Experts Guide

Presidential Election and Inauguration Topics

UT experts who can address aspects of President Donald Trump’s election include:

pacelle_Richard-PacelleRichard Pacelle, head of the Department of Political Science, can address the historical nature of having the first president without military or public service experience; how and why polls were wrong about the outcome; whether polls still have their place in elections; if America has ever been this divided, politically, before; and whether changes can be made via executive order or require Congressional approval (such as overturning the Affordable Care Act, libel laws, etc.).

Richard Pacelle may be reached at his office, 865-974-2845, or at

Grzanka photoPatrick Grzanka, assistant professor of psychology, can address fears that immigrants, people of color, Muslims, sexual and gender minorities, and any minority group might be facing following the election.

Patrick Grzanka may be reached at his office, 865-974-3788, or at

courtneywrightCourtney N. Wright, associate professor of communication studies, can address how to talk about or not talk about politics going forward in your workplace; civility in the wake of the election; civility and discussion in the classroom and with students.

Courtney N. Wright can be reached at her office, 865-974-7066, or at

Martinez photoMichael T. Martínez, assistant professor of journalism and electronic media, can address how a Donald Trump presidency might impact the media, since Trump had said he planned to “open up libel laws” to make it easier to sue news outlets.

Michael T. Martínez may be reached at his office, 865 974-5155, or at

Roessner photoAmber Roessner, an associate professor of journalism and electronic media, can address the outcome of the presidential election in relation to the role of women in politics; and how Donald Trump was able successfully portray himself as an anti-establishment candidate.

Amber Roessner can be reached at her office, 865-974-5155, or at

Gordon photoKristina Gordon, professor of psychology, can address how families and friends can overcome divisions raised during the campaign; How to overcome ill will garnered during the campaign.

Kristina Gordon may be reached at her office, 865-974-3347, or at

Julie AndsagerJulie Andsager, professor of journalism and electronic media, on the polls in the 2016 race: “Most of the polls weren’t as far wrong as people think, but the importance of the margin of error didn’t receive enough attention from news media. It appears that Trump supporters may have avoided participating in polls due to his criticism of the polling industry and the media.”

Julie Andsager can be reached at her office 865-974-5155, or at 

Wolitz_DavidDavid Wolitz, associate professor of law, can address what can a president do – and not do – unilaterally, such as revoking Obamacare, changing law related to media, etc., as well as how the Supreme Court is likely to change with Trump appointees and what decisions might be reversed.

David Wolitz can be reached at his office 865-974-6742 or at

Martin Luther King Jr. Streets and Landmarks

Derek Alderman is an expert in cultural and historical geography, specifically related to public memory, heritage tourism, the civil rights movement, and African-American history. He has researched and written extensively about streets and landmarks named after Martin Luther King Jr. Read more.

Gasoline and Diesel Taxes

Taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel could be going up in order to fill a funding gap between state and federal systems to maintain and update Tennessee’s aging highways and bridges. 

Matthew Murray, director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and associate director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, is an expert in state tax policy and has been studying the impact of fuel taxes in recent years. Read more.


J. Camille Hall, associate professor in the Trauma Treatment Graduate Certificate program in the College of Social Work, is an expert in risk and resilience factors among African-American individuals, families, and communities; and adult children of alcoholics and women. Read more.

Rebecca Bolen, professor of social work and chair of the Trauma Treatment Graduate Certificate program, is an expert in child welfare, child sexual abuse, and victimization of sexual abuse. Read more.

Computer Security and Privacy

Stella Sun is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Her research focuses on computer security and privacy, information assurance, trustworthy computing, wireless networks, and mobile computing. Read more.

Healthy Beginnings in the New Year

Lee Murphy, professor of nutrition,  says, “People often think of resolutions as eating less of something or cutting it out altogether, but I think it’s more fun and realistic to try and think positively about food.” Read more.