Michelle J. Atherton is Associate Director for Temple University’s Center on Regional Politics. She is also Associate Director of the Institute for Public Affairs, staff advisor for the Pennsylvania Policy Database Project, and Director of the Pennsylvania Capital Semester, an internship program in Harrisburg for students at Temple and all Pennsylvania colleges and universities, as well as The Washington Semester, Temple’s intern program in Washington, DC. Atherton graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a dual B.A. in English literature and philosophy of science. She holds an M.A. in political science from Temple, where she was a University Fellow, and an M.S. in community and regional planning also from Temple, where she received the Department of Planning and Community Development Academic Excellence Award. She also served as a legislative intern to Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, and taught American politics, the politics of race and political philosophy as a teaching assistant and adjunct instructor before joining the Institute for Public Affairs in 2008. Atherton also serves on the executive committee of the Pennsylvania Political Science Association and is an associate editor of Commonwealth: A Journal of Pennsylvania Politics and Policy.