The Record  

News from the Center
LaDonna Sullivan

OU President David Boren hosted a ceremonial dinner on November 12 in honor of Seymour Martin Lipset, the Hazel Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, who delivered the 1997 Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture in Representative Government, "The Development of Democracy." Boren expressed appreciation to Julian Rothbaum for a lifetime of faithful service to the state and to the university. He also paid tribute to Irene Rothbaum, who passed away in April 1996, and thanked their son Joel Jankowsky, who together endowed the lecture series in Julian's honor in 1981. Jankowsky, an attorney with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld in Washington, D.C., spoke briefly on behalf of the family. 

Associate Director Gary W. Copeland, Carl Albert Fellow Craig Williams, and assistant professor R. Keith Gaddie are the editors of The Almanac of Oklahoma Politics 1997-1998, the first volume in a new series published by the Oklahoma Political Science Association. Part I of the almanac consists of eleven scholarly essays on issues in Oklahoma politics. Part II, focusing on the 149 distinct legislative districts of the state, synthesizes previously scattered information: electoral histories, party registration information, and vital demographic statistics for each district; detailed biographical entries; campaign financial histories, major sources of campaign contributions, and personal financial sources of income for current legislators; and four distinct interest group ideological rankings from liberal to conservative of each legislator. 

Carl Albert Fellows Craig Williams, Lesli McCollum, and Jonathan Mott presented their paper, "The Candidate Image Game: Presentations of Self ," at the 1997 annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association. 

With co-author Jens Borchert, Gary Copeland presented a paper, "The United States: A Political Class of Entrepreneurs," at the Conference on Political Class, University of Goettingen, Germany, July 1997. 

At the 1998 annual meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association, Copeland and Jocelyn Jones, a first-year Carl Albert Fellow, presented their paper, "Values, Expectations, and Congressional Approval: A Matter of Legitimacy?" At the same conference Keith Gaddie presented a paper co-authored with Carl Albert Fellow Lesli McCollum, "Estimating the Incumbency Advantage: A New Approach to an Old Problem." Carl Albert Undergraduate Fellow Hans Seidenstucker also presented a paper, "Somalia: A Watershed in American Foreign Policy." 

In January 1998, Center Director Ron Peters presented a paper, "Institutional Context and Leadership Style: The Case of Newt Gingrich," at a conference that focused on the U. S. Congress under Republican control. Hosted by Florida International University in Miami, the conference panels included presentations by ten congressional scholars and concluding remarks by Richard F. Fenno, Jr. 

His unique classroom use of televised congressional sessions and subcommittee meetings brought Gary Copeland an invitation to participate in the C-Span Winter 1998 Seminar for Professors, January 5-6. He and the Political Communication Center's Mitchell S. McKinney, an assistant professor in OU's Department of Communication, joined 35 other college professors from across the country for the seminar in Washington. Copeland's teaching technique involves each student taking on the identity of a lawmaker of his or her choosing. The student drafts a piece of legislation that s/he caucuses among classmates who are portraying other lawmakers. Students experience the process of developing a bill, arguing their point of view, and compromising. McKinney used his classroom last year to walk a group of first-time voters through their first election. In his "Voting for President" class, these 18-year-olds researched the issues and studied campaign rhetoric and political ads before voting in the actual November 1996 election. 

Over 100 undergraduate students in four political science classes gained field research experience as a result of the Center's undergraduate research program in the spring 1998 semester. Under the direction of Assistant Director Allen Hertzke, five Carl Albert Center Undergraduate Fellows were assigned to professors to help structure course-based research projects. Northon Arbelaez identified party leaders to be interviewed by students for their research papers for Hertzke's course on political parties. Adam Muchmore similarly identified state budget officials for student interviews for the course Professor Jim Douglas taught on the politics of government budgeting. The civic health of local communities was the focus of Professor Cindy Simon Rosenthal's capstone course, and Bobby Mirzaie coordinated student efforts to analyze indicators of civic health in Norman, Oklahoma. Jennifer Mulhall coordinated a phone survey project for students in Professor Keith Gaddie's course on public opinion. Gaddie and Rosenthal also employed Jason Glidewell to coordinate an initiative on state legislative districts that overlapped their two projects. 

In addition to course-based projects, the Center continues to sponsor traditional collaborative research between faculty and undergraduates. During the spring semester Alisha Jones collaborated with Rosenthal on a research paper on women leaders. Andy Hicks completed an honors research project on the secularization of the Christian Right, and the project was featured at Honor's Research Day. 

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