Bruce Desmarais named inaugural DeGrandis-McCourtney Early Career Professor

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Bruce Desmarais, Penn State associate professor of political science, has been named the inaugural William and Monica DeGrandis-McCourtney Early Career Professor of Political Science by the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts.

The DeGrandis-McCourtney Early Career Professorship supports a faculty member who teaches and does research in American institutions and politics. The professorship was established through an estate commitment made earlier this year by Bill and Monica DeGrandis. The couple’s gift was matched dollar-for-dollar by the college’s Tracy and Ted McCourtney Endowed Professorship Matching Gift Program, which allowed the college to activate the endowment immediately and establish the DeGrandis-McCourtney Early Career Professorship. Upon receipt of the DeGrandis’ estate gift, the early career professorship will be converted to the William and Monica DeGrandis-McCourtney Professorship, a fully endowed named professorship.

“I am very grateful to Bill and Monica for their support of the political science department and its faculty, and to Tracy and Ted for their matching gift that has allowed several of our alums to participate in the campaign by endowing faculty positions,” said Susan Welch, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. “These gifts strengthen our college now and into the future.

“It is fortunate we can honor Bruce in this way too,” she added. “He is an outstanding political scientist, and this early career professorship will support him as he develops his career at Penn State.”


Bruce Desmarais, DeGrandis-McCourtney Early Career Professor of Political Science in the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts Credit: Bruce DesmaraisAll Rights Reserved.

Desmarais, who is also a co-hired faculty member in the Penn State Institute for CyberScience, develops and applies statistical methods that examine the complex interdependence between politics, policymaking and public administration. Areas of application have included campaign finance and co-sponsorship networks in the United States Congress; digital communication networks in local government; diffusion of state public policies throughout the United States; and the interconnectedness between scientific research and U.S. regulatory policymaking. His research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation.

Before joining the Penn State faculty in 2015, Desmarais was an assistant professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an affiliate of the university’s Computational Social Science Institute. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics and public policy from Eastern Connecticut State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Last Updated June 06, 2021