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Joseph P. McLaughlin, Jr.

Joseph P. McLaughlin, Jr., Ph.D., is director of the Institute for Public Affairs and associate vice dean for external affairs for the College of Liberal Arts. He teaches American politics and public policy in the political science department and is director of the Pennsylvania Policy Database Project, a six-university effort to build a comprehensive policy database for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. McLaughlin joined Temple after a long career as a government official and urban lobbyist, working on major policy issues in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Washington, DC. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature from Middlebury College and master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Temple University. [Full Profile]

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Michelle J. Atherton

Michelle J. Atherton is associate director of the Institute for Public Affairs, senior policy writer and publications editor for the Center on Regional Politics, staff advisor for the Pennsylvania Policy Database Project, and director of the Pennsylvania Capital Semester, an internship program in Harrisburg for students at Temple and all Pennsylvania colleges and universities.  She also directs Temple’s Washington Semester, a partnership with the Washington Center in Washington, DC that allows Temple students to work and learn in the nation’s capital. Atherton graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a dual B.A. in English literature and philosophy of science.  She holds a master’s degree in political science from Temple, where she was a University Fellow. She also served as a legislative intern to Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, and taught American politics, the politics of race and political philosophy as a teaching assistant and adjunct instructor before joining the Institute for Public Affairs in 2008.

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 Jay T. Jennings

Jay webJay T. Jennings, Ph.D. is assistant program director at the Institute for Public Affairs and is the project manager for the Pennsylvania Policy Database Project. He is also an affiliated researcher at Temple University’s Behavioral Foundations Lab. In May 2015 he completed his Ph.D. in political science at Temple University after receiving his M.A. in political science from American University in 2004. His interests include political psychology, civic engagement, electoral behavior, religion and politics, and public policy. [Full profile]

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 Kevin Lydon


Kevin Lydon is the financial manager at the Institute for Public Affairs. He manages departmental funding along with sponsored projects. He also handles invoices, budgeting, and general administrative support. Prior to joining IPA, he worked as a grant analyst in Research Accounting Services at Temple University, with a focus on post-award sponsored project accounting. A graduate of Rutgers University and The College of New Jersey, he is currently enrolled in continuing studies classes at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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