February 24, 2017

Jean Schroedel Receives Diversity Teaching Award

Photo of Jean Schroedel

Jean Schroedel, a professor of political science in CGU’s Division of Politics & Economics, was named a recipient of The Claremont Colleges Diversity Teaching Award. The annual award, presented February 22 at Scripps College, recognizes two faculty members who regularly and effectively address issues or concerns related to diversity and inclusion through their classroom practices and curriculum.

“My goal, in and out of the classroom, is to create a safe space for us to learn from one another,” said Schroedel, a faculty member at CGU since 1991.

Claremont McKenna College (CMC) Associate Professor of History Diana Selig also received a teaching award. CMC Associate Professor of Psychology Wei-Chin Hwang received The Claremont Colleges Diversity Mentor Award.

Schroedel was recognized for research focused on voter suppression faced by some of the poorest and most isolated Native American communities in the country—work that made her a sought-after expert. Tribes across the country argue that obstacles of distance, race, and poverty unfairly deny their members the ability to vote in person or by mail.

For three projects, Schroedel and her students examined census records, analyzed voting registration and turnout data, and measured distances between reservations and polling and registration facilities using geographic information systems (GIS) techniques.

“While these were all useful skills to develop, I would argue that most of our actual learning has been through seeing and talking with the most forgotten people in this country—one student described them as the ‘marginalized of the marginalized,’” she said during the awards ceremony.

Her research concluded that travel distance combined with socioeconomic factors had a significant adverse impact on reservation residents’ participation in absentee voting and registration. Schroedel’s work figured prominently in three cases—Wandering Medicine v. McCulloch, Poor Bear v. Jackson County, and Sanchez v. Cegavske—that led to the establishment of registration and polling places at reservations in three states.