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October 23, 2012

Maryland Votes: UMBC Experts Discuss November 6 Decisions


Chelsea Williams
Communications Manager
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Dinah Winnick
Communications Manager
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Marylanders are facing important choices this election day. In addition to casting ballots in the presidential election, voters will decide on measures relating to in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, congressional redistricting, civil marriage and the expansion of gambling. UMBC experts are available to discuss these issues as well as the election and the youth vote more broadly.

The Election

Laura Hussey, assistant professor of political science, is an expert on American morality and social welfare policy, public opinion on policy issues, state/local politics and how government agencies function. She’s recently examined political engagement among those whose policy views are not consistently liberal or conservative, and the effects of increasing partisanship upon such Americans. Hussey has provided insight on topics including the election, the Dream Act and gambling for news sources such as the Baltimore Sun, Maryland Public Television, the Gazette and WBAL, including 2010 election commentary. Contact her at or 410-455-6560.

Kimberly Moffitt is an assistant professor of American studies whose areas of expertise include hair/body politics and media representations of people of African descent. She is the co-editor of the 2010 book "The Obama Effect: Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign," which places Barack Obama’s candidacy and victory in the context of the American experience with race and the media. Moffitt is a frequent contributor to discussions about race and politics on Midday with Dan Rodricks and the Marc Steiner Show. Contact her at or 410-455-1451.

George Derek Musgrove is an assistant professor of history and the author of "Rumor Repression and Racial Politics: How the Harassment of Black Elected Officials Shaped Post-Civil Rights America." He is an expert on racial politics and politics in Washington, D.C. and has contributed to outlets such as “The Root” and NPR’s “Tell Me More.” Reach him at

Donald F. Norris, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy and director of the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR), is a specialist in urban politics, public management and e-government. Print, radio and TV news media—such as the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, AP, WYPR and WJZ—regularly contact him to provide commentary and analysis on Maryland government and politics. Contact him at or 410-455-3201.

Thomas F. Schaller, professor political science, is an expert on the American presidency, US Congress, interest groups and lobbying, campaigns and elections. He is the author of the acclaimed “Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South” and is a columnist for the Baltimore Sun and Salon. He has appeared numerous national outlets such as The New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, MSNBC, NPR and The Colbert Report. Contact him at or 410-455-2845.

Youth Engagement

Jason Loviglio, director of UMBC’s media and communication studies program, is teaching students to navigate election-year spin. His “Media Literacy” class is a “Comp 101” for the digital age, teaching students about communication in all of its forms. His students are finding themselves much more engaged in the political process as their understanding of everything from advertising to memes improves. Loviglio has previously discussed the occupy movement with the Baltimore Sun. Contact him at or 410-455-3259.

USDemocrazy is a humor-driven political news site for students, by students, which offers fresh and insightful perspectives from bloggers like Caitlyn Leiter-Mason, a junior majoring in political science and gender and women's studies. Leiter-Mason served as a Maryland delegate to the Democratic National Convention and can comment on student activism and youth views on the Dream Act, same-sex marriage referendum, presidential debates and political activity on campus. Fellow junior Meghan Carpenter directs the Office of Community and Government Affairs in UMBC's Student Government Association. She has worked to register students to vote, educate them about the democratic process, and plan UMBC's Election Night Extravaganza. USDemocrazy’s faculty mentor is Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher, editorial cartoonist for The Economist and UMBC artist-in-residence. To speak to one of our students, contact Dinah Winnick at or 410-455-8117.

Maryland Dream Act

T.H. Gindling, professor of economics, and Marvin Mandell, professor of public policy, recently co-authored the working paper “Private and Government Fiscal Costs and Benefits of the Maryland Dream Act.” Their analysis concluded that for each annual cohort of students who utilize the Dream Act, total net economic benefits are approximately $66 million. Their research and comments have appeared publications such as the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Business Journal, on WYPR and television news across the Baltimore-Washington D.C. region. Contact Gindling at or 410-455-3629 and contact Mandell at or 410-455-3203.

Same-Sex Marriage

Jodi Kelber-Kaye, associate director of the Honors College, previously a lecturer in gender and women’s studies, researches and teaches about historic and current struggles for LGBT equality with a focus on analyzing strategies employed by activist groups. She has published entries in “LGBTQ America Today: An Encyclopedia” and is currently working on a project about the lesbian feminist movement in Baltimore in the 1970s. Additionally, Kelber-Kaye is an out lesbian raising two sons; has spoken in favor of marriage equality to school groups, at area colleges and rallies; and has testified on this issue in the General Assembly. She has spoken to the press about Question 6 and transgender rights. Contact her at or 410-455-2164.

Posted by chelseah at October 23, 2012 3:16 PM