Amy Nantkes, PhD

Director, BA Public Administration
Faculty, Political Science

Amy Nantkes teaches courses on public policy, state and local government, race, ethnicity, and politics, and group and organizational behavior. Her research interests include immigration policy and social welfare policy and inequality, with an emphasis in efficacy-developing policies and sustainable reduction of poverty in the United States. Amy's recent work includes a qualitative study on the effects of gentrification in a San Diego neighborhood and a Native American voting rights study included in the Sanchez v. Cegavske (2016) case. 

As a leader in the nonprofit sector for 20 years, Dr. Nantkes is responsible for training and leading hundreds of volunteers that desire to positively change their communities through direct action. With professional experience in coordinating large-scale community events for over 15,000 participants and developing curriculum for international NGOs, she understands the power of vision-infused education in organizing groups of people around a common purpose.


  • PhD, Political Science, American Politics and Public Policy Claremont Graduate University (2021)
  • Master of Arts, Social Entrepreneurship and Change Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology (2015)
  • Bachelor of Science, Cross Cultural Studies North Central University (2002)

Courses Taught

  • Issues in Public Policy
  • Politics of Immigration
  • Social Welfare Policy and Inequality
  • American Government
  • Understanding the Political World
  • Creating Change, Claiming Power
  • State and Local Government
  • Policy Process and Analysis
  • Group and Organizational Behavior
  • Practice of Leadership
  • Strategies for Student Success
  • Graduate Student Culminating Research Project Mentor

Awards and Honors

  • San Diego County District 1 SHEro Equity Award for Education (2023)

  • Appointed to the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (2023)

  • Claremont Graduate University Dissertation Fellowship 2020-2021
  • Claremont Graduate University Department of Politics and Economics Board of Advisors Outstanding Scholar Award, 2017
  • Claremont Graduate University Department of Politics and Economics Fellowship, 2015-2018
  • Claremont Graduate University Department of Politics and Economics Travel Award, 2016
  • Member, Alpha Sigma Pi, National Society of Leadership and Success, Claremont Graduate University Chapter
  • Ahmanson Fellowship, 2015

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • Nantkes, Amy and Hernandez-Alexander, Noemi. (2022). “Fear and Suspicion: Pervasive Anti-Asian Rhetoric and Its Consequences on Society and Policy.” Paper Presented at Western Political Science Association Meetings, 2022.
  • Nantkes, Amy. (2021). "Elite Rhetoric, Target Group Positioning, and Policymaking: Immigrant Women and Project 100% in San Diego County." Doctoral dissertation presented to Claremont Graduate University.
  • Nantkes, Amy. (2018). “Project 100% and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in San Diego County.” Paper presented at Claremont Graduate University International Studies Student Research Conference, 2018 and APPAM California Regional Student Conference, 2018
  • Nantkes, Amy and Brantley, Laura. (2017). “Active Listening in Traditional Social Science and Indigenous Research Methods.” Paper presented at Western Political Science Association Meetings, 2017
  • Nantkes, Amy. (2016). “Self Sufficiency in San Diego.” Working paper on drivers of poverty and effects of gentrification on a San Diego neighborhood.