Quick Facts

  • Loves to bake treats for students
  • Studies racial equity and social policy
  • Also works in the Office of Undergraduate Education - stop by her office in Allen Building sometime!
Scholars@Duke Bio

Dr. Candis Watts Smith

Professor of political science

Professor Smith’s expertise highlights race and ethnicity’s role in shaping the American political landscape. Her research agenda illuminates the ways in which demographic dynamics influence citizens’ and denizens’ of the U.S. understanding of their own identity, their political attitudes, and their policy preferences.

Smith applies the knowledge gained from research to speak to issues that influence real people, including the effects racial attitudes on American politics, diversity issues, and access to resources that ought to be distributed equitably. 

Prior to her appointment at Duke University, she was a member of the Departments of Political and African American Studies at Penn State. She is a co-host of the Democracy Works Podcast and a TEDx alumna.