Quinnipiac University

Professor builds connections that transform students' lives

October 16, 2018

professor scott mclean headshot

Professor Scott McLean works hard to develop experiential learning opportunities for Quinnipiac students.

“They are transformational moments that have the potential to be life-changing,” the professor of political science said. “The key is to show students how the academic course material and the learning from practical experiences depend on each other.”

His emphasis on hands-on learning — whether in the lead-up to primaries in New Hampshire or a presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. — helps students build connections and develop a broader world-view, linking what they learn in the classroom to the real-world cases. For his efforts, he will be recognized on October 18 with our Center for Excellence in Teaching award.

“This is the kind of recognition a teacher like me always dreams of,” he said of the honor. “My late mother was a devoted school teacher most of her life and I only wish she could have lived to see me being applauded — that’s because she has been my greatest inspiration and role-model as an educator.”

His mother would have a lot to be proud of. He has transformed the lives and perspectives of countless students.

Take his impact on the life of Ashli Johnson ‘18.

“Professor McLean is so incredible,” she said. “He convinced me to consider branching out of my comfort zone and to experience the world from a different perspective."

McLean encouraged Johnson, who now works at Pratt & Whitney, to enroll in a politics-focused course that would ultimately take her to the 2017 presidential inauguration.

“We thought he was incredible for taking the time to come down to Washington, D.C. with us and teach a Quinnipiac course that was applicable to the internships we were all completing,” she said. “ I am very appreciative of the impact Professor McLean had on my educational and professional experience.”

In fact, McLean traveled to our nation’s capital every other week to teach an ethics course and coordinate trips to visit companies throughout the region.

“One of the reasons I love Quinnipiac is because early in my career I was encouraged to create new things, look for new partnerships with other institutions and government agencies and build the political science program into what it has become today,” McLean said.

In addition to helping grow the program through partnerships, he has become widely recognized as a leading voice in politics — and is widely called upon by national and local media organizations — including NPR, CNN, FOX News, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Hearst Media — to provide perspective.

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