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Presidential Politics: UH Resources for the 2008 Presidential Election

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October 21, 2008-Houston-
As you pursue stories related to the United States Presidential election, please consider these experts from the University of Houston. If you have difficulty reaching these professors, please give us a call.

Historic race: This election has generated unprecedented interest from many populations. Christine LeVeaux-Haley, assistant professor of political science in The Honors College at the University of Houston, can discuss various aspects of this precedent-setting race. Her current research focuses on black representation in Congress, race-based redistricting, and voter preferences and behavior. Reach her at 713-743-2355 or clsharpe@uh.edu.

She's a Lady: The role of the first lady has evolved from a social one, to one that includes advocacy and policymaking. Nancy Beck Young, a professor in the department of history, has done extensive research on first ladies and can discuss what the wives of the two candidates would bring to that White House role. Additionally, she can discuss stunning similarities to another election, in a year that included a national financial crisis, a republican incumbency, and a candidate with thin experience, but great communication skills. The year was 1932. The candidate was Franklin Roosevelt. Reach Nancy Young at 713-743-4381 or nyoung2@uh.edu.

Red State, Blue State/Rich State, Poor State: Why do Americans vote the way they do? Jeronimo Cortina is an associate professor of political science who has expertise in American politics, Latino politics and immigration. He has recently co-wrote a book titled, "Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State," about the myths and trends of American voting. He is bilingual, should you need a Spanish speaker. Reach him at 713-743-3894 or jcortina@uh.edu.

Brandon Rottinghaus is an assistant professor in the department of political science. His expertise includes American politics, the presidency, media, public opinion, political communication, executive-legislative relations and electoral politics. Reach him at 713-743-3890 or bjrottinghaus@uh.edu.

Renee Cross is an associate director of the UH Center for Public Policy. A lecturer in political science, her expertise includes Houston and Texas politics. Reach her at 713-743-3972 or rcross@uh.edu.

How will the campaign policies affect the elderly? Andrew Achenbaum, professor of history and social work, has researched and written extensively on the various issues related to gerontology. Reach Achenbaum at 713-743-8070 or Achenbaum@uh.edu.

Ernesto Calvo is an associate professor in the department of political science. His expertise includes American and Latino politics. He is bilingual, should you need a Spanish speaker. Reach him at 713-743-3892 or ecalvo@uh.edu.

Luis Salinas is a professor of sociology who has expertise in Latino issues. He is bilingual, should you need a Spanish speaker. Reach him at 713-743-3957 or lsalinas@uh.edu.

Women at the polls and in the corner office: No matter which presidential candidate wins Nov. 4, the role of women as voters, mothers and leaders will remain on the American electorate's mind. Elizabeth Gregory, director of UH's Women's Studies Program, can speak both formally and from the heart about what women face as they juggle the responsibilities of family and professional life. Contact Gregory at 713-743-2942 or egregory@uh.edu.

What about research and development? The presidential candidates agree that the federal government must rein in spending, but they have very different ideas as to how that should be done. Whether it's through a freeze on certain agencies' spending or a "scalpel" approach, federal funds for research and development are bound of be affected. Craig Cassidy, of the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, can speak about the concerns and hopes of members of the scientific community, who long have relied on their peers to determine what is and isn't worthy of study for the next administration. Contact Cassidy at 713-743-9220 or ccassidy@uh.edu.

Embryonic stem cell debate at center stage: Stem cell debate is not going away, and the next presidential administration will be faced with pressure from both sides. Contact Richard Willson, of the Cullen College of Engineering department of chemical and biomolecular engineering, to cut though the spin and the science of stem cells. Willson can be reached at 713-743-4308 or willson@uh.edu.

"Green jobs" require great workers: Throughout this long election season, voters have heard a familiar refrain from the candidates: We must harness the innovation and creativity that has made America safer and its economy stronger in the past to tackle the grand challenges of the future. Heidar Malki and his colleagues at the UH College of Technology know firsthand that doing so is largely dependent upon training a highly skilled, technical workforce. To find out about the state of workforce development today and how it's changing, contact Malki at 713-743-4075 or malki@uh.edu.

The future of space exploration: The headlines and political debates have been dominated by the economy and mudslinging of late. Meanwhile, scientists across the country and voters here at home who depend on the aerospace industry to put food on the table are wondering how the next administration is going to approach spaceflight and space exploration. Larry Bell, director of UH's Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture, can offer his take on what he calls the "deafening silence on space." Contact Bell at 713-743-2351 or lbell@uh.edu.

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