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Renee B. Van Vechten University of Redlands
Renée B. Van Vechten holds the Fletcher Jones Endowed Chair in American Politics and Policy at the University of Redlands where she is a professor of political science and chair of the public policy undergraduate program. She earned a BA in political science from the University of San Diego and a PhD from the University of California, Irvine. Van Vechten’s political science research examines legislative processes and behavior, including the impacts of political reforms such as term limits. In addition to teaching about California politics, her courses concentrate on American institutions such as Congress, as well as the politics of food, the environment, and political reform. Her expertise on state-level politics and policy is evident in her textbook, California Politics: A Primer, and her scholarship on pedagogy and instructional practices has extended to curricular planning, research methods, online discussion forums, simulations, and internships. She was the lead editor of and contributor to the open-source book and resource collection, Political Science Internships: Towards Best Practices (APSA 2021: https://apsanet.org/internshipbook). Van Vechten has served as an executive board member for Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honors society, and on the American Political Science Association (APSA) Council and Executive Board as chair of the Teaching and Learning Policy Committee and as chair of the APSA Political Science Education organized member section. She has been a track moderator for the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC) several times, and was a founding co-chair for the first TLC at APSA in 2018. Service to APSA includes membership on awards committees, working groups, and two Presidential Task Forces (on Technology, 2015–2016; on New Partnerships, 2017–2020) that helped establish APSA’s online teaching library, EDUCATE. Van Vechten is also active in the Western Political Science Association, having several times co-chaired a conference-within-a-conference on teaching and learning. She has received several teaching awards, including the Rowman and Littlefield Award for Innovative Teaching in Political Science (via APSA) in 2008, APSA’s only national teaching award at that time. A resident of San Diego County, she is frequently consulted by local media for commentary about state and national politics.