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University of Texas at Austin Experts Available to Discuss Presidential Address

President Barack Obama will be speaking at The University of Texas at Austin on Monday, Aug. 9.

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President Barack Obama will be speaking at The University of Texas at Austin on Monday, Aug. 9.

University faculty and researchers are available to discuss the education-related issues that President Obama will be highlighting, as well as the politics and history of presidential addresses and a host of other issues that face the country.

Presidential History Border and Immigration
Election Year Politics and Fundraising National Security/Terrorism
Education Health Care
Texas Politics Economics and Unemployment
Presidential Speechmaking and Rhetoric       Race Relations and Civil Rights
Energy and the Environment

Presidential History

H.W. Brands
Professor of History
College of Liberal Arts

Brands, who attended a dinner with other historians at the White House last year, is a Pulitzer Prize finalist who has written more than 20 books on such leaders as Woodrow Wilson, Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. His latest book, “American Dreams: The United States Since 1945,” is a historical journey from the end of World War II to the Obama administration.

Election Year Politics, Fundraising and Policy

Bruce Buchanan
Professor of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Buchanan is a nationally renowned expert on politics and government. He has written multiple books on the American presidency and is frequently quoted in media stories about state and national politics.

Daron Shaw
Professor of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Shaw was an analyst and consultant in the 1992, 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. He has written two books on voters and election campaigns and teaches classes on survey research analysis, public opinion and voting behavior, campaigns and elections, political parties and American government.

Sean Theriault
Associate Professor of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Theriault’s research includes American political institutions, primarily Congress. He studies party polarization in Congress and has published articles on subjects ranging from presidential rhetoric to congressional careers.

Brian Roberts
Professor of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Roberts teaches a course on money in U.S. politics. His research has focused on politics and financial markets, corporate political participation and distributive politics.

Bryan Jones
Professor of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Jones’ research centers on the study of public policy processes, American governing institutions, and the connection between human decision-making and organizational behavior. He is a director of the Policy Agendas Project, which is a major resource for examining changes in public policy processes in American national institutions.

Paul Stekler
Chair, Department of Radio, Television, Film
College of Communication

Stekler is a nationally recognized documentary filmmaker whose work includes “George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire,” “Last Man Standing: Politics, Texas Style,” and “Vote for Me: Politics in America,” a four-hour PBS special about grassroots electoral politics.

Veronica Vargas Stidvent
Director, Center for Politics and Governance
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Stidvent was assistant secretary for policy for the U.S. Department of Labor from 2004 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. Her research focuses on a myriad of labor issues, including immigration reform, worker health and safety, and job training.


Ed Fuller
Research Associate, Department of Educational Administration
College of Education

Fuller has conducted major studies on principal retention, linking teacher pay to student performance and the placement of the least qualified teachers at the poorest performing school. He is working on research projects for school districts and private education organizations as well as for The University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the Texas Center for Educational Research and a research associate in the University Council for Educational Administration.

Julian Heilig
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Administration
College of Education

Heilig has qualitatively examined how high-stakes testing and accountability-based reforms and incentive systems affect urban minority students. He is an associate director of the University Council for Educational Administration.

Byron McClenney
Senior Lecturer, Department of Educational Administration
College of Education

McClenney is project director for Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count. He spent more than three decades as a community college chief executive and has served as a consultant to state higher education systems, state governments and professional associations in 45 states and internationally.

Kay McClenney
Professor, Department of Educational Administration
College of Education

McClenney is director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement, which produces the annual national Community College Survey of Statement Engagement. She is a senior consultant for the national Achieving the Dream initiative, director of the Initiative on  Student Success and co-director of the California Leadership Alliance  for Student Success.

Victor Saenz
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Administration
College of Education

Saenz has researched higher education issues along the U.S.-Mexico border; diversity and desegregation; and college access and college readiness for Hispanic, first-generation and low-income college students. He recently authored a major study on the challenges facing Hispanic college students.

