I am the department’s specialist in state and local government and politics. To bolster the department’s commitment to subnational government, I developed internships in state and local government. In 1995, I founded (and have since directed) the University’s mock trial program. Furman fields three to four mock trial teams each year, and the program works with 30-40 students annually. The Paladins are currently ranked #10 in the nation out of 600+ teams. Since 1998, the University has hosted regional and national-level tournaments. At present, I am the President of the American Mock Trial Association, which is the sanctioning organization for undergraduate mock trial in the US. My research interests center on state-level abortion policies and politics, and I have published several articles that account for the differences in abortion policies among the 50 states. At present, my attention has turned to the rhetorical strategies of pro-life groups with a focus on the messages used by pro-life groups to influence the Obamacare debates during 2009 and 2010. Recently, I have developed a new interest in agriculture policies, practices, and politics. The initial outgrowth of this new interest is teaching a May Experience course, Farm, with my sister and brother on the farm that we own in North Central Iowa. Students leave the May Experience with a balanced view of the controversies and challenges the US and the world faces in feeding its people.


Name Title Description


Welcome to Greenville

Introduction to the city and country of Greenville, South Carolina. Focusing on the region's government and politics, considering its history, economics, sociology, arts, and religion. Students will read and write about local history and poltics and invest themselves in current local events.


Intro to Amer Government

The basic political science course focusing on American politics. Emphasis on the principles, institutions and politics of the federal government. Topics include: the U.S. Constitution, the presidency, Congress, the Supreme Court, political parties and interest groups, and the federal bureaucracy.


State Politics

Comparative analysis of politics in the American states. Emphasis on federalism (intergovernmental relations), state governmental services and functions.


Urban Politics

Study of problems facing cities, including community power structures, poverty, welfare, education, housing, urban renewal and law enforcement.


Southern Politics

An investigation of how the American South has developed politically and how the region has helped to shape American politics as a whole. Focus includes race, economics, and religion and how they have affected the political dynamics of the region.


Racial and Ethnic Politics

Examination of African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American efforts to organize for political action in the face of political, social and economic constraints. Groups are compared to other politically active groups in U.S. politics.


State & Local Pblc Affrs Fldw

Through 25-hour-per-week internships in local or state governmental agencies (both political and administrative) or nongovernmental agencies (such as interest groups, media or nonprofits), students are exposed to the way in which subnational policy is formulated, implemented and evaluated. In addition, students attend a weekly seminar that integrates various themes in public administration, public policy and state and local government.

  • (with Sara L. Zeigler) "Promoting Fetal Personhood: The Rhetorical and Legislative Strategies of the Pro-Life Movement After Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Feminist Formations 22 (Summer 2010):101- 123
  • "Abortion," in Encyclopedia of United States Political History, Vol. 7: The Clash of Conservatism and Liberalism, 1976-Current, ed. Richard M. Valelly, 13-16. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010
  • (with Lanethea Mathews-Gardner, Michelle D. Deardorff, Grant Reeher, William Hudson, MaryAnne Borrelli) "Getting a Job at a Teaching Institution—and Then Succeeding: A Q&A with Experienced Teacher-Scholars" PS: Political Science and Politics, 41 (July 2008): 575-578
  • "Public Affairs Internships: Coming of Age." In Education for Citizenship: Ideas and Innovations in Political Learning, edited by Grant Reeher and Joseph Cammarano, 81-99, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 1997
  • "Minnesota: Shifting Sands on a 'Challenger' Beachhead.'' In Abortion Politics in American States, edited by Mary C. Segers and Timothy A. Byrnes, 29-50. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe Publishers, 1995
  • "The States After Roe: No 'Paper Tigers.' "In Understanding the New Politics of Abortion, edited by Malcolm L. Goggin, 167-189. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1993
  • "Abortion Policy in the Post-Webster Age," Publius 20 (Summer 1990):27-44.
  • Furman Faculty Member of the Year, 1990, 1997, 1999, and 2003
  • Liberty Bell Recipient 2001 and 2009
  • Alester G. Furman, Jr. and Janie Earle Furman Advisor of the Year, 1994
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