52 entrie(s) marked as 'political science'
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07.12.2013 @ 12:00 AM

Sergio Wals

In the 2012 presidential election, seven out of 10 Latino immigrants voted for President Obama. News pundits dismissed the Latino vote as unattainable for the Republican Party.

But political scientist Sergio Wals found that Mexican immigrants who are more politically invested are center or center-right in their political ideologies.


06.21.2013 @ 12:00 AM

Ingrid Haas

It's a safe bet that in the course of perusing the news on a daily basis, you are confronted with political messages that differ from your own beliefs. But how open are you to those viewpoints? Are you in a frame of mind that allows you to at least consider their validity, or do they just reflexively bounce off your partisan hide?

            Ultimately, your level of political tolerance may depend upon how safe, uncertain or threatened you may feel when considering those opposing views, new research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests.

            A study authored by Ingrid Haas, assistant professor of political science, examined the situational effects of emotion on political tolerance. It found that though someone may be in a state of uncertainty -- a condition that would typically lead to less tolerance -- they show more political open-mindedness if they also perceive themselves to be out of harm's way.


04.16.2013 @ 12:00 AM

John Hibbing

John Hibbing, Foundation Regents Professor of Political Science at UNL, has received a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is among 175 artists, scientists and scholars selected this year by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation from nearly 3,000 applicants across the United States and Canada. 

Fellows are chosen on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, and were selected this year from 56 disciplines at 85 different institutions from 30 different states.

An accomplished political scientist and a leader in the cutting-edge study of the role of biology in shaping people’s political temperaments, Hibbing has been a NATO Fellow in Science, a Senior Fulbright Fellow, recipient of the Fenno Prize, principal investigator for nine National Science Foundation grants and was recently elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

He will use his fellowship award to study the physiological differences of Americans who participate in the political process compared with those who do not.

“It is nice recognition of the work being done by the Department of Political Science, by the Systems Biology of Social Behavior group and soon by UNL’s Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior,” Hibbing said. “Also, the financial award will allow us to pursue a specific research project that could be valuable to the political system in the United States.”

Hibbing joined the UNL faculty as an assistant professor in 1981 and was promoted to associate professor in 1985, to professor in 1990 and was named a Foundation Regents University Professor in 2001.

For the first two decades of his career, he studied legislatures, elections and public opinion, authoring or co-authoring books such as Congressional Careers (UNC Press 1991), Congress as Public Enemy (Cambridge UP, 1995), and Stealth Democracy (Cambridge UP, 2002). More recently, his research focus has shifted to the role of biology in explaining individual-level political variation.

The project for which he will be using the Guggenheim Fellowship deals with variation in political participation. Early indications are that chronic non-voters tend to have high levels of cortisol, a hormone commonly associated with stress. Further understanding of the situations under which high stress levels discourage political participation could make it possible to develop strategies to encourage high-cortisol people to enter the political arena.

“Ninety-three million eligible voters did not go to the polls in the 2012 presidential elections and we have preliminary evidence suggesting that these people, on average, are physiologically different from the approximately 126 million who did vote,” Hibbing said. “The Guggenheim Fellowship will make it possible for my colleagues, such as (UNL political scientist) Kevin Smith and (UNO psychologist) Jeff French, and me to develop a full physiological profile of non-voters and to use this information to find ways to increase the likelihood that these people will vote.”

David Manderscheid, dean of UNL’s College of Arts and Sciences, said the selection confirmed Hibbing’s status as one of the leaders of this highly relevant and emerging area of research.

“This is a well-deserved honor and recognition that will allow Professor Hibbing and his colleagues to do even greater work in studying how people choose to participate in our political process,” Manderscheid said.

The Guggenheim Fellowship program is distinguished by the wide range in interest, age, geography and institutions of those it selects. Since its establishment in 1925, the foundation has granted more than $306 million in fellowships to more than 17,500 people, among who are scores of Nobel laureates, poets laureate, winners of Pulitzer Prizes, Fields Medals and of other important, internationally recognized honors. The most recent UNL scholars to win Guggenheim Fellowships are poet Kwame Dawes in 2012 and chemist Xiao Cheng Zeng in 2004.

