Media and Public Relations

Where Innovation Is Tradition

Media Sources Guide

CATEGORY: PoliticsClear

Bryan Caplan

Associate Professor of Economics

Expertise: voter irrationality

Caplan is author of “The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies” and an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute. Caplan's articles have appeared in the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, Social Science Quarterly and numerous other outlets.

Media Contact: Buzz McClain, (703) 993-8782,

John Farina

Associate Professor, Religious Studies Department

Expertise: politics, law, public affairs

As an attorney, Farina has practiced corporate and church-state law and published articles on current topics on law and religion. He is the author of "Beauty for Ashes: Spiritual Reflections on the Attack on America" and "Great Spiritual Masters: Their Answers to Six of Life's Questions." He is currently writing "The Intelligible Sphere: Theory of Religion in Civil Society."

Media Contact: Buzz McClain, (703) 993-8782,

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Michael Fauntroy

Assistant Professor of Public Policy

Expertise: Republicans and the black vote, race and public policy

Fauntroy is the author of the recently released book “Republicans and the Black Vote.” He teaches courses in urban policy and American government and specializes in race and American politics. Prior to joining the faculty at Mason, he was an analyst in American national government at the Congressional Research Service, where he provided research and consultations for members and committees of Congress. He was also a civil rights analyst at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, where he conducted research on major civil rights issues.

Media Contact: Buzz McClain, (703) 993-8782,

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Mark Hopson

Assistant Professor of Communication

Expertise: Race and mass media, rhetoric of race, culture and gender

Hopson holds a PhD in Intercultural Communication from Ohio University, and MA and BA degrees in Organizational Communication from Western Michigan University.

His research involves communication informed by race, culture, power, marginalization, gender, identity and difference. In his research, he examines the way mass media informs perceptions about race and culture.

In addition, he has training and experience in violence prevention-education, diversity workshops, and academic and life skill building programs.

He is currently working on a book titled, “The Talking Drum: Exploring the Role of Critical Memory in Intercultural Communication.”

He can also discuss the way race and racial issues are used in media and communication in regards to presidential campaigns.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781,

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Jeremy Mayer

Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Director, Masters of Public Policy Program

Expertise: media, foreign policy, public opinion

Mayer published a groundbreaking study, “Racial Politics in Presidential Campaigns 1960-2000,” as well as articles and chapters on presidents and elections. Mayer has extensive media experience, appearing on national and international programs including “World News Tonight,” “The Newshour,” “Headline News” and CNBC. He has also given multiple lectures on behalf of the U.S. government on American politics in countries around the globe including Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and Portugal.

Media Contact: Buzz McClain, (703) 993-8782,

Michael McDonald

Assistant Professor, Government and Politics

Expertise: voting behavior, political methodology

McDonald is a senior non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution. His research shows that voter turnout is not declining, the ineligible population is rising. His research on redistricting warns of the uncompetitive nature of elections as a result of redistricting. McDonald has worked as a redistricting consultant for several states and has authored several articles and op-eds on voting and elections.

Media Contact: Buzz McClain, (703) 993-8782,

Janette Muir

Associate Professor, New Century College

Expertise: Political campaigns, political advertising, first ladies

Muir can discuss the role of political communication in campaigns. She can also talk about political advertising and presidential ads, political debates, gender differences in communication and problems with media coverage. She is very interested in engaging citizens in critical thinking about political campaigns and helping them to become better informed voters. In January 2008, she took a group of younger voters to the New Hampshire primaries to study youth engagement in politics.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781,

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Len M. Nichols

Professor and Director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics

Web Site

Expertise: Health Care Reform, Health Policy

Len M. Nichols, renowned health care economist and former director of the Health Policy Program at New America Foundation (NAF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research institute, joined Mason’s College of Health and Human Services on March 1 as a professor and director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (CHPRE).

In his position at NAF, Nichols successfully bridged the worlds of health economics and health services research among health system stakeholders and clinical leaders, elected and appointed policy officials and journalists. He founded and directed Health CEOs for Health Reform, an NAF sub-group that was pivotal in helping policy-makers see that delivery system reform and health insurance reform are necessary and feasible partners.

During his time at NAF, Nichols testified frequently before Congress and state legislators and published widely in a variety of health journals, including a commentary on the health care debate, “Be Not Afraid,” which was published Feb. 24 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Before joining NAF, Nichols served as vice president of the Center for Studying Health System Change, principal research associate at the Urban Institute, senior advisor for health policy at the Office of Management and Budget during the Clinton administration and chair of the Economics Department at Wellesley College.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781,

James Pfiffner

Professor in the School of Public Policy

Expertise: The U.S. presidency, American national government, public management

In addition to lecturing at the State, Justice and Defense Departments, Pfiffner has lectured at universities throughout the United States and Europe. He has written or edited 10 books on the presidency and American government and served in the director’s office of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Pfiffner is a decorated war veteran and has been listed in “Who’s Who in America” in 2000.

Media Contact: Buzz McClain, (703) 993-8782,

Peter Pober

Director, Forensics Team, and Associate Professor of Communication

Expertise: Public speaking, communication, debate

Pober is the director of the nationally ranked forensics team and an expert in public speaking and presidential debates. He can discuss the importance of public speaking and communication in campaigning, and how public speaking can affect one’s image. He can also give tips on effective public speaking for someone in a leadership role.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781,

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