Burdine Chronicles – April 2018

Dear Alumni and Friends,

I hope everyone has gotten back on track after Spring Break, and that you are all having a productive Spring semester. I look forward to seeing many of you in Chicago at the MPSA conference – the Texas Reception is Thursday evening at 6:30 pm in the Honoree meeting room. The reception is a bit earlier this year but, as always, I will be there with a fist full of drink tickets so please join us if you can. Here’s our list of Longhorn papers being presented at this year’s conference.

And while we are preparing for the Midwest conference, this is a good time to remind you, or inform you, that the January 2019 Southern Political Science Association annual meeting will be held in Austin. Chris Wlezien is the program chair, and many of our faculty, graduate students, and alumni are heavily involved as section heads, including Xiaobo Lü, Frank Thames, Alex Branham, Tim Werner, Cathy Wu, Rachel Wellhausen, Matt Rhodes-Purdy, Jonathan Lewallen, Michelle Whyman, Natalie Stroud, Zeynep Somer-Topcu, David Williams, JoBeth Shafran, and Trey Thomas. We hope to see many of you in Austin next year!

Here, in Austin, our faculty continue plugging away. But before noting our many accolades, I am happy to report another successful round of promotions. In Fall 2018 Patti Maclachlan and Tasha Philpot will be promoted to full professor (and Maclachlan will become holder of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Professorship in Japanese Studies), while Xiaobo Lü, Zeynep Somer-Topcu, and Rachel Wellhausen will be promoted to associate professor with tenure. I would also like to take this opportunity and once again welcome our new assistant professors – Alison Craig and Derek Epp, who were recruited through our recent search in Public Policy.

Regarding faculty accomplishments, we have a slew of recent, new, and forthcoming books (with more, not listed, on the way):

More generally, our faculty are generating quite a bit of attention out there in the world. Zoltan Barany’s recent Journal of Democracy piece on Burma made its way around the US embassy to Myanmar; Zach Elkins launched version 4.0 of Constitute; Eric McDaniel launched a podcast, The American Ingredient; Kurt Weyland and Raúl Madrid rejected fears of a Trump threat to liberal democracy in the current issue of The American Interest; and Chris Wlezien’s article about election polling error was viewed by thousands.

We have also won more awards: On the heels of his Burdette Prize for best 2016 APSA paper, Ken Greene has won honorable mention for the Sage Best Paper Award from the APSA’s Comparative Politics Section. Rachel Wellhausen has won the International Political Economy Society’s Best Book Award. And graduate student Zac McGee’s 2017 MPSA paper, “Keeping Your Friends Close: A Study of Punishment and Intraparty Insurgency,” has been named Best Paper Delivered by a Graduate Student at the 2017 conference.

Regarding graduate students, we have some exciting tenure-track placement news, regarding soon-to-be newly minted PhDs and a couple who have been out a few year on postdocs:

And our graduate students continue pushing the bounds of achievement. Most recently, EJ Fagan’s article, “Marching Orders? U.S. Party Platforms and Legislative Agenda Setting 1948-2014,” was accepted for publication in Political Research Quarterly.

As for our alumni, y’all continue to impress, and are on a book run of your own, including:

Naturally, many of you have recent or forthcoming journal articles too:

Of course, beyond publications, our alumni have been making other waves, in the form of prestigious grants, awards, administrative appointments, policy impact, and general public visibility:

  • Eduardo Dargent was quoted in the NYT and Economist about the resignation of Peru’s president
  • Erik Devereux is interim director of research and evaluation at the Center for Urban Families in Baltimore, MD
  • Danny Hayes won a 2018 Robert W. Kenny Prize for Innovation in Teaching of Introductory Courses for his work overhauling the intro to American politics course at George Washington University
  • Shannan Mattiace has been named a 2018-19 Fulbright Scholar at Catholic University of Chile, and was part of a team awarded a Frank Guggenheim Foundation award for the project, “Criminal Violence and Indigenous Resistance: Why Ethnic Autonomy Institutions Deter Drug Violence in Mexico”
  • A program under Greg Michener’s direction, Brazil’s Public Transparency Program, swayed the Brazilian federal government to adopt a provision that will allow freedom of information requestors to conceal their identity (Law 13.460, article 10, paragraph 7)
  • Amalia Pallares was appointed Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Diversity at the University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Trey Thomas received a $71,000 NSF award to study how non-state actors coordinate with government during natural disasters

And finally, one note of congratulations for one of our alumni moving onto the next phase of her life: Patricia Caperton Parent retired in December from Texas State University’s political science department after 34 years. During her tenure there as Senior Lecturer, she taught multiple American Politics courses, supervised graduate assistants, and coordinated political science internships.

As always, it is an honor to be part of our community of faculty, students, and alumni. Please stay in touch, and keep up-to-date at https://sites.utexas.edu/government/. And remember, for those in Chicago Thursday evening, drinks are on me!


Robert G. Moser

Professor and Chair