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Melissa Sands joined the Department of Government in 2021. Previously she worked at the University of California, Merced as an Assistant Professor of Political Science. She received her PhD from the Harvard University Department of Government in 2017, and earned an MPA from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She studies the consequences of context on political and civic behavior. Her research has been published in the American Political Science Review, Nature, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and elsewhere.