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The University of Texas at Austin

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

September 5, 2008

Gone to Texas

Gone To Texas Welcomes Student for 2008-09 Academic Year!!!

Welcome to the "Back-to-School" edition of News@LBJ!! Another glorious year was kicked off with the annual Gone to Texas event the evening before the official start of classes on August 27.  Using the building renovation as inspiration (and backdrop), Dean James B. Steinberg led the more than 200 LBJ School students in donning faux construction helmets for the march down to the UT Tower after a traditional Tex-Mex meal of burritos. This year, the School has welcomed some 140 new master’s degree-seeking students, 35 of whom entered as the School’s inaugural class for the new Master of Global Policy Studies (MGPS) degree.  Dean Steinberg lauded the class as being impressive in its diversity and promise when he welcomed them to the LBJ Community.

Madeleine Albright

Albright to Help Launch Global Policy Studies Degree

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright will be the honored guest for the launch of the new Master’s Degree in Global Policy Studies (MGPS) on Sept. 10 at the Atrium of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.  Albright will join LBJ School Dean James B. Steinberg in a "public conversation" exploring emerging international challenges and how the new MGPS degree will provide policy makers with the tools to lead in a contemporary global environment.  "Madeleine Albright is one of our  most influential scholars and practitioners whose career has helped chart new approaches to the emerging transnational challenges of our time, I can think of no one better suited to help us launch this exciting new degree program at the LBJ School," said Steinberg.  Albright’s and Steinberg’s "conversation" will be preceded by a discussion of how the MGPS program came into being—from its early conceptions to the welcoming of its inaugural class of 44 students this fall. 

Austin-Area Alumni Reception Scheduled for Sept. 15

The annual Dean’s Reception for Austin-Area Alumni has been scheduled for Monday, Sept. 15, from 6 - 8 p.m. in the President's Room, 6th Floor of the University of Texas Club, located in the Darryl K. Royal Memorial Stadium, 2108 Robert Dedman Drive. Dean James B. Steinberg invites alumni, faculty, and friends of the LBJ School to reception and to honor Anne Dunkelberg (Class of '88) with the Distinguished Public Servant Award for 2008.  Anne is the Assistant Director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities and is one of the state’s leading experts in policy and budget issues relating to health care access.  Please RSVP acceptances only by Sept. 5 to rsvplbj@austin.utexas.edu. If you have any questions, please contact the Alumni Affairs Coordinator, Kennard Wright, at kennard.wright@austin.utexas.edu.

System Overload for November Election? CPG Panel to Discuss Sept. 29

voting machine

As November’s elections approach, poll officials across the country worry that the influx of new voters and new voting technologies on already-stressed electoral systems could have significant impact on the vote—at the very least, long lines, over-stressed poll workers and late tallies on Election Day.  Recent experience suggests concerns are warranted—particularly the presidential ballots in Florida (2000) and Ohio (2004), and congressional races California and Florida (2006).  To discuss these issues, the Center for Politics and Governance will bring together a panel of national experts on electoral systems management on Sept. 29.  The panel will be hosted by adjunct Professor Ray Martinez (a former commissioner with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission), and will include Rosemary Rodriguez, current chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, that oversees voting system certification; Doug Chapin, director of electionline.org, the division of the Pew Charitable Trusts and an expert on election law/policy news; Dan Wallach, technology professor at Rice University and a prominent critic of paperless electronic voting systems; David Beirne, executive director of the Election Technology Council, the national trade organization for voting system vendors; Ann McGeehan, Elections Division director for the Texas Secretary of State’s office; and Dana DeBeauvoir, Travis County Clerk (and LBJ School alumna) whose office manages Travis County’s paperless electronic voting system.  The panel discussion will be between noon and 2 p.m. in the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center Ballroom on 20th Street.

LBJ Students Launch New Public Affairs Radio Program

Congratulations to LBJ Students for getting a public affairs show on KVRX, the student radio station of UT-Austin, to be broadcast on both airwaves and the internet every Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.  The show aspires to provide in-depth policy and political analysis on a given topic each week, involving the whole LBJ community to produce segments and inviting faculty experts who have expertise in the week’s topic to come and speak about it on-air. Students interested in getting involved by producing a segment or an entire show, or faculty members willing to leading on-air discussions, can email Andrew Hoekzema at andrew.hoekzema@gmail.com. Andrew says he hopes “this radio show can become a forum for the LBJ community to share their ideas and thoughts with the University community and Austin community at large."