Angela Valenzuela
Professor, Department of Educational Administration and Department of Curriculum and Instruction
College of Education
Associate Vice President, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement

Valenzuela’s research focuses on how high stakes testing has harmed minority students, learning needs of minority students and urban education reform. She is director of the University of Texas Center for Education Policy and is a council member for the American Educational Research Association. She has served on numerous national committees and boards aimed at closing the achievement gap.

Michelle Young
Associate Professor, Department of Educational Administration
College of Education

Young is executive director of the University Council for Educational Administration, a national consortium of higher education institutions committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children.

Kenneth Ashworth
Adjunct Professor of Public Affairs
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Ashworth is a former commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and served as the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of The University of Texas system. He has published a number of articles and three books on higher education issues and has received numerous awards for excellence in education for his contributions to the field.

Jane Arnold Lincove
Assistant Professor of Public Affairs
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Lincove’s research focuses on education policy and economics of education in the United States and in developing countries. Lincove has served as a policy consultant for the Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles, as an evaluator for several southern California public school districts, and as Development Coordinator for Para Los Niños, a nonprofit children’s agency in Los Angeles.

Lodis Rhodes
Professor of Public Affairs
LBJ School of Public Affairs

A former Fellow at the American Council on Education, Rhodes teaches courses on management, community development, and education policy. Rhodes is cofounder and Chairman of the Board of the Austin Learning Academy, a community-based research and development laboratory that focuses on education.

Texas Politics

James Henson
Director, Texas Politics Project and Lecturer, Department of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Henson runs the Texas Politics Project, which seeks to educate students and Texans about state government, politics and history through a dynamic Web site and a speaker series. It also conducts regular statewide polls.

Sherri Greenberg
Lecturer and Fellow
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Greenberg served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1991 to 2001. Her teaching and research interests include public finance and budgeting, state and local government, education, housing, technology, and campaigns and elections.

Presidential Speechmaking, Rhetoric and Negotiations

James Pennebaker
Professor of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts

Pennebaker analyzes language in political speech in order to evaluate a candidate’s or officeholder’s psychological state. He has helped develop software that uses specific words in speeches and interviews to provide insight into how a candidate thinks and relates to people.

Marlone D. Henderson
Assistant Professor of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts

Henderson is an expert on negotiation and compromise. His research examines the consequences of psychological distance and abstraction on people’s willingness to cooperate and compromise.

Thomas Palaima,
Professor of Classics
College of Liberal Arts

Palaima was written about President Obama’s efforts to use words and bearing to touch lives and change minds and traced those skills through history from Cato to Martin Luther King.

Energy and the Environment (including the Gulf cleanup)

Raymond L. Orbach
Director, Energy Institute

Orbach served as the first Under Secretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In that role, he served as chief scientist for DOE and advised the Secretary of Energy on a variety of topics.

Peter Flemings
Jackson School of Geosciences

Flemings is an expert on the subsurface environment encountered in deep sea drilling, and was an informal adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s science team on issues related to capping the BP well.

Charles Groat
Associate Director, Energy Institute
Director, Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy
Jackson School of Geosciences

A former director of the US Geological Survey, Groat can address issues of long-term impacts of the Gulf spill on coastal wetlands and human vulnerability to storms.

Tracy Villareal
Professor of Marine Science
College of Natural Sciences

Villareal is studying deep oil plumes in the Gulf of Mexico and the effects of the oil spill on Gulf ecology.

Lee Fuiman
Professor of Marine Science
College of Natural Sciences

Joan Holt
Professor of Marine Science
College of Natural Sciences
361-479-6716, joanholt@mail.utexas.edu

Fuiman and Holt study fish reproduction and development. They can address issues related to the effects of the oil spill on fish populations and fish larvae in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tony Amos
Director, Animal Rehabilitation Keep
College of Natural Sciences

For years, Amos and his Gulf of Mexico-based volunteers have been rescuing, cleaning and rehabilitating birds, turtles, dolphins and other marine species affected by oil spills, boat encounters and other issues.

