Race. Ethnicity. Inequality. Politics.

Candis Watts Smith is Associate Professor of

Political Science and African American Studies at

Penn State University.  

Professor Smith's expertise highlights race and ethnicity's role in shaping the American political landscape. Her research agenda illuminates the ways in which demographic dynamics influence citizens' and denizens' of the U.S. understanding of their own identity, their political attitudes, and their policy preferences.


Smith applies the knowledge gained from research to speak to issues that influence real people, including the effects racial attitudes on American politics, diversity issues, and access to resources that ought to be distributed equitably. 

Prior to her appointment at Penn State, she was a faculty member of UNC Public Policy and Williams College's Department of Political Science. She was post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Political Science at Texas A&M University just after receiving her Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University.