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Brian Smentkowski

Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning


223 Education Building



Mailing Address

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, University of Idaho, 875 Perimeter Dr., MS 3080, Moscow, ID 83844-3080.

Brian Smentkowski is Professor of Political Science and Founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Idaho. He has previously held tenured and research professor positions in political science at Queens University of Charlotte, Appalachian State University, and Southeast Missouri State University, while also holding academic leadership positions at each institution. Brian’s teaching and research interests include American political institutions, public law, election law, and educational development. He has published extensively in the fields of political science and educational development

Ph.D.: Political Science, University of Kentucky, 1994

MA: Political Science, University of Kentucky, 1990

BA: Political Science, Marshall University, 1988


  • His current political science research, with Kirby Goidel (Texas A & M) and Craig Freeman (Oklahoma State), focuses on voter suppression and disenfranchisement, public perceptions of slimming practices for voter rolls, the effects of allegations of voter fraud and voter identification laws on voting rights and turnout, and the effect of felon disenfranchisement and voter identification laws on political participation. His current book project is tentatively titled: American Political Culture: From Tocqueville to Trump.
  • His educational development research projects currently include Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Implications for Higher Education and Educational Development; A Rational Choice Approach to Teaching, Scholarship, and Service; and A Social Network Analysis of SoTL Communities: Assessing the Legacy and Impact of CASTL.

  • Books
    Cruz, Laura, Michele Parker, Brian Smentkowski, and Marina Smitherman. 2020, Taking Flight: Making Your Center for Teaching and Learning Soar. Stylus Publishing. 
    Goidel, Kirby, Craig Freeman, and Brian Smentkowski. 2015. Misreading the Bill of Rights: Top Ten Myths Concerning Your Rights and Liberties. Praeger/ ABC-CLIO Publishing.
  • Peer Reviewed Articles and Chapters
    Cruz, Laura, Karen Huxtable-Jester, Brian Smentkowski, and Martin Springborg. 2021.“Place-based Educational Development:  What Center for Teaching and Learning Spaces Look Like (and Why That Matters)”. To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development.
    Cruz, Laura, Kathryn Cunningham, Brian Smentkowski, and Hillary Steiner. 2019. “The SoTL Scaffold: Supporting Evidence-Based Teaching Practice in Educational Development,” To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development, January, 2019. V 38, Issue 1.
    Dickens, Cruz, Alderson, Atias, Graham, Hurney, Parker, Smentkowski, Smitherman, Thomas, Troisi, Vincent-Layton, and Wang. 2019. “Starting a Center for Teaching and Learning”, POD Speaks, Issue 3.
    Smentkowski, Brian and Gary Hawkins. 2018. “The One Thing: A Pluralistic Approach to Research and Practice” To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development.
    Goidel, Kirby, Brian Smentkowski, and Craig Freeman. 2016. “Perceptions of Threat to Religious Liberty”. PS: Political Science and Politics. July, 2016 (49.3).
    Smentkowski, Brian. 2014. “Promoting Course-Based Writing in the Discipline” in Ishiyama, Miller, and Simon, eds, Handbook of Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations. Elgar Publishing. 
    Smentkowski, Brian, Will Miller, and Jeremy Walling. 2012. “Adding Pieces to the Chess Set: New Players for an Old Game”. In Miller and Walling, eds, Tea Party Effects on the 2010 Senate Elections: Stuck in the Middle to Lose. Lexington Books. 


Department of Politics and Philosophy

Physical Address:
205 Administration Building

Mailing Address:
Department of Politics and Philosophy
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3165
Moscow, ID 83844-3165

Phone: 208-885-6328