About Me

My research program reflects an interest in both political institutions and behavior, with a special focus on how and why marginalized groups affect and are affected by government. My ongoing research mostly focuses on questions of political and economic equality. These topical interests have sparked projects in legislative, interest group, and electoral politics. My dissertation book project combines these interests into a study of rural individuals' attitudes and experiences in the realm of health policy.  My work has appeared in the American Political Science Review and Political Science Research & Methods. 


Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, I earned my master’s degree at the University of Akron and my bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Murray State University. Outside of political science, I am a diehard Kentucky Wildcats basketball fan (GO CATS!), classic rock music junkie, guitarist, karaoke enthusiast, and a former congressional campaign staffer. I am originally from the Bourbon Capital of the World, Bardstown, KY, but now I love living in the Music City. 

Email me at mshepherd1901@gmail.com with any questions or comments. 

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