Political Scientists Have Something to Say About the Presidential and U.S. Senate Election Races
NEW PALTZ -- Four SUNY New Paltz political science professors will discuss, debate and analyze this fall's presidential and U.S. Senate election races in a forum to be held on Wednesday, October 11.
The forum will begin at 4 p.m. in the university's Lecture Center 112. It will be free and open to the public, and questions from the audience will be encouraged.
The forum will center on the closely contested presidential election and the controversial and heated U.S. Senate race between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rep. Rick Lazio.
"The forum will not only showcase the expertise of our political science staff," commented Robert Miraldi, a journalism professor who will moderate the forum, "it will also shed light on the nature of the campaigns, the issues that have emerged as important, and how these elections might play out on Election Day."
The panel members are Gerald Benjamin, the dean of New Paltz' School of Liberal Arts & Sciences; Nancy Kassop, acting chair of the Political Science Department; and political science professors Glenn McNitt and Joel Lefkowitz.
Benjamin has a doctorate from Columbia University's Department of Public Law and Government and is an authority on New York state government and politics. He was named associate editor of the Encyclopedia of New York State because of his expertise on state government. He has taught political science for 30 years and has been dean of liberal arts at New Paltz since 1996. A Republican, he is also the former chairman of the Ulster County Legislature.
Kassop, a noted scholar on the American presidency, is offering a course this semester on the topic. She was recently involved with 13 other nationally recognized scholars in a project through The Depew Charitable Trust to provide information to the White House staff entering office after the January 2001 inauguration. Kassop began teaching at New Paltz in 1984. Her doctorate is from New York University.
McNitt is an active unionist and currently president of the United University Professions, the union that represents 24,000 faculty and staff in the State University of New York. He has been a member of the Ulster County Democratic Committee for 25 years and has delivered numerous papers on public policy and American politics. McNitt has a doctorate in American government from Pennsylvania State University and has taught at New Paltz since 1973.
Lefkowitz, a faculty member with the Political Science Department since 1998, is currently teaching a course on campaigns and elections. For his doctoral dissertation from the City University of New York, he wrote about the re-election strategies of officeholders in the U.S. House of Representatives and the work challengers must do to unseat incumbents. He has regularly presented analyses of congressional elections at scholarly meetings.
Miraldi, the author of two books on investigative reporting, has taught journalism at New Paltz since 1982. He was a Fulbright Scholar in 1991 and has been an award-winning newspaper reporter and columnist.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
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