Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement Director Named

Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement Director Named

Ed Hasecke, Wittenberg University professor of political science and Wittenberg class of 1997, has been named the director of the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement.

Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement Director NamedHasecke has collaborated with the Hagen Center on numerous community-centered projects, including partnering with the Springfield City Schools to conduct a multi-year study of afterschool tutoring in Clark County and serving on the Board of Directors for the Community Alliance for Youth (an initiative of the Hagen Center funded by a federal grant). Recently, he created, fielded, and analyzed a survey of parents in Springfield about their use and satisfaction with different out-of-school programs. Additionally, he and Hagen-sponsored summer interns created the Engage Springfield dashboard and website (, a project funded by the Hagen Center and 10 sponsoring community groups.

“Dr. Hasecke’s experience working with a broad spectrum of local leaders (for-profit, non-profit, and public-sector organizations) that cross economic, cultural, and social service areas is deep,” said Michelle Mattson, provost and professor of German at Wittenberg. “Equally impressive is his experience with community-engaged teaching and research that includes a study on afterschool programs for the Springfield school district, the creation of the Engage Springfield dashboard and website, and current projects with WellSpring, the United Way, and the Clark County Combined Health District.

“He brings ideas to the position for building closer relationships between the Hagen Center, academic programs, and other offices of the University,” she added. “In addition, he envisions the Hagen Center collaborating with the community around enduring challenges and for re-thinking the structures of the center in ways that will foster further research opportunities for faculty and students and enhance the internship possibilities for Wittenberg students.”

Hasecke, who currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Community Health Assessment conducted by the Clark County Combined Health District, is no stranger to serving the community. He has served on the Board of Leadership Clark County, where he has headed a session for the Academy every year since 2008, and has served on the Hollandia Botanical Garden Board and Snyder Park Planning Group, which worked on a plan to reimagine the space that was formerly the golf course.

Earning his Ph.D. in 2002 from The Ohio State University, Hasecke has been published in The Journal of PoliticsPolitical Research QuarterlyAmerican Politics Research, and Political Psychology on such topics as the effect of term limits on the composition of state legislatures, the effect of party loyalty on legislative success, and the factors that influenced the choice of Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary, to a history on transportation policy in the United States. He has also presented more than 20 conference papers at both national and regional political science meetings. His current research interests have turned toward Springfield and the role that metrics can play in measuring community well-being.

Hasecke and spouse, Cathy Speers Hasecke, also class of 1997, reside in Springfield and have three children, Emily, Ben, and Will.

Search committee members included Amber Burgett, associate professor of biology and a faculty fellow, MacKenzie Hill, a Hagen Center intern, Shannon Meadows, community development director for the City of Springfield, and Mike Mattison, associate provost and professor of English.