Wheaton College Color Logo

New Faculty Spotlight: Meet Kristin Garrett

January 18, 2018

Dr. Kristin Garrett serves as assistant professor of political science.

Name: Kristin Garrett


  • B.S. Political Science and Kinesiology, Wheaton College
  • M.A. Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Ph.D. Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Philosophy of Education:
I use fun, evidence-based strategies to encourage critical thinking abilities, real-world skills, and holistic student development.

Before Wheaton, I was:
An assistant professor in political science at the University of Georgia.

Right now I'm working on: 
I am currently investigating the causes and consequences of moral conviction in politics.  We know that moral conviction—perceiving a connection to one’s beliefs about right and wrong—profoundly influences politics, but important questions remain about how specific convictions develop and affect political attitudes and actions. For this reason, I am studying how socializing factors and media frames encourage the development of moral convictions, as well as how convictions influence voting behavior and partisan division.

One big question I'm trying to answer through my work:
Why do citizens come to hold such different political positions, and how do these distinct positions influence their political actions? I am fascinated by the myriad of factors, including family environments, group affiliations, moral convictions, religious beliefs, media frames, personality traits, physiological responses, emotional reactions, and economic interests, that shape people's political worldview and drive their political behavior. I also think this question is particularly important in light of our current political climate.

I feel God's pleasure when I:
Play basketball and water ski. I love sports, athletic challenges, and fun competition, and these activities fill me with gratitude that we get to live and move and have our being in Christ.

I also feel God's pleasure when I teach a class and see that students are excited about and engaging with the material. I view teaching as an act of worship—an amazing opportunity to invest the interests and abilities that God has given for His glory.

If I could travel anywhere, I'd go to:
It’s hard to pick just one place, so here are my top three: 

  • Switzerland, for a fun adventure with my husband
  • Shanghai, to see where my grandmother grew up as a missionary kid
  • Belgium, to see where my grandfather and his family did ministry and where my mom was born