Friday, June 04, 2010

Chris Mooney honored by peers at SPPC and named University Scholar

Christopher Z. Mooney
, professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois Springfield was named University Scholar 2010 during a surprise announcement at the 10th annual State Politics and Policy Conference (SPPC) on June 4.

Mooney helped organize the first SPPC conference and has played a major role in its development. This is the first time the conference has been held in Illinois, bringing hundreds of national experts in state politics to UIS.

“It’s hard to fathom the degree to which Chris Mooney is recognized nationally in the field of political science and also the esteem at which he’s held,” said Harry Berman, UIS provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Materials nominating Mooney for the University Scholar award hailed him as a “model teacher-scholar” who is a “committed teacher” and a “leading scholar of state politics”. Mooney has been nationally recognized as a leader in the field of state politics, most recently by the American Political Science Association (APSA), who named a dissertation award in his honor.

“Many of us know from observing local and national media, Professor Mooney teaches beyond the classrooms and hallways of UIS. His knowledge and insights have enriched the public discourse, particularly in a state in such need of civic and political enrichment,” said Jason Pierceson, chair and professor of Political Science.

Mooney is the founding editor of State Politics and Policy Quarterly, the premier national academic journal in its field. Under his editorship, this journal rose to prominence and has now been adopted as a journal of the APSA. Mooney has authored/co-authored five books, edited three books and published twenty-five refereed journal articles and book chapters during his career. His work is cited frequently among academics in the field and his work has brought fellow scholars to UIS.

“In the field of state politics, few are more respected than Professor Mooney,” said Pierceson.

Mooney is also an excellent and committed teacher. He receives strong student evaluations of his teaching, despite being a very demanding teacher. Professor Mooney’s students work hard and learn deeply.

Mooney joined UIS in 1999 and holds a joint appointment in the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs and the Institute for Legislative Studies. Prior to coming to UIS, he taught at West Virginia University and the University of Essex in the United Kingdom.

He is the only UIS faculty member to receive the award this year, which honors outstanding teachers and scholars at the three U of I campuses. University Scholars receive $10,000 a year for three years to support research and other scholarly activities.

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