SIA professor introduces Bernie Sanders at University Park campaign stop

SIA professor Sophia McClennen introducing Senator Bernie Sanders

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Sophia McClennen, associate director and professor at the Penn State School of International Affairs, introduced Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders to a crowd of over 6,600 at his April 19 rally in Rec Hall on Penn State’s University Park campus. Before he took the stage, McClennen talked about her view of Sanders’ presidential qualifications as well as his impact on this election cycle in relating to millennials and the challenges they face in their future, including climate change and the economy.

“A way Bernie has literally changed the political landscape this election is that he has refused to see our nation’s youth as a pack of spoiled slackers waiting for handouts, and whining to their parents,” said McClennen, who conducts research on millennials and politics. “Rather than characterize the young as either coddled or criminals—Bernie sees our nation’s youth as our promise and potential.”

McClennen was asked to introduce the senator because SIA student Laurel Petrulionis works on the Sanders presidential campaign, and knew about McClennen’s work on millennials.

McClennen is the founding director of Penn State's Center for Global Studies, a Title VI National Resource Center, and has ties to the departments of Comparative Literature, Spanish, and Women's Studies. She has published nine books and has two in process. Her work often analyzes the links between political events and their media representations, which has led her to critique the relationship between mainstream culture, politics, bias, and social injustice.