Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines is the result of collaborative work spanning scholars from multiple disciplines, fields, and careers. Political scientists, educators, and students have joined to produce important, timely research. Meet the authors of the book on this page.
Stephen Armstrong is currently a senior at the University of Southern California majoring in political science. He has worked on the Penny Harvest program for over two years—serving as an assistant coach for the elementary school children, program assistant with the university classes, and student research assistant. Stephen has also taken both of the undergraduate classes that focus on the Penny Harvest. In addition, Stephen is an avid musician and composer. He enjoys spending his time repairing and trading old guitars. In the future he hopes to continue his involvement in community service as well as his studies in political science.
Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene
Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene, a husband-and-wife team, have focused on the field of city and state government through research, analysis, consultation and writing for over twenty five years. They are principals of Barrett and Greene, Inc. They are special project consultants to the Volcker Alliance, senior fellows with the Council of State Governments, senior fellows at the Fels Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, and fellows in the National Academy of Public Administration.
They are also management columnists for Governing Magazine and senior fellows at the Governing Institute. With underwriting from the Pew Charitable Trusts, they founded, spearheaded, and wrote the Government Performance Project, which was utilized for annual “grading the states” (cities, counties) for a decade, ending in 2008. Barrett and Greene have also served in an advisory capacity to many organizations including the National League of Cities, the Urban Institute, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the Association of Government Accountants, the National Association of State Chief Administrators Offices, the Center for a Better South, and others.
Elizabeth Bennion is a professor of political science at Indiana University South Bend (IUSB). In addition to teaching American politics courses, Bennion is the founding director of IUSB’s American Democracy Project and host of WNIT’s live weekly television program Politically Speaking. In these capacities she moderates political discussions, public issue forums, and candidate debates for local, state, and national candidates. Bennion has won numerous (national, state, and local) awards for her teaching and service, and has published widely in academic books, journals, and newsletters. Her teaching, research, and service all promote civic education and engagement. She is currently working on a national survey of student leaders, a study of youth political ambition, and a multi-campus voter registration field experiment. Bennion coedited the previous APSA book Teaching Civic Engagement: From Student to Active Citizen. She lives in South Bend with her husband and four children.
Margaret Brower is a researcher for the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tisch College, Tufts University. She received her BA in political science and education from Colgate University. She then completed her MA in public policy and higher education at the University of Michigan. Currently, she is pursuing a doctorate degree in political science at the University of Chicago. At the University of Chicago, she continues to design and lead qualitative research studies.
Kim Coleman is a postdoctoral associate at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. She is broadly trained in the study of human dimensions of natural resources with particular interest in the intersection of civic engagement and natural resources. Her research ranges from examinations of community involvement in public land management to evaluations of environmentally-focused service-learning. She holds a MS in natural resources and a BS in environmental studies, both from the University of Vermont, and a PhD in forest resources and environmental conservation from Virginia Tech.
Ann N. Crigler
Ann N. Crigler is professor of political science with appointments in the Price School of Public Policy and the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Southern California. She has published numerous books, articles, and essays on political communication, elections, emotions, and political behavior. Her coauthored and edited books include: Common Knowledge: News and the Construction of Political Meaning (University of Chicago Press, 1992); the award winning Crosstalk: Citizens, Candidates and the Media in a Presidential Campaign (University of Chicago Press, 1996); The Psychology of Political Communication (University of Michigan Press, 1996); Rethinking the Vote: The Politics and Prospects of American Election Reform (Oxford University Press, 2004); and The Affect Effect: Dynamics of Emotion in Political Thinking and Behavior (University of Chicago Press, 2007). Her current research examines the role of social media in US elections, emotions and political decision-making, and youth civic engagement. She and her students are currently working with elementary schools in Los Angeles to conduct research and increase children’s civic skills, involvement and community networks through the USC Penny Harvest.
Constance DeVereaux is the director of LEAP Institute for the Arts at Colorado State University, which trains graduate and undergraduate students in the skills of arts management, arts policy, and arts-based community engagement. She earned a doctorate degree in philosophy and political science at Claremont Graduate University and an MFA in fiction at Antioch University, Los Angeles. She is a leader in the field of cultural policy and cultural management; her research focuses on cultural identity, cultural citizenship, and the philosophical challenges that arise in arts policy processes. She has authored multiple articles and book chapters on arts and cultural policy including, “Is Art a Fruit or a Vegetable? On Developing a Practice-Based Definition of Art,” “Chagrin and the Politics of American Aesthetics,” and the co-authored Narrative, Identity, and the Map of Cultural Policy: Once Upon a Time in a Globalized World.
