2012 Conference

Visions in Methodology 2012 (VIM)

May 17-19, 2012
Department of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University
Hosted by Sona Golder, Lee Ann Banaszak, and Suzie Linn
Conference Assistant: Molly Ariotti

General Information

The Political Science Department at Penn State University will host a conference entitled Visions in Methodology: A Workshop for Women in Political Methodology. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Society for Political Methodology, the PSU College of Liberal Arts, and the PSU Department of Political Science, the workshop brings together junior and senior women faculty working in political methodology. Conference participants can look forward to:

  • Scholarly research presentations
  • Feedback on research from conference participants
  • Sessions on career and gender topics (e.g., networking, mentoring, work-life issues, women in the classroom)
  • In addition to the funding sponsors listed above, we gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Diane Hockenberry, Assistant to the Department Head, Amy Homan, Administrative Assistant, and Kristy Boob, Graduate Staff Coordinator.


The conference is part of a broader goal of supporting activities for women in the field of political methodology that are funded by the NSF. The activities are intended to create networks and opportunities, as well as to plug the “leaky pipeline” for women in the field of political methodology where women are under-represented. The new initiative implements recommendations from the recent National Academy of Sciences reports, the APSA Workshop on the Advancement of Women in Academic Political Science, and the 2006 Political Methodology Long Range Strategic Planning Committee Report. The first VIM conference was held at Ohio State University in 2008, the second at the University of Iowa in 2010, and the third at Ohio State University in 2011.

Featured Senior Scholars for Spring 2012:

Susan Welch, Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts and Professor of Political Science at Penn State

Vera Troeger, Professor of Quantitative Political Science, Departments of Economics and Political Science, University of Warwick


Lee Ann Banaszak, Pennsylvania State University
Robin Best, University of Missouri
Kanisha Bond, University of Maryland
Jan Box-Steffensmeier, Ohio State University
Courtenay Conrad, University of North Carolina – Charlotte
Simone Dietrich, Princeton (Niehaus Center) -> Missouri
Michelle Dion, McMaster University
Sona N. Golder, Pennsylvania State University
Georgia Kernell, Northwestern University
Jenn Larson, Harvard University -> New York University
Suzie Linn, Pennsylvania State University
Sara Mitchell, University of Iowa
Ellie Powell, Yale University
Maya Sen, Harvard University -> Rochester
Heather Stoll, University of California, Santa Barbara
Burcu Savun, University of Pittsburgh
Jakana Thomas, Pennsylvania State University -> Michigan State University
Caroline Tolbert, University of Iowa
Vera Troeger, University of Warwick
Susan Welch, Pennsylvania State University

Program Information

Thursday, May 17th

  • Dinner at conference hotel, 7:00 – 9:00
  • Senior biographies: Susan Welch & Vera Troeger
  • Career/Gender discussion #1, Women as Career Academics
    Discussion Leaders: Lee Ann Banaszak and Jan Box-Steffensmeier

Friday, May 18th (all events in Political Science Department, 302 Pond Lab, unless otherwise indicated)

Saturday, May 19th (all events in Political Science Department unless otherwise indicated)

Sunday, May 20th

  • Thanks for coming and have a safe journey home!

Note: We anticipate that each 45-minute presentation will be comprised of approximately 20 minutes for the paper presentation, 10-15 minutes for the discussant and 5-10 minutes for open discussion. All paper presentations will take place in Pond Laboratory 302, which has Internet/projection access.

Note: Dress attire is casual, and we will be walking to most events.


The readings for each discussion are provided on the Resources Page.


The State College Airport (airport code SCE) is about 15 minutes from campus. A hotel shuttle will be available.

Each attendee can receive up to $400 in reimbursement for travel expenses, which includes airfare and taxi expenses as well as gas/mileage (if traveling by car).  Reimbursement information and forms can be found here.


We have booked rooms for the attendees at the Days Inn. The hotel is next to the campus and is within easy walking distance of the conference site.

The Days Inn State College
240 South Pugh Street
State College, PA 16801
Phone: 814-238-8454

The lodging fees for paper presenters who will share a double room will be paid in full by the NSF grant and Penn State University. If a paper presenter has chosen to stay in a single room (subject to hotel availability), the guest must pay a partial room fee of $100/night.

Please direct any questions to the host (Sona Golder, sgolder [at] psu.edu) and/or the conference assistant (Molly Ariotti, ariotti [at] psu.edu). If participants have any special needs (including dietary requirements) please let us know.