Dr. Gayle Alberda
Assistant Professor Politics
o: Donnarumma Hall Rm 207
Gayle Alberda joined Fairfield University in 2016 as an assistant professor of Politics and Public Administration. Dr. Alberda teaches undergraduate American political science courses and graduate courses in public administration. She is a Ph.D. graduate from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Her M.P.A. and B.S. degree are both from Central Michigan University.
Dr. Alberda’s research focuses on the intersections of election laws, political participation and civic engagement, and election administration. Her dissertation received the Horowitz Foundation Dissertation Grant Award 2013 and the Robert K. Merton Award 2013. She received Drake University’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Research Award 2015 for her work on how simulations impact learning outcomes.
In 2017, Dr. Alberda successfully pioneered the effort to bring a nonpartisan women’s political leadership program, Ready to Run Connecticut, to Fairfield University. Ready to Run Connecticut is a one day workshop designed to empower women to become active participants in Connecticut’s political process. It is modeled after the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) national program at Rutgers University, Ready to Run. That same year, Dr. Alberda co-founded the MPA Summit – an annual public forum held every spring at Fairfield University that brings citizens and state and local leaders together to discuss critical issues facing Connecticut. She also played an instrumental role in bringing the 2018 Gubernatorial Debates to Fairfield University.
Before her career in academia, Dr. Alberda worked the political arena. Her work experience in the political field includes both lobbying, party, and campaign experience. She lobbied in Washington D.C. as well as the state and local levels. Dr. Alberda worked for the Republican Party where she held various statewide and regional positions and worked on numerous campaigns including state house, city council, governor, president, and U.S. Senate, in multiple states.
Dr. Alberda often serves as a political analyst for the media. She comments on local, state, and national politics and elections for local, regional, national, and international print and broadcast media. She has appeared in the Washington Post, NY Times, Al Jazeera America, Hartford Courant, CT Post, WNPR, WICC, ABC7NY’s Face the Facts, WTHN’s Capitol Report, and many others. Dr. Alberda also participates on panels and gives lectures for community organizations, schools, and the media.
Prior to joining Fairfield University, Dr. Alberda was at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. While there, she taught courses on the American political process, women and politics, political parties, state and local government, methods and statistics, and public policy. Dr. Alberda was a co-instructor for a program where international students studied the Iowa Caucus.