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J. Wesley Leckrone PhD
I was a political junky growing up. When I got to college, I found that my professors
focused on abstract theories at the expense of current events. This experience greatly
informed my teaching philosophy, which is based on using contemporary politics to
understand and test theories within the discipline of political science. Consequently,
I use social media, blogging, and experiential learning events such as Student Lobby
Day to engage students in critical thinking about how government functions.
I teach a broad range of courses related to American government institutions and public policy. Among these are The Presidency, Interest Groups, and State and Local Politics. My research interests are primarily in the areas of federalism, intergovernmental lobbying, and state politics. I am currently the editor of the Pennsylvania Political Science Association's newly reconstituted publication Commonwealth: A Journal of Pennsylvania Politics and Policy.
PhD Political Science 2006
Temple University (PA)
MA American History 1995
Temple University (PA)
BA Political Science 1991
American University (DC)
POLS 205 American Public Policy and Politics
POLS 207 Power and Influence: Interest Groups in American Politics
POLS 315 State and Local Government
My primary interests are in the fields of American federalism and state and local
policy agendas. I have been actively involved with several projects adapting Baumgartner
and Jones' Policy Agendas Model to state and local policies. This line of research
seeks to categorize the types of policies governments focus on over long periods of
time. I have used this typology in my work at the Pennsylvania Policy Database Project
at Temple University and in research on state memorials to Congress.
I am currently co-authoring research adapting this model to local politics through an exploration of the agendas of large-city mayors as voiced through their State of the City addresses. I am in the beginning stages of writing Governing the Commonwealth: Politics, Policy and Executive Power in Pennsylvania. The book examines how recent Pennsylvania governors have used their formal and informal powers to influence public policy across a range of issues including education, the environment, and social welfare.
Arts and Sciences Outstanding Researcher Award, Social Sciences, Widener University, 2013
Faculty Award for Civic Engagement Finalist, Widener University, 2013
Fitz Dixon Innovation in Teaching Award Finalist, Widener University, 2013
Leckrone, J.W., & Gollob, J. (2013). Federalism and the Pennsylvania legislature: Partisanship and intergovernmental priorities. Commonwealth: A Journal of Political Science, 16(1), 21–40.
Leckrone, J.W. (2013). Hippies, feminists and neocons: Using The Big Lebowski to find the political in the non-political. PS: Political Science & Politics, 46(1), 129–136.
Leckrone, J.W., & Gollob, J. (2010). Telegrams to Washington: Using memorials to Congress as a measure of state attention to the federal policy agenda. State and Local Government Review, 42(3), 235–245.
Pennsylvania Political Science Association (PPSA), Northeastern Political Science Association (NPSA)