Mary Jo McGowan

Mary Jo McGowan

Class of 2014


PhD Public Policy, UNC Charlotte 2014

MA, Baylor University 1993

Research Interest:

Mary Jo’s interest focuses on Legislative Complexity, Campaign Finance Reform, and Economic Development.

Current Research: Mary Jo’s current research focuses on Plain Language and Campaign Finance Reform

Dissertation Title:

BCRA: Before Campaigning Retain an Attorney – Do Complex Campaign Regulations Lead to Less than Optimal Outcomes for Candidate Filings. Teaching Interests:

  • American Government & Politics
  • Policy Process
  • International Relations
  • Latin American Politics


  • Republican Presidential Elector 2012
  • Graduate Teaching Fellow 2011
  • Faculty Advisor, UNCC GOP
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee, 2010
  • EA Morris Fellow 2009

Biographical Information:

Mary Jo Shepherd received her BA from UNC-Charlotte in 1991 and went on to receive her MA from Baylor University in 1993. She had a successful career as a Business Manager with Sea-Land Service, Inc and then Maersk Inc. working with worldwide logistics and business process develoment. After staying home with her three children she returned to UNC-Charlotte as a part-time instructor for several years before starting her Ph.D. in 2009. In her fourth year, she hopes to find a tenure-track position or work in state and local government in NC. Mary Jo is an active member of the Charlotte community serving on numerous boards and various capacities. VITA

1. What are your best memories about being a graduate student in the PPOL graduate program? I’m not really sure, but I guess the best part was meeting and working through the program with some very exceptional people. I did really like the policy process class with Dr. Avellaneda.

2. What are the top 3 things you took away from the PPOL program? I appreciate that I now have the skills with which I can properly evaluate various policies from different angles i.e. political, economic, and qualitative.

3. What advice would you give new students about how to succeed in graduate school? Learn some math ahead of time, do all the readings plus some.

4. Any suggestions or tips for job search and preparing for going on the job market? Not really yet.

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