Making Headlines: W&M experts called upon by national media outlets

  • W&M Faculty ExpertLeading ornithologist and Professor of Biology Dan Cristol was quoted in the Associated Press and USA Today, and was interviewed by ABC News “Nightline” to discuss the massive wildlife die offs in 2011.

    W&M Faculty Expert
  • W&M Faculty ExpertProfessor Julie Agnew in the Business School was featured in the Washington Post for her insight into why employees reject the 401(k) plan at their businesses.

    Photo courtesy of the Mason School of Business

    W&M Faculty Expert
  • W&M Faculty ExpertProfessor Jeremy Stoddard in the School of Education has been researching how the attacks on 9/11 and their aftermath are incorporated into K-12 curriculum. He was featured in the Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor during this year’s 10th anniversary of September 11.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    W&M Faculty Expert
  • W&M Faculty ExpertIn December, Marshall-Wythe Foundation Professor of Law Linda Malone was featured on NPR discussing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fighting extradition to Sweden.

    Photo courtesy of the School of Law

    W&M Faculty Expert

During the past year, William & Mary faculty experts throughout the academic disciplines were called upon by national media outlets for their expertise on political and economic issues, cutting-edge research and news making national and international headlines.  

From August 2010 - 2011, W&M faculty garnered nearly 300 national media hits.  Articles ran in the New York Times, USA Today, Associated Press and Washington Post – just to name a few – along with network coverage from ABC News Nightline and MSNBC.

2011 began with a rather peculiar event as thousands of red-winged blackbirds mysteriously fell from the sky in Arkansas. Leading ornithologist and Professor of Biology Dan Cristol was quoted in the Associated Press and USA Today, and was interviewed by ABC News “Nightline” to discuss the massive wildlife die offs.

History Professor Carol Sheriff found an error in her fourth grade daughter’s history book and soon found herself in the middle of a national media frenzy. The story first ran in the Washington Post, which led to coverage from MSBNC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” and a national Associated Press article hitting more than 200 news outlets across the country.

Other faculty throughout the Arts & Sciences received prominent placements, including Cheryl Dickter, assistant professor of psychology, in a national Associated Press article for her research examining brain waves and stereotyping; Assistant Professor of Government Rani D. Mullen in a New York Times article about India’s village-level democracy; economic professors Robert Archibald and David Feldman on CNBC, the New York Times book chat column and Newsweek for their book “Why Does College Cost So Much;” Animal behaviorist Barbara J. King, Chancellor Professor of Anthropology, discussing human-animal relationships with "CBS Sunday Morning" and the New York Post; and History Professor Scott Nelson on the History Channel’s “How the States got Their Shapes.”

Three business professors received media attention for their scholarly research. Julie Agnew and Lisa Szykman were featured in the Washington Post for their insight into why employees reject the 401(k) plan at their businesses, and Nicole Votolato Montgomery, assistant professor of marketing, explained the effects advertisements have on memory to USNEWS.com.  Deborah Hewitt, Clinical Associate Professor of Economics and Finance, discussed the ripple effects of the Egyptian Revolution with Voices of America, an international multimedia broadcasting service with a worldwide audience of 123 million people.  She was also quoted on the soaring gas prices and the future of electric cars in the Chicago Tribune.

Several professors from the Law School contributed their expertise on current events to national media outlets. Professor Allison Orr Larsen’s law review article “Perpetual Dissents” was highlighted in the New York Times; Marshall-Wythe Foundation Professor of Law Linda Malone was featured on NPR discussing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fighting extradition to Sweden; CNN, C-SPAN, and Politico covered Lee Professor of Law William W. Van Alstyne’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee to extend the FBI director’s term; and Laura Heymann, associate professor of law, was quoted in the Chicago Tribune on security breach of consumer data.

Faculty from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) continued to provide timely research and advice addressing issues facing our marine environment. More than 75 media outlets worldwide, including National Geographic and U.S. News & World Report, covered research conducted by recent VIMS Ph.D. graduate Rob Condon and VIMS professors Deborah Steinberg and Deborah Bronk, on the ecological effects of increased jellyfish numbers; Bio-Medicine wrote about Professor Mark Luckenbach’s study showing the decline of oyster reefs is a global problem; and Dr. Jack Musick, emeritus professor, appeared in the flagship journal Science and Underwater Times for his global study suggesting a third of shark and ray species are threatened.

In the School of Education, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology Kyung Hee Kim, experienced a flurry of media activity for her research on the “Creativity Crisis.” In August 2011, Kim’s research was featured on ABC News “Good Morning America” and Fox News, a national outlet feeding two-dozen affiliates across the country.

Jeremy Stoddard, Sallie Gertrude Smoot Spears Distinguished Associate Professor at the School of Education, capped off the year with research on how the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath are incorporated into secondary school curriculum, textbooks, state social studies standards. Stoddard was featured in the Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor during this year’s 10th anniversary of September 11.

Throughout the year, though, two W&M faculty members were continuously called upon as experts from the national media. Government Professor George Grayson, an expert on Mexico and drug trafficking, was quoted more than 50 times in national outlets – including the New York Times, Washington Post, USAToday, Los Angeles Times, CNN and Rolling Stone Magazine – and was featured in three back-to-back articles in the Wall Street Journal. This year marked a personal record for Grayson, with 12 different mentions in the Wall Street Journal.

Visiting Government and Public Policy Professor Lawrence Wilkerson appeared live on MSNBC's "Ed Show" and NPR's "On Point with Tom Ashbrook” immediately after President Barack Obama announced the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.  For the year, Wilkerson was featured 24 times in national media outlets, and appeared on MSNBC on five different occasions.