Experts Guide

2016 Presidential Race Analysis

The 2016 presidential election was historic in many ways, ending with the election of Donald Trump in an election night that went against almost all the national polls.

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

pacelle_Richard-PacelleRichard Pacelle, head of the Department of Political Science, who 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; Do polls still have their place in elections; If America has ever been this divided, politically, before; Whether changes can be made via executive order or require Congressional approval (such as overturning Obamacare, libel laws, etc.)

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

Grzanka photoPatrick Grzanka, assistant professor of psychology, who 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, at upcoming holidays, etc.; 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, who 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, who can address the outcome of the presidential election in relation to the role of women in politics; 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, who 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


Political Correctness in Campaign Rhetoric

In a column for The Hill, Stuart Brotman, Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor of Media Management and Law and the Beaman Professor of Communication and Information, writes that “from the beginning of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has led the charge against political correctness. Trump has continuously tested the boundaries of civic discourse.”

Brotman150Brotman has served in four presidential administrations and is an expert in media law, digital economy, the media industry and the US government. His graduate class, the Political Social Media Monitoring Research Group, has been monitoring social media activity throughout the election using the College of Communication and Information’s Adam Brown Social Media Command Center. Read more.

Poetry and Tragedy

The past month has yielded back-to-back tragedies in the United States and around the world that have left many reeling.

Kallet150Marilyn Kallet, professor of English and a poet, put pen to paper in response to one of these tragedies. “Why do we turn to poetry when we suffer a collective shock? In many tribal societies, songs of healing and chants for wholeness are offered in times of crisis,” Kallet wrote. Read more.

LGBT Issues and Race

The mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, is stirring conversation over the multiple discriminations gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people of color may face over their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

grzankaPatrick R. Grzanka is an assistant professor of psychology and affiliate faculty of women’s studies and American studies. Grzanka’s interdisciplinary work broadly encompasses the study of emotions, mental health, and intersecting systems of inequality. Read more.

Zika Virus

Erwin_PaulPaul Erwin, head of the department of public health, is a board-certified doctor of internal medicine. His topics of expertise include public health, international health and infectious diseases of public health significance.