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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs

Facebook political ads more partisan, less negative than TV

A computer screen displaying Facebook's login page.More political candidates may be shifting primarily to social media to advertise rather than TV, according to a study of advertising trends led by WSU political science professor Travis Ridout. Looking at the 2018 campaign season, Ridout and his colleagues also found that Facebook political ads were more partisan, less negative and less issue-focused than those on TV.

“The 2018 race showed that social media can be helpful to candidates who may not have a lot of resources, including challengers and those who are not already well known,” said Ridout, a corresponding author on » More …

Foley Institute to host election lecture series online

Washington State University entrance.The Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service is bringing its Fall 2020 lecture series online with political science professors and experts from across the country. Political Science 400, an undergradute class that tracks with the lecture series, is also being offered this semester.

Although there are challenges, the move to online lectures means more people have an opportunity to watch live and be engaged in discussions, and it is possible to connect speakers from across the country to the » More …

Meet the new faculty of fall 2020

College of Arts and Sciences - Washington State University.Meet the college’s newest faculty, whose disciplinary expertise—from origin of life and supermassive black holes to political psychology, ancient economics, and interdisciplinary art—enriches and expands the arts and sciences at WSU. » More …

Political advertising expert Ridout tapped to lead PPPA

Travis Ridout.A national expert on political advertising and campaign finance, Travis Ridout will begin on July 15 a four-year term as director of the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs (PPPA).

Now the Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy, Ridout joined the WSU faculty in 2003. Since then, he has taught a wide range of courses, including American politics, elections, media and politics, political behavior, » More …

Pandemic makes teaching abroad ‘surreal experience’

Preston with Romanian psych students.Thomas Preston, a political science professor and expert in international security policy, had just begun a four-month, Fulbright-sponsored teaching stint in Constanta, Romania, when the entire country was placed in lockdown and martial law was declared.

It was early March, the coronavirus was threatening to become a global pandemic and the Romanian government was having as little of that as possible, so officials quickly imposed strict » More …

Faculty recognized for teaching excellence

CAS logo on white with borderSeventeen CAS faculty members from 9 academic areas and 3 campuses are among the newest members of the WSU President’s Teaching Academy, the institution’s premier organization dedicated to teaching excellence.

Members “are all committed to delivering outstanding teaching experiences to our students and advancing the practice of great teaching,” said Clif Stratton, chair. » More …

Alumna’s gift will keep on giving

Akanna PoorWhat do you give someone for Christmas that not only helped you navigate college, but gave you everything to ensure your success?

For Akanna Poor, a recent WSU Tri-Cities first-generation graduate, the answer was simple. Give a gift that will continue to give to others – all in the name of the individuals who helped give her » More …

Buckin’ hunger

“Let ’Er Buck” sculpture by Austin Barton.In September, competitors in northeast Oregon’s 109th Pendleton Round-Up took part in one of the world’s most famous and colorful rodeos. Set in a wide valley pressed up against the Blue Mountain foothills, the small city of Pendleton has hosted the Round-Up since 1910, a rodeo voted best in the United States for four years running.

Much of the thanks goes to the 1,100 volunteers, including a group of highly engaged Cougar alumni, whose teamwork and hospitality make » More …

WSU political media expert on BBC

FB-BBCWorld.Several hotly contested government seats and the likely fate of Brexit were all up for grabs in the Dec. 12 general election in the UK. To find out how social media and other digital campaign tactics are being used to influence—or manipulate—British voters, BBC World Service invited Travis Ridout, WSU political science professor and political media expert, to the UK to investigate.

In his 30-minute BBC radio documentary, “The Digital Election: How social media is reshaping UK democracy,” Ridout shares highlights and insights of his » More …