faculty

Drury’s Dan Ponder featured on St. Louis TV post-election

NEWS: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SPRINGFIELD, MO., Nov. 4–Drury Associate Professor of Political Science Dan Ponder was interviewed by KTVI/KPLR reporter Betsey Bruce on Wednesday, Nov. 3 on Drury’s campus. Dr. Ponder’s comments on the outcome of Tuesday’s election were used in Bruce’s story that addressed Roy Blunt’s Senate victory and the other Republican Congressional wins. The story aired on FOX2 News and on KPLR Tuesday evening.

Click here to watch the story.

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Drury professor pens op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dan PonderDr. Dan Ponder, associate professor of political science at Drury, authored an opinion-editorial that appeared in the Oct. 26 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This is his second op-ed to appear in the Post-Dispatch in the last three months.

Here is a link to Ponder’s piece: “Handicapping the election — old-school style”

Here is the full text of Ponder’s article:

Democrats are in big trouble this November, but not entirely because midterm elections inevitably are a referendum on the president’s record. Republicans, especially in Missouri, will fare well in the midterm elections for other reasons.

With only three exceptions since 1862, the presidential party has lost House seats in the midterm elections. Even if we ignore Grover Cleveland’s massive 116-seat loss in 1894, the average loss is more than 30 seats in the House. The Senate is a bit easier for the presidential party, but even there the average loss is three seats.

It’s unclear why this happens. But we do know that a more likely cause for the loss than serving as a referendum on the president is the fact that when a party picks up a lot of seats in the last election cycle or two, they are likely to lose a lot of those seats in the post-presidential victory midterm elections.

The Democrats won 52 new seats in the last two cycles, many of them in conservative districts. These seats are hard to defend in a “normal” year.

It is probable that Americans will be guided by national conditions when they vote next Tuesday. Presidents with approval ratings below 50 percent in the month before the midterm averaged a 38-seat loss, just one shy of the number the Republicans need to make John Boehner of Ohio the Speaker of the House. Obama’s approval rating is 47 percent.

Here in Missouri, however, the referendum hypothesis does not extend to Missouri’s race for the U.S. Senate between U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield, and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, a Democrat. Rather, this race turns on textbook geography, math and logic.

Greene County, the third most populous voting region in the state, is Blunt’s stomping ground and is heavily Republican. Most Democrats lose in Greene County.

Blunt will draw a large voter turnout in Greene County, and simple math tells us that since the county is conservative, Democrats can win statewide only if they minimize the margin by which they lose in Greene. Sen. Claire McCaskill ran for governor in 2004 and lost. She ran for senator in 2006 and won. Both times the outcome was driven by whether she minimized her losses in Greene County.

So the Democratic strategy is to run up the score in strongholds in St. Louis city, St. Louis County and Kansas City, and minimize their losses in Greene, giving them a fighting chance. But when a Blunt is on the ballot, that’s difficult to do.

The referendum hypothesis in Missouri also defies logic. Barack Obama lost Missouri to John McCain in 2008. Moreover, retiring Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, a Republican, has held that seat since 1987. Polls predict that a Carnahan victory is increasingly unlikely, so if she were to win, that really would be an interesting story.

Missourians are faced with the prospect of sending Blunt, a Missouri political mainstay and part of the House Republican leadership for many years, or Robin Carnahan, member of a Missouri family political dynasty, to Washington, D.C.

Additionally, if Blunt wins, Missouri will continue to be one of about a quarter of all states that have ‘split delegations,” meaning they send one Democrat and one Republican to the Senate. That number is even higher if you count Vermont and Connecticut, each of which has elected an independent.

There are other places where the presidential referendum or “test” theories might play out more plausibly, such as West Virginia, Illinois, California or Wisconsin. Missouri’s race, important and coveted by both parties, just is not as interesting this year as others around the country.

Daniel Ponder is associate professor of political science at Drury University in Springfield, Mo., and author of “Good Advice: Information and Policy Making in the White House.”

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

Drury Political Expert: Republican wins in November do not indicate a referendum on Obama

Republicans may win more seats in November, but that doesn’t mean there’s a referendum against the Democrats or President Obama, says a Drury University professor of political science.

Dan Ponder, associate professor of political science says, “With only three exceptions since 1862, the presidential party has lost House seats in the midterm. Even if we ignore Grover Cleveland’s massive 116-seat loss in 1894, the average loss is more than 30 seats in the House.  The Senate is a bit easier for presidents to get a hold on, but even there the average loss is three seats.” He adds that Democrats won 52 seats in the last two elections, many in conservative districts, and that they would be tough to defend in a “normal” year. Dr. Ponder can also discuss:

  • The Roy Blunt-Robin Carnahan Senate race in Missouri, the history of these two political power families and how a Republican victory would NOT be a referendum on the President.
  • A historical perspective on a president’s approval rating and the effect it can have on Midterm elections.
  • How Greene County, the third most populous voting region in Missouri, is the difference between winning and losing in the state.

Professor Ponder teaches courses on American politics, the presidency, Congress and Constitutional Law. He has written a book, Good Advice: Information and Policy Making in the White House. Dr. Ponder is a Missouri native and has a historical perspective on Missouri politics.

Contact:
Dan Ponder, (417) 873-7394, deponder@drury.edu, or Mark Miller, Director of Media Relations, (417) 873-7390, (417) 839-2886 (cell), markmiller@drury.edu, or Bill Johnson, Halstead Communications, (212) 734-2190 x 701, Johnson@halsteadpr.com.

