Dr. Erin McAdams joined the political science department at Presbyterian College in 2012. Before earning her Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 2009, she experienced the benefits of a small liberal arts college by attending Allegheny College for her undergraduate studies. Her professional interests include using an analytical and social scientific method to study voting behavior, public opinion and polling, campaigning and elections, and quantitative research methods.
“She loves to challenge you with her assignments and to take things to the next level by putting use the knowledge learned in class to apply to real world situations,” said senior Whitney Yongue.
While McAdams was earning her Ph.D. she worked as a survey research consultant for the Brigham Young University Center for the Study of Elections & Democracy. Through that position, she conducted exit polls, trained undergraduates as pollsters, and gathered information from voters for news organizations during the 2006 Congressional elections. She also served as a co-investigator for two other Congressional election surveys and assisted with conducting a statewide poll on the gubernatorial race in Ohio.
As a professor, McAdams cultivates a learning environment where her classes have the opportunity to learn through hands-on activities and experimentation. Students can expect to assume the role of strategist in current campaigns for research projects in the “Elections & Campaign Management” course, investigate hypothetical crimes to strengthen deductive reasoning skills in “Introduction to Legal Studies,” and participate in mock trials of current Supreme Court cases in “Constitutional Law.”
“I think the benefit of this type of hands-on approach is two-fold: it helps to convey the information in a more interesting and applied manner; and it further enhances students’ critical thinking skills,” said McAdams.
When asked about his experiences with McAdams, senior Trey Harrison said, “Dr. McAdams is absolutely amazing! On multiple occasions she has gone out of her way to help students in any endeavors that they are undertaking. Whether it is writing a letter of recommendation for law school or developing extra practice problems up on the spot for a test the next day, Dr. McAdams energetically and passionately teaches her students.”
Prospective students will find a strong community within the political science department that focuses on citizenship, advisement support, a commitment to diversity, and numerous international opportunities. In addition to preparing students for fulfilling careers in government, politics, international affairs, and legal professions, McAdams is also the adviser for the pre-law program at PC.
According to McAdams, “In all things political, there will be those who are advantaged and disadvantaged by the decisions that are made, and I believe that responsible citizenship in one’s community means thinking critically about inequality and injustice and actively pursuing solutions to those issues.”
McAdams specifically encourages Blue Hose students to set out and become more effective and active participants in the American democratic society and the global community. McAdams exemplifies PC’s motto of “personally committed to your success.”