Deanna Schexnayder

Deanna Schexnayder Named Outstanding Supervisor by UT Austin

Deanna Schexnayder, research scientist and associate director of the Ray Marshall Center, received the Outstanding Supervisor Award from William Powers, Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin, during the annual Staff Recognition Program and President's Reception held at the Texas Union Ballroom on May 1, 2008. Schexnayder was one of two supervisors chosen for the award from a campus-wide pool of over 130 nominations.

TG Awards $200,000 Grant for Student Futures Project

TG, a public nonprofit corporation focusing on access to higher education, has awarded a $200,000 grant to The Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources for the ongoing Central Texas Student Futures Project for fiscal year 2009.  TG’s support for the project is in its third year and so far has exceeded $625,000.  The project tracks college and workforce participation for graduates of 10 Central Texas independent school districts and identifies factors associated with student success after high school.  The overall project began in Fall 2004 and will continue at least through 2010. Other project funders include the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Texas Education Agency and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. RMC Director Chris King and Assistant Director Deanna Schexnayder are joint principal investigators for the project.

Web Site Indicates Iranian Capability to Disrupt Oil Flows Exaggerated

A comprehensive web resource on how the Strait of Hormuz and escalating military tensions in the Persian Gulf affect global access to oil has been launched by LBJ Professor and Strauss Center for International Security and Law Senior Fellow Eugene Gholz.  The web site is the product of Gholz’s Policy Research Project conducted by a group of 16 graduate students who questioned about how much capability Iran really has to disrupt oil flows in the Persian Gulf.  Gholz and the students from the class traveled to Washington, D.C. this summer to brief intelligence officials on their findings. The web site includes information on how difficult it would be to block the Strait; how the oil market would adapt to such a disruption; and what political and military steps could be taken by countries like the United States to remedy the situation.

For more information, check out the web site at: http://hormuz.robertstrausscenter.org.

Alumni Newsmakers

Congratulations to Karen Shafer (Class of ‘91) who graduated with her Ph.D in Political Science from Arizona State University in May. . .LaTanya Flix (Class of ‘96) was named executive director of The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston. . .Craig Adair (Class of ‘06) accepted the position of Legislative Director for State Representative Lon Burnam . . .Have items you want to share in Alumni newsmakers?  Send an email to Kennard Wright at kennard.wright@austin.utexas.edu to let you colleagues and classmates know where you are and what’s going on!!

LBJ Newsmakers. . .

On Oct. 21, the New York Times published the op/ed “All the Oil We Need” co-authored by Professor Eugene Gholz with Daryl G. Press, an associate professor of government at Dartmouth College, which warns of the United States’ exaggerated fears over energy security.

The Austin American Statesman drew upon the expertise of Professor Admiral B. R. Inman (ret.) in discussing the resignation of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in it editorial “Pakistan looms large in America's future” on August 20.

American Public Radio Marketplace program recently aired Professor James Galbraith’s commentary on how Republican candidates have been recently repositioning themselves away from big industries.  The commentary can be found on the Marketplace web site. http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/08/07/conservatives  

Galbraith was also featured on The New Republic magazine blog on ways to improve the Democratic convention, the CBS News web site referencing his and Olivier Giovannoni identification of a Republican-favoring pattern of apparent election-year bias  in the setting of interest rates, and in the “Talking Points Memo” blog, which devoted a full week to discussion his new book, The Predator State, with comments from Sidney Blumenthal, Maggie Mahar, Mike Lind, Susan Feiner, Max Sawicky, Tom Palley and Jonathan Taplin.   

New Republic: http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/08/18/

Talking Points memo: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/tpmcafe-book-club/

CBS News:  http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/17/politics/animal/main4356508.shtml  

Professor Paul Stekler published an op/ed on how the candidates’ issue frames from Election 2004 are influencing Election 2008 for the August 26 Austin American Statesman

About News@LBJ

"News@LBJ" is a regular electronic newsletter distributed by the Dean's Office to keep faculty, staff, and students informed about news and events at The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. We encourage everyone to share their news, events, and suggestions with us via e-mail to kerri.battles@mail.utexas.edu.