“These artists and writers, scholars and scientists, represent the best of the best,” Edward Hirsch, president of the Guggenheim Foundation, said in a statement. “The Guggenheim Foundation has always bet everything on the individual, and we’re thrilled to continue the tradition with this wonderfully talented and diverse group.” 

— Steve Smith, University Communications

04.08.2013 @ 12:00 AM

Forgotten Genocides

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Harris Center for Judaic Studies will present "Forgotten Genocides: New Perspectives on a Less Known History" on April 10 in the Nebraska Union Auditorium, 14th and R streets.

            The symposium welcomes eight scholars to discuss new perspectives and information on some of the lesser-known genocides and mass atrocities of the 20th century. The goal of the symposium is to add to the broader discussion regarding understudied genocides, which may foster more communication and greater understanding among different disciplines and specialists.

            David Forsythe, professor emeritus of political science at UNL, will give the opening lecture. He will discuss the well-developed body of international law prohibiting atrocities and actions that may be taken to oppose genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Forsythe will speak about how these norms are implemented by states that calculate various costs based on their self-interest.

            "Even at the United Nations, it is states that take the key decisions and decide -- or not -- to loan power to that organization," Forsythe said. "So norms and standards have changed a great deal, but calculations of national self-interest, not so much. The result is great inconsistency in responding to atrocities, as per Libya and Syria."

            Two panels follow the lecture. The schedule of events is:

  • 9-10 a.m.: Opening Remarks by Jean Cahan, director of the Harris Center for Judaic Studies, followed by Forsythe's opening lecture.
  • 10 a.m.-noon: Talks by the following UNL scholars: Suping Lu, professor of libraries, "Unearthing the Nanjing Massacre through American Diplomatic Channel"; Gerald Steinacher, assistant professor of history, "Mussolini in Africa: Italy's War of Aggression against Ethiopia, 1935-41"; and Bedross Der Matossian, assistant professor of history, "Revisiting the Debate about the Concentration Camps during the Armenian Genocide."
  • 2-4 p.m.: Talks by the following scholars: Hannibal Travis, associate professor of law at Florida International University, "Not Yet Forgotten: Genocide in Darfur and Sudan's Peripheral States"; Patrice McMahon, associate professor of political science and global studies at UNL, "Reconciliation after War and Genocide in Bosnia"; and Chantal Kalisa, associate professor of modern languages and literatures at UNL, "We Are Rwandan: Performing Trauma and Memory Transnationally."

            The symposium is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Harris Center for Judaic Studies, with additional support from the Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Program and the Department of History.

Writer: Deann Gayman, University Communications, 402-472-8320

04.01.2013 @ 12:00 AM

Wheeler Winston Dixon, film studies, was quoted March 9 in The Guardian (UK) about Star Wars fans’ nervous wait for Disney’s new sequel in the franchise. On March 13, he was quoted by the Los Angeles Times about Participant Media’s efforts to get its messages out to filmgoers.

John Hibbing, political science, was featured in POLITICO on March 9 about the brain science of politics. 

Andrew Jewell, University Libraries and English; and Guy Reynolds, English, appeared in several national publications in late March about the forthcoming edition of Willa Cather’s previously unpublished letters, which Jewell co-edited. Coverage included a March 25 front-page story in the New York Times, a feature story in the Chronicle of Higher Education; a three-page display in the April 5 Chronicle Review, plus stories in The Atlantic Online, The Guardian (UK) and WNYC-New York.


03.27.2013 @ 12:00 AM

Hoagland lecture

The main architect of the president’s re-election and a political heavyweight reporter will team to deliver a free lecture April 5 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Jim Messina, the mastermind behind President Obama’s historic re-election, and Jeff Zeleny, a UNL alumnus and senior political correspondent for ABC News, will provide a retrospective on the 2012 presidential election and participate in a question-and-answer session to be moderated by former UNL political science professor Carroll McKibben. The lecture is part of the Peter J. Hoagland Integrity in Public Service Lecture Series.

