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Joseph P. McLaughlin, Jr.

As director of the Institute for Public Affairs and of the bipartisan Center on Regional Politics, McLaughlin connects Temple’s intellectual resources – including applied research and student interns — with policy making leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.  He is also associate vice dean for the College of Liberal Arts and teaches American politics and public policy in the political science department.  His work at Temple has included conducting information sessions for the Pennsylvania General Assembly and publishing research summarizing the legislature’s history and evaluating proposed changes in its structure and operations.  He also oversees the free, online Pennsylvania Policy Database, built with the support and cooperation of the General Assembly, which incorporates more than 180,000 government and news media records into more than 200 policy topics and enables users to trace and graph the history of public policy since 1979.  McLaughlin served as senior advisor to Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell (2003-04), Philadelphia Mayor William J. Green III (1982-84), the bipartisan National Governors Association (1978-82), and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1974-77).  From 1984-2002, he was a lobbyist representing the City of Philadelphia under four mayors; SEPTA, business leaders in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and numerous other public and private sector organizations.  As a reporter for the Chicago Tribune (1968-71), he covered state and local politics and government in Illinois.  A 1965 graduate of Middlebury College and US Army veteran, McLaughlin obtained his master’s (1992) and doctoral (1999) degrees in political science from Temple.

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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 an M.A. in political science from Temple, where she was a University Fellow, and an M.S. in community and regional planning also from Temple, where she received the Department of Planning and Community Development Academic Excellence Award. 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. Atherton also serves on the executive committee of the Pennsylvania Political Science Association and is an associate editor of Commonwealth: A Journal of Pennsylvania Politics and Policy.

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Stefanie I. Kasparek

SteffiStefanie I. Kasparek is Graduate Research Manager at the Institute for Public Affairs  for the Pennsylvania Policy Database Project. She is also a Ph.D. student in political science at Temple University. Kasparek graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tuebingen, Germany with an M.A. in American Studies, International Law, and Political Science. She is the 2016 Box-Steffensmeier Fellow, awarded by the Society for Political Methodology and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Her work concentrates on international organizations, international security, agenda-setting and decision-making processes, and public policy. She also provides quantitative research assistance to Dr. Roselyn Hsueh and Dr. Orfeo Fioretos in the areas of comparative political economy of development and international institutions. She has also taught classes in international relations and quantitative research methods at Temple University.

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