Political Science

Paulina Cossette

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Paulina S. Cossette is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Washington College. She teaches courses on American politics.

Prior to joining Washington College, Dr. Cossette was an assistant professor at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida. She was awarded the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship and spent the 2014-2015 academic year in Washington, D.C. as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Jack Reed (RI). During that time, Dr. Cossette worked on a variety of domestic policy issues, including transportation and education with a particular focus on energy and the environment. In 2013, Dr. Cossette graduated from the University of Florida with a Ph.D. in political science.

Dr. Cossette’s research focuses on American institutions and political behavior, with an emphasis on the U.S. Congress and party polarization. Her dissertation, “Polarization Reconsidered: The Influence of Institutional Structure on Legislative Networks,” explores how the institutional structure and rules of the U.S. House and Senate have influenced collaboration among members across time. She is particularly interested in examining the factors affecting the potential for bipartisan collaboration in the U.S. Senate. In addition, Dr. Cossette is involved in an on-going project with Professor Steve Craig (University of Florida) on the ways political candidates respond when they are attacked during a campaign.


Ph.D., political science, University of Florida

M.A., political science, University of Florida

B.A., political science, University of Central Florida




Craig, Stephen C., and Paulina S. Cossette. Forthcoming. “Whose Issue Is It Anyway…And Does It Really Matter? Issue Ownership and Negative Campaigning.” World Affairs Journal. 

Rippere, Paulina S. 2016. “Polarization Reconsidered: Bipartisan Cooperation through Bill Cosponsorship.” Polity 48 (April): 243-78.

Craig, Stephen C., and Paulina S. Rippere. 2016. “He Said, She Said: The Impact of Candidate Gender in Negative Campaigns.” Politics and Gender 12: 391-414.

Craig, Stephen C., and Paulina S. Rippere. 2014. “Political Trust and Negative Campaigns: Two Tests of the Figure-Ground Hypothesis.” Politics and Policy 42 (5): 693-743.

Craig, Stephen C., Paulina S. Rippere, and Marissa Grayson. 2014. “Attack and Response in Political Campaigns: An Experimental Study in Two Parts.” Political Communication 31 (4): 647-74.



Rippere, Paulina S. 2016. “Sensemaking in the Senate: A Congressional Fellow’s Perspective of Life on the Hill.” PS: Political Science & Politics 49 (2): 380-2.

Rippere, Paulina S. 2015. Book Review: Corrigan, Conservative Hurricane: How Jeb Bush Remade Florida. Florida Historical Quarterly.


American National Government

Congress and the Legislative Process

Political Parties and Interest Groups

Public Opinion

Campaigns and Elections

Politics of Inequality

Professional Experience

2013-2017, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, FL

2014-2015, American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow

2012-2013, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, Flagler College, St. Augustine, FL