Shayla C. Nunnally is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut (UCONN), where she teaches courses in American politics, race and politics, African American politics, and American public opinion and political behavior.
Nunnally is a summa cum laude graduate of North Carolina Central University. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in political science at Duke University, and she completed her dissertation as an Erskine A. Peters Fellow in the African and African American Studies Program at the University of Notre Dame.
As a political scientist specializing in African American politics, her research focuses on American public opinion and political behavior; race and politics; African American public opinion and political behavior; and African American political development. Her specific research interests include political socialization, racial socialization, trust, intergroup relations and attitudes, social capital, and collective memory. With funding from a University of Connecticut large faculty grant, she is the principal investigator of a national survey on intergroup attitudes. She has been a research team member with the National Conference of Black Political Scientists for the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES 2008 and 2010, Tyson King-Meadows, Principal Investigator) and with the research group for the study of black, white, and Latino political attitudes in the New South (Paula D. McClain, Principal Investigator). She also was a co-team investigator (with Tyson King-Meadows, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) for research time on the 2012 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES).
Her research has appeared in the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Black Studies, the Du Bois Review, the Ralph Bunche Journal of Public Affairs, the Journal of African American Studies, and several encyclopedias and edited volumes. She also has a book with New York University Press, Trust in Black America: Race, Discrimination, and Politics (2012), wherein she analyzes black Americans’ public opinion about race, political trust, social trust, and racial trust.
She is currently writing a textbook on African American Politics (co-authored with Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor at Emory University and under contract with Routledge) and preparing new research on the study of partisanship among black Americans. Her additional current research focuses on intraracial group relations and the transmission of memory across generations and communities of black Americans and what this transmission means for cultural trauma, collective memory, and institution-building.
Nunnally has appeared on several radio and TV shows (local and national) to discuss American politics and race and politics. She has been awarded the 2009 Fannie Lou Hamer Award for Outstanding Community Service by the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Additionally, in 2009, she was awarded the Outstanding Young Professionals Member for the Eastern Region of the National Urban League. She also was a finalist for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Media Advocacy’s "2011 HBCU Alumnus/a Award.” In 2014, she was recognized as one of North Carolina Central University’s top "40 Under 40” Alumni. She is heavily active in the Greater Hartford community, where she is a member of several community service organizations.