Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Winston-Salem , NC 27101
- Ph.D. University of California, San Diego
- M.Phil University of Cambridge
- B.A. Wellesley College
Dr. Piscopo grew up on Cape Cod, on the coast of Massachusetts, but before coming to Winston-Salem she lived in Cambridge, England, Boston, MA, and she spent seven years in Southern California.
She chose to teach at Salem because she spent her undergraduate years at Wellesley College and she believes it was the single most important decision she made in her life to attend an all-women’s college. She believes all-women’s colleges are unique places, where young women can find their voice and reach their true potential.
She knows the strength of a women’s college because she completed her graduate degrees at coed universities, and the gender differences at coed institutions—even today—are pronounced. At a women’s college, female students never receive the message that their thoughts, interests, or pursuits are less relevant. Women are not told to opt out of certain majors because women will not be “good” at certain careers. Women’s colleges empower women to seek their dreams, and that continues to be a radical proposition.
Dr. Piscopo has studied, researched and traveled throughout Europe and Latin America. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Costa Rica and then completed her M.Phil. in Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge in England. For her Ph.D. research, she spent nine months in Buenos Aires, Argentina and several months in Mexico City, Mexico.
Her research focuses on the election of women to public office in Latin America, and whether the entrance of women changes the content of policy. For example, she has found that having women in legislative office liberalizes policies on reproductive health, draws attention to issues of domestic violence and child care, and forces countries to modernize their civil codes (i.e., making divorce proceedings more equitable).
Her research on women, quotas, and policy has appeared in several peer-reviewed journals in the United States and the United Kingdom, and she has written book chapters. Most notably, her co-edited volume, The Impact of Gender Quotas, will be released by Oxford University Press in February 2012!
As a new faculty member, she has just started advising students and she will be also helping them find internship placements. She remembers how important the one-on-one attention was to her own success as an undergraduate, and she will try to offer my students the same opportunities.
For students considering public policy for a major, Dr. Piscopo invites you to come study how laws shape our world and how we shape our laws. Public policy determines everything from when the city collects our trash to how much taxes we pay, so studying public policy sharpens students’ critical thinking skills and prepares them for multiple careers following graduation. Students majoring in public policy can work directly in politics, or work in any numbers of professions—such as education, healthcare, environmental justice, community advocacy, the foreign service, or social service provision—that are governed by public policy.
When not working Dr. Piscopo enjoys hiking, playing tennis, yogo and going to the gym. She loves artistic performances, and looks forward to the symphony, opera, and other cultural events happening in Winston-Salem. Since she grew up in Massachusetts, she is a diehard New England Patriots fan, so this fall she will spend every Sunday watching the game and cheering on her favorite team!
When thinking about teaching at a women’s college, a quote from a song by folk artist Dar Williams comes to her mind. In a song entitled “Teenagers Kick Our Butts,” she says “Find your voice / Do what it takes / Make sure you make lots of mistakes.” Dr. Piscopo loves the idea of young women experimenting with words and finding their way in the world.