Miller Center

Miller Center Fellows 2002 – 2003

Josh Ashenmiller

The Strange Career of Environmental Impact Assessment

Josh Ashenmiller, University of California, Santa Barbara
Mentor: Richard N. Andrews, Professor of Public Policy, University of North Carolina

Josh Ashenmiller is Professor of History at Fullerton College in California.

Josh wrote his dissertation on environmental impact assessment (EIA) and discussed a strong continuity between environmental impact assessment and the long tradition of federal attempts to manage economic growth, dating to the establishment of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887.


Carl Bon Tempo

The Politics of American Refugee Policy, 1952–1980

Carl Bon Tempo, University of Virginia
Mentor: Gary Gerstle, Professor of History, University of Maryland

Carl Bon Tempo is Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York at Albany.

He received his B.A. from Georgetown University in 1994 and an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Virginia in 2004. Bon Tempo's current research project, titled "Human Rights at Home," explores the fate of human rights politics and policies in the United States from the "human rights moment" of the 1970s to the present.

Carl wrote his dissertation on the formation and implementation of the American government's policies toward refugees between 1952 and 1980, arguing that the study of refugee policies provides an opportunity to examine how Americans (in and out of government) conceived of citizenship and "American-ness" in the post-World War II era – and that these conceptions vitally influenced the intent and character of specific refugee policies and programs. Carl displayed that post-World War II era American refugee policies and laws, and the contentious deliberations that produced them, resembled the larger debates about citizenship and national identity occurring during that period.

Recent Publications:
Americans at the Gate: The United States and Refugees during the Cold War (Princeton University Press, 2008)


Beyond Redistricting: How the Voting Rights Act Has Transformed Politics in a Southern City

Michele Davis Jones, University of Virginia
Mentor: Clarence N. Stone, Professor of Government and Politics, University of Maryland

Michele wrote her dissertation on how the Voting Rights Act generated an enormous amount of scholarship, while considering the empirical consequences of the act by looking at its impact on the descriptive and substantive representation of minorities. Michele stated that it is unclear if minorities actually benefited from the increased number of minority representatives, while additionally continuing the effort to assess the question of descriptive versus substantive representation. Her dissertation looked at the politics of a Southern city before and after it was forced to adopt majority-minority districts.


Beth Freeborn

Drug Laws and the Market for Cocaine

Beth Freeborn, University of Virginia
Mentor: Peter Reuter, Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland

Beth Freeborn currently works at the Bureau of Economics at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. 

Freeborn was Assistant Professor of Economics at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg where she taught courses on Microeconomics and Industrial Organization. Her research focuses on industrial organization, applied microeconomics, economics of crime and econometrics. Freeborn received her B.A. (1998), M.A. (2000) and Ph.D. (2006) in Economics from the University of Virginia.

Beth's dissertation was an economic study of the market for powder and crack cocaine using data collected from the Drug Enforcement Agency from 1984 to 2001. She examined how drug dealers make decisions regarding what type of cocaine package to produce. The benefit to dealers is the total revenue they receive from the packages they sell, and the cost to dealers is both the monetary cost of purchasing the wholesale cocaine and the legal penalty if they are caught selling cocaine. These legal penalties vary greatly by state, providing different incentives to dealers based on geographical location. This project created and estimated a model of the market for cocaine. This model can then be utilized to analyze a number of different public policy questions.

Recent Publications:
“Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment and Motor Vehicle Fatalities.” with Brian McManus, Southern Economic Journal, (2010)
“Varying the Intensity of Competition in a Multiple Prize Rent Seeking Experiment." with Lisa R. Anderson, Public Choice, (2010)


Beverly Gage

The Wall Street Explosion: Capitalism, Terrorism, and the Origins of the FBI

Beverly Gage, Columbia University
Mentor: Alan Dawley, Professor of History, The College of New Jersey

Beverly Gage is Professor of 20th century U.S. History at Yale University.

Her teaching and research focus on the evolution of American political ideologies and institutions. She was featured as an expert guide in two History Channel programs exploring the early history of the Cold War in 2007. Gage received her Ph.D. in History from Columbia University.

Her dissertation analyzed the Stock Market crash of 1929 within its contemporary social and political context. She traced the Wall Street disaster from the day of the explosion through the end of the federal government's four-year investigation and used the explosion as a vehicle for exploring the rise of a federal police force, early responses to modern "terrorism," and the development of anticommunism as a major force in American political life. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and and Gage is a regular contributor to PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Recent Publications:
The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in its First Age of Terror (Oxford University Press, 2009)


Reforming the State: Reorganization and the Federal Government, 1937–1964

Joanna Grisinger, University of Chicago
Mentor: Daniel Carpenter, Professor of Government, Harvard University

Joanna Grisinger is Senior Lecturer of the Legal Studies Program at Northwestern University. 

