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Kenicia Wright

Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Central Florida

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About Kenicia

Wright's main research areas include public policy, the interplay of race, gender, and political representation, representative bureaucracy, and state politics and policy. In her dissertation, she examines how socially and economically marginalized groups (women, racial and ethnic minorities, and the poor) are represented in a democracy. She addresses this broad question by focusing on health care policy and applying the multiple-identity theory and the institutional approach to study the descriptive and substantive representation of marginalized groups. In other research, Wright explores health care preferences by applying the intersectional framework, how policy design and district-level factors shape policy outcomes, and the effects of the political and bureaucratic representation of members of traditionally under-represented groups. She has taught Introduction to Public Administration, been employed by the UH Hobby Center for Public Policy for several years, and has more than five years of experience as a teaching assistant for courses that include Politics of Social Policy, Policy Analysis, Inequality and Redistribution, and Race, Ethnicity, and Quantitative Methodology (ICPSR, Michigan).

In the News

Kenicia Wright's research on Monica Byars, "CLASS Doctoral Candidate’s Research on Minority Women and Politics has Relevance to Current Events," University of Houston News and Events, March 3, 2017.


"Black, White, and Shades of Gray: Minority Managerial Behavior and Organizational Context," (with Kenneth Meier and Kristen Carroll), Midwest Political Science Association, 2017.

Studies how the race of public education administrations effects how these administrators network with various political actors. Using data from Texas school districts, finds differences in the networking behavior of Black administrators and White administrators and support for expectations that some of these differences are a result of Black managers responding strategically to organizational context. 

"When Social Capital Becomes Political Capital Understanding the Social Contexts of Minority Candidates’ Electoral Success," (with Ling Zhu), Midwest Political Science Association Conference, 2017.

Asks: “What factors promote the electoral success of minority candidates in state legislatures?” Shifts focus to the determinants of the electoral success of minorities in state legislatures and our findings suggest the stock of social capital owned by racial minorities exclusively benefits the electoral success of minority candidates. 

"Electoral Reform and Minority Representation" (with Jason Casellas), in Changing How America Votes, edited by Todd Donovan (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2017).

Examines the impact of various approaches to elections on racial and ethnic minority populations. Conclusions suggest re-authorizing the preclearance portions of the Voting Rights Act is a great short-term option for improving the representation of racial and ethnic minority and that expanding the use of fair representation voting in the U.S. is also promising.

"Power and Minority Representation" in Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance, edited by Ali Farazmand (Springer International Publishing, 2016).

Explores the effects of representation on the American public. Highlights the growth of racial and ethnic minorities and put forth avenues that will allow minority political representatives and bureaucrats to act as a source of power for minorities in the public. 

"Why Do Americans Dislike Publicly Funded Health Care? Examining the Intersection of Race and Gender in the Ideological Context" Politics, Groups, and Identities 4, no. 4 (2016): 618-637.

Applies the intersectional approach and use 2012 General Social Survey data to examine health care preferences of Americans. Neither race nor gender independently explain these preferences; findings suggest the intersectional effects of race, gender, and political ideology offer a comprehensive explanation of health care preferences.