Faculty & Staff

Tenure-Track Faculty

Headshot of Brandi Lynette Blessett

Brandi Lynette Blessett

Assoc Professor , A&S Political Science

1108 Crosley Tower


Brandi Blessett, Ph.D. is an associate professor and Director of the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Cincinnati. She is a native of Detroit, Michigan where she spent most of her life. For many reasons, Detroit remains close to her heart and will forever be home! 

Dr. Blessett earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and holds a Masters in Educational Leadership from Wayne State University in Detroit. After teaching as a high school health and life skills teacher at Highland Park Community High School, she decided to purse her doctorate at Old Dominion University. Her dissertation was titled “Dispersion or Re-segregation: A Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Public Policies and their Impact on Urban African American Mobility.” This work serves as the foundation for her research interests which includes, but is not limited to: administrative responsibility, social equity, community development, and voter disenfranchisement. 

Dr. Blessett’s research seeks to contribute to the iknowledge production in the field of urban policy and public administration through the lens of social justice. Her research seeks to offer insightful perspectives regarding the effects of systemic injustice through an examination of public policies and administrative actions, which perpetuate inequity for people of color and their respective communities. Ultimately, she hopes her research will help public administrators move toward more thoughtful consideration and engagement of all groups in society, particularly historically marginalized groups.

Dr. Blessett has published in peer-reviewed periodicals such as Public Integrity, Administration and Society, Administrative Theory & Praxis, Public Administration Quarterly, and the Journal of Health and Human Services Administration. She has also contributed book chapters to Prison Privatization: The Many Facets of a Controversial Industry and Contemporary Perspectives on Affirmative Action. Currently, she serves on the editorial boards for Public Integrity and the Administrative Theory & Praxis. 
Research Support

Grant: #2016-R2-CX-0046 Investigators: Blessett, Brandi and Gaynor, Tia Sheree 01-01-2017 -12-31-2018 Office of Justice Programs for the W.E.B. DuBois Program of Research on Race and Crime Intersectional Subjection and Law Enforcement: Examining Perceptions Held by LGBTQ People of Color in New Orleans LA. Role:Co-PI $150,000 Active Type:Grant Level:National

Peer Reviewed Publications

Lopez-Littleton, V., Blessett, B., & Burr, J. (2018. )Advancing Social Justice and Racial Equity in the Public Sector .Journal of Public Affairs Education., ,

Blessett, B. & Lopez-Littleton, V. (2017. )Examining the Impact of Institutional Racism in Black Residentially Segregated Communities .Ralph Bunche Journal of Public Affairs, ,6 (1 ),1

Blessett, B., Gaynor, T.S., Alkadry, M.G., & Witt, M. (2016. )Counternarratives as Critical Perspectives in Public Administration Curricula .Administrative Theory & Praxis, ,38 ,267

Blessett, B. & Box, R.C. (2016. )Sharecropper Finance: Using the Justice System as a Public Revenue Source .Public Integrity, ,18 (2 ),113

Alkadry, M.G., Blessett, B., & Patterson, V. (2015. )Public Administration, Diversity and the Ethic of Getting Things Done .Administration & Society, ,49 (8 ),1191

Lopez-Littleton, V. & Blessett, B. (2015. )A Framework for Integrating Cultural Competency into the Curriculum of Public Service Programs .Journal of Public Affairs Education, ,21 (4 ),557

Blessett, B., (2015. )Disenfranchisement: Historical Underpinnings and Contemporary Manifestations .Journal of Public Affairs Education, ,Public Administration Quarterly (39 ),3

Norris-Tirrell, D., Blessett, B., & Knox, C. (2014. )Peeking Behind the Curtain: The Operations and Funding Priorities of Rural Private Foundations .Foundation Review, ,6 (4 ),65

Gaynor, T.S. & Blessett, B. (2014. )Inequality at the Intersection of the DOMA and VRA: A Review of the 2013 Supreme Court Decisions. Administrative Theory & Praxis, ,36 (2 ),261

Blessett, B. & Pryor, M. (2013. )Invisible Job Seeker: The absence of ex-offenders in discussions of diversity management. Public Administration Quarterly, ,37 (3 ),136

Alkadry, M.G., Bhandari, R., Wilson, C.S., & Blessett, B. (2011. )Racial Disparities in Stroke Awareness: African Americans and Caucasians. Journal of Health and Human Services Administration., ,33 (4 ),462

Alkadry, M.G. & Blessett, B. (2010. )Aloofness or Dirty Hands: Administrative Culpability in the Making of the 2nd Ghetto. Administrative Theory and Praxis, ,32 (4 ),552

Other Publications

Blessett, B. (2015. )Institutional Racism, Organizations & Public Policy .Public Integrity, 17 (4 ),411 Taylor & Francis Group

