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Women in American politics: Why so few?

September  16, 2011

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Dr. Wendy G. Smooth is assistant professor of Public Policy in the Department of Women’s Studies at The Ohio State University and a faculty affiliate with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.

She spoke at Augustana's convocation on Sept. 15, 2011, on the topic "Women in American politics: Why so few."

Her visit was supported by an endowed fund honoring Stanley Erickson, a longtime political science professor.

Dr. Smooth is completing her first book entitled, Power and Influence: The Impact of Race and Gender in American State Legislatures (University of Michigan Press, under contract), which focuses on African American women elected to state legislatures across the country and examines the conditions under which they are most effective in representing their communities.

Her work appears in numerous outlets including the academic journals Politics & Gender and the Journal of Women, Politics and Policy as well as numerous edited volumes.

Dr. Smooth is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically black catholic university in the country. There she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and went on to earn her Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, and both her Masters of Science, and doctorate degrees in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.