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Austin Barraza

PhD Candidate in Political Science

Austin Barraza is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University, specializing in American Politics and Public Policy. He has a strong background and interest in higher education policy. Austin has served as a Teaching Assistant for courses such as American Government, U.S. National Security Policy, and U.S. Health and Welfare Policy.

Related Schools & Departments

Research Interests

Austin studies higher education policy, with a particular interest in how state legislatures fund public colleges and universities. His research explores new trends in higher education governance.

Prior Work

Before pursuing his doctorate, Austin worked as a research assistant for a San Francisco Bay Area trade union. He has also held positions in instructional technology, academic advising, and banking.

Degrees earned and Institutions:

AA in American Studies, Riverside City College (2015)
BA in Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles (2017)
MA in Political Science, California State University, Fullerton (2019)


Austin was born and raised in Southern California, outside of Los Angeles. He is a big baseball, basketball, and tennis fan. A first generation college student, Austin looks forward to working with and mentoring other first generation scholars as a doctoral student and eventual faculty member.

Conference Presentations

Barraza, A. (2019, April). Community college performance funding: Political support and resistance in
three states. Paper presented at the 72nd annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association, San Diego, CA.

Garcia, K., Contreras, F., & Barraza, A. (2019, March). Leadership and institutional capacity of Hispanic serving community colleges. Paper presented at the 14th annual meeting of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Costa Mesa, CA.

Research Interests:  Higher Education Politics, Education Policy, Performance Funding, College Access, Community Colleges, State and Local Politics

Contact info:
960A Renaissance Park

Curriculum Vitae

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