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- Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1972
Professor Hershey's research and teaching interests focus on political parties, campaigns, and elections. With regard to research, she continues to examine the process by which political activists and journalists construct explanations for election results - what they think the results mean, out of the welter of possible explanations that could account for why one candidate won and another candidate lost, or why a party's fortunes changed in a particular election year. One of her current research projects explores the polarization of party activists over time. She has published three books of research and a number of articles in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Polity, Political Communication, The Annals, Social Science Quarterly, and American Politics Quarterly. Her research has also appeared in the form of chapters in edited volumes.
Among the courses she teaches regularly are Political Parties and Interest Groups and Environmental Policy (at the undergraduate level), and American Political Behavior, and Teaching Political Science (at the graduate level). She is the author of Party Politics in America, the major political parties text begun by Frank Sorauf and then written by Paul Allen Beck; she has been responsible for the 9th through the current (17th) editions of this text. She has been fortunate to have received several teaching awards from the Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Political Science, the IU Student Alumni Council, Golden Key, Mortar Board, Blue Key, the IU Student Association, IU Continuing Studies, The American Political Science Association and the AMOCO Foundation.
She is extensively involved in community service, including volunteer work with the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Sounds of South (the show and classical choir of Bloomington High School South), and other groups. Her professional service has included the presidency of the Midwest Political Science Association, a variety of program committees for national political science conventions and APSA and MWPSA committees (for instance, the APSA's Epstein Book Award committee for the best book on political parties published in 2004 or 2005, which she chaired in 2006 and served on again in 2008), and programs to improve the teaching of government and politics at the high school and college levels.