PhD Student in Political Science
Levi Watts is a doctoral student in the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University, specializing in American politics. He has a strong background and interest in the American founding, its institutions, specifically the Courts and Congress, and structural, institutional, and behavioral explanations for disparity.
Related Schools & Departments
Levi grew up in a small town in southeast Idaho and made a stop off in Utah to play two years of college baseball, before relocating to Southern California to surf and become a baseball coach. Life had different plans and he obtained his BA and MA in Political Science from California State University Chico after an extended hiatus from his studies. Levi has been deeply involved with the wider community assisting others in a variety of ways such as helping the less fortunate, coaching young people, civil rights political activism, providing legal help, serving fellow grad students on the Council of Graduate Students, teaching and tutoring. This engagement has revealed many systematic disparities in society, an insight that inspired him to study political science and now motivates his doctoral study to analytically investigate the causes and consequences of this disparity. When not in the classroom Levi enjoys playing the guitar, listening to vinyl, and watching baseball with his Balinese cat, Ale.
Levi has a strong interest in the American founding and its institutions. Specifically, he is interested in the structural, institutional, and behavioral explanations for systemic disparities among groups and peoples. And tends to concentrate his efforts on the legislative and judicial branches. Levi is also extremely interested in Pedagogy and how students learn.
Before attending Northeastern, Levi was a lecturer in the department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at California State University Chico.
A.S. (College of Eastern Utah 2006)
B.A. (CSU Chico 2016)
M.A. (CSU Chico 2018)
Irish, Adam, and Levi Watts. “Can 100 Students Debate One Another? Adapting the Nuclear Proliferation Debate for a Large Lecture Class.” Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice 21, no. 10 (2021): 23-35.
Irish, Adam, Nicole Sherman, and Levi Watts. “Targaryen Thought Experiments: Do Science Fiction and Fantasy Examples Aid or Obfuscate Student Learning?.” International Studies Perspectives (2022).
Watts, Levi, Darin R. Haerle, Ryan Patten, and Matt Thomas. “Outcomes of the Second-Year Student Success Program: Student Perceptions and Persistence.” CRSDE Sourcebook. University of Oklahoma (2022).
Conferences Papers and Activities
2019: “Outcomes of the Second-Year Student Success Program: Student Perceptions and Persistence” (with Darin Haerle, Ryan Patten, and Matt Thomas) National Symposium on Student Retention.
2018: “Targaryen Thought Experiments: Do Science Fiction Examples Aid or Obfuscate Student Learning?” (with Adam Irish and Nicole Sherman) Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association.
2018: “Can 100 Students Debate One Another? Adapting the Nuclear Proliferation Debate to a Large Lecture Class” (with Adam Irish). Faculty Lunch Talk at CSU Chico.
2018: “The Role of 9: How the Supreme Court Influences Policy and Politics” Bi-annual Panel through the Council of Graduate Students at CSU Chico. Moderator/Event Organizer.
2017: “The Definition of Violence” Bi-annual Panel through the Council of Graduate Students at CSU Chico and the Community Legal Information Center. Facilitator/Event Organizer.
2016: “Technology and Its Impact: Technology in the 21st Century” Bi-annual Panel through the Council of Graduate Students at CSU Chico. Facilitator/Event Organizer.
2016: “Crime after Crime” film showing hosted by the Women’s Law Department at C.L.I.C. for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Event Organizer.
960A Renaissance Park
More Student Paths
Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV
- Charles chose to attend Northeastern because he was intrigued by the signature co-op program and wanted a curriculum that combined real-world experience without compromising thorough academic rigor.
- Initially an engineering student, Charles switched to a combined major in Economics and Mathematics to build upon his interest in economic and social justice work. He also has a minor in psychology.
- In his first year, Charles took Sustainable Renewable Energy Development in the Global South with Professor Shalanda Baker, which taught him to question systems as they exist, no matter how established.
