Professor Rachel Paine Caufield earned her Ph.D. at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., specializing in American politics and political science methodology, and her B.A. at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, majoring in Political Science and Mathematics. She joined the Department of Political Science at Drake in 2001, and teaches courses on American politics, with special attention to political institutions (Congress and the Legislative Process, Judicial Politics, and the American Presidency). Prior to joining the Drake faculty, she was a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. studying the relationship between the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. During her tenure at Drake, she spent 10 years as a Research Fellow with The American Judicature Society (2003-2013), where she conducted research on state judicial selection methods, trends in judicial elections, and the rules and procedures governing state merit selection systems.
Professor Caufield has been recognized as the Honors Teacher of the Year (2005), and the Madelyn M. Levitt Teacher of the Year (2010). In 2012, she received the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Engagement Award. In 2014, she was named the Dean and Sue Wright Outstanding Teacher of the Year in the College of Arts and Sciences.