Drury professor and student are recognized as top female communicators

For Immediate Release: October 11

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 11, 2010 — The Association for Women in Communications (AWC) recently honored Drury Communication Student Lauren Ormsby and Communication Associate Professor Regina Waters, Ph. D., with two of the organization’s top awards.

Lauren Ormsby

Ormsby, a senior at Drury, earned the AWC’s Rising Star award. Established in 1990, the Rising Star Award is given to one student member out of all AWC chapters in the nation and is the highest honor the AWC can bestow on a student member. This is the second straight year a Drury student has earned the award. Mallory Noelke was honored in 2009.

Ormsby is a double major in advertising and public relations, works in the communications office of a Springfield hospital and is an active member of Drury’s Ad Team. She accomplishes all of this while maintaining a high grade point average.

Dr. Regina Waters

Waters earned the AWC’s Outstanding Faculty Advisor award. Besides teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Drury’s communication department, she also provides leadership for Drury’s AWC student chapter (Drury Communication Networks).  Waters’ nomination mentioned her willingness to review student resumes and connect students to internships and employment as two of the qualities that stood out.  She has served as the chapter advisor since 1996 and currently serves as program chair for the Springfield AWC professional chapter.

Media Contact:
Dr. Regina Waters
Associate Professor of Communication
Office: (417) 873-7251
E-mail: rwaters@drury.edu

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visitwww.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

Acclaimed author and speaker to discuss learning disabilities at Drury

For Immediate Release: September 16

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 16, 2010 — Drury University will host the Developing Successful Youth (DSY) conference on Sept. 24 in Clara Thompson Hall from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Author and speaker Rick Lavoie will present a talk titled, “It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success.”

According to Lavoie, students with learning disabilities often fail due to a lack of social skills not academic skills. In this seminar, Lavoie will discuss the impact of social incompetence in a child’s daily life, the use of social skill “autopsies” to improve social interaction, a review of the history of learning disabilities, and how current approaches can be improved.

This daylong conference will appeal to educators, as well as parents of children with learning disabilities, Asperger’s syndrome and autism. The registration fee is $150, but there is a discounted rate for groups of 10 or more. Students may attend for $35. For additional information, contact Dr. Jayne White at (417) 873-7260 or visit the website at www.drury.edu/dsy.

Contact:
Dr. Jayne White
Professor of Education
Office: (417) 873-7260
E-mail: jwhite@drury.edu

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visitwww.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

In memoriam: Dr. Sam Smith

For Immediate Release: September 14

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 14, 2010 — Drury Emeritus Professor Dr. Sam Smith died on Saturday, Sept. 11, after a two-and-a-half week battle with pneumonia. He was 87.

Smith taught at Drury from 1959-1988. He was an expert in world religions and led numerous international study trips during his tenure. In 22 years of retirement, Smith was active as an ordained minister and regularly preached at several churches throughout the Ozarks.

“He was a great friend and leader within our community. He will be deeply missed,” said Dr. Peter Browning, Drury University chaplain.

In May, the Drury School of Religion honored Smith and Dr. Allen Eikner with lifetime achievement awards as part of the school’s centennial celebration.

Smith’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, at National Avenue Christian Church in Springfield.

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visitwww.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

Local attorney discusses founding perspective on religious freedom

For Immediate Release: September 10

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 10, 2010 — Tom Strong will present a talk titled “Religious Freedom: Our Founding Fathers’ View” on Friday, Sept. 17 at noon in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Strong will use sixty-two graphics to help explain how religious beliefs in Europe and Asia influenced religious beliefs in the New World; the different faiths in the colonies; the beliefs of our founding fathers and how the American Revolution influenced our thoughts about religious freedom. He will further discuss how the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment.

Strong is a trial attorney with more than 50 years of experience. He has been recognized with honors including “The Order of the Barristers” award from the University of Missouri and recognition in The Best Lawyers in America.

This event will be co-hosted by the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association (SMBA) and Drury University’s Pre-Law Fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta.

Parking is available for the public. Map of the Drury Campus

Media Contact:
Dr. Dan Ponder
Associate Professor of History and Political Science
Office: (417) 873-7394
E-mail: deponder@drury.edu

Or

Janis Prewitt Auner, J.D.
Assistant Professor of Management
Office: (417) 873-7610
E-mail: jprewitt@drury.edu

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visitwww.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

Drury professor to be honored at United Kingdom’s House of Lords

For Immediate Release: September 3

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 3, 2010 — Drury Art History Professor Thomas E. Russo will attend a reception at the House of Lords, the upper house of the United Kingdom’s parliament, in London, England on Sept. 8. The reception is hosted by the Lord Bishop of Lincoln and is in honor of those that have supported Lincoln Cathedral.

Russo’s main area of study is medieval art, and he served as a consultant for the restoration of the 12th-century façade sculpture on Lincoln Cathedral in 1995 and 1996. In the fall of 2000, Russo presented the cathedral’s Bishop Grosseteste Lecture in the 13th-century chapter house. The annual lecture is a fundraiser for the cathedral’s medieval library, and Russo’s lecture drew the largest audience to date in the series. Consecrated in 1092, the cathedral towers over the city of Lincoln, which is located about 150 miles north of London.

Currently, Russo is working with Lincoln Cathedral to bring the original Magna Carta from 1215 to an exhibition venue in the Midwest. The Magna Carta was the foundation for the United States’ Constitution by laying down limitations on the power of the crown.

The Dean of Lincoln Cathedral and Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire are also co-hosting the reception.

Media Contact:
Dr. Thomas Russo
Professor of Art History
Office: (417) 873-7413
E-mail: trusso@drury.edu

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.