News from the Center
At the beginning of fall semester, Allen Hertzke left the Carl Albert Center in order to devote more of his time to research and teaching in the political science department at the University of Oklahoma. During his twelve years at the Center, Hertzke's administrative responsibilities centered around the development of research opportunities for undergraduate students. In addition to supporting their independent research projects, he involved the students in collaborative research with faculty and graduate fellows. In recent years he also formed a core group of undergraduates to help faculty in the structuring of course-based projects that drew entire classes into field research including exit polls, telephone surveys, interviews of public officials and political party leaders, and analysis of data.
Cindy Simon Rosenthal, the new assistant director, is a former Carl Albert Fellow and has been a member of the political science faculty at OU since 1995. Her move to the Center was marked by the publication of her new book, When Women Lead: Integrative Leadership in State Legislatures (Oxford University Press), which focuses on how leadership behavior, gender, and institutional norms interact in state legislatures.
Rosenthal has already engaged several new undergraduates in some challenging research opportunities this fall. Northon Arbelaez, Bryan Erman, and Andy Farrell are working on a November exit poll with Professors Gary Copeland, Keith Gaddie, and Jonathan Mott. Barrett Ristroph is assisting Rosenthal with another class-based project that examines gender and communication patterns in representative bodies. Jennifer Mulhall is doing research with Rosenthal on other gender-related topics and working on plans for a conference in the year 2000 on women and congress. Cynthia Lomax is teamed with Professor Aimee Franklin on representation and citizen participation in federal agency decision-making, while Adam Muchmore and Copeland are doing research on parliamentary leadership. Jason Reese will assist Professor Ron Peters in congressional leadership research.
Two of the Center's undergraduate students, Bobby Mirzaie and Jason Glidewell, assisted Rosenthal in structuring a class-based field research project in Spring 1998. A survey of the voting population in Norman was conducted in conjunction with a national League of Women Voters initiative to assess civic health and encourage renewal in the community. Results of the survey were released in September and form a baseline study of civic participation in Norman. The report also included specific recommendations to increase voter registration and turnout, awareness of issues, participation in public meetings, and service on boards and commissions.
Kenneth Cosgrove traveled during the summer with thirteen other faculty members from West Virginia colleges and universities to study environmentally sustainable economic development in Brazil. The four-week trip was funded in large part by a Hayes-Fulbright grant awarded to the West Virginia Consortium for Faculty and Course Development in International Studies. The interdisciplinary itinerary included meetings and seminars with journalists, academics, business leaders, government officials, and politicians; visits to both houses of the Brazilian legislature; and field trips to Sao Paulo, Recife, Manaus, Curitiba, Rio, and Brasilia. Cosgrove, an assistant professor of political science at Bethany College and a former Carl Albert Fellow, was particularly interested in learning about the ways in which interest groups in Brazil participate in politics and what impact the country's dictatorial period had on their work.
After teaching politics for four years at Oglethorpe University where she built a program in Japanese studies, Robin LeBlanc recently accepted a position at Washington and Lee University in the Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics. Under a new grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, she will return to Japan to continue her research on "Citizens and Assemblies" for eight months beginning January 1999. LeBlanc is a former fellow of the Carl Albert Center.
John David Rausch Jr., another former fellow, has moved from West Virginia’s Fairmont State College to West Texas A & M University where he is an assistant professor of political science.
At the annual awards ceremony of OU's political science department, three students from the Carl Albert Center were recognized for their outstanding achievements. Carl Albert Fellow Craig Williams was awarded a John Halvor Leek Memorial Scholarship, undergraduate fellow Hans Seidenstucker received the Terence A. Todman Award, and Bobby Mirzaie was honored with a Robert Dean Bass Memorial Scholarship from the College of Arts and Sciences. Mirzaie's research paper also earned him the Joseph Crim Pray Award.
Ron Peters, director and curator of the Center, is one of two faculty members selected in 1998 by the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma to be named Regents Professor. When making the announcement, Chairman Melvin Hall cited the excellent quality of Peters' teaching, his research on the speakership, the pivotal role he played in the establishment of the Carl Albert Center, and current service to the university in dual roles as director of the Center and chair of the political science department.
The Center's secretary and editorial assistant, Kellye Walker,
was honored in the annual staff awards ceremony for 1998 when President
Boren presented to her the George Lynn Cross Superior Performance Award,
the highest annual award for hourly staff.