Pictured with Paul Jargowsky, Prentiss Dantzler, and Marie Chevrier at Rutgers Graduation, 2016.

Ph.D. in Public Affairs, May, 2016. Area Exams: Community Development; Methods (passed with distinction). Rutgers University, Camden, NJ.

Dissertation: “Power, Politics, and Participation: Municipal Takeover and Local Democracy” Committee: Richard A. Harris (chair), Lorraine C. Minnite, Brandi Blessett

Master of Science, Community Development, 2016 (en passant). Rutgers University, Camden, NJ.

Master of Public Administration, 2006. Areas: Nonprofit Leadership & Social Welfare. Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI

Bachelor of Science of Psychology, Women and Gender Studies, 2003. Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI

Certificate, Qualitative and Multi-Method Analysis, 2014. Syracuse University Maxwell School, Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (IQMR)

Certificate, Quantitative Methods of Social Research, 2013. University of Michigan, Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)

PUBLICATIONS: Articles, Chapters, & Books


Nickels, A. E. & Martin, J. (2018, forthcoming). Unpacking the Imposter in Feminist Community Activism: A Memorial of a Detroit Snob. Feminist Formations, 30(2), XX-XX.

Nickels, A. E. (2017). Review of What is Philanthropy? Journal of Public Affairs Education, 23(1), 653-655.

Nickels, A. E. (2016). Approaches to Municipal Takeover: Home rule erosion and state intervention in Michigan and New Jersey. State and Local Government Review, 48(3), 1-14.

Nickels, A. E. (2015). Pedagogical Perspectives on Teaching Community Development.  Journal of Public Affairs Education, 21(2), 139-142.

Rivera, J. D. & Nickels, A. E. (2014). Social Capital, Community Resilience, and Faith-based Organizations in Disaster Recovery: A Case Study of Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church. Risk, Hazards, and Crisis in Public Policy.

Nickels, A. E. & Kowalski, M. (2012). Examining NIARA: How a student-designated program for women of color is impacting mentors. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 14(2), 188-204. 

Nickels, A. Rowland, T., Fadase, O. (2011). Engaging undergraduate students to be agents of social change: Lessons from student affairs professionals. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 17(1), 45-59.

Letzmann, P., Nickels, A., & Stockdale, J. (2010). Engaging students to connect beyond the text: A reflection on the value of professionals as adjuncts. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 16(1). 67-76.


Nickels, A. E. (under contract). Power, Participation, & Protest: The Political Impact of Municipal Takeover. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Book Chapters:

Nickels, A. E. & Trier-Bieniek, A. (2017). Social Change through Campus Engagement: Perspectives on Feminist Activist Pedagogy in University-based Women’s Centers. In Martin, Nickels, & Sharp-Grier (Eds.) Feminist Pedagogy, Practice, and Activism: Improving Lives for Girls and Women. New York, NY: Routledge.

Rivera, J. D. & Nickels, A. E. (2017, reprint). Social Capital, Community Resilience, and Faith-based Organizations in Disaster Recovery: A Case Study of Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church. In S. Robinson & H. Murphy (Eds.), Nonprofit Organizations and Disaster: Individual, Organizational, and Network Approaches to Emergency Management. Washington, D.C.: Westpahlia Press.

Nickels, A. E. & Wood, Z. D. (forthcoming). Organizing for democracy: Community response to municipal takeover and the Flint Water Crisis. In Stabile & Neaves (Eds.) Flint Water Crisis. Washington, D.C.: Westphalia Press.

Edited Books: 

Martin, J. L., Nickels, A. E., Sharp-Grier, M. (Eds.). (2017). Feminist Pedagogy, Practice, and Activism: Improving Lives for Girls and Young Women. New York, NY: Routledge Press.

Nickels, A. E. & Vilella, D. (Eds.). (under contract). Grand Rapids Grassroots: An Anthology. Cleveland, OH: Belt Publishing, Rust Belt Cities Series.

Nickels, A. E. & Rivera, J. D. (Eds.). (under contract). Community Development and Public Administration Theory: Empowerment through the Enhancement of Democratic Principles. New York, NY: Routledge.


METHODS: Research Methods (undergraduate traditional format & graduate online); Quantitative Analysis (undergraduate online); Empirical Political Theory (undergraduate online); Introduction to Math for Social Scientists (doctoral); Categorical and Limited Dependent Variable Analysis (doctoral, teaching assistant)

PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Introduction to Public Administration (undergraduate & graduate); International Negotiation (graduate, teaching assistant); Public Management (graduate, teaching assistant)

URBAN AFFAIRS: Urban Politics and Policy (undergraduate); Role of Organizations in Urban Communities (undergraduate); Suburbanization (undergraduate, teaching assistant); Environmental Politics & Policy (undergraduate)

COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION and ORGANIZING: Voluntarism & the Nonprofit Sector (undergraduate); Nonprofit Politics and Policy (undergraduate)

FEMINIST ACTIVISM: Women and Gender Studies (undergraduate, guest lecturer and service-learning support)

OTHER: Introduction to Liberal Studies (undergraduate)


Nickels, A. E. & Rivera, J.D. (2017). “Community Development & Public Administration,” presented at the Riggs Symposium, American Society for Public Administration, Atlanta, GA.

