Michener specializes in the field of American politics, with a particular focus on the political precursors to and consequences of poverty and racial inequality. Her research aims to identify and examine the conditions under which economically and racially disadvantaged groups engage in the political process. Particular topics that animate this agenda include: the effects of state policies on the political engagement of the poor, the relationship between neighborhood disorder and local political participation, the determinants of state compliance with the public assistance provisions (section 7) of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and the contextual determinants of political interest and efficacy among low-income populations. Michener’s research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Prior to joining the faculty at Cornell, Michener received her PhD in political science from the University of Chicago (2011) and completed a postdoctoral fellowship as a Health Policy Scholar at the University of Michigan (2011-2013).