The Research Team
Timothy Ryan is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science. He studies how aspects of human psychology interact with the American political system, with consequences for the spread of information, comity among everyday citizens, and democratic health more generally. His dissertation, which won the 2015 American Political Science Association award for Best Dissertation in Political Psychology, examines citizens’ intuitions about morality. Ryan documents that liberals and conservatives “moralize” politics to a nearly equal degree, though they moralize different issues. The research also shows that moral psychology leads citizens to oppose political compromises, punish compromising politicians, and proffer divisive political arguments, suggesting it is partly responsible for the rise in political polarization. Ryan’s in-progress research projects examine the antecedents and consequences of implicit attitudes (gut feelings) about political candidates, as well as the role of citizens’ capacity to develop expertise about specific issues that directly affect their lives.
Andrew Engelhardt is an assistant professor in the political science department at UNC Greensboro. He studies the nexus of intergroup relations and politics to understand how residents of democracies navigate diversity. This includes understanding how, psychologically, people think about themselves and others, and how this influences their politics. As part of this, his dissertation explored the bidirectional relationship between white Americans’ partisan preferences and their racial attitudes. His current research projects explore how white parents’ race socialization practices did or did not change following George Floyd’s murder and the summer 2020 protests, and how Americans’ party loyalties and ethnocentrism (in-group preference) interact to influence public opinion.
Jennifer Larson is a teaching professor in the UNC English Department. Her teaching and research interests include African American literature (especially African American drama), Film Studies (especially race in contemporary cinema), American literature, and Composition (especially writing in/about law). Her most recent book, Understanding Walter Mosley (University of South Carolina Press), offers a critical overview of Mosely’s work across genres. She received her Ph.D. in English from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is the recipient of multiple teaching awards at UNC, including the Joseph M Flora Award in 2012 and 2017.
Mark McNeilly teaches in the areas of marketing and organizational behavior in both the full-time MBA and online MBA@UNC programs. He serves as a faculty advisor for the STAR program and executive coach in the Leadership program. He has served as a global marketing executive and has several years of experience with both IBM and Lenovo in the IT industry. His business background includes branding, strategy, marketing, market intelligence, management, manufacturing and personnel. He is the author of a popular strategy book based on Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” titled “Sun Tzu and the Art of Business: Six Strategic Principles for Managers” as well as “George Washington and the Art of Business: Leadership Principles of America’s First Commander-in-Chief,” both from Oxford University Press. He received his MBA with honors from the University of Minnesota.