University of Pittsburgh
January 2, 2008

Pitt Faculty Available to Comment on Presidential Primaries

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The following University of Pittsburgh faculty are available to comment on the Iowa Caucuses, the New Hampshire primary, the contenders, and issues surrounding the presidential elections.

David C. Barker, associate professor and director of graduate studies in Pitt's Department of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences, has expertise in American politics, political psychology, and methodology.

Barker's book "Rushed to Judgment? Talk Radio, Persuasion and American Political Behavior," (Columbia University Press, 2002), part of the "Power, Conflict, and Democracy Series" edited by Robert Shapiro, was nominated for the McGannon Communication Policy Research Award and the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism. It has been cited in many popular media outlets, including "The Atlantic," "The NewsHour," "The New York Times," "The Washington Post," "The Al Franken Show" (Air America radio), and "The Rush Limbaugh Show." Barker may be reached at 412-648-7275 (office), or; or through Trish White at 412-624-9101 (office), 412-215-9932 (cell), or

Susan Hansen, professor of political science in Pitt's Department of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences, with joint appointments in Women's Studies and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, has expertise in American politics, economic policy, taxation, state and local politics, and women and politics, including state policies affecting women and the impact of women in public office.

Hansen has written numerous articles in academic journals, including "Explaining the 'Brain Drain' From Older Industrial Cities: The Pittsburgh Region," with Leonard Huggins and Carolyn Ban, in "Economic Development Quarterly" (2003); "Governors' Job Performance Ratings and State Unemployment: The Case of California," in "State and Local Government Review" (Winter 1999); "State Implementation of Supreme Court Decisions: Abortion Rates Since Roe v. Wade," in "Journal of Politics" (May 1980); and "The Supreme Court, the States, and Social Change: The Case of Abortion," in "Journal of Peace and Change" (Fall 1980). Her book, "Globalization and the Politics of Pay: Policy Choices in the American States" (Georgetown University Press, 2006), analyzes the impact of economic policy choices and labor regulations on adaptation to globalization in the 50 states since 1970. Hansen may be reached at 412-648-7272 (office), or; or through Trish White at 412-624-9101 (office), 412-215-9932 (cell), or

Gerald Shuster, expert in presidential rhetoric and political communication and faculty member in Pitt's Department of Communication in the School of Arts and Sciences, is primarily interested in the political arena from a political communication perspective, evaluating communication theories and concepts in political campaigns by the strategies candidates and political parties use. Shuster's expertise includes the modern presidency-from John Kennedy through the current president.

Shuster frequently provides the media with commentary on political issues, campaigns, and events, as well as analysis of presidential addresses. Shuster is available at 412-624-5199 (office), or; or through Trish White at 412-624-9101 (office), 412-215-9932 (cell), or

For a list of Pitt faculty experts, visit