Michelle WAde

Dr. Michelle L. Wade

Title: Associate Professor
Location: 550 BPM Center
Email: MWade@wcupa.edu
Phone: 610-436-2031



Dr. Michelle Wade joined the Department of Public Policy and Administration at WCU in 2013.  She received a PhD in Political Science and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from Southern Illinois University, where her training focused on Public Administration, American Politics, and Gender & Politics.  Prior to joining West Chester University, she was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northwest Missouri State University.

Dr. Wade’s research interests focus on social equity in public policy and administration.  Her most recent commissioned technical report was a comprehensive assessment of the status of women and girls in Chester County, Pennsylvania that can be used by community leaders, stakeholders, and policymakers who want to improve the well-being of women and girls in the county.  The report was organized around the following topics related to the quality of women’s lives:  employment and earnings, work and family, poverty and opportunity, health and well-being, reproductive rights, violence and safety, and political participation.  Her research has been published in Public Integrity, Politics, Groups, and Identities, American Politics Research, Advancing Women in Leadership Journal, and PA Times.  She has also published several book chapters on gender and public policy.

Dr. Wade volunteers with several nonprofit organizations in Chester County and the region.  She currently serves as a member of the Grants Policy Committee for the Fund for Women and Girls.  She has previously volunteered with the  Fund’s GirlGov program (designed to increase civic engagement among girls) and Grants Allocation Committee.  Dr. Wade has also served as a grant reviewer for the United Way of Chester County and the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation.


  • PhD, Southern Illinois University
  • MPA, Missouri State University
  • B.S.Ed., Missouri State University

Areas of Expertise

  • Social Equity
  • Women & Public Policy
  • Community Organizing


  • “Heightened Expectations for Ethical Behavior in Municipalities: Human Resources and Civility Training for Elected Officials.”  Public Integrity.  With Susan Fiorentino.  Published online January 23, 2023.
  • "Blueprint Report: Lighting a Path." Technical Report for The Fund for Women and Girls.  Center for Social and Economic Policy Research, West Chester University.  2022.
  • “The Status of Women in Montgomery County: 2018 Report.”  Technical Report.  Center for Social and Economic Policy Research, West Chester University.  2019.
  • "Let's Not Get Sexist: Women and Identity in Community Organizations." Politics, Groups, and Identities. Published online 29 May 2018.
  • "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act." 2018. In Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance. Edited by Ali Farazmand. Springer.
  • " Gender Pay Inequality: An Examination of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Six Years Later.” 2017. Advancing Women in Leadership. 37: 29-36. With Susan Fiorentino.
  • " Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.” 2016. In Government at Work: Policy Making in the Twenty-First Century Congress. Edited by Sunil Ahuja and Robert Dewhirst. Lexington Books: Lanham.
  • " Social Equity in Parks and Recreation (or Lessons Learned from Leslie Knope).” May 24, 2016. PA Times. With Amanda M. Olejarski.
  • "Missouri Senate Race (Akin v. McCaskill): It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over: Missouri's Tumultuous and Unpredictable Senate Contest." 2013. With Kimberly Casey. In The Roads to Congress 2012. Edited by Bob Dewhirst and Sean Foreman. Lexington: Lanham, Maryland.
  • "He Said, She Said: Sex, Social Networks, and Voting Behavior." 2013. American Politics Research. 41 (6): 1102-1123. With Scott D. McClurg and Maja Wright-Phillips.


  • Chair, President's Commission on the Status of Women, West Chester University, 2022-2023
  • Co-Chair, President’s Commission on the Status of Women, West Chester University, 2021-2022
  • Faculty Senate, West Chester University, 2018-present
  • Secretary, PASSHE Women’s Consortium, 2020-2022
  • Chair, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee, College of Business and Public Management, 2020-present
  • Grants Policy Committee, Chester County Fund for Women and Girls, West Chester, Pennsylvania, 2018-present
  • Institutional Review Board, West Chester University, 2018-2021
  • Grant Allocation Committee, Chester County Fund for Women and Girls, West Chester, Pennsylvania, 2018
  • Community Impact Team, United Way of Chester County, West Chester, Pennsylvania, 2017-2020
  • Membership Co-Chair, American Society for Public Administration, Central Pennsylvania Chapter, 2017-2019
  • Jane Mansbridge Award for Service, National Women's Caucus for Political Science, 2015
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Maryville Public Library, Maryville, Missouri, 2011-2013
  • Treasurer, National Women's Caucus for Political Science, 2011-2023
  • Secretary, Women's Caucus, Midwest Political Science Association, 2010-2016

Work History

  • Assistant Professor, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Missouri (2009-2013)
  • Graduate Assistant, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois (2004-2009)
  • Graduate Assistant, Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri (2002-2004)
  • High School Teacher, Clever High School, Clever, Missouri (1998-2002)
  • High School Teacher, Miller High School, Miller, Missouri (1997-1998)

Classes Regularly Taught

  • PPA 500 Foundations of Public Service
  • PPA 501 Research Methods for Public Administration
  • PPA 504 Public Human Resource Management
  • PPA 505 Public Sector Organization Theory
  • PPA 515 Social Equity and Public Administration
  • PPA 601 Public Policy/Administration Internship
  • DPA 701 Advanced Practice & Applied Theories of Public Policy & Administration
  • DPA 707 Qualitative Methods of Program and Policy Evaluation

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