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Matthew Mongiello
  • Assistant Professor

Political Science

Think of a controversial social or political issue and I probably teach a class that covers it. Abortion? Death penalty? Gun control? Drug abuse? Mass incarceration? Flag burning? Climate change? Reparations? Socialism? Factory farming? My classes debate all these topics and many others. What could be more fun? I’m lucky enough to teach courses in Civil Liberties and Constitutional Law, where my students write their own Supreme Court opinions deciding crazy hypothetical court cases that I invent.

I also get to teach courses in Political Theory and American Political Thought, where we ask if Socrates should have been executed and if our Constitution is really as democratic as it should be. I even get to explore my personal and professional passion for animal rights and social movements in my freshmen seminar, Animal Ethics and Policy. And when I have a big question on my mind and in my research, such as, “how do we tackle America’s opioid crisis?” I ask my American Public Policy class to find me some answers in their policy analysis projects. It’s a pretty sweet gig. As Pre-Law Advisor, I also help students who may want to go to law school.


Ph.D., The University of Pennsylvania
M.A., The University of Chicago
B.A., Vanderbilt University

Research Interests

  • American social movements

  • The First Amendment

  • Drug policy and the politics of addiction

  • Animal rights

  • Disability rights

Recent Courses

  • FYS 1239: Animals, Ethics, & Policy

  • PSI 2208: Inventors of Political Ideas

  • PSI 3319: American Civil Liberties