Nickels, A. E. (2016). “Participation or Protest,” presented at Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, Washington, DC.

Nickels, A. E. (2015). “Organizing for Democracy,” presented at Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, Chicago, IL.

Nickels, A. E. (2014). “Urban Fiscal Distress, Municipal Takeover, and Local Governance,” presented at American Political Science Association Research Conference, Washington, DC.

Nickels, A. E. (2014). “Local Autonomy, Community Control, Home Rule and Municipal Takeover,” presented at American Political Science Association Research Conference, Washington, D.C.

Nickels, A. E.(2014). “Urban Decline, Municipal Takeover, and Local Democracy,” Presented at Urban Affairs Association Conference. San Antonio, TX.

Leach, K. A. &Nickels, A. E. (2013). “Foundation Funding and CDC Capacity.” Presented at Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action Conference, Hartford, CT.

Nickels, A. E. & Rivera, J. (2013). “Community Redevelopment and Mobilization After Hurricane Katrina.” Presented at American Political Science Association Research Conference, Chicago, IL.

Nickels, A. (2013). “Threats to urban democracy? Municipal state takeover and implications civic engagement.” Presented at Rutgers’ Department of Public Policy and Administration Research Seminar Series, Camden, NJ.

Fortner, M. J. & Nickels, A. (2012). “Principles, Prejudice, and Policies: The Historical Institutional Roots of White Attitudes,” Presented at Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Conference, Boston, MA.

Nickels, A. (2012). “Threats to urban democracy? Municipal state takeover and civic engagement,” Presented at American Public Policy Analysis and Management Fall Research Conference, Baltimore, MD.

Nickels, A. (2012). “Threats to urban democracy? Municipal state takeover and social change,” Presented at Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology Annual Conference, Milwaukee, WI.

Nickels, A. & Schenk, S. (2010). “Activist Identity Development through the Lens of ‘The Vagina Monologues’,” Presented at National Women’s Studies Association Conference, Denver, CO.

Nickels, A. Rowland, T., & Fadase, O. (2010).  “Engaging Undergraduate Students to be Agents of Social Change: Lessons from Student Affairs Professionals.” Presented at Teaching Public Affairs  Conference, Grand Rapids, MI.

Letzmann, P.,  Nickels, A. & Stockdale, J. (2009). “Adjunct Teaching: The Unique Rewards Unveiled.”Presented at Teaching Public Affairs Conference, Frankfort, KY.


Nickels, A. E. (2016). “Connecting Flint’s Municipal Takeover and the Water Crisis,” Colorado College, Urban Lecture Series, Colorado Springs, CO.

Nickels, A. E. (2016). “Flint Water Crisis,” University of Mount Union, Alliance, OH.

Nickels, A. E. (2016). “Fiscal Stability versus Local Democracy: Policy Paradox of Municipal Takeover,” Political Science Colloquium, Miami University, Oxford, OH.

Nickels, A. E. (2014). “Crises in Public Management, case facilitation.” Public Management Seminar, Rutgers University-Camden, Camden, NJ.

Nickels, A. E. & Witucki, L. (2011). “Multi-level Mentoring and WISE.” Michigan AAUW Annual Conference. Grand Rapids, MI.

Nickels, A. E. & Schenk, S. (2011). “Social Change Leadership.” Young Women, Strong Leaders, sponsored by Michigan Women’s Commission. Allendale, MI.

Nickels, A. Rowland, T., Fadase. O. (2010, October). “Socially responsible students: Connecting academic coursework with leadership and identity development.” Michigan College Personnel Association Conference, Grand Rapids, MI.


Kent State University’s Summer Teaching Development Grand (awarded 2017), “Improving Confidence and Enhancing Engagement: Undergraduate Research Methods Teaching and Learning” $9,000. Co-PI, with Casey Boyd-Swan.

Rutgers’ Research Council Grant (awarded 2013), “Principles, Prejudice, and Policies.” Co-Author/ Co-PI, with Michael J Fortner.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Campus Action Project Grant (awarded 2011), “WISE Program Multi-Level Mentoring,” $4,257. Co-author.

Michigan Women’s Foundation Young Women for Change Grant (awarded 2009-2010), “NIARA mentoring program,” $3,200. Principle author. Nokomis Foundation (Awarded 2006-2010), “V-Day College Campaign,” $100,000 [$20,000 each year] Principle author.

Department of Justice Office of Violence against Women (awarded 3 year grant; 2010-2013), “Grant to Reduce Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on Campus,” $265,129. Co-author.


Graduate/ Research Assistant, Rutgers University, Public Policy & Administration, Camden, NJ 2011- 2015.

Summer Research Assistant, Rutgers University, Political Science, Camden, NJ 2012, summer

Assistant Director, Grand Valley State University Women’s Center, Allendale, MI 2005-2011

Graduate Assistant, Grand Valley State University Human Research Review Committee, Grand Rapids, MI 2005, summer.

Counselor, St. John’s Home (now known as D.A. Blodgett- St. John’s), Grand Rapids, MI 2004- 2005