The 4:30 p.m. lecture will be in the Nebraska Union Auditorium, 14th and R streets. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public, but seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Prior to serving as Obama’s re-election campaign manager, Messina was deputy chief of staff to the president from 2009 to 2011, where he was integral to the passage of the landmark health care and economic stimulus bills. He previously was director of personnel for the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition and national chief of staff for Obama for America.

Messina has also has been chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.). He has overseen and consulted on political campaigns across the country, from Alaska to New York. He is a graduate of the University of Montana and attended high school in Boise, Idaho.

Zeleny covers Congress and national politics for ABC News, which he joined earlier this month after working as the national political correspondent for The New York Times. He was the newspaper's lead writer for the 2012 campaign, his fourth presidential race. He also covered Congress and the White House for the newspaper.

He came to the Times from The Chicago Tribune, where he covered national politics and chronicled Obama’s rise to national prominence. He began his career covering politics for The Des Moines Register.

He graduated in 1996 from UNL, where he studied journalism and political science. A native of Exeter, Neb., Zeleny has lived in Washington for 12 years. 

The Hoagland lecture series honors former Nebraska state senator and three-term Congressman Peter Hoagland, who died in 2007 at 65.

While in the state legislature, Hoagland was known for his work on legislation supporting environmental causes and was a champion of education and preserving the quality of Nebraska’s groundwater supply. Hoagland also served as chairman of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, working to toughen drunken driving laws.

During his time in Congress, Hoagland was appointed to the Ways and Means Committee, working on tax reform and health care reform, and he lent his support to the assault weapon ban and the Brady Law.

Throughout his political career, he was known for his bipartisan approach and established a distinguished record on environmental issues.

Hoagland's friend and former chief of staff, Jim Crounse, also a UNL alumnus, created the lecture series in 2008 with a gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation. The goal of the series is to inspire young people to dedicate themselves to public service. Hoagland cared deeply about public service and giving the next generation opportunities to participate in public service and to see the good that can come of it.

This is the fifth presentation in the series. Past speakers at UNL have included David Axelrod, a senior adviser to President Obama; and NASA Astronaut Mark Kelly, who is the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

Writer: Deann Gayman, University Communications, 402-472-8320, deann.gayman@unl.edu

03.12.2013 @ 12:00 AM

Guillermo Mejia

Guillermo Mejia, a December graduate in political science from Kansas City, Mo., received a William N. Wasson Student Leadership and Academic Award presented by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association during the organization’s national conference March 4-7 in Las Vegas. Mejia was one of four winners at UNL.

The award is named after the association's founder, William N. Wasson, and is given to 24 undergraduate and 12 graduate students nationwide each year. It recognizes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students who are active participants, employees or volunteers in collegiate recreational sports departments. Criteria for the award includes self-improvement through leadership, academic success, activities, volunteerism, and promoting inclusion.

UNL is the only higher-ed institution in the nation to have at least one Wasson Award winner each year since the award's inception in 1993 and also leads the nation in total recipients with 63 awards.

The National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association is the leading resource for professional and student development, education and research in collegiate recreational sports. Headquartered in Corvallis, Ore., it was established in 1950 at a meeting at Dillard University of 22 African-American men and women from 11 historically black colleges and universities. NIRSA now includes more than 4,000 highly trained professional, student and associate members throughout the United States, Canada and other countries, serving an estimated 5.5 million students who regularly participate in campus recreational sports programs. For additional information, visit http://www.nirsa.org.

Writer: Christopher Dulak

01.03.2013 @ 12:00 AM

UNL in the news

UNL made its way into news headlines around the nation regularly in 2012, as national and international media outlets featured and cited the university’s research and programming and sought out UNL faculty expertise on a wide range of topics. 

More than 310 positive national media appearances, which translated into thousands of news headlines and articles in media outlets across the nation and globe, were registered last year. In 2011, UNL had just over 200 appearances; in 2010 it logged just over 150.

