Dr. Ponder is the L.E. Meador Professor of Political Science and Director of the Meador Center for Politics and Citizenship. He teaches courses on American politics, the American Presidency, Congress, the Supreme Court Constitutional Law, Popular Culture and Politics, and statistical methods for political science, and serves as a CORE professor. He also serves as Pre-Law advisor, and is the director of Drury’s Washington Center Program.
He has written a book, Good Advice: Information and Policy Making in the White House (Texas A&M University Press). Additionally, he has written several published book chapters, articles, and essays in journals such as Presidential Studies Quarterly, American Politics Research, Congress and the Presidency, Political Science and Politics, and International Journal of Public Administration. He is currently working on a large-scale project on presidential leverage, as well as one on the political economy of the Obama administration.
He is a frequent commentator on American and Missouri politics for both local and national media outlets, including NPR-Morning Edition, the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, CBS Radio (New York and Los Angeles), and has written several op-eds for the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Originally from St. Louis, Dr. Ponder grew up in Springfield and was a 1984 graduate of Springfield Catholic High School. He received his B.S. in Political Science in 1989 from Southwest Missouri State University and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Vanderbilt University in 1994. He served as an assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs from 1993-2000, and then as an associate professor at UCCS from 2001-2006, where for two years he served as co-chair of his department. He has also served as chair of the department at Drury.
Dr. Ponder has four children with his wife Crystal, and his favorite things to do are related to hanging out with his family, including going to the batting cages, playing baseball as a family, and participating in all of the things that are part of raising children: going to youth baseball games, debate tournaments, competitive cheer competitions, school plays, and much more. Dr. Ponder also loves to read and play the bass and mandolin.
B.S., Southwest Missouri State University, 1989
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 1994
Drury University faculty member since 2006
Professor since 2012