John Forren is an assistant professor in the department of justice and community studies at Miami University. Forren’s research interests are American constitutional law and history, criminal justice, judicial politics, public policy making and civic engagement. He has written on a range of issues including the development of federal workplace safety standards in Congress; the state of “civic health” in Ohio; the responses of various policymakers to US Supreme Court decisions; the evolution of First Amendment doctrines in the lower courts; and the policy implications of presidential decision-making regarding social service delivery by faith-based groups. His writings and commentary have appeared in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Journal of Markets and Morality, PS: Political Science & Politics, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Law and History Review, the Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties in America, Democracy in America, and Major Acts of Congress. He is also coauthor of both the 2013 and 2016 publications of the Ohio Civic Health Index Report, published by the National Conference on Citizenship.
G. Thomas Goodnight
G. Thomas Goodnight is a professor at the University of Southern California in the Annenberg School of Communication. Argumentation, deliberation, and the public sphere comprise his primary areas of inquiry. He has directed doctoral studies in communication at USC and Northwestern University, where he directed the Owen L. Coon Debate Society. Having directed 52 dissertations, he has been accorded career awards by the National Communication Association and been named among the five top scholars in argumentation of the last 50 years by the American Forensics Association.
Maggie Grove is the Vice President for Strategy and Operations at Campus Compact. For the past twenty years, her work has focused on the development of partnerships between colleges and community-based nonprofits as an independent contractor and as the executive director of Rhode Island Campus Compact. Grove holds a BA from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in philanthropic studies from Indiana University.
Deborah Halperin is the director of the Action Research Center (ARC) at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois. ARC facilitates the alignment of university resources with community engagement opportunities. Deborah represents the university on community-wide coalitions addressing housing, health, and civic engagement. She teaches courses in community-based research and grant writing. She also oversees partnerships with local government, community development organizations, and nonprofit agencies. Deborah has over 25 years of experience in nonprofits, a BA in sociology, and an MS in human services administration. In 2015, Deborah presented her vision for Empowering Young People to Get Stuff Done at TEDxNormal.
Shawn Healy, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation Democracy Program’s civic learning scholar, serves as the Foundation’s internal resource for knowledge on civic education and engagement. Healy plays a key role in the Democracy Program’s work in the areas of advocacy and public policy, serving as a chair of the Illinois Civic Mission Coalition, and leading the state’s Democracy Schools Initiative. Healy recently chaired the Illinois Task Force on Civic Education and led the successful push for a required high school civics course in Illinois. He also led the Illinois Social Science Standards Task Force in 2014–2015.
Healy makes regular appearances as a guest speaker and panelist at academic and professional development conferences across the country, is a frequent contributor to local media, and produces original scholarship in the area of political participation and civic education. Before joining the McCormick Foundation, he served as a social studies teacher at West Chicago Community High School and Sheboygan North High School. A 2001 James Madison Fellow from the State of Wisconsin, he holds a MA and PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in political science.
Christopher Jensen is the director for the Office of Civic Engagement and Leadership at Towson University. He has worked in higher education for 20 years in the areas of leadership development, community service/service learning, residential life, student activities, orientation, and fraternity and sorority life. Jensen has taught courses on interdisciplinary research and organizational psychology and currently is an adjunct faculty in the Towson University College of Education. He received his BA from the University of Michigan in studies in religion, a MA in student affairs administration from Michigan State University, and a PhD in educational leadership from Oakland University. His dissertation focused on the impact of community service experiences on students’ persistence in college.
Tara Kulkarni is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Construction Management and the director of the Center for Global Resilience and Security at Norwich University. Her research interests are in green infrastructure, sustainable water resources management, and building community resilience through engineering innovation. She has used grants through NSF’s EPSCoR program and from the US Environmental Protection Agency to research, design, and model green stormwater infrastructure and innovative treatment of nutrients in stormwater and agricultural runoff. She is also heavily involved in K–12 STEM outreach and community engagement. Kulkarni’s terminal degree is from Florida State University. Her previous professional experience is in state government and management consulting.
