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Ohio state department of political science


From Rick Herrmann, Chair and Professor

The presidential election race has been a long one and with one week to go remains bitterly contested.  My colleagues in the department, as well as our students, have remained engaged throughout the process by contributing their expertise and time to various campaigns, as well as analyses across a number of outlets. This newsletter provides a brief overview of what our faculty members and students have been doing.  My guess is many will be glad next week that the race is finally over but it is certain that no matter the outcome, my colleagues and I will continue to reflect, analyze and contribute to the study of politics in the months and years ahead.

Can Mail Order Steaks Predict Voting Behavior?

Professor Thomas Wood spent the last year as the director of experiments and modeling for the Jeb Bush campaign. As someone who has both worked in academia and on a presidential campaign, Wood brings a unique perspective to his classes. We sat down with him to learn more about his time on the campaign, his Voters and Elections class, and how mass attitudes and spending habits influence voter behavior. The full article can be found here.

Reflections on the 1968 Democratic Convention

Riots, Lessons Learned and a 2016 Comparison

Professor Emeritus Paul Beck sits down with PhD student Andrew Podob to talk about what it was like to attend the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago as a researcher.  Beck also talks about the lessons we can learn from the 1968 election, running a campaign on a law and order platform and how the election compares to today. To view the interview videos, click here.

Our Students on the Campaign Trail

Our political science majors have been busy as ever participating in the 2016 presidential election. From attending the convention as delegates to interning on the campaign trail, our students are making an impact on the political process today. Four of our majors describe their experiences below.

My Life on a Political Campaign

Evelyn Kennedy: From Westlake, Ohio, Kennedy is a finance and fundraising intern for Rob Portman for Senate Campaign

"To my peers who are disillusioned by politics or confused by this years election, I urge them to vote. Many times, it is the local, state and smaller federal seats and politicians that effect more change." For more from Evelyn, visit here.

Paige Sims: From Marion, Ohio, Sims is interning for the “DeWine for Ohio” campaign.

"This internship has been such a learning experience that I couldn’t be more grateful for. I am able to work, with experts in the political and finance fields, here in Columbus, Ohio." For more from Paige, visit here.

My Experience as a Delegate

Spencer Dirrig: From Powell, Ohio, Dirrig was a pledged Ohio District 12 Hillary Clinton delegate at the Democratic National Convention and is chair of the Hillary Clinton Caucus of Ohio State College Democrats.

"Standing with thousands upon thousands of Democrats at the convention - from 50 states and every territory, from every racial and ethnic background and every level of income was deeply humbling.  It showed me that no matter our race, religion, ethnicity, or even our statehood, we are all Americans." For more from Spencer, visit here.

Kelly Harrop: From Delaware, Ohio, Harrop was the first female Clinton delegate from the 12th Congressional District and is currently field director for State Representative Kristin Boggs.

"Although many people write millennials off, I believe we are one of the most compassionate generations on record. The best way we can share this compassion is to use the ballot box to our advantage--to change policies and engage politicians at every level." For more from Kelly, visit here.

Ohio State's Democracy Studies Program

The Department of Political Science and its faculty are partners with and co-directors of Ohio State's Democracy Studies Program, an interdisciplinary collaboration dedicated to enhancing American’s understanding of the democratic process, through research, teaching and community engagement. The program, fund­ed by the College of Arts and Sciences, sponsors basic research, conferences and public events. 

Professor Vladimir Kogan (with Stéphane Lavertu, and Zachary Peskowitz) received a grant from Democracy Studies to help launch the The Education Governance and Accountability Project which went on to receive $632,000 in funding from the Spencer Foundation.

On Dec.2, the Democracy Studies Program will host An Autopsy on the 2016 Election, with panelists Neil Newhouse (Public Opinion Strat­egies), Alex Lund­ry (Deep Roots) and Michael Tesler (University of California, Ir­vine). Panelists with discuss the outcome of the election and what it foretells about the future. 

Alumnus and Author J.D. Vance to Visit

The College of Arts and Sciences and Ohio State’s Democracy Studies Program present An Evening with J.D. Vance, author of the  #1 New York Times bestselling book Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis and a Ohio State political science alumnus (BA, 2009). 

This free event is Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Ohio State's The Faculty Club Main Dining Room, 181 South Oval Drive, Columbus, OH 43210. Political Science Professor and Chair Richard Herrmann will lead the conversation with Vance. Book signing and reception will follow. RSVP is required by Nov. 11, 2016

Vance grew up in the Rust Belt city of Middletown, Ohio, and the Appalachian town of Jackson, Kentucky. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served in Iraq. A graduate of Yale Law School, he has contributed to the National Review and is a principal at a leading Silicon Valley investment firm.

The Supreme Court and the Election

“If you really like Donald Trump, that’s great, but if you don’t, you have to vote for me anyway.   You know why? Supreme Court judges. Sorry, sorry, sorry--you have no choice.”
Donald Trump, July 28, 2016

Professor Emeritus Lawrence Baum, and Supreme Court expert explains why this election has been unlike any other in the role that the Supreme Court has played in his article here.

