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Professor Lynn Vavreck — is an award winning author and Marvin Hoffenberg professor of American politics and public policy at UCLA, where she’s been teaching courses on campaigns, elections and public opinion for almost 20 years. She’s also a contributing columnist to The Upshot at the New York Times and co-author of Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America. Lynn earned her B.S. in political science at Arizona State University, where she also studied geology and English. Despite some hardships in graduate school, Lynn’s most important lesson is that you get to decide how to define yourself. Press play on this insightful T4C episode especially for those interested in pursuing a career in the field of political science!


  • What Lynn thinks about the Democrat’s chances of taking back the White House in November 2020 (3:27)
  • What piques her interest the most about this presidential election cycle as a political scientist (5:21)
  • What she thinks Democratic presidential candidates should be doing with their campaigns (8:45)
  • What a typical day for her on the job is like as a college political science professor  (11:46)
  • How does she prepare for her classroom lectures (14:06)
  • Whether she’s ever changed her analysis based on feedback from students following her lecture (15:46)
  • What are Lynn’s insider tips on how to give a compelling speech (17:47)
  • How she figured out what she was going to do with her B.S. degree when she graduated? (19:20)
  • What she learned from her different jobs that helped her when she started teaching? (21:59)
  • How Lynn came back from failing an important graduate school exam and learned to not let her failures define her (23:32)
  • What Lynn would tell herself if she could go back to college and do it all over again (27:26)

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