Sweet-Cushman

Jennie Sweet-Cushman

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Assistant Director, Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics, Chatham University

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.

Podcast

Publications

"Improving Women's Ambition through Campaign Trainings: Finding the Right Message and Messenger," Midwest Political Science Association, 2017.

Uses a pre-post test design to examine the effects of political campaign training for women on political ambition and traditional pre-cursors to political ambition. 

"Gender, Risk Assessment, and Political Ambition" Politics and the Life Sciences 35, no. 2 (2016): 1-17.

Draws on evolutionary psychology to contribute to explanations for gender differences in contemporary political ambition. 

"Where Does the Pipeline Get Leaky? The Progressive Ambition of School Board Members and Personal and Political Network Recruitment" (forthcoming).

Discusses the policy impacts on citizens--particularly on women--of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in Pennsylvania, one of the 21 states where lawmakers have not expanded their coverage beyond that of federal law.

"Few but Mighty: Women and Bill Sponsorship in the Pennsylvania General Assembly," (with Ashley Harden and Hali Santiago), Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics, 2017.

Offers a look at the unique strengths that women bring to policymaking and their impact on government. 

"FMLA in PA: Analysis of Family and Medical Leave Policy in the State" Commonwealth, A Journal of Political Science 17, no. 1 (2015): 14.

Details the impact of the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), as well as the complex web of additional protectiosn many states have. Offers a case study of the policy impact on citizens--particularly women, minorities, and the poor--in Pennsylvania, one of 21 states where lawmakers have not expanded their coverage beyond that of federal law.

In the News

Jennie Sweet-Cushman quoted on female candidates in MJ Slaby, "How Pennsylvania Women Did in the 2018 Primary — and What That Means for November" The Incline, May 17, 2018.
Jennie Sweet-Cushman quoted on female candidates in Debra Erdley, "Pennsylvania Fields Historic Slate of Women Congressional Candidates" Tribune-Review, May 16, 2018.
Jennie Sweet-Cushman quoted on female candidates in Dan Merica, "Pennsylvania Only Has Men in Congress. That's About to Change." CNN Politics, May 16, 2018.
Jennie Sweet-Cushman quoted on female candidates in Cheyenne Haslett, "In Pennsylvania Primary, a Test for 'pink wave' with Record Number of Women Running" ABC News, May 15, 2018.
Jennie Sweet-Cushman quoted on female candidates in MJ Slaby, "How Women’s Representation in the Pa. General Assembly Could Change after the 2018 Election" The Incline, May 11, 2018.
Jennie Sweet-Cushman quoted on Democratic female candidates in Eliza Collins, "Trump Prompts Dem Women to Run for Congress in Pa., but They Face 'Old Boys Network'" USA Today, April 18, 2018.
Jennie Sweet-Cushman quoted on women running for Congress in Adelina Lancianese, "More Women Than Ever are Running for Congress. How Does Pennsylvania Stack Up?" 90.5 WESA, April 12, 2018.
"Family-Friendly Conferences," Jennie Sweet-Cushman (with Angela L. Bos and Monica Schneider), Inside Higher Ed, February 7, 2018.
Jennie Sweet-Cushman quoted in Clark Mindock, "Sexism 2016: More Women in Politics, but Representation in Congress, State Legislatures Lags behind Men " International Business Times, September 16, 2016.
Jennie Sweet-Cushman quoted in Candy Woodall, "York Resident in First Emerge Pa. Class that Trains Women for Office" Penn Live, February 6, 2016.
Jennie Sweet-Cushman quoted on Women in Pennsylvania Politics in Candy Woodall, "How Much Money Did Pennsylvania Residents Give to 2016 Presidential Candidates" Penn Live, February 5, 2016.
Guest to discuss Pennsylvania women voters on WESA Public Radio, Jennie Sweet-Cushman, November 5, 2014.
Guest to discuss women in Pennsylvania state politics on WESA Public Radio, Jennie Sweet-Cushman, October 28, 2016.
Jennie Sweet-Cushman quoted in Maria Sciullo, "TV Ad Campaigns are Partially behind a Rush of Calls to Lawmakers" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 10, 2017.
Jennie Sweet-Cushman quoted in Lawrence R. Jacobs and Theda Skocpol, "Can Republicans Rescind Obamacare?" Los Angeles Times, October 31, 2010.