Highlights of A&S national news placements and appearances in the past year are:

Innovation, discovery, impact and reputation

A UNL archaeological team led by professor of art and art history Michael Hoff unearthed a massive Roman mosaic in southern Turkey in summer 2012; in September, the work was featured in dozens of national media outlets including The History Channel, Der Spiegel (Germany), The New York Times, The Associated Press, United Press International, The Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail (UK), The Register (UK) and NBC News.

In late February, Ross Secord, assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, had his research into how prehistoric global warming affected the evolution of equine ancestor sifrhippus covered by scores of media around the world. Highlights included articles in The New York Times, TIME, Scientific American, Science Magazine, Popular Science, US News & World Report, Reuters and Bloomberg News. The article was translated into dozens of languages and appeared in dozens of media outlets across the globe.? 

In April, the latest addition to UNL’s digital Civil War Washington project – hundreds of newly digitized compensation petitions submitted by District of Columbia slave owners after the city declared slaves free in early 1862 – was featured in several media outlets including The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Washington Post. The stories coincided with the 150th anniversary of the Washington, D.C., Compensated Emancipation Act. The project was headed by Kenneth Winkle, professor of history; Kenneth Price, professor of English; Susan Lawrence, associate professor of history; and Elizabeth Lorang, research assistant professor of English.

The New York Daily News featured Kwame Dawes, professor of English and editor of Prairie Schooner, in a July story about the newly formed African Poetry Book Series. Dawes also was a daily contributor to The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy weblog during the 2012 Olympic Games, posting daily poems about each day’s action in London. 

UNL’s High-Energy Physics Team – Ken Bloom, Dan Claes, Aaron Dominguez, Ilya Kravchenko, Gregory Snow and others – received recognition from a number of media outlets in July as scientists around the world hailed the “discovery” of the long-sought Higgs Boson particle. Bloom, who live-blogged the event for the weblog Quantum Diaries, also was mentioned a column in The Courier and Mail of Brisbane, Australia.

Reliable expert sources for national media

Wheeler Winston Dixon, professor of film studies, was often cited by national media on issues surrounding the motion picture industry, both past and present. He was interviewed for NPR’s All Things Considered about the art of the modern movie trailer, was cited by Slate.com about advance advertising in Hollywood, by E! Entertainment TV about Hollywood’s recent fascination with fairy tales, by The Boston Globe on celebrities facing public-relations crises and by Gannett News Service on the hallmarks of Quentin Tarantino’s films, among other appearances.

Ari Kohen, associate professor of political science, appeared often in news outlets in 2012, often cited by prominent political bloggers such as Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Beast for his commentary at his popular weblog, Running Chicken. He was quoted in March by The Christian Science Monitor about why a good public apology is so difficult to find; in December, he was quoted in a Los Angeles Times column on the same topic.

William G. Thomas, professor of history, wrote a February New York Times opinion piece on the role of African-Americans in building railroads in the Civil War era. In October, he co-authored a column on humanities in the digital age for Inside Higher Ed. And in December, he and associate professor of history Patrick Jones appeared in a Chronicle of Higher Education feature article about the “History Harvest” digital history project they oversee at UNL.

Research and scholarly activity

Mike Dodd, assistant professor of psychology; and Kevin Smith and John Hibbing, professors of political science, had their research into the physiological and cognitive differences between the political left and the political right featured widely in January and February. Appearances included Discovery News, Wired, The Economist, Huffington Post, The Guardian (UK), the Telegraph (UK), and BBC News, CNN, The Daily, ABC News and the Huffington Post.

Matthew Jockers, assistant professor of English, had his unique text-mining method that plotted the nuanced relationships between more than 3,500 18th- and 19th century novels featured by several media outlets in mid-August, including New Scientist, WIRED, NBC News and Smithsonian Magazine. He also co-authored an October opinion piece in Nature explaining why humanities scholars have pitched in to the Authors Guild vs. Google lawsuit. 

