Meet our new faculty: Social sciences

This academic year, the departments of Economics, Education, Political Science, and Sociology all added faculty members to their ranks. Welcome to these new members of our community!

To meet more instructors joining Arts & Sciences this semester, see last week's roundup of natural sciences new faculty



Andrew Jordan, PhD, joins the Department of Economics as an assistant professor. Jordan uses the tools of economics to study labor markets, discrimination, and criminal justice. By applying economic modeling, reduced form, and structural methods to data from courts and other criminal justice institutions, he seeks to understand how agents in the criminal justice system respond to incentives and why different groups have different experiences within that system. In 2020, Jordan earned his doctorate from the University of Chicago and served as a resident scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He joins the Washington University faculty through the Digital Transformation Initiative in Arts & Sciences.




Lyndsie Schultz, PhD, joins the Department of Education as a lecturer. Schultz specializes in social contexts of education for designated English Learner (EL) students, language policy, and geographic access to opportunity for marginalized youth. As a formerly certified teacher, she has worked with teachers of designated ELs in Illinois and Missouri for over a decade. Her current research focuses on how context of reception for EL children varies geographically and how it is locally created and interpreted by teachers and children in the Midwest. After earning her doctorate here at Washington University in St. Louis, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Political Science


Zachary Bowersox, PhD, joins the Department of Political Science as a lecturer. Bowersox is a human rights scholar whose main focus is human trafficking. Since earning his doctorate at the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 2016, he has taught at Emory University, the University of Georgia, and Columbia College. He is the author of International Sporting Events and Human Rights: Does the Host Nation Play Fair? (2018, Lexington Books) and has recently published articles in the Journal of Human Trafficking and International Migration. This fall, Bowersox’s courses include “Human Migration” and “Environmental Policy and Governance.”



Daniel Butler, PhD, joins the Department of Political Science as a professor. Butler’s research and teaching focus primarily on American politics. In his research, he uses experiments to study issues of representation and the behavior of elites. He is the coauthor of Rejecting Compromise: Legislators’ Fear of Primary Voters (2020) and author of Representing the Advantaged: How Politicians Reinforce Inequality (2014), both published by Cambridge University Press. Prior to his appointment at Washington University, Butler was a professor at the University of California, San Diego, where he ran the Center for American Politics and the Laboratories of Democracy. He currently serves as associate editor of the Journal of Experimental Political Science.




Michael Esposito, PhD, joins the Department of Sociology as an assistant professor. Esposito specializes in using statistical methods – counterfactual-based mediation and Bayesian approaches in particular – to clarify how structural racism shapes population health. This work includes studies that demonstrate how broad, racialized social structures, and their constituent institutions, (e.g., mass incarceration; racial residential segregation; socio-cultural environments), are connected to population health disparities, as well as work that examines how structural racism enters and distorts social processes that are foundational to well-being. Prior to his appointment at Washington University in St. Louis, Esposito earned a doctorate at the University of Washington and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan.  



Zakiya Luna, PhD, joins the Department of Sociology as a Dean’s Distinguished Professorial Scholar and associate professor. Luna’s research is in the areas of social change, sociology of law, health, and inequality. Specifically, she is interested in social movements, human rights, and reproduction with an emphasis on the effects of intersecting inequalities within and across these sites. She is author of the recently published Reproductive Rights as Human Rights: Women of Color and the Fight for Reproductive Justice. Luna joins the WashU faculty through the ongoing race and cluster hire initiative. She previously served on the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara.