Political science students embrace service-learning opportunity to study political advertisements
Dr. Brian Calfano, associate professor of political science at Missouri State University, was recently awarded a $500 grant from Missouri Campus Compact. The grant will fund the “Missouri State University Tele-Town Hall Project,” which is designed to facilitate student-centered, cutting-edge research that serves the civic good in southwest Missouri.
This project brings the best of public scholarship, service-learning and civic engagement to bear in performing a critical civic function during the 2012 presidential election season. A large component of this project is a media-based field experiment that assesses the effectiveness of randomly distributed newspaper advertisements across 15 separate weekly newspapers serving small towns stretching from the southern portion of the Kansas City Metro south to Joplin and east into Stone County.
The MSU Tele-Town Hall Project is a collaborative research project with Dr. Donald P. Green of Columbia University. Green is the foremost pioneer of field experiment methodology in political science and his research has led the way in determining the effects of various large-scale “Get out the Vote” efforts around the United States and in several foreign countries.
In addition, Calfano partnered with the office of citizenship and service-learning to provide students with cutting-edge, real-time, real-world training opportunities through service-learning in two courses: Media and Political Marketing, and American Political Behavior.
According to Katherine Nordyke, director for citizenship and service-learning, “This collaborative project demonstrates the true pedagogy of service-learning – students take their skills and knowledge learned in the classroom environment and engage in real-world experiences that address social justice issues and provide critical thinking opportunities for students to do community-based problem solving. We are looking forward to being a part of this great service-learning program.”
Students in both courses will be involved in the design and execution of all aspects of the Tele-Town Hall Project and the media stimuli in particular. They will gain first-hand experience in designing the newspaper ads used as the experimental treatments, conduct the randomization process to determine the ad roll-out ordering, create civic engagement and education-related content to be featured in the Tele-Town Hall, track and map participant location, and conduct the statistical assessment of whether the randomized ad treatments had a scientifically-acceptable effect size on Tele-Town Hall participation.
For more Information, contact Calfano (417) 836-8574.
College of Humanities and Public Affairs
The College of Humanities and Public Affairs offers 16 undergraduate, eight graduate and six certificate programs. Departments in the college include criminology, defense and strategic studies, economics, history, military science, philosophy, political science, religious studies, sociology and anthropology. The department of defense and strategic studies is housed in the Washington, D.C. area. The college helps students understand social, political and legal structures, ethical principles, religious systems, and economic institutions and practices within a global, historical, and contemporary context.
New media resources
For more information about MSU, visit www.missouristate.edu. You can also be our fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google+ and see what’s happening on YouTube. Receive notification of Missouri State news releases as soon as they are posted by subscribing to our RSS feed.