Tad Patzek
Chair, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering
Cockrell School of Engineering

Patzek’s research involves mathematical modeling of earth systems with emphasis on multiphase fluid flow physics and rock mechanics. He has been quoted repeatedly nationally and internationally on the oil spill and other energy issues.

Josh Busby
Assistant Professor of Public Affairs
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Busby is the author of several studies on climate change, national security and energy policy from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution and Center for a New American Security. His research interests also include energy security and the foreign policy of advanced industrialized countries.

David Eaton
Bess Harris Jones Centennial Professor in Natural Resource Policy Studies
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Eaton has written on rural water supply, international water resource conflicts, energy management and environmental problems of industries. His research focuses on sustainable development in international river basins, evaluation of energy and water conservation programs, and prevention of pollution.

Shama Gamkhar
Associate Professor of Public Affairs
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Gamkhar researches climate change, pollution abatement, enforcement of environmental regulation, and water management in international river systems. She also teaches courses on public finance, financial management and environmental economic policy.

David Spence
Fellow of Sam P. Woodson, Jr. Centennial Memorial Professorship in Business
Red McCombs School of Business

Spence’s research and teaching focuses on business-government relations and the regulation of business, particularly energy and environmental regulation.

Melinda Taylor
Director, Environmental Law Clinic
School of Law

Taylor is the former director of the Ecosystem Restoration Program of Environmental Defense where she specialized in the use of incentives and market mechanisms to encourage the conservation of private land and water resources. She has also represented citizen and environmental groups in an array of environmental permitting matters and state and federal litigation.

Border and Immigration

Ricardo Ainslie
Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
College of Education

Ainslie studies the effects of ethnic conflicts on communities and the psychological experiences of immigrants. He produced the documentary “Ya Basta! Kidnapped in Mexico,” which investigates a wave of kidnappings and violent crime that has plagued Mexico during the past decade. He is available to discuss a range of topics pertaining to U.S.-Mexico border violence.

Cecilia Balli
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
College of Liberal Arts

Balli’s research focuses on the sexual murder of women in Ciudad Juárez, the construction of a border fence and the Mexican anti-drug campaign. She is an award-winning journalist with Texas Monthly magazine and is working on a book about the the border fence in the Rio Grande Valley.

Gary Freeman
Chair, Department of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Freeman specializes in the politics of immigration, comparative social policy and politics in western democracies. He examines how immigration has profoundly shaped the national development of countries. He can comment on an array of topics, including immigration policy and security, the economic effects of immigration, settlement issues, multiculturalism and conflict.

National Security/Terrorism

Francis J. Gavin
Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs
Director, Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law

An historian by training, Gavin’s teaching and research interests focus on U.S. foreign policy, global governance, national security affairs, nuclear strategy and arms control, presidential policymaking and the history of international monetary relations.

Robert Hutchings
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Before joining the LBJ School in March 2010, Hutchings was Diplomat in Residence in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2003 to 2005, he was chairman of the U.S. National Intelligence Council in Washington. His combined academic and diplomatic career has included service as fellow and director of International Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, director for European Affairs with the National Security Council and special adviser to the Secretary of State, with the rank of ambassador.

Dale Klein
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Cockrell School of Engineering
Associate Vice President for Research

Klein is a past commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a former assistant to the secretary of defense for nuclear and biological defense programs. His expertise includes radioactive waste disposal, nuclear weapon dismantlement and nuclear power.

Ami Pedahzur
Associate Professor, Department of Government
College of Liberal Arts
512-363-6387 (cell)

Pedahzur is director of the university’s T.I.G.E.R. Lab (Terrorists, Insurgents and Guerrillas in Education and Research), which studies terrorism and political extremism around the world.

Health Care

Marv Shepherd
College of Pharmacy

Shepherd studies economics and pharmacy issues, including pharmaceutical marketing and pricing policies and prescription drugs from Mexico and Canada. He has testified several times before Congress on the importation of drugs.

King Davis
School of Social Work

Davis specializes in mental health policies and services and the history of public mental health care particularly for people of color. He was appointed in 2007 to a three-year term on the Center for Mental Health Services National Advisory Council.

