Romelia M. Solano

Romelia M. Solano

Fields of Study: American Politics, Comparative Politics


Areas of interest: Political behavior, criminal justice and immigration policy, and causal inference

Romelia M. Solano is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Notre Dame, and a 2015 Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Fellow. Her research focuses on detention and incarceration, policing, and intergroup relations. Her research has been published in the Journal of Race Ethnicity and Politics, and she has contributed to public commentary on immigration policy with the National Immigrant Justice Center.

A Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation and the American Political Science Association supports her research on immigration detention and political activism. Romelia’s dissertation, “Dignity Politics,” develops a theory of individual and group responses to traumatic experiences with the repressive face of government. Her empirical strategy leverages original interview data with formerly detained immigrants and their networks, large-n survey data, and administrative crime reporting data to identify the causal effects of carceral experiences on political behavior. 

Romelia holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in political science and Latino Studies. In addition to her doctoral studies, Romelia is a teaching fellow at the Westville prison in Northern Indiana and files Office of Inspector General and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties complaints on behalf of detained individuals.