Jessica Vivian

Visiting Assistant Professor, Political Science

Rm 333 Center for Science & Business 309-457-2446


After college I spent two years working in public health as a volunteer for the US Peace Corps in the island nation of Kiribati, followed by a year of backpacking through China, South and Southeast Asia, and Europe. I spent the next year working for a refugee relief program in Sudan before returning to the United States to begin my graduate studies in City and Regional Planning at Cornell University, focusing on economic development.

I began work for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development in Geneva after I received my Master’s degree, and over the next seven years combined work and travel with the UN with research for my Ph.D., finishing with a year in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe studying local non-governmental organizations and their work in drought and famine relief. After several more years working as a consultant for the United Nations, I began teaching economics and political science courses in a state prison in Illinois. From there I moved to the Political Science department at Monmouth College, where I have been since 2014.


I am interested in issues of social and economic justice, and particularly in ways that policies can be designed and implemented to advance these causes. My educational background in planning combines economics and politics, and I am especially interested in investigating how these two fields interact.


B.A. (Liberal Arts Honors), University of Texas at Austin

Master’s in Regional Planning, Cornell University

Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, Cornell University

Courses Taught

POLS 175 The Politics of Public Policy
POLS 200 Introduction to Comparative Politics
POLS 208 Understanding Capitalism
POLS 245 The Politics of Developing Nations
POLS 295 The Politics of Criminal Justice
POLS 333 US Foreign Policy
POLS 366 International Organizations
POLS 370 Development Policies and Interventions