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Guest Speakers Bring Government and Politics to Life for MCCC Political Science Students


West Windsor, N.J. – This fall, Mercer County Community College political science students got an up-close-and-personal look at the workings of government. Visits by municipal, county and state officials, and several nonprofit groups, created a unique curriculum for the “State and Local Government” course (POL 102) developed and taught by Assistant Professor of Social Sciences Leonard Winogora.

Based on a course first offered last fall, Winogora says the concept is to allow students to hear from actual professionals who bring textbook readings and articles to life.

"These guests can draw from real world experience, making the subject matter more relevant and stimulating for students," he said, adding that students are required to complete readings and prepare thoughtful questions in advance that result in lively discussions with the speakers.

Among the guests this semester were Donna Chiera, President of the American Federation of Teachers - New Jersey; Michael Egenton, Senior Vice President for the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce; State Senator Linda Greenstein; Princeton Mayor Elizabeth Lempert; Edward Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters; and John Weingart, Associate Director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Also featured were MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue, Executive Dean for Student Services Diane Campbell, Board Member Pamela Hersh and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Elizabeth Bondurant, who previously served as police chief in Plainsboro Township.

"Like last year, students responded very positively to this approach. Likewise, the speakers were enthusiastic and generous with their time," he reports, adding that several of last year's students used the class for networking opportunities and landed internships as a result.

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Pictured with former Governor James Florio (center) are, from left, Daniel Markashevsky, Patricia Gates, Professor Winogora, Kasey Dearden and Sean O'Connor.
Student Candice Foster speaks with State Senator Linda Greenstein after class.