Politics and Law alumna Kaitlin Sidorsky ’10, Ph.D. visited campus in February to speak to students. Sharing ideas from her recently released book "All Roads Lead to Power: Appointed and Elected Paths to Public Office for US Women," Sidorsky talked about some less-obvious career paths students may not typically consider, including things like state boards, commissions, and advisory councils. Posts like these – often appointed – can allow professionals to contribute through public service without seeking elected office.
She described case studies from her research about women – some of whom disdained traditional “politics” – who found themselves deeply engaged in absorbing and rewarding public service positions. They now love giving back to their communities in ways they’d never originally considered.
“I wanted to help students see that there are ways to contribute positively to public service – through organizations and public bodies that touch nearly every aspect of our lives – without necessarily following a traditional elected-office path.”
Coming back to Bryant to share her research was “really special” to Sidorsky, who noted that she spoke in one of the same classrooms where she had first fallen in love with politics and begun to see her own pathway.
“I wanted to help students see that there are ways to contribute positively through public service – through organizations and public bodies that touch nearly every aspect of our lives – without necessarily following a traditional elected-office path.” She encouraged them to be open to those opportunities, which can often appear organically and unexpectedly.
Analyzing an original survey of political appointments at all levels of state government, "All Roads Lead to Power" offers an expansive and nuanced view of women in politics. The book also questions the manner in which political ambition, particularly among women, is typically studied and understood.
Sidorsky teaches courses in U.S. national government, state politics, political communication, and gender and politics at Coastal Carolina University. Her research centers around the role that gender plays in political ambition, recruitment, and public service. "All Roads Lead to Power" was published last year. She has also published in Political Research Quarterly and on the London School of Economics USAPP – American Politics and Policy blog.
Sidorsky graduated with a degree in Politics and Law, and received the program’s Commencement Award. She completed her MA and Ph.D. in Political Science at Brown University. She is working on a new research project that explores the hidden public service of women on state boards and commissions.
Sidorsky’s appearance was the first in a series of lunchtime events organized by Associate Professor of Political Science Nicole Freiner to support and mentor women in the Politics and Law program, as well as those who are interested in political science more broadly.