Published: Jan. 4, 2017 By

Professor of Political Science and Director of the American Politics Research Lab 

Professor Scott Adler may work in the city of Boulder, but for the last twenty years, his work has been paying off all over Colorado. 

 “I probably have a [former] student working for every major lawmaker in the state,” said Adler. Students he’s kept in touch with are employed by U.S. senators, members of the House of Representatives, the governor, and several have even worked in the White House.  

“Obviously, what I teach is very attractive to students who already want that kind of work, but it's great to see them succeed,” he said. 

Adler’s been a professor at CU Boulder since he started teaching in 1996. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and went on to earn his PhD from Columbia University in New York City, his ‘second home.’ 

“My family spends a few weeks there every summer,” said Adler. “We see a lot of Broadway shows, and we have friends and family in the city.” 

However, the summer of 2016 included more than just a much-needed family vacation for the professor. Adler also played a large role in creating the university’s American Politics Research Lab, where he now works as the lab’s director. 

“We have several projects going in the lab at any given time,” he said. “It’s a place where faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students come together.” 

Already, the lab has seen many successful projects, including the Colorado Political Climate Survey that ran this fall and a project on congressional reauthorizations. It will also be running a grant program for faculty and students to receive funding for future projects. 

“There's nothing more valuable for an undergraduate student in the social sciences than to get a little experience,” he said, “not just in the classroom, but also doing research with a faculty member or graduate student.” 

Creating these student opportunities is a priority for Adler, which is why he’s also the director of the Center to Advance Research and Teaching in the Social Sciences. 

“I'm always trying to improve the quality, experience, and training for the students here in the department,” said Adler. “I enjoy being here, so I want to contribute and make it a more pleasant place for everyone to be.” 


On Jan. 12, CU Connections published a Q&A with Scott Alder. Read the full article here.