Dr. Sharon Lean Returns to department as graduate programs director
Associate Professor Sharon Lean returned to the Department of Political Science as a full-time faculty member in June after serving as associate dean of the Graduate School for more than three years. Upon her return, she begins her second iteration as director of graduate programs for the department.
Lean joined the Department of Political Science in August 2005 after teaching and conducting research as a visiting assistant professor at Colgate University. Her field of research is comparative politics, with specializations in Latin American politics and processes of democratization. She published a major work, Civil Society and Electoral Accountability in Latin America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), and was editor of Promoting Democracy in the Americas (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007). Lean has received numerous grants and awards for her research and teaching. She completed work on a USAID grant on the topic of “Strengthening Women’s Civic and Political Participation.” She was the recipient of an NEH Next Generation Humanities Ph.D. Planning Grant, which was designed to strengthen doctoral education in the humanities and promote the integration of the humanities in the public sphere. In 2013, Lean received a Fulbright Scholars Award to spend a semester in residence at the Colegio de México conducting research on autonomous public agencies and democratic governance. She is the recipient of Wayne State’s 2017 Outstanding Graduate Director Award as well as the 2011 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.