Katrina Heimark is currently an assistant professor and researcher at the Universidad de Lima in Peru. She is seeking a Ph.D. in Political Science with an emphasis on the fields of Comparative Politics and Political Psychology. Katrina completed her Master's in Political Science at the University of Minnesota in 2015, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, English, and Spanish at the University of Minnesota Morris in 2009.

Why people turn to weak, corrupt and/or failing criminal justice institutions in the event of victimization is the central question motivating Katrina's dissertation. In many Latin American countries, individuals turn to police officers despite widespread perceptions that these state actors are highly ineffective and untrustworthy. Using an interdisciplinary approach and incorporating elements from political science, psychology, and sociology, Katrina studies both individual- and country- level factors that explain citizens' requests for aid from the state.

More broadly, Katrina's research agenda focuses on the relationship between legal institutions, their actors and the general citizenry. She is driven to understand how the meaning and value of justice, the law, and the state impact citizens' decisions to appeal to state institutions.

Peru is Katrina's country of expertise. Her research on citizen contact with the police has most recently been funded by the Instituto de Investigación Científica (IDIC) at the Universidad de Lima and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative/World Bank (in collaboration with Wilson Hernandez and Lorena Alcazar at GRADE).

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • B.A. : Political Science, English, Spanish, University of Minnesota -- Morris, 2009 -
  • Masters: Political Science, University of Minnesota, 2015 -


  • Comparative Politics
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Political Psychology
  • Latin American Politics