I am a classically trained Political Theorist (I studied under Ellis Sandoz and Jim Stoner at Louisiana State University), with secondary fields in Public Law and East European Politics. After leaving graduate school (I am a terminal ABD), I moved back to North Dakota (my BA, also in Political Science with a Theory emphasis, was from UND) and began working on political campaigns. I also taught online (beginning in 1995, when online education was in its infancy) for a homeschooling consortium that used Compuserve and AOL to teach AP/CLEP-style courses to homeschooled high school students. In 2001, I was the Chief Clerk of the North Dakota House of Representatives, which led to a shift in my interests from normative Political Philosophy to the policy-making process of State Legislatures (as well as the somewhat unique electoral system used in North Dakota, which utilizes multi-member House districts). At the end of the 2001 session, I moved to Northern Virginia to work for Stateside Associates, a consulting firm which conducts state policy research for primarily Fortune 500 clients and trade associations. In 2003, I was fortunate to be able to move back to North Dakota, as well as to re-enter academia, when I began teaching at the Community College in Moorhead, Minnesota (sister city to Fargo, ND).
My primary teaching assignments are in American Government and State & Local Government. Additionally, I offer one section a year of Comparative Politics, International Relations, and (debuting in Spring 2012) Ideas and Ideologies. I just completed my third term on the Executive Board of the Minnesota Political Science Association (I am stepping aside at the end of Spring 2012), and I am active in the Great Plains Political Science Association, the Teaching & Learning Conference of APSA, and have participated in several AP Readings in US Government and Politics. I have an ongoing research interest in North Dakota Legislative elections (including the creation of a dataset on ND electoral results dating back to 1974, which needs some updating before I upload it to the Instructional Resources area).
I am also the college's lead facilitator for a new project (spurred by a recent set of workshops sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research [CUR]) to integrate undergraduate research into the Community College curriculum. My interest in OPOSSEM is spurred primarily because I will be piloting a sophomore capstone course in Spring 2013 for students in all Social Science disciplines (including Education, Communications, Social Work, and Business, in addition to the traditional disciplines of Politicial Science, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, et al) where I will be teaching research methods, and then the students will complete an interdisciplinary project of their own choosing.
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Content and comments by Mark L. Johnson
Content co-authored by Mark L. Johnson