J. Allen Williams Jr., professor emeritus of sociology, had his research analyzing the decline of the natural world and wild animals in children’s illustrated books featured in a number of outlets in February, including USA TODAY, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! News, the Globe & Mail (Canada), GOOD Magazine and The Associated Press. 

Sarah Gervais, assistant professor of psychology, had her research into the differing cognitive processes our brains use to perceive men and women covered by dozens of media outlets around the world in July and August, including NBC News, CBS News, Scientific American, the CBC (Canada), Forbes, The Daily Mail (UK), United Press International, Huffington Post and Jezebel.

Jason Head, assistant professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences, was featured in an April 1 special on the Smithsonian Channel, “Titanoboa: Monster Snake.” Associated coverage appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, The International Business Times, USA TODAY and The Associated Press, among others.

Karl Reinhard, professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences, had his research into the link between ancient Natives’ diets and their modern susceptibility to diabetes featured by a number of national outlets in late July, including NBC News, The Huffington Post, Discovery News and The International Business Times.

Athletics, academics and the Big Ten

Dennis Molfese, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, appeared in and was quoted by numerous media outlets in June when the the Big Ten Conference and the Ivy League, in conjunction with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, announced it would engage in a cross-institutional research collaboration to study the effects of head injuries in sports.



Ideas for potential national news stories can be sent to National News Editor Steve Smith atssmith13@unl.edu or (402) 472-4226.

UNL’s national media appearances as they appeared by month, and links to associated stories, can be found at the following links:

January: http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/981/5766

February: http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/1079/6435

March: http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/1172/7036

April: http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/1268/7622 

May: http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/1339/7849

June: http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/1417/8056 

July: http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/1462/8245 

August: http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/1568/8812 

September: http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/1676/9443 

October: http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/1783/10020 

November: http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/1876/10507 


Faculty, administration, student and staff appearances in the national media dating back to 2009 are also logged at http://newsroom.unl.edu/inthenews.


-- adapted from 'UNL nets 300+ positive national news appearances in 2012' by Steve Smith, University Communications

12.17.2012 @ 12:00 AM

Jeff Zeleny

Jeff Zeleny, the national political correspondent for the New York Times, gave the address at the baccalaureate ceremony on December 15.

Zeleny, a 1996 journalism and political science graduate of UNL, was the Times' lead reporter on the 2012 presidential campaign, his fourth presidential race. He also covered President Obama's election in 2008 and a was White House correspondent during the opening years of Obama's first term. He joined the Washington Bureau of the Times in September 2006 as a Congressional correspondent.

He previously spent six years at the Chicago Tribune, covering the George W. Bush administration and his re-election. Zeleny also chronicled Obama's early years in Washington as a U.S. senator and produced the first draft of the history of his rise, traveling to Russia and Africa with him. He also was a member of the Tribune's reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in explanatory journalism in 2001 for documenting gridlock in the nation's air traffic system.

Zeleny began his newspaper career at the Des Moines Register and also worked for the Associated Press and has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Florida Times Union and the Lincoln Journal Star. He has reported from all 50 states and his work has taken him to more than three dozen countries. A native of Exeter, he lives in Washington, where he appears regularly on Washington Week on PBS, Fox News Sunday and a variety of television news programs.

- adapted from 'Zeleny, Calkins to deliver commencement addresses' by Tom Simons, University Communications

12.10.2012 @ 12:00 AM

Wheeler Winston Dixon, film studies, wrote a Nov. 20 essay for Film International on Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln." 


Ingrid Haas, political science, had her research into the difference between moral and pragmatic judgments featured by a number of media outlets in late November, including the CBC (Canada) and Psych Central.

John Hibbing and Kevin Smith, political science; and Mike Dodd, psychology; had their research mentioned in a Nov. 8 article discussing how Mitt Romney supporters were coping with their candidate’s electoral loss.

Philip Schwadel, sociology, had his research into the changing nature of Americans’ religious intensity featured by a number of media outlets in late November, including LiveScience, NBC News, Yahoo! News, Religion News Service and The Washington Post.

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