- As part of the Ujima Global Leaders Program through the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Charles did community service, working on the Timebank team which helped him give back to Boston.
- For his first co-op, Charles split his time between the Center for Economic Democracy and the Boston Ujima Project, where he analyzed studies on community needs, like infrastructure and childcare.
- As Campaign Coordinator and Director of Northeastern’s Students Advancing Intersectional Dreams, Charles had spoken to people like Patrisse Cullors, Richie Reseda, Michelle Alexander, and Angela Davis.
- Over the summer of 2020, Charles was one of the co-creators of the #BlackAtNU campaign where he advocated for racial literacy courses and for a restorative and transformative justice center on campus...
- Casey took “Global Markets and Local Cultures'' with the late Professor Jeffrey Juris. After traveling, she saw how the coursework mirrored reality, and knew her education was preparing her for the world.
- Casey went on a DOC to Argentina and Uruguay. She wanted to become fluent in Spanish, and she did become highly proficient while living in Buenos Aires and visiting the glaciers of the Patagonia region.
- Casey did her first co-op at the Museum of Fine Arts as a Community Arts program assistant. She gained valuable hands-on experience assisting in arts classes for the local communities.
- Casey joined the Sociology & Anthropology Student Association during her third year. It allowed her to get to know her fellow students and mirrored the small school experience she loved.
- Casey studied abroad in Nepal for her capstone thesis. She lived alone for a month while she researched and wrote about the lived experience of climate change in the lower Himalayas.
- Casey joined the Sunrise Movement, an environmental group that organizes protests urging political action for climate justice issues. With them, she truly felt like a part of the local Boston community.
- Casey worked for the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, founded by Professor Sarah Wylie. She produced promotional videos, developed a virtual research event, wrote event programming, and more. ..
- Northeastern has provided Sunita with interdisciplinary opportunities to utilize her education in the Greater Boston community, on co-op, and abroad.
- Sunita spent Summer 2019 on a Dialogue of Civilizations in Jordan and Egypt. It helped her realize her interest in Middle East politics and the Arabic language.
- Her favorite class, Revolution, Civil War, and Insurrection taught by Professor Risa Kitagawa invited students to question the motives behind acts of violence against governments.
- Her first co-op was at the Institute for Economics and Peace in Sydney, Australia where she analyzed data on the corruption of police forces in Mexico.
- Her second co-op at Enel X provided insight into battery storage, solar and wind farms, demand response, and the economic incentives that drive the energy market.
- In spring 2019, Sunita joined the Student Alliance for Prison Reform as well as Partakers, a partner of the club, where she mentored a prisoner at MCI Concord.
- Sunita is a member of the International Relations Council and has traveled abroad with the club to compete in Model Arab League, Model NATO, and Model UN conferences...
- Yasser was in the Foundation Year program at Northeastern. The program was a rigorous deep dive into core subject classes that helped Yasser bridge the gap between the high school and college experiences.
- Initially indecisive, Yasser’s interest in traveling and experience exploring different religious texts in high school led him to a double major in international affairs and religious studies.
- Yasser took Issues in Cities and Suburbs with Professor Erin Graves in Fall 2018. As someone deeply invested in urban life, he found the course was an enlightening look at the problems endemic to cities.
- Yasser’s first co-op was at the Boston Beer Company as a Program Operations and Event Assistant. He worked on inventory, public relations, directed brewery events, and maintained workspace organization.
- Yasser went on a Dialogue of Civilizations to Europe in Summer 2019 and took Engineering Principles in Nature with Professor Sandra Shefelbine.
- Yasser implemented and maintained community gardens all over Boston on deserted plots of land during his time as the Northeastern Campus Director for the campus’ United Nations Millennium Fellowship.
- Yasser began working at the Food Project and at a farm in Dorchester, he maintained the farm, harvested crops, distributed produce through donations and food markets, and worked on overall logistics...