Tara M. Lennon
Tara M. Lennon teaches political theory and oversees the Legislative Internship program at Arizona State University (ASU). She earned her BA in government and psychology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and her MA and PhD in political theory and international relations at ASU. Between 2000 and 2011, she evaluated the effectiveness of state agencies and school districts and managed research projects on education funding and academic achievement for the Auditor General’s Office, a nonpartisan research branch of the Arizona State Legislature. Since returning to academia, she has conducted research in the science of teaching and learning, earning grants from the Spencer Foundation to explore whether teaching with social media promotes civic engagement and ASU’s Center for Education through eXploration to study the impact of teaching with simulations.
Jane Mansbridge, Charles F. Adams Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, is the author of Beyond Adversary Democracy and Why We Lost the ERA [Equal Rights Amendment], and editor/coeditor of the volumes Beyond Self-Interest, Feminism (with Susan Moller Okin), Oppositional Consciousness (with Aldon Morris), Deliberative Systems (with John Parkinson), and Political Negotiation (with Cathie Jo Martin). She was president of the APSA 2012–2013.
Elizabeth C. Matto
Elizabeth C. Matto is an associate research professor at the Eagleton Institute of Politics and the director of the Institute’s Center for Youth Political Participation (CYPP). She earned her doctorate in American politics at George Washington University and, prior to her work at Eagleton, taught a variety of courses at Princeton University, Temple University, and George Washington University. As director of CYPP, Matto leads research as well as educational and public service efforts designed to encourage and support the political learning of high school and college students and civic action among young adults. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Craig L. Brians Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research & Mentorship by the American Political Science Association.
Alison Rios Millett McCartney
Alison Rios Millett McCartney is professor of political science and faculty director of the Honors College at Towson University outside of Baltimore, Maryland. She contributed to and coedited another volume on this topic, Teaching Civic Engagement: From Student to Active Citizen, with Elizabeth Bennion and Dick Simpson in 2013 and has published other work connecting civic engagement education and international relations in the Journal of Political Science Education. McCartney is also very involved in undergraduate research and teaching international negotiation simulations. She has received several teaching awards including the University of Maryland System Regents’ Award for Mentoring, the Maryland-DC Campus Compact Award for Service-Learning Scholarship, and the Towson University Service-Learning Faculty Member Award. She received her BA from Syracuse University and her masters and PhD from the University of Virginia.
Mary McHugh is the Executive Director of the Stevens Service Learning Center and adjunct faculty member in the political science department at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. She teaches a variety of classes in US politics and American political Institutions. McHugh earned an MA in political science from Boston College, a BA in government and history from Colby College and is currently working on her dissertation. Her research interests include examining how experiential learning affects and enhances student learning.
John McTague is assistant professor in the department of political science at Towson University. He earned his BA (With Honors) in political science at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and completed his PhD in the department of government and politics at University of Maryland, College Park. A practitioner of service-learning pedagogy, McTague teaches courses in American politics, particularly the subjects of religion and politics, race and inequality, political parties, and research methodology. He has made over twenty research presentations at various professional conferences and his work has been featured in journals such as Legislative Studies Quarterly, American Politics Research, and Political Research Quarterly.
Constance A. Mixon
Constance Mixon is an associate professor of political science and director of the Urban Studies Program at Elmhurst College. In 2001, she was nominated by her students, and named the Illinois Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She has also received the APSA’s Pi Sigma Alpha National Award for Outstanding Teaching. In addition to publishing several journal articles and book chapters, she is a coeditor of Twenty-First Century Chicago, which investigates the social, economic, political, and governmental challenges facing Chicago. Mixon frequently provides political commentary and analysis for local and national media outlets, including the Associated Press, NBC, WGN, FOX, and PBS. She also regularly presents at regional and national conferences on topics related to teaching and civic and political engagement.
Caryn McTighe Musil
Caryn McTighe Musil is senior scholar and director of civic learning and democracy initiatives at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), where she had earlier served as senior vice president of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives for 14 years. Her professional career has been focused on teaching, writing, speaking, and directing national and global projects about civic engagement, diversity, global learning, and democracy. She was the author of A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future, written to reflect the national input from multiple constituencies. Musil received her BA from Duke University and her MA and PhD in English from Northwestern University. She was honored with the 2013 Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Award from NASPA.