Blessett, B. (2015. )African Americans and Gentrification in Washington, D.C.: Race, Class, and Social Justice in the Nation’s Capital .Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38 (13 ), Taylor & Francis Group

Book Chapter

Blessett, B., & Gaynor, T.S. (2017 )Choice points as a framework for decision-making Leadership and change in public sector organizations: Beyond reform .(pp. 273).New York, NY,Taylor & Francis Group(Co-Author)

Gaynor, T.S. & Blessett, B. (2016 )Schooling You on the Domains of Power in The Wire Teaching the Wire: Frameworks, Theories and Strategies for the Classroom .(pp. 63).Jefferson, NC,McFarland(Co-Author)

Blessett, B. (2014 )Changing the Narrative: Affirmative Action as Democratically Necessary Contemporary Perspectives on Affirmative Action .(pp. 209).Santa Barbara, CA,Praeger(Author)

Blessett, B. (2012 )Prisons for Profit: The Political and Economic Implications of Private Prisons Prison Privatization: The Many Facets of a Controversial Industry .(pp. 9).Santa Barbara, CA,Praeger/Greenwood Publishers(Author)

Blessett, B. (2012 )Private Prisons as a Response to the “Second Ghetto" Prison Privatization: The Many Facets of a Controversial Industry .(pp. 113).Santa Barbara, CA,Praeger/Greenwood Publishers(Author)

Encyclopedia Article

Blessett, B. (2016. )Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance. Online, SpringerLink(Author)

Blessett, B. (2014. )The American Mosaic: Latino American Experience. .Online, (Author)


Social Justice, Social Equity, Institutional Racism, Cultural Understanding and Awareness, Administrative Discretion, Community Development

Contact Information


Headshot of Brian Robert Calfano

Brian Robert Calfano

Asst Professor , A&S Political Science

1201 Crosley Tower


Brian Robert Calfano (Ph.D., University of North Texas) has a joint appointment in the Departments of Political Science and Journalism at UC, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in experimental design, research methods, political reporting, and politics and media. He conducts research on marginalized groups, political information use, religion and politics, and journalistic coverage of political events. 

Brian is the author or co-author of (among other monographs) God Talk: Experimenting with the Religious Causes of Public Opinion (Temple University Press, 2013) and A Matter of Discretion: The Political Behavior of Catholic Priests in the U.S. and Ireland (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017), and America's Human Relations Commissions (Columbia University Press, 2019). He has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles in numerous academic journals including Political Research Quarterly, Political Communication, Political Behavior, Social Science Quarterly, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, and PS: Political Science and Politics, and has over 60 total academic publications (when including book chapters in numerous edited volumes). Brian is a member of the American Political Science Association and co-coordinator of the Religion and Politics section mentoring program.

Google Scholar link.

Brian's experience in applied politics includes serving as policy advisor for the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission. He works with the Cincinnati Black United Front on its community relations surveys and outreach, and has performed similar research work for the City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission.

Brian is also a political reporter and producer for Nexstar Media Group, and appears regularly on CTV News Channel, Global News Toronto, and Sky News. He has been awarded by the Broadcast Educator Association and the Missouri Broadcasters Association. He is represented by CBK Media Management and is a member of the Radio Television Digital News Association.  

More information about his academic and media work is available at www.briancalfano.com.


Ph.D., University of North Texas 2007 (Political Science )

Research Support

Grant: #2017 Professional Service Agreement Investigators:Brian Calfano 2017 -2018 Department of Housing and Urban Development Human Relations in the City of Pittsburgh, PA Role:PI $25,000.00

Grant: #Common Ground Investigators:Brian Calfano and Nancy Jennings 2017 -2018 Scripps Howard Foundation The Common Ground Project Role:Co-PI $10,000.00

Investigators:Brian Calfano, Nazita Lajevardi, Melissa Michelson 2017 -2019 Kayal Fund for Arab American Research Role:Co-PI $1,200.00

Investigators:Melissa Michelson, Nazita Lajevardi, and Brian Calfano 2016 -2018 National Science Foundation Workshop: Researching Muslim America and Muslim Americans Role:Co-PI $49,623.00

Investigators:Brian Calfano and Valerie Martinez-Ebers 2015 -2017 National Science Foundation RAPID: Human Relations in Los Angeles Role:Co-PI $24,939.00

Investigators:Brian Calfano 2017 -2018 Cincinnati Black United Front Community perceptions Role:PI $10,000.00

Peer Reviewed Publications

Brian Calfano and Elizabeth Oldmixon (2018. )“The Influence of Institutional Salience on Political Attitudes and Activism among Catholic Priests in the United States.” .Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion , ,

Brian Calfano (2018. )“Phoning It I