Katrina R Heimark

Katrina Heimark is seeking a Ph.D. in Political Science with an emphasis on the fields of Comparative Politics and Political Psychology. Katrina completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, English, and Spanish at the University of Minnesota Morris in 2009, and her Master's degree at the University of Minnesota in 2015.

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' behavior.

More broadly, Katrina's research agenda focuses on the relationship between judicial institutions and 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 for assistance.

Peru is Katrina's country of expertise. Since October 2017 Katrina has been conducting fieldwork in Lima, as well as serving as a visiting researcher at the Instituto de Investigación Científica (IDIC) at the University of Lima.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

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

Curriculum Vitae


  • Comparative Politics
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Latin American Politics
  • Political Psychology
Courses Taught
  • Teaching Assistant: POL 3477 Political Economy of Development
  • Teaching Assistant: POL 3489W Citizens, Consumers, and Corporations
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Editors' Assistant: Comparative Political Studies , 2015 - Present
  • Visiting Researcher: Instituto de Investigación Científica, University of Lima , October 2017 - Present


  • Why do People Report Crimes to Police they Mistrust?: This dissertation examines police-citizen interactions and their effect on crime-reporting behavior in Peru, where mistrust of the criminal justice system and the police is the highest in the region. The purpose of this research is to gain knowledge in order to improve collaboration between police and citizens, strengthen the rule of law, and foster security, order, and justice., October 2015 - Present
  • Crime Reporting and the Distribution of Police Resources in Peru: Peru has one of the lowest crime reporting rates in the region, which prevents the state from truly understanding the degree of crime that its citizens suffer. In order to better understand how to promote crime reporting behavior, this research project examines the way in which the distribution of police resources affects and interacts with the rate of reporting. , January 2018 - Present
  • Legal Consciousness and Attitudes in Chile: An In-Depth Analysis: Along with Prof. Lisa Hilbink, Katrina carried out a face-to-face survey to a regionally representative sample of 750 adults from southern Chile that examined in-depth attitudes towards judicial institutions and actors as well as respondents’ respect for and relationship to the law. It was administered over a three month period and examined the ways in which fear of punishment, respect for authorities, psychological indicators, evaluations of specific legal actors, experience with the judicial system, and socio-economic status influenced both evaluations of judicial institutions and legal compliance. , August 2014 - December 2014


  • Graduate Student Recruitment Coordinator: Spring 2014 - and Spring 2015
  • Hilbink, Lisa y Katrina Heimark. 2016. "Informe Especial: Percepción Pública y Legitimidad Judicial en Chile: Una Nueva Aproximación" En Sergio Toro et al. Informe LAPOP-CHILE: Cultura política de la democracia en Chile y en las Américas, 2014-2016 ¿Tiempo de Reformas?: Santiago: Vanderbilt-PUC: pp 178-79
  • Graduate Research Partnership Program, Summer 2014