Diane Tyler
Associate Professor
School of Nursing

Tyler’s teaching and research projects involve promoting good health and preventing disease. Her research, funded by National Institutes of Health, is focused on helping overweight children lead healthier lifestyles.

Laura Lein
School of Social Work

Lein’s research focuses on families in poverty and the institutions that serve them. Her new book, “Life After Welfare: Reform and the Persistence of Poverty,” finds that most Texas families who leave welfare remain in or near poverty and many are likely to return to welfare. She also is using a National Science Foundation grant to study how the actions of governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations affected their Hurricane Katrina evacuees’ ability to recover.

Jacqueline Angel
Professor of Public Affairs and Sociology
LBJ School of Public Affairs, College of Liberal Arts

Angel has published extensively in the sociology of aging and how it is affected by life course and social policy.

Benedicte Callan
Sid Richardson Fellow focusing on health policy and innovation
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Callan’s most recent publications focus on health and innovation policy and on challenges to meeting global health goals.

David C. Warner
Professor of Public Affairs
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Warner’s major teaching and research interests are health policy and health finance. He is working on projects related to improving health insurance coverage, the integration of the U.S. and Mexican health care systems, diabetes policy, public health funding and U.S.-Mexico border health.

Leanne Field
Director, Health Information Technology Program
College of Natural Sciences

Field’s program is training students to enter the e-health workforce.  Electronic health records are a national priority of the Obama administration and the university Health IT program received $2.7 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to start the program.

Economics, Unemployment and Fiscal Policy

Daniel Hamermesh
The Sue Killam Professor in the Foundations of Economics
College of Liberal Arts
512 350-7364
512 206-0908

Hamermesh is an expert on economic and labor issues. A regular contributor to the New York Times’ Freakonomics blog, he has done research on labor demand, time use, social insurance programs and the American Time Use Survey.

Robert Auerbach
Professor of Public Affairs
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Auerbach served for 11 years as economist for the United States House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Financial Services. His research interests include the Federal Reserve and monetary and fiscal policy.

James K. Galbraith
Professor of Government
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Galbraith is the author of the best-selling novel “Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too.” He is a frequent contributor to mainstream publications on a wide variety of economic topics.

Ethan Kapstein
Tom Slick Professor in International Affairs
LBJ School of Public Affairs

A former international banker and retired U.S. naval officer, Kapstein holds the INSEAD Chair in Political Economy at INSEAD, the international business school with campuses in Fontainebleau, France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. His research focuses on international economic relations, economic development and defense economics.

Catherine Weaver
Associate Professor of Public Affairs
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Weaver’s research focuses on behavior and reform of international financial institutions, foremost the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Weaver is the author of “Hypocrisy Trap: The World Bank and the Poverty of Reform”.

Lew Spellman
Professor of Finance
McCombs School of Business

Spellman’s research interests include the value of third party financial guarantees, market estimates of bank risk, bank survival, and banking development. His teaching interests include debt, equity, and foreign exchange price trends, market intervention by governments, and macroeconomics and business conditions.

Race Relations and Civil Rights

Leonard Moore
Associate Professor of History
College of Liberal Arts
Assistant Vice President for Pre-College Youth Development Initiatives

Moore is author of “Black Rage in New Orleans: Police Brutality and African American Activism from World War II to Hurricane Katrina” and will be teaching a course this fall called “Race in the Age of Obama.”  His teaching and research interests include urban history, civil rights, Black nationalism, hip-hop and American culture and the struggles of African American men and boys.

John Hartigan Jr.
Director, Americo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies
Professor, Department of Anthropology
College of Liberal Arts

Hartigan is author the recent book, “What Can You Say? America’s National Conversation on Race.” He writes frequently about timely issues related to race, including the firing of Shirley Sherrod and the NAACP’s charges of racism in the Tea Party movement.

Edwin Dorn
Professor of Public Affairs
LBJ School of Public Affairs

A former Under Secretary of Defense, Dorn’s major publications include “Rules and Racial Equality.”