Previously, Grisinger was Assistant Professor of History at Clemson University from 2005 until 2011. Grisinger received her Ph.D. in History (2005) and J.D. in Law (1998) from the University of Chicago.

In her dissertation, Joanna demonstrated that the period beginning in 1937 was a significant era of government reform of the structures and procedure of the federal government. The procedural reforms of the time created an entirely new administrative framework and system of governance. Her dissertation examined how the federal government developed an uneasy compromise with administrative agencies and administrative forms in this era, and how these organizational and procedural changes influenced the policies that emerged from this new system of democratic governance.

Recent Publications:
"Law in Action: The Attorney General's Committee on Administrative Procedure." Journal of Policy History, (2008)


Squaring the Pentagon: The Politics of Post-Cold War Defense Retrenchment

Jamie Morin, Yale University
Mentor: Dr. Alton Frye, Director of the Program on Congress and U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations

Jamie Morin is the acting Under Secretary of the U.S. Air Force in Washington, D.C. appointed by President Barack Obama. 

Previously, he served as a senior defense and international affairs analyst with the United States Senate Budget Committee from 2003 to 2009. He has also worked on the policy planning staff at the Department of Defense and as an economic development consultant to USAID. Morin holds a M.A. in Public Administration from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University.

In his dissertation, Morin explored how the politics of defense budgeting in the 1990s differed from that of the late Cold War, and how that affected America's national defense. He identified negative consequences stemming from the post-Cold War drawdown, but rejected the idea that they resulted from over-eager cutting of the defense budget. Rather, he argued that they resulted from a budgetary process that failed to optimally balance spending and effectiveness because it was too inflexible to deal appropriately with an uncertain future. Morin's hypotheses placed their roots in the political science literature on defense politics, but are also shaped by his extensive interviews with a long list of defense policymakers, congressional staff and lobbyists.


American Cold War Policy in its Wider International and Domestic Context, 1945–47

Jennifer See, University of California
Mentor: Melvyn Leffler, Professor of History, University of Virginia

Jennifer See is a Faculty Fellow in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Her dissertation examined American diplomacy at the origins of the Cold War. It explored a brief two-year period, beginning in summer 1945. Fluidity and contingency characterized these months that marked the end of one world conflict and the beginnings of another. By the end of these two years, in relations with the Soviet Union, once ally against Germany and now bitter rival, containment had replaced collaboration in the American policy lexicon. She discussed three main threads that were apparent through her studies: the connection between American domestic politics and foreign policy decisions; the international context of U.S. policy; and the importance of ideology in defining the Cold War world for decision-makers.


Gretchen Crosby Sims

Social Responsibility and the Political Power of American Business

Gretchen Crosby Sims, Stanford University
Mentor: Cathie Jo Martin, Associate Professor of Political Science, Boston University

Gretchen Crosby Sims works as a staff member in the Special Opportunities Program at the Joyce Foundation in Chicago.

Previously, she also served as domestic policy adviser for education and family issues to Senator Bill Bradley in his 2000 presidential campaign and has worked for the Council on Foreign Relations. Sims received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University.

Sims's dissertation examined the rise of corporate social responsibility (CSR) among America's most powerful companies as a source of political power. In recent years, many companies have embraced the notion of CSR and invested significant resources in strengthening their communities, supporting their employees, protecting the environment, and making philanthropic contributions. She argued that many of the things firms do in the name of CSR represent the provision of public goods, the practice of self-regulation, or the giving of politically valuable philanthropic gifts. These activities can give firms special standing with three groups of political actors: legislators, regulators, and other interest groups.


McGee Young

Therapy and Poverty: Private Social Service in the Area of Public Welfare

McGee Young, Syracuse University
Mentor: M. Elizabeth Sanders, Cornell University

McGee Young is Associate Professor of Political Science at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

He teachers courses on American politics with a focus on business politics and interest groups. His research interests include interest groups, public policy and American political development. Young received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Syracuse University in 2004.

Young's dissertation examined the development of the small business and environmental lobbies through the prism of 20th century American political development. He analyzed the relationship between the strategies and tactics of interest groups and the structure of political opportunities. Young additionally argued that political constraints placed on groups by preceding institutional and political configurations, together with the relationship between groups and political parties as well as groups' own internal organizational struggles, shape the capacity for groups to influence the political process.

Recent Publications:
“From Conservation to Environment: The Sierra Club and the Organizational Politics of Change.” Studies in American Political Development, (2008)
“The Political Roots of Small Business Identity.” Polity, (September 2008)