of goods distribution in cities. In particular, I am interested in how goods distribution impacts neighborhoods and the people who live in them.
  • Living with Inequality. Jeff Lyons (Boise State) and I are trying to better understand what drives perceptions and attitudes about income inequality. Unlike other research, our focus is on how spatial context (e.g. neighborhood income and racial-diversity) impacts these perceptions and attitudes.
  • Politics on Display. Anand Sokhey (CU Boulder), Todd Makse (Florida International), and I have completed a book manuscript that examines the causes and effects of campaign yard sign display.

I can be reached at sminkoff@gmail.com.