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Paula McClain

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Information about Paula McClain

Profile image of Paula McClain

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Political Science Professor
Public Policy Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
1/3/1950
Birth Location:
Louisville, Kentucky

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Political Science Professor
Public Policy Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
1/3/1950
Birth Location:
Louisville
See how Paula McClain is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Political science professor and public policy professor Paula D. McClain was born on January 3, 1950 in Louisville, Kentucky to Mabel T. Molock and Robert Landis McClain. After graduating from East Anchorage High School in Anchorage, Alaska in 1968, McClain enrolled at Howard University. In 1970, McClain served as a program coordinator for the National Coordinating Council on Drug Abuse Education and Information. She interned in 1971 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Office of Compliance where she briefed and researched violations of discrimination in the utility of industry. McClain received her B.A. degree in political science from Howard University in 1972. She went on to pursue graduate education at Howard University, finishing her M.A. degree in political science in 1974.

McClain then worked as a consultant for Adaptive Systems in Annapolis, Maryland and the Social Science Research Center at Howard University. By 1977, she had also completed her Ph.D. degree from Howard University, and began teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) in political science studies and African American Studies. McClain published her first book Alienation and Resistance: The Political Behavior of Afro-Canadians while at UWM. McClain received a postdoctoral fellowship and worked as a research associate in the Analysis Center at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1980-81 academic year. She then began teaching at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona in the School of Public Affairs. By 1990, McClain was serving as the acting director for the Doctorate of Public Administration Program. Also in 1990, McClain and Harold M. Rose released Race, Place, and Risk: Black Homicide in Urban America. The book was awarded the National Conference of Black Political Scientists' Best Book Award for a previously published book that has made a substantial and continuing contribution. In 1991, McClain joined the faculty at the University of Virginia as a professor of government and foreign affairs. She served as department chair from 1994-1997. In 1995, McClain released the first edition of Can We All Get Along? Racial and Ethnic Minorities in American Politics, which won the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Subject of Intolerance.

In 2000 McClain joined the faculty at Duke University as a professor of political science and professor or public policy. In 2001, she began The Durham Pilot Project, examining racial attitudes among blacks, whites and Latinos in the South. While working on this project, she became the third woman and the first African American elected to serve as Chair of Academic Council at Duke University (2007-2009). Since 2004, she has served as co-director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences. She also is the director the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, a program of the American Political Science Association that is hosted by Duke and funded by the National Science Foundation. McClain and her husband Paul Jacobson have two daughters, Kristina L. McClain-Jacobson Ragland and Jessica A. McClain-Jacobson.

Paula McClain was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 22, 2012.

See how Paula McClain is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paula McClain's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paula McClain lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paula McClain describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paula McClain describes her father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paula McClain describes her father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paula McClain talks about how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paula McClain talks about her paternal family's connection to Houston A. Baker, Jr.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paula McClain recalls her father's service in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paula McClain describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paula McClain talks about her time in Anchorage, Alaska
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paula McClain remembers her schooling
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paula McClain remembers her early mentors
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paula McClain describes the African American community in Anchorage, Alaska
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paula McClain talks about her decision to attend Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paula McClain talks about her decision to enroll at Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paula McClain remembers the assassination of Revered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paula McClain talks about her family's religious affiliations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paula McClain recalls her internships on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paula McClain remembers her professors at Howard University, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paula McClain recalls her internships on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paula McClain remembers her internship at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paula McClain remembers the visiting speakers at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paula McClain describes her experiences at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paula McClain remembers her professors at Howard University, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paula McClain describes her master's thesis
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paula McClain talks about the black community in Canada
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paula McClain recalls the politics of the early 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paula McClain remembers the Watergate scandal
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paula McClain talks about her graduation from Howard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paula McClain recalls her position at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paula McClain talks about her studies at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her associate professorship at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paula McClain talks about her book, 'Race, Place, and Risk,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paula McClain talks about her book, 'Race, Place, and Risk,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paula McClain talks about the prevention of black on black crime
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paula McClain describes her reasons for leaving Arizona State University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Paula McClain talks about her publications at the University of Virginia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Paula McClain talks about her membership in the American Political Science Association
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her experiences at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Paula McClain talks about the Durham Pilot Program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Paula McClain talks about the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Paula McClain talks about her book, 'American Government in Black and White,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Paula McClain talks about her book, 'American Government in Black and White,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Paula McClain talks about the history of democracy in Native American cultures
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Paula McClain talks about her current research projects
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Paula McClain talks about the economic disparity within the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Paula McClain reflects upon the status of black women in academia
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Paula McClain reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Paula McClain reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Paula McClain talks about her family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Paula McClain shares her advice to women in academia
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Paula McClain describes how she would like to be remembered