Diana Owen is associate professor of political science and teaches in the communication, culture, and technology graduate program, and has served as director of the American Studies Program at Georgetown University. She is the author of multiple books, including American Government and Politics in the Information Age (with David Paletz and Timothy Cook, 2012). She is the coeditor of The Internet and Politics: Citizens, Voters, and Activists (with Sarah Oates and Rachel Gibson, 2006), Making a Difference: The Internet and Elections in Comparative Perspective (with Richard Davis, Stephen Ward, and David Taras, 2009), and The Internet and Elections in the US, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (with Shoko Kiyohara and Kazahiro Maeshima, 2017). She is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters in the fields of civic education and engagement, media and politics, political socialization, elections and voting behavior, and political psychology/sociology. She has conducted studies funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Center for Civic Education, and other sources. Her current research explores the relationship between civic education and political engagement over the life course and new media’s role in politics.
Alexander Pope is assistant professor in the Department of Education Specialties at Salisbury University. He completed his BA in history/philosophy at The Colorado College (2004); his MA in history and in curriculum & instruction at Texas State, San Marcos (2008); and his PhD in social studies education at Teachers College, Columbia University (2013). Pope codirects Salisbury University’s Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE). With his colleague Sarah Surak, he facilitates PACE’s Civic Engagement Across the Curriculum (CEAC) program as well as the university’s Presidential Citizen Scholars Program. Together they are coordinating a multi-year research project to collect and analyze data on the delivery of a civic engagement component in undergraduate courses. His research investigates, among other things, the way civic engagement experiences influence student and teacher attitudes towards their communities.
Aditi Ramesh is currently a junior at the University of Southern California, majoring in economics/mathematics. Ramesh has been conducting research under Ann N. Crigler in the department of political science since the beginning of her freshman year, and has assisted with a variety of projects. Ramesh one day hopes to pursue a master’s in data science and work at the intersection of big data and humanitarian work. Since freshman year, Ramesh has actively worked with nonprofits in Los Angeles through a pro-bono student consulting organization, Los Angeles Community Impact. Through this, she has served with many clients in the area, from homeless shelters to after-school educational projects.
Michael T. Rogers
Michael T. Rogers is an associate professor of political science in the History and Political Science Department at Arkansas Tech University. He received his PhD from the University at Albany–SUNY in 2005. His major subfield is political theory and his minor is American politics. He regularly offers courses in both subfields. His research interests include civic education (literacy and engagement), as well as the history of political thought and democratic theory. He has published manuscripts on civic education and engagement in disciplinary journals and as book chapters in collective volumes. Most recently, he coedited and contributed multiple chapters to Civic Education in the 21st Century: A Multidimensional Inquiry, published by Lexington books (2015). Other publications include a piece on criticisms of the Electoral College during the founding ratification debates and a coauthored chapter with Sally Friedman on congressional representation.
Andrew J. Seligsohn
Andrew J. Seligsohn is president of Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities dedicated to the public purposes of higher education. He previously served as associate chancellor for Civic Engagement and Strategic Planning at Rutgers University, Camden and director of Civic Engagement Learning at Princeton University. Seligsohn has taught at Rutgers, Princeton, Hartwick College, St. Olaf College, and Macalester College and has authored articles and chapters on student civic learning, institutional engagement, urban politics, constitutional law, and political theory. He holds a BA from Williams College and a PhD in political science from the University of Minnesota.
James Sikora is professor of sociology at Illinois Wesleyan University. After stints in the Marines, managing Kroger stores, and years as a student, he earned a PhD in sociology at the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana. An applied researcher, his professor-administrator-consultant career over the last 45 years has focused on bringing students and their learning into the community, whether working with corporations or public-private nonprofit organizations. He served as president of the Illinois Sociological Association and chaired the American Sociological Association’s Committee on Teaching. Teaming with James Simeone and Deborah Halperin they developed the Action Research Center for undergraduate students as citizen-scholars and project managers use to integrate theory, research, and leadership skills for community social change.
James Simeone is professor of political science at Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU). His specialization is in American political thought and American political development. He teaches a senior seminar in American exceptionalism. His recent publications include “Reassessing Jacksonian Political Culture: William Leggett’s Egalitarianism” in American Political Thought. After many years of trial and error with community partners, he cofounded the Action Research Center (ARC) in 2003 with James Sikora. His current ARC projects include a sustainability education program at the campus Peace Garden and an Algebra Project with the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal. He oversees the Advocacy Minor at IWU and teaches its core class “Engagement & the City: Millennials and the New Citizenship.”
Dick Simpson has uniquely combined a distinguished academic career with public service in government. He is a former Chicago alderman and candidate for US Congress. He has published widely, been an outstanding teacher, and affected public policy. He began his academic career at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1967 where he has taught for 50 years. At UIC he received the highest awards given for teaching and the American Political Science Association (APSA) and Pi Sigma Alpha National Award for Outstanding Teaching. He is a former department head (2006–2012), a previous director of the department’s Preparing Future Faculty program, and currently professor of the political science at UIC.
Steven Rathgeb Smith
Steven Rathgeb Smith is the executive director of the American Political Science Association. Previously, he was the Louis A. Bantle Chair in Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He also taught for many years at the University of Washington where he was the Nancy Bell Evans Professor of Public Affairs at the Evans School of Public Affairs and director of the Nancy Bell Evans Center for Nonprofits & Philanthropy. In addition, he has taught at Georgetown University, Duke University, American University, and Washington University in St. Louis. From 1997 to 2004, he was editor of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly and, from 2006 to 2008, president of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action. Smith has authored and edited several books including, Nonprofits for Hire: The Welfare State in the Age of Contracting (with Michael Lipsky), Governance and Regulation in the Third Sector: International Perspectives (coedited with Susan Phillips) and, most recently, Nonprofits and Advocacy: Engaging Community and Government in an Era of Retrenchment (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014) (coedited with Robert Pekkanen and Yutaka Tsujinaka). He is currently president of the International Society for Third Sector Research.
J. Cherie Strachan
J. Cherie Strachan is director of student and civic engagement for the College of Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and professor of political science at Central Michigan University. She is the author of High-Tech Grassroots: The Professionalization of Local Elections, as well as numerous articles and book chapters. Her recent publications focus on civility in democracy, as well as on college-level civic education interventions. Her applied research, which focuses on facilitating student-led deliberative discussions sessions and on enhancing the political socialization that occurs within campus student organizations, has resulted in ongoing work with the Kettering Foundation. She also codirects the Consortium for Inter-Campus SoTL Research (CISR), which facilitates cross-campus data collection for campus-wide civic engagement initiatives and political science pedagogy research.
John Suarez is the coordinator of the Office of Service-Learning at SUNY, Cortland. In 1999, he launched service-learning English composition courses in the college’s writing program. He partners with faculty and community agency supervisors on multidisciplinary civic engagement projects. Publications include “Emotion in PBL and SL,” in Engaged Faculty Curriculum, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (2015) and “Empathy, Action, and Intercultural Competence: A Neurological Rationale for Simulation’s Effectiveness in Developing Intercultural Competence,” in Intercultural Horizons: Intercultural Strategies in Civic Engagement (2014). Presentations include “Reflective listening in professional settings,” United University Professionals meeting, SUNY Cortland, November 2016, and “‘Hire’ Education, Public Purpose, and Student Employers,” Campus Compact Conference, Boston, March 2016. He earned his MS in education and BA in speech and Theater from SUNY, Oneonta.
Sarah Surak holds a joint appointment in the departments of political science and environmental studies at Salisbury University. She earned a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2006) and a PhD in planning, governance and globalization from Virginia Tech (2012). Surak codirects Salisbury University’s Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE). With her colleague Alexander Pope, she facilitates PACE’s Civic Engagement Across the Curriculum (CEAC) program as well as the university’s Presidential Citizen Scholars Program. Together they are coordinating a multi-year research project to collect and analyze data on the delivery of a civic engagement component in undergraduate courses. Her teaching and research interests include civic engagement, environmental policy and political theory, comparative politics, public administration, and modern political and social theory.
Nancy Thomas directs the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, conducting research and providing assistance to colleges and universities to advance student political learning and participation in democracy. The institute’s signature initiative, the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), is a large dataset for research and provides each of the 1000+ participating colleges and universities with their students’ aggregate voting rates. Her work and scholarship center on higher education’s democratic mission, college student political learning and engagement, free speech and academic freedom, and deliberative democracy on campuses and in communities. She is the author of multiple book chapters, articles, and the monograph, Educating for Deliberative Democracy. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Public Deliberation and a senior associate with Everyday Democracy. She received a BA in government from St. Lawrence University, her JD from Case Western Reserve University, and an EdD from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.