Dear Alumni and Friends,
I look forward to seeing many of you in Philadelphia this week! The Texas Reception is Friday 7:30-9:00 pm, in the PA Convention Center, Room 103‐A. As is hopefully now the norm, we have a lot to celebrate this year.
But before getting into that, I want to take a moment to mention a couple of our colleagues we have lost. This year we lost Janice May, a scholar of state politics and state constitutions, who was frequently called as an outside expert to advise state legislatures in the process of amending their constitutions and, among other things, was the first woman to receive tenure in the department. We also lost Kenneth Williams, who had been teaching at Michigan State since 1988. Many of us will have fond memories of both, and our thoughts are with them.
In April 2016 before MPSA, I wrote about the success of our faculty and graduate students publishing in premier outlets. But, in the few short months since then I have even more prestigious publications by our faculty to brag to you about. Tasha Philpot is publishing a book with Cambridge University Press, Conservative but Not Republican: The Paradox of Party Identification and Ideology among African Americans. Juliet Hooker has a forthcoming book with Oxford University Press, Theorizing Race in the Americas: An Intellectual Genealogy. Xiaobo Lu and Chris Wlezien have forthcoming articles in Comparative Political Studies, Wendy Hunter has one in Comparative Politics, and Scott Wolford landed one in Journal of Politics.
Now, let me direct your attention to similar levels of success of our alumni. More specifically, two alumni have published books this year with Cambridge. In May, Danny Hayes (with Jennifer Lawless) published Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in a Polarized Era. And with a planned September release, Austin Hart has published Economic Voting: A Campaign-Centered Theory. See the full list of recent alumni publications here.
There is other exciting alumni news too. For example, Matt Buehler has been awarded a research fellowship at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he will work under the auspices of the school’s Middle East Initiative with Tarek Masoud. Another recent alum, Daniel McCormack, won the Graduate School’s Outstanding Dissertation Award for “Protection from Themselves: International Hierarchy and Domestic Politics.” Dan is in his second year of a prestigious post-doc at University of Pennsylvania.
And, unsurprisingly, two of our most distinguished alumni continue bringing home awards. Janet Box-Steffensmeier will receive the Society for Political Methodology’s 2016 Excellence in Mentoring Award, which will be presented to her Friday Sept. 2 at the Method’s section business meeting. Additionally, Jan’s article, “Examining Legislative Cue-Taking in the US Senate,” has won the Jewell-Loewenberg Award for best article published in Legislative Studies Quarterly in 2015.
And then there is Marc Hetherington, who has won two major book awards. APSA’s Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior Section has named Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics the 2016 winner of the Philip E. Converse Book Award. And the International Society for Political Psychology has named Why Washington Won’t Work the 2016 winner of the Alexander George Award for the best book published during the previous year in the field of political psychology. Please check in on the rest of our alumni news here.
Speaking of book awards, APSA’s political psychology section has named Bethany Albertson’s Anxious Politics: Democratic Citizenship in a Threatening World as co-winner of the 2015 Robert E. Lane Award for the best book in political psychology. Bethany, along with Daron Shaw and Bruce Buchanan, were featured in the most recent edition of Life & Letters, the College’s alumni magazine.
I would also like to point out that the department continues its run of strong postdoc placements. Recently, Kyle Endres and Michelle Whyman received postdoc positions at Duke, Connor Ewing will be at the University of Virginia, while Rachel Navarre and Jessica Price are at Tulane. Kate Bersch has finished up her stint at Stanford and has moved on to a postdoc at McGill.
And finally, I know I have already noted this, but please let me once again offer our collective congratulations and deep-felt thanks to Nancy Moses, the Executive Assistant for the GOV department for several decades, who is retiring at the end of September. Nancy, you will be missed!
So, 2016 has been another banner year so far for the UT Government department and there promises to be even more great research and inspiring teaching to come this Fall. Please join us at the reception on Friday evening to celebrate. Drinks are on me!
Robert G. Moser
Professor and Chair