Jennie Sweet-Cushman

Assistant Professor of Political Science and Assistant Director, Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics, Chatham University
Chapter Member: Central Pennsylvania SSN

About Jennie

Sweet-Cushman's research and teaching focus on issues of women’s political representation. She is concerned about policy outcomes on women’s issues, with direct focus on how fewer women candidates (than men) translates into fewer women in elective office representing women’s best policy interests. As a research scholar at the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics, these interests are most keenly applied to Pennsylvania where women’s underrepresentation is acute and the state is frequently noted for its lacking support of women’s public policy needs. As such, she is heavily engaged in the execution of the state’s Ready to Run™ campaign trainings for women and the NEW Leadership™ program for college women. Insights from Pennsylvania are quite frequently transferable to more generalizable observations in American politics.

In the News

Quoted by Dan Merica in "Pennsylvania Only Has Men in Congress. That's About to Change.," CNN Politics, May 16, 2018.
Quoted by Debra Erdley in "Pennsylvania Fields Historic Slate of Women Congressional Candidates," Tribune-Review, May 16, 2018.
Quoted by Cheyenne Haslett in "In Pennsylvania Primary, a Test for 'pink wave' with Record Number of Women Running," ABC News, May 15, 2018.
Quoted by Eliza Collins in "Trump Prompts Dem Women to Run for Congress in Pa., but They Face 'Old Boys Network'," USA Today, April 18, 2018.
Quoted by Adelina Lancianese in "More Women Than Ever are Running for Congress. How Does Pennsylvania Stack Up?," 90.5 WESA, April 12, 2018.
Opinion: "Family-Friendly Conferences," Jennie Sweet-Cushman (with Angela L. Bos and Monica Schneider), Inside Higher Ed, February 7, 2018.
Quoted by Maria Sciullo in "TV Ad Campaigns are Partially behind a Rush of Calls to Lawmakers," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 10, 2017.
Guest on WESA Public Radio, October 28, 2016.
Quoted by Clark Mindock in "Sexism 2016: More Women in Politics, but Representation in Congress, State Legislatures Lags behind Men ," International Business Times, September 16, 2016.
Quoted by Candy Woodall in "York Resident in First Emerge Pa. Class that Trains Women for Office," Penn Live, February 6, 2016.
Quoted by Candy Woodall in "How Much Money Did Pennsylvania Residents Give to 2016 Presidential Candidates," Penn Live, February 5, 2016.
Guest on WESA Public Radio, November 5, 2014.
Quoted by Lawrence R. Jacobs and Theda Skocpol in "Can Republicans Rescind Obamacare?," Los Angeles Times, October 31, 2010.


"Evaluating Student Evaluations of Teaching: a Review of Measurement and Equity Bias in SETs and Recommendations for Ethical Reform" (with Rebecca Kreitzer). Journal of Academic Ethics 20 (2022): 73–84.

Discusses concerns with Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs), which are ubiquitous in the academe as a metric for assessing teaching and are frequently used in critical personnel decisions. Authors discuss ample evidence documenting measurement and equity bias in SETs, which also have low or no correlation with learning. The authors conclude with recommendations for the judicious use of SETs.