College Republicans Reluctantly Embrace Trump, Democrats Warm to Clinton

Lauren Ratliff Santoro, PhD student, was inspired by an article in The New York Times to enlist her students to analyze whether and to what extent Ohio State College Republicans have embraced Donald Trump and similarly, if and to what extent College Democrats have embraced Hillary Clinton. Discover her findings, here.

Jack Wright Inspires Football Team During Patriot Week

Political Science majors aren't the only students learning about the presidency and the importance of voting. In May, Ohio State Football Coach Urban Meyer and the Office of Athletics hosted Patriot Week, bringing together speakers from around campus with the Ohio State football team. Professor Jack Wright spoke on the history of the presidency and the importance of voting. An interview with Wright can be found here.

Political Science Students Register New Voters
(L to R), Kayci Cardiel, Kyle Davis, Matt Roediger, Mia Saracusa and Christina Murphy.
In September, the department hosted a voter registration table in partnership with OSU Votes, a student-led movement to register, educate and encourage students to vote. In addition to passing out information about early voting and registration, our volunteers signed up more than 50 new voters!

Course Feature: Mass Media and American Politics

This fall, Professor Brice Acree discusses the integral role of media in the American political system, from informing voters to shaping the contours of policy debate. With one of the most extraordinary elections in recent memory as backdrop, the course concerns how political candidates seek to guide media coverage, how they use traditional and digital media to reach voters director, when and how candidates choose the "low road" instead of high-minded discourse.

Interested in other election related courses? Consider enrolling in one of our spring courses taught by Paul Beck (PS 4150-Political Parties) and Tom Wood (PS 2150- Voters and Elections and PS 4152- Campaign Politics).

When media from across the nation and around the globe wanted expertise and perspective on the candidates and the issues, they came to our faculty. For perspective on new and young voters, they sought out the opinions and concerns of our students. Below is a snapshot of the articles featuring our faculty and students. A full list can be found here.

Richard Gunther – Professor Emeritus
            “Ohio’s 16 Congressional Incumbents Appear to Have Smooth Sailing
            Massillon Independent – October 24th, 2016

Thomas Wood – Assistant Professor
            “Who Do You Think Won the Debate? Depends on the Network You Watched
            NPR – October 24th, 2016

Nathaniel Swigger – Associate Professor (Newark)
            “How Much is Your Vote Worth?
            WalletHub – October 19th, 2016

Paul Beck – Professor Emeritus
            “Has Ohio Lost Its Status in Elections
            Columbus Dispatch – October 13th, 2016

David Nield- Third-year undergraduate
            “Gender Matters in This Election, But Other Factors Probably Matter More
              FiveThirtyEight- June 23, 2016

Gregory Caldeira – Professor
            “The Constitution and its Worshipers
            The New Yorker – September 28th, 2016

Randy Schweller – Professor
            “President Trump’s First Term
            The New Yorker – September 19th, 2016

Vlad Kogan – Associate Professor
            “Riverside Councilman Could Be Removed From Office
            Dayton Daily News – September 16th, 2016

Jake Vasilj, Spencer Dirrig and Devin Bilski
              Political clubs look to impact 2016 election
              The Lantern - August 24th, 2016

Sara Watson – Associate Professor
            “How to Find a Conservative? Just Look Up, Research Finds
            Akron Beacon Journal – August 18th, 2016
             "Hey, tall guy! What's the politics like up there?"
             University Communications- August 16th, 2016

Christopher Gelpi – Professor
            “Retired Generals are People Too
            Duck of Minerva – August 12th, 2016

Kelly Schroeder – Undergraduate
            “Platform Makes Transitioning to Clinton Easier
             Cincinnati Enquirer -  August 5th, 2016

Give to Political Science

Your donation, no matter how small, can help students enrich their lives through experiences the department offers such as study abroad or conducting research.

The Department of Political Science has a number of funds to support the students and vision of the department. Giving to the following funds will aid the department in development, student travel, scholarships, research grants, publications and other areas so that we can remain strong and provide the same opportunities for future students that we have in the past.

We appreciate all donations to our department. Your generosity makes a tangible difference in the lives of ours students, faculty and staff.

Study Abroad Fund

One of the amazing opportunities our students have available to them is study abroad.  In order to help ensure this experience for students, this fund helps to provide support for travel and research in other countries around the world.

Political Science Development Fund

Funds teaching, research, faculty, travel, student aid, public service, publications, and other similar programs. 

Madison H. Scott Fund

The Madison Scott Fund is dedicated to promoting the education of minority students in the department. 


Want to stay up to date on awards and achievements in the department? Follow us on Twitter.  

Contact Us!

We love to hear from you! Please send your updates and news about where you are and what you are doing, including any changes in contact information, to Courtney Sanders.

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DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE  2140 Derby Hall   154 North Oval Mall  Columbus, OH 43210
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Political Science Department at The Ohio State University · 2140 Derby Hall · 154 North Oval Mall · Columbus, Oh 43201 · USA

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