Community and Other Services
Assistant Professor, Public Policy
Dr. Shawna E. Sweeney is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Policy. Academically, she has a Bachelor's degree in political science from UMass Dartmouth (magna cum laude) and a certificate in environmental studies from Nottingham Polytechnic University, United Kingdom. She also has a Master's degree and a Ph.D. in international relations/comparative politics from Binghamton University (part of the SUNY System).
Shawna currently serves as the official liaison from our campus for UMASS Lowell's contribution to the "Women in Public Service" U.S. State Department Initiative, which aims at building global partnerships among women interested in public policy, public service, and social change. Shawna is also a faculty affiliate for the UMass Dartmouth Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality & an inaugural affiliate of the University of Connecticut Human Rights Institute's Economic and Social Rights Working Group (ESRG) (http://humanrights.uconn.edu/research/economics/affiliates.php). She currently serves on a number of department and university committees, and coordinates as chair the UMass Dartmouth's Center for Policy Analysis (CFPA) Policy Studies Lecture Series Committee.
Shawna's main areas of specialization include international human rights with a focus on women’s rights and democratization; the influence of religion on women's rights; human rights issues in developing countries; globalization, poverty, and development in the Global South; public institutions and the policy process; gender inequalities, violence against women, and the HIV/AIDs pandemic; and global environmental issues.
Shawna teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate level classes that are offered online and in person through the Master's of Public Policy Program (MPP).
Shawna's most recent scholarship has been published in the following publications:
Human Rights Quarterly (with Dr. Lanse Minkler, University of Connecticut)
Journal of Human Rights (with Dr. Robert Ostergard, University of Nevada at Reno)
International Human Rights Law: Six Decades after the UDHR (Ashgate Publishing Ltd.) (with Dr. Robert Ostergard, University of Nevada at Reno)
Economic Rights: Conceptual, Measurement, and Policy Issues (in Minkler and Hertel, Eds.)
Shawna has also single-authored and co-authored over 30 policy reports and monographs in her role as Senior Research Associate at the UMass Dartmouth Center for Policy Analysis where she has worked since 1998.