The University of Scranton Honors Political Science Faculty Member
Jean Wahl Harris, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Political Science Department at The University of Scranton, was awarded the Jesuit university’s John L. Earl III Award for service to the university, the faculty, and the wider community. This award is presented annually to a member of the university community who demonstrates the spirit of generosity and dedication that the late Dr. John Earl, a distinguished professor of history, exemplified during his years at Scranton from 1964 to 1996.
A resident of Nicholson, Dr. Harris has received numerous awards throughout her distinguished career at Scranton. In 2007, she was chosen as a fellow by the American Council on Education. She was recognized by the University for excellence in service and leadership in 2006. In 1994, she received The University of Scranton’s CASE Professor of the Year award, which is given annually to Scranton’s nominee for the national Professor of the Year award, sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Dr. Harris joined The University of Scranton faculty in 1987 as an assistant professor of history/political science, and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1993 and to full professor in 2009. She has served on numerous university committees and in several positions on the faculty union, including as the union’s first woman president. She was instrumental in establishing the University’s Women’s Studies Program and the Jane Kopas Women’s Center on campus. She has served as director of the women’s studies program at Scranton, and became the chair of the Political Science Department in 2004.
Her areas of expertise include first ladies and the vice presidency, as well as local and state politics. Dr. Harris frequently serves as a source for local newspaper and television reporters, and has also been quoted in articles in USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times.
In addition, Dr. Harris has served as past president of the Lackawanna County League of Women Voters.
Dr. Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in law and society, a master of arts degree in political science and a doctorate in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton.