Nicole Bartels is a Massachusetts native who earned her BA at Union College in Schenectady, NY in 2003. The following year she received her MA in Political Science from Ohio State University. While at OSU she studied American politics with a concentration on race, gender and ethnicity and the legislative branch. Upon completion of her MA, she went to work for a member of Congress for over two years, where she served as a legislative assistant and worked on military affairs, health care, the United States Postal Service and education legislation. She also learned the intricacies of the role call voting process, serving as a floor monitor for her office. After leaving Congress, she worked for the non-profit, Alzheimer's Foundation of America, as a legislative liaison for six months before returning to school to pursue her MAT in Social Studies education at Stony Brook University in Long Island. She taught Introduction to American Government, Congress and the Presidency as an adjunct instructor in the Political Science Department at Stony Brook for three years. Additionally, Bartels has taught American History and government at the middle school and high school levels. She has also served as a two-time exam reader for the College Board AP United States Government exam.