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Political Science

Todd Schaefer: Spotlight

  • What’s your favorite quote? "It's ONLY your Constitution we're talking about (not like it's important)" - Prof. William Hochman, my history advisor (who also taught my mom)
  • What drew you to the field? Probably the fact that I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa (the center of the political universe every four years), my mother is very active in politics, and we had a great political cartoonist for my local paper.
  • How did your college experience affect you? Actually, I wouldn't be doing this if it hadn't been for my undergraduate experience; I actually ended up working as research assistant for one of my professors on a book about the presidency and decided being a prof would be an interesting, rewarding and enjoyable thing to do for the rest of my life.
  • What is your favorite class to teach? I enjoy all of them to one degree or another, but probably the elections class, just because it's fun to actually be able to illustrate things the students are learning in real time, and candidates do such interesting (?!) things.
  • Research underway? Newspaper editorial positions on broadcast regulation (indecency/smut, ownership); media coverage of presidential travel; and African media coverage of President Obama's "Birther" controversy.  I'm doing a number of these with Prof. Bob Fordan in the Comm. Dept.  I also write a monthly column, rotating with Prof. Manweller and 2 other CWU profs., for the local paper.
  • University Service? Well, I am the Department Chair ("less teaching, more meetings and paperwork")
  • Hobbies? Risking Life and Limb on Outdoor Adventures (Hiking, (sea/lake) Kayaking, Whitewater Rafting).
  • Favorite vacation spot? The Bay of Islands in New Zealand (1991) was pretty cool, but most recently: McCall, Idaho
  • An interesting thing that happened to you? About a month after coming here (Fall, 1996), I was selected by USA Today online (thanks to a CWU alum who was one of their editors) to be the "West Coast" prof. expert for the first presidential debate between Clinton and Dole. I also went to college with Dick Cheney's eldest daughter, and grad school with Noam Chomsky's nephew.