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07/17/2017

Kedrowski to Lead New Center for Civic Learning; Sumter Appointed Interim Dean of College of Arts & Sciences

Quick Facts

 Karen M. Kedrowski, currently dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will begin a new role as executive director of the Center for Civic Learning, beginning Aug. 1.
 The creation of the new center will extend Winthrop’s successful efforts to engage campus, local, state, regional, and national communities in civic and civil discourse through policy analysis.
 Takita F. Sumter, professor of biochemistry and the inaugural Provost Faculty Fellow, will serve as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Karen Kedrowski
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Takita Sumter
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University officials announced that Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Debra Boyd has appointed Karen M. Kedrowski, currently dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, to a new role as executive director of the Center for Civic Learning, beginning August 1, 2017. The creation of the new center will extend Winthrop’s successful efforts to engage campus, local, state, regional, and national communities in civic and civil discourse through policy analysis; by hosting debates, political candidates, and other speakers from across the political and ideological spectrum; and by infusing civic values throughout the curriculum.

While Winthrop conducts a national search for a new dean, Takita F. Sumter, professor of biochemistry and the inaugural Provost Faculty Fellow, will serve as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. More information about Sumter’s new role will be forthcoming.

Kedrowski will provide leadership for the Center for Civic Learning, a new endeavor that will capitalize on Winthrop’s strong reputation for public service and community engagement. Boyd noted that Kedrowski’s extensive work as a university administrator and in civic education, politics and policy makes her extremely well-suited for this role: “Dr. Kedrowski understands how political systems and higher education work, and Karen’s leadership of the new center will rapidly move Winthrop forward in its mission to prepare students and others to be active, productive citizens in our democracy.”

"The new Center for Civic Learning is an exciting opportunity to build on the momentum of the 2016 election cycle and the excellent work underway across campus," said Kedrowski. "Together, we can make Winthrop anational model of civic and political engagement." In 2015-16, Winthrop hosted 10 U.S. Presidential candidates prior to the South Carolina presidential primary, and later, Winthrop was one of only 83 campuses nationwide to earn Voter Friendly Campus distinction by Campus Vote Project.

The center will support the expansion of the reach and scope of the West Forum on Politics and Policy, housed at Winthrop and which Kedrowski co-directs with Katarina Moyon, to include the development of policy briefings and technical reports for public officials and citizens of South Carolina. The center will also strengthen Winthrop’s participation in the American Democracy Project. The NEW Leadership South Carolina program—a collaborative endeavor with the College of Charleston—will also be supported by the center. Focused on educating women about the political process and inspiring them to consider careers in public service, the NEW Leadership program holds its Summer Institute at Winthrop.

As executive director, Kedrowski will work closely with Student Affairs to expand civic learning and engagement opportunities for students, faculty and staff in order to enhance that student experience and to strengthen community ties.

During her tenure at Winthrop, Kedrowski has served in a number of administrative roles, including as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, chair of the political science department and director of the Office for Effective Teaching. She is active in various professional associations and has served as president of the Women’s Caucus for Political Science, South, as a member of the Status of Women Committee and the Executive Council of the Southern Political Science Association, and as vice president of the Political Science Education Section of the American Political Science Association.
  
Kedrowski is the recipient of a number of honors and awards, having been recognized as Winthrop’s Outstanding Junior Professor in 1999, the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Advisor in 2007 and Distinguished Professor Award in 2011. She conducts research primarily in the fields of congressional communication and public policy.

She is the author of “Media Entrepreneurs and the Media Enterprise in the U.S. Congress” (1996), coauthor of “Cancer Activism” (2007) and “Breastfeeding Rights in the United States” (2008), and has written numerous journal articles, book chapters and book reviews.

Kedrowski received her Ph.D. in political science from the Carl Albert Congressional Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma in 1992, her master’s degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma in 1991 and her B.A. in political science, French and history from the University of Minnesota in 1986.

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