Michelle D. Deardorff

Interim Chair and Professor of Political Science
Jackson State University
Department of Political Science
P.O. Box 18420
Jackson, MS 39217 michelle.d.deardorff@jsums.edu


Background Information

Michelle D. Deardorff is Professor of Political Science at Jackson State University, an historically black university in Jackson, Mississippi. Since earning her Ph.D. from Miami University in 1993, her teaching and research have focused on the constitutional and statutory protections surrounding gender, race, and religion. She is currently completing a book entitled Equating Pregnancy that examines the lower federal courts' interpretation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 in relation to pregnancy protections in employment. Prior to her relocation to Jackson State in 2003, Deardorff was the Griswold Distinguished Professor of Political Science, chair of the Department of Political Science, and Acting Dean of Arts and Sciences at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. Michelle is a founding member of the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy, a coalition of academics who promote civic engagement and popular sovereignty through the study of the struggle for civil rights in the United States. In 2009, the American Political Science Association published Assessment in Political Science, a primer on programmatic and classroom assessment within the discipline, co-edited by Deardorff, Kerstin Hamann, and John Ishiyama. Oxford University Press published in 2010 the two-volume set, Constitutional Law in Contemporary America, written by David Schultz, John R. Vile, and Deardorff.

Related Pedagogical Projects

Michelle D. Deardorff has worked extensively through the American Political Science Association to improve the importance and quality of teaching and learning in her discipline. She is a former chair of the Political Science Education Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) and has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Political Science Education since its inception. She has been involved in APSA's Teaching and Learning Conference since its inception—serving on the program committee twice, with one stint as chair, and as a moderator for the conference's working groups numerous times. She is currently chair of APSA's standing Committee on Teaching and Learning. As a core faculty member of the Hamer Institute she has been PI, Co-PI, or on the implementation team of a number of NEH, Department of Education, and Kellogg grants designed to improve social science instruction. These grant activities include seven years of summer Landmarks of American History workshops for community college faculty and a five-year Teaching American History grant with the local public school district. Currently, she is on the implementation team of an NSF Advance Grant for promoting the career of women in the STEM-SBS disciplines at her institution.