Dr. McLennan’s greatest joy is helping students understand how to make a difference in civic life. He consistently encourages students to become informed voters, but also to explore careers in government, nonprofits, and politics. Many of his students have turned internships into careers in one of these areas. McLennan has helped place students in internships at the White House, the NC Governor’s Office, the General Assembly, the NC Democratic and Republican parties, and many other organizations that have helped students combine the knowledge and skills from classes with practical experience.
It is this practical approach to politics that guides McLennan’s teaching, research, and service at Meredith College. He believes that teaching extends beyond the classroom and that his knowledge should help the broader community understand the realities of local, state, and national politics.
McLennan frequently serves as an expert analyst about politics for a variety of news outlets. During the 2020 elections, he appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal to describe the importance of North Carolina for control of the White House and the U.S. Senate. Other national media appearances during the 2020 elections include FOX News, Politico, Reuters, and Bloomberg. He frequently appears on WRAL-TV, Spectrum News, CBS North Carolina, and ABC 11 to discuss North Carolina and national politics. His op-eds have been published in U.S. News & World Report, The Hill, Congressional Quarterly Researcher, the News & Observer (https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article144820674.html), and the Charlotte Observer.
In 2015, McLennan founded the Meredith Poll, a statewide survey of public opinion of North Carolina voters. The Meredith Poll is the only statewide poll focused on women’s issues, and it was started to help students develop skills that will assist them at Meredith and in their careers. Read more about the impact of the poll on students.
McLennan is the author of Meredith College’s Status of Women in North Carolina Politics reports. These reports examine North Carolina women as appointed and elected officials, candidates, and voters. The 2015 and 2018 reports were widely cited in the media and used by women’s advocacy organizations. The 2021 report will be released in late spring.
McLennan is a sought after guest speaker for corporations and organizations such as the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters, and Duke Energy. He also delivers educational programming for Meredith’s Office of Corporate and Community Engagement, retirement communities, and other continuing education groups.
B.A. in Economics and Rhetoric and Communication Studies, University of Virginia
M.A. in Rhetoric and Communication Studies, University of Virginia
Ph.D. in Communication Studies: Cognate Area – Politics, University of Texas at Austin