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Rhonda Wrzenski Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Political Science
Coordinator of Political Science
Pre-Law Advisor

Crestview Hall 005
Phone: (812) 941-2023
rwrzensk@ius.edu

Biography

I joined the Indiana University Southeast (IUS) department of political science in the fall of 2010 and advanced to the rank of associate professor in the spring of 2016. Before coming to IUS, I earned my B.A. from Hastings College and my M.A. and Ph.D. in political science at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. I teach an introductory course in American politics each semester at IUS along with upper-level classes in state politics, public policy-making, elections and voting, gender and politics, and senior seminar.

During my tenure at IUS, I have been the recipient of three highly selective campus-wide teaching awards and one IU-wide teaching award. In 2014, I received the Commitment to Innovation Award for my regularly scheduled field trip to the state capitol in Indianapolis. In the spring of 2015 and 2018, I was one of approximately eight faculty selected campus-wide for a Trustees’ Teaching Award. In 2018, I received a Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET) Innovate Award for an intensive writing assignment in my Voting, Elections and Public Opinion course.

In addition to my classroom duties, I am also the pre-law advisor for the IUS campus and the Political Science Program Coordinator.  

Besides teaching, I also maintain an active research agenda, which focuses on legislative behavior, campaign finance, and the under-representation of women in politics. Most recently, I published a textbook chapter on state and local government and an article on the electoral benefits of bill sponsorship and passage within the journal Social Science Quarterly. I also published two pieces on teaching in the 2015 edition of the IU Press book, “Quick Hits – Teaching Tips for Adjunct Faculty and Lecturers.” Prior to my tenure at IUS, I worked at the University of Kansas as part of a three- person evaluative team focused on increasing the number of adult learners who transition to post-secondary education after completing their GED.  

Academic Background

  • Doctorate

    • Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, United States
    • Doctor of Philosophy, Major in Political Science (American Politics), Minor in Comparative Politics
  • Masters

    • Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, United States
    • Master of Arts, Major in Political Science (American Politics), Minor in Comparative Politics
  • Bachelors

    • Hastings College, Hastings, NE, United States
    • Bachelor of Arts, Major in Media Production and Political Science

Professional Interests

Teaching

  • Introduction to American Politics
  • Voting, Elections and Public Opinion 
  • State Politics in the United States 
  • Gender and Politics
  • Formation of Public Policy in the United States 
  • Senior Seminar in Political Science 
  • Faculty Advisor for Internships in Political Science

Research

  • The Under-Representation of Women in State Legislatures
  • State Legislative Behavior
  • State Legislative Campaign Finance

Publications

Journal Articles

  • Robert E. Hogan, Mileah K. Kromer, Rhonda L. Wrzenski. (2016). Electoral Consequences of Lawmaking Activities for State Legislative Incumbents. Social Science Quarterly, 97 (3), 636-649.

Hobbies/Interests

On a personal note, I love to travel and I have traversed four continents and over 10 countries. I’ve braved a helicopter flight over Niagara Falls and the Twelve Apostles, taken a paddleboat out into a bioluminescent bay, gazed upon one of the seven wonders of the ancient world (The Temple of Artemis), snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, temporarily resided in a 150-room manor house in the English countryside, and cuddled a koala. Besides traveling abroad, I’ve been to many places in the United States and a couple of my favorites include Asheville, North Carolina, and the Florida coast. 

Before the pandemic, I enjoyed going to concerts and the orchestra, attending the theater, watching all sorts of movies, and checking out restaurants and coffee shops throughout New Albany and Louisville. 

In addition, my fiance and I welcomed a baby girl in December of 2019 and are enjoying chronicling all of her firsts. 

Campus Events

Summer New Student Orientation: Session 9

Summer New Student Orientation: Session 9

August 16th, 2022

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Green Dot Training for New Students

Green Dot Training for New Students

August 16th, 2022

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Volleyball vs. Grenadier Alumni

Volleyball vs. Grenadier Alumni

August 16th, 2022

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Drop-In Advising

Drop-In Advising

August 17th, 2022

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Drop-In Advising

Drop-In Advising

August 18th, 2022

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Drop-In Advising

Drop-In Advising

August 19th, 2022

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

New Student Induction Day

New Student Induction Day

August 19th, 2022

10:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Induction Day Involvement and Resource Fair

Induction Day Involvement and Resource Fair

August 19th, 2022

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Learn More About Greek Life Interest Session

Learn More About Greek Life Interest Session

August 19th, 2022

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Federal Work Study and Finding A Job Interest Session
Mentoring Program Interest Session

Mentoring Program Interest Session

August 19th, 2022

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

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Indiana University Southeast

4201 Grant Line Rd.
New Albany, IN 47150
(812) 941-2333

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