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Steve ScarpaDecember 10, 20229min
With pride in their accomplishments and hopes for a bright future, fifteen students celebrated their initiation into the Connecticut Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at a ceremony held on December 7 in the McKelvey Room at the Office of Admission. In order to be inducted into the nation’s oldest scholastic honor society, students must be nominated by the department of their major, have completed their general education expectations, and must have a grade point average of 93 or above. “For students elected in the fall, it is an especially exacting selection process because admittance is based on a student’s…

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Steve ScarpaApril 4, 20227min
It isn’t often that watching late night comedy would be considered preparation for an environmental studies senior capstone project, but that turned out to the case for Belle Brown ‘22. Regular viewing of John Oliver’s commentary on environmental issues helped inform Brown’s upcoming stand-up comedy set about the absurdities of the Monsanto Company. “Belle decided to do the comedy act as her capstone project as a way of presenting research about policy and politics related to big-agriculture in a format that might be more accessible to people. I just saw a preview, and it is hilarious as well as informative,”…

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Lauren RubensteinJanuary 30, 20182min
The Wesleyan Media Project’s research is resonating in our nation’s capital and beyond. Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, together with a team of Wesleyan students and colleagues at several institutions across the United States, conducts research on campaign advertising and health media, which is informing work in government, nonprofits and the private sector. In January, the Bipartisan Policy Center released a major report, The State of Campaign Finance in the U.S., which relied heavily on data and research from the Wesleyan Media Project. The task force that developed the report, led by a Stanford law professor and top…

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Olivia DrakeDecember 8, 20173min
In this Q&A, Assistant Professor of Government Justin Peck speaks about his research interests, teaching at Wesleyan and road-tripping across the United States. (Brandon Sides ’18 contributed to this article.) Q: Professor Peck, what are your primary areas of research? A: My dissertation attempts to explain when and why post-WWII Congresses enacted legal constraints on executive authority. And that's now my primary area of research; the second area of my research concerns when and how the Republican Party’s position on civil rights issues has changed since the Civil War. Q: What are your current projects? A: I'm working on a book…

Lauren RubensteinNovember 1, 20172min
Two Government Department faculty recently co-authored scholarly articles with recent Wesleyan undergraduates. Chloe Rinehart '14 and James McGuire, chair and professor of government, are the co-authors of “Obstacles to Takeup: Ecuador’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program, the Bono de Desarrollo Humano," published in World Development in September 2017. Rinehart and McGuire examined factors that keep impoverished people from benefiting from the social assistance programs for which they are legally eligible. Taking the case of Ecuador's Bono de Desarrollo Humano (BDH), a U.S. $50 monthly cash transfer to families in the poorest 40 percent of the income distribution, they used field research in Ecuador to identify potential obstacles to…

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Lauren RubensteinJuly 26, 20172min
Writing in The Washington Post, Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler and Sarah Gollust '01 show how local television news coverage is making it more difficult for the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. "The ACA repeal was always going to be a tough, uphill battle in the Senate, as we explained here in May. The stakes are high — both for the millions of Americans who now have insurance through Obamacare, and for the Republican Party that promised to repeal it," they wrote. "Senate efforts have failed so far for a variety of reasons.…

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Lauren RubensteinMay 24, 20173min
Assistant Professor of Government Ioana Emy Matesan discussed the recent terror attack in Manchester, England on CBS Connecticut. Matesan said the big question on her mind is the nature of the perpetrator's connection to ISIS. At this time, not much is known about the perpetrator's background. We know from terrorism studies that there is no single profile to explain "why an individual would join a terrorist group or why they would undertake a terrorist attack, so there are so many possible paths to radicalization. That story we do not know yet," she said. "The other interesting question that we're not exactly sure…

Lauren RubensteinMay 5, 20173min
Researchers affiliated with the Wesleyan Media Project wrote in The Washington Post on May 5 on what "Americans will really dislike about the House 'Trumpcare' bill." The article, authored by Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, Courtney Laermer '17, Wesleyan Media Project Project Manager Laura Baum, and Sarah Gollust '01, is based on data from Laermer's senior thesis. House Republicans voted on May 4 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with their alternative plan, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The authors argue that this vote is likely to cause headaches for Republicans due to several unpopular changes it makes to the…

Lauren RubensteinApril 19, 20173min
Professor of Government Giulio Gallarotti was a guest recently on "Best of the Valley/ Shore" on WLIS/WMRD to discuss "Current Challenges of American Foreign Policy." "Our economy is doing well, the stock market is strong. The Fed's been talking about raising interest rates, that's how well we're doing. And that hasn't happened in a long, long time," said Gallarotti by way of introduction. "There's a lot going on all over the world and Americans are involved all over the world because we're a global power." On recent tensions with Russia, he said: "I think it's always been a kabuki dance, even at…

Lauren RubensteinMarch 17, 20173min
Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler is an author of a new paper released in HealthAffairs examining the link between health insurance changes after the first Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period and the efforts of federal, state, and non-profit sponsors to market their products. Fowler and her co-authors found that advertising worked—more ads for the ACA produced a significantly higher rate of insurance enrollment. The study, conducted in collaboration with researchers at the University of Minnesota (including Sarah Gollust ’01), uses advertising and television news data from the Wesleyan Media Project. It is one of the key…

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Lauren RubensteinMarch 9, 20172min
The 2016 presidential campaign broke the mold when it comes to patterns of political advertising. But, in a new publication, the Wesleyan Media Project (co-directed by Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler) says, "Not so fast" to those who argue that advertising no longer matters in elections. The article published in The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics (open access through mid-April 2017) shows that the presidential race featured far less advertising than the previous cycle, a huge imbalance in the number of ads across candidates, and one candidate who almost ignored discussions of policy. Yet, at the…

Lauren RubensteinFebruary 17, 20174min
Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler and Sarah Gollust '01, associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, are authors of a new paper published Feb. 16 in the American Journal of Public Health examining local TV news coverage of the Affordable Care Act rollout in 2013 and 2014. Though television news played a key role in providing information about the ACA when Americans were first learning about the details of new insurance options open to them, this is the first analysis of public health-relevant content of this coverage during the ACA's first open enrollment period. In an…