suzan_harkness-2008Suzan Harkness, Ph.D.

Special Assistant to the President
Associate Professor, Political Science

Research Interests

US Congress: Power and politics at the intersection of public good; The impact of experiential education: Documenting active and experiential learning; Student learning outcome through continuous and sequential assessment; Teaching with technology: Technological literacy; and Podcasting in American Colleges and Universities.

Contact Information

202.274.5657 Office

Office Location

University of the District of Columbia
Van Ness Campus
Building 39, Suite 301


BS – University of Wisconsin, La Crosse (Psychology 1988)
MA – US International University – Alliant International (International Relations 1991)
Ph.D. – University of Hawaii, Manoa (Political Science, Public Policy 2000)

Career Information / Professional Experience

2013 – Present, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., Special Assistant to the President
2012-2013, Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, MD., ACE Fellow
2009 – 2013  University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., Assistant Dean, Center for Academic Technology     .
2002 – 2008 University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., Associate Professor Political Science, College of Arts & Sciences
2007 – 2009 The Washington Center, Washington, D.C., Managing Director Academic Affairs
2003 – 2004 University of LaVerne, LaVerne, CA. On-line Adjunct Professor
2002 Congresswoman Diane E. Watson, CHOB, Washington, D.C., Congressional Fellow/Legislative Assistant
1999 Hawai`i Pacific University, Honolulu, Hawai`i., Adjunct Professor, Division of International Studies
1994-99 University of Hawai`i, Honolulu, Hawai`i, Adjunct Professor, Political Science, Women’s Studies Program;  GRA, Urban and Regional Planning; Program Manager, Population Studies Program; Legislative Assistant


Peer-Review Articles

2012 Harkness, S. Suzan, Victoria Dounoucos, and Logan Vidal. “Integrating Technology in the Classroom.” PS: Political Science & Politics. 45 (03): 521-540.

2011 Harkness, S.Suzan, Michael Kuchinsky, and Christine Pappas. “Civic Engagement Track I Summary.” PS: Political Science & Politics. 44 (03): 653-65.

2010 Harkness, S.Suzan J, Beyond the Soup Kitchen Model and Drive-By Volunteerism: Transformative Civic Engagement – an Analysis of Learning Outcomes (February 5, 2010). Available at SSRN:

2009 Bennion, Elizabeth A., S.Suzan J. Harkness, and Timothy S. Meinke. 2009 APSA Teaching and Learning Conference Track Summaries: Civic Engagement Track I.” PS: Political Science & Politics. 42 (03): 1-13.

2007 Harkness, S.Suzan J., Mohamed Magid, Jameka Roberts, and Michael Richardson. “Crossing the Line?  Freedom of Speech and Religious Sensibilities.” PS: Political Science & Politics. 40 (02): 275-278.

2006 Doherty, Leanne, Suzan Harkness, and Kendra King. “Community and Service –Based Learning II Track Summary.” PS: Political Science & Politics. 39 (03): 543-544.

2005 Botteron, Cynthia A. and S.Suzan J. Harkness. “APSA Teaching and Learning Conference: A Summary of Track Five.” PS: Political Science & Politics. 38 (03): 421-423.

2004 Ishiyama, John, et al.* “APSA Teaching and Learning Conference: A Summary of Four Tracks.” PS: Political Science & Politics. 37 (03): 483-485. (*Please see 37(04) for author credit correction).

Book Chapters

2012 “La Malinche (1500?–1527)”  Victoria Garcia-Serrano, Cristina de la Torre, Annette Grant Cash  (eds.).  A que sí!, fourth edition., Florence, KY: Cengage Learning

2009 “Integrating Undergraduate Research Activities into a Campus-Wide Initiative. In Wiseman, Jodi and Mary Boyd., Broadening Participation in Undergraduate Research: Fostering Excellence and Enhancing the Impact. CUR: Washington, DC.

1997 “Power in the Service of Leadership” Co-authored with Brislin, Richard In Improving Intercultural Interactions: Volume 2. Brislin, Richard and Ken Cushner (eds.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

1996 “Cultural Influences on Behavior: An Exercise,” In Moody, R. Psychological Type and Culture – East and West: Second Multicultural Research Symposium. Gainsville, FL: Center for Applications of Psychological Type.

1995 Twenty-two biographical sketches, approximately 300 words each, integrated into a world history textbook. Ashby, Ruth and Deborah Gore Ohrn (eds.). 1995. Herstory. New York: Viking-Penguin Books.

Grant Awards

2011-2014 NSF (Award Id: 1137529): Targeted Infusion: Enhancing Undergraduate Programs in Environmental Science and Sustainability PI(s): Deksissa, Harkness, Liang, Behera. $298,000.00
2009 Sloan Minority Scholar Scholarships $3,000
2007 Council for Undergraduate Research $10,000 (Institutional Team Travel Grant)
2005 UDC Summer Research Grant $7,000 (Assessment of Online Interactions and Learning)
2005 UDC Learning Resources Division Research Grant $5,400 (Podcasting Critical Contents)
1998 American Association of University Women $10,000 (Dissertation Research)
1996 Soroptimist International $10,000 (Dissertation Research)


2012 Blackboard Catalyst Award: Staff Development
2011 Quality Matters (QM) “Making a Difference for Students” Award
2011 AAC&U Recognition of service on the Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (Value) Reliability Pilot.
2005 APSA Pi Sigma Alpha Faculty of the Year
2005 UDC College of Arts & Science Junior Faculty of the Year
2004 UDC Junior Faculty Recognition Award
2004 UDC University Scholars Series 1st Place Award
2004 UDC Service Learning Academy
2004 UDC Blackboard Scholars Academy


Undergraduate Courses

Introduction to American Government
The Legislative Process
Research Skills
Research Methods
Senior Seminar

Faculty Courses

Blackboard Basics to Advanced
New and Emerging Media in the Classroom
Online/Hybrid Course Design
Assessment and Learning Outcomes (Course and Program)
Experiential Education
Service Learning & Civic Engagement

Land Grant Research area