Photo of Magic Wade
School of Politics and International Affairs
School of Politics and International Affrs
Associate Prof.
SPIA Director
Area of Specialization

state government, public policy, urban politics

Office Location
PAC 370
Phone Number


Magic Wade joined the faculty at UIS as an Assistant Professor in 2015 after earning her PhD in Political Science from the University of Minnesota. She was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure in 2021 and appointed as the Director of the School of Politics and International Affairs in 2023. Dr. Wade’s research and teaching interests include public policy, state and urban politics, labor unions, firearm violence, and the criminal justice system. Her research has been featured in the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, Labor Studies Journal, Homicide Studies, Journal of Labor and Society, and the Journal of Prison Education and Reentry.

Recent Scholarship:

“Not as Bad as the ‘90s”? Firearm Violence in Small, Mid-size, and Large US Cities, 2015-2021

What Can be Taught in College in Prison? Reconciling Institutional Priorities in Clashes Over Incarcerated Students’ Access to Instructional Materials

Addressing the “Union Problem” during the Great Recession: State Approaches to Reforming Collective Bargaining (DRAFT)

Targeting teachers while shielding cops? The politics of punishing enemies and rewarding friends in American state collective bargaining reform agendas (DRAFT)

Public Appearances and Engagement:

Gun Violence and Mass Shootings Public Policy Webinar, UIS Center for State Politics and Leadership

What Can Be Taught in College in Prison? Reflections, Research, and Recommendations, Engaged Citizenship Common Experience 

Prison Reform Through Higher Education, IN RE Podcast, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education


firearm violence, public safety, criminal justice