Donald Trump - Presidential Transition

As President-elect Donald Trump takes office in 2017, University of Dayton faculty are available for media interviews on topics sure to be important — the economy, immigration, national security and terrorism, foreign policy, and more.

For interviews with an expert, contact Assistant Director of Media Relations Meagan Pant at, 937-229-3256 (office) or 937-212-2979 (cell), or email

For satellite TV interviews, University of Dayton media relations usually works through ThinkTV, local public television, whose studio is 10 minutes from campus. We can also arrange interviews using Skype. We can try to accommodate other arrangements in Cincinnati or Columbus, which are 60-75 minutes away.


DanDan Birdsong, lecturer, political science 
Full profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Birdsong teaches courses on American politics, the presidency, campaigns and elections, media and politics, and public opinion and political behavior. He has a background in polling and policy research. He has researched how people consume news in an era of multiple sources and new media. Do people consume a variety of news sources or do they find news that fits their thinking? Is it possible to have a national discussion on any given issue when the sources of information often disagree? Birdsong worked from 2005-09 at the Institute for Policy Research on the Ohio Poll, the Ohio Health Issues Poll and the Greater Cincinnati Survey. Media hits include Debates not a done deal: Some candidates duck the underdogs by The Associated Press. 

Presidency and Vice Presidency

devineChristopher Devine, assistant professor, political science
Full profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Devine is co-author of The VP Advantage: How Running Mates Influence Home State Voting in Presidential Elections. He teaches courses on the American political system and political parties, campaigns and elections. His research interests also include the U.S. presidency and political ideology. He also is co-author of “The Politics of the Presidential Medal of Freedom: A Fifty Year Analysis, 1963-2013,” which was featured in The New York Times. Media hits include How Clinton And Trump Are Using Their Running Mates On The Campaign Trail in FiveThirtyEight.


LongazelJamie Longazel, assistant professor, sociology
Full profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Longazel researches the local and national politics of immigration as well as other issues pertaining to race, law and crime. He published Undocumented Fears: Immigration and the Politics of Divide and Conquer in Hazleton, Pennsylvania on the politics surrounding local immigration laws such as those in Alabama, Arizona, South Carolina and Hazleton, Pennsylvania. He also is co-author of The Pains of Mass ImprisonmentMedia hits include In City Built by Immigrants, Immigration Is the Defining Political Issue by The New York Times.

Inaugural Addresses

ValenzanoJoe Valenzano III, associate professor, communications
Full profile | Media hits | VideoPR contact 

Valenzano has researched past presidential inaugurations. His book chapters include "The Presidency that Almost Wasn't: George W. Bush's First Inaugural" and "This One is Not Like the Others: President Obama's Genre Bending Second Inaugural Address." His research interests also include rhetoric and public communication, political communication, religious communication and culture, and communication education. His doctoral dissertation focused on President George W. Bush’s use of the words "freedom" and "terror." His other research articles include: President Obama's understanding of American exceptionalism; religion in the TV show Supernatural; Pope John Paul II's death as a final homily; and Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Turkey. 


sparksRandy Sparks, professor, marketing
Full profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Sparks is less interested in what politicians say than in how they say it. With a background in radio broadcasting and research in the art of persuasion, Sparks is highly attuned to how convincing candidates are in speeches. His persuasion research has appeared in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology. Media hits include Hillary Clinton gets some old advice for her historic speech: Be yourself in USA Today.

Cybersecurity, Hacking

davidDavid Salisbury, professor, computer science
Full profile | Media hits | VideoPR contact 

Salisbury's areas of expertise include cybersecurity and criminal and terrorist use of information technology. His published articles include "On Contending with Unruly Neighbors in the Global Village: Viewing Information Systems as Both Weapon and Target" in the journal Communications of the Association for Information Systems. 


Global Economy, Supreme Court

lauTerence Lau, associate dean, School of Business Administration
Full profile | Media hits | VideoPR contact 

Lau teaches on the legal environment of business, international business, international management, global competitiveness, doing business in Asia and peace through commerce. He is co-author of The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business. His professional experience also includes serving as director of governmental affairs for Ford Asia Pacific Operations Bangkok, an attorney for Ford Motor Company's International Practice Group and a U.S. Supreme Court Fellow.


stockRichard Stock, director, University of Dayton Business Research Group
Full profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Stock is director of the University of Dayton's Business Research Group. He researches and monitors the Ohio economy, keeping an eye on trends in jobs, unemployment, housing sales, business and signs of recovery. Media hits include Hey, Governors: You Didn’t Build That by Politico.

Environmental Policy

michelleMichelle Pautz, associate professor, political science; director of the Master of Public Administration program
Full profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Pautz's research focuses on environmental policy and regulation; government accountability; film and politics; and the administration of policy. She has worked with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources to develop and implement EPA compliance programs. She co-wrote US Environmental Policy in Action: Practice and Implementation and The Lilliputians of Environmental Regulation: The Perspective of State Regulators. Her research on the portrayal of civil servants in popular movies was reported by The New York Times, NPR's Los Angeles affiliate (KPCC 89.3), Roll CallThe Washington Times and Federal News Radio. Media hits include How movies can change our minds by The New York Times.

Initial thoughts on Trump presidency: "Simply put, there is still a great deal of uncertainty regarding environmental policy under the Trump administration. During the campaign, little was said about the environment other than climate change is a hoax, despite an international consensus of scientists who conclude the contrary, and that the EPA should be done away with. Getting rid of a federal agency would require congressional action and for decades, Congress has tasked the EPA with implementing a multitude of environmental laws. It is unlikely that the Trump administration will see the death of the EPA. What remains to be seen, however, is how the president elect will use his executive powers to influence the work of the EPA and other agencies with oversight of the nation's environment."

Public Opinion, Gov't Public Relations

imageGrant Neeley, associate professor and chair, political science
Full profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Neeley's research interests include public opinion, public administration and political behavior. He also teaches classes in morality policy, public sector human resource management and has published research on concealed carry laws and traffic safety. Neeley is a public affairs officer in the Navy Reserve and has worked for the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati and the Social Science Research Institute at the University of Tennessee. Media hits include an interview on polls by Westwood One Radio Network.


RuthRuth Thompson-Miller, assistant professor, sociology
Full profile | Media hits | Video | PR contact 

Thompson-Miller is co-author of Jim Crow's Legacy: The Lasting Impact of Segregation, which uses the phrase segregation stress syndrome to describe the long-term impact on physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as the unshakable influence of racism across years and generations. Media hits include Trump campaign worker resigns after tying racism to Obama by The Associated Press.

Religion and Politics

millerVincent J. Miller, Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture
Full profile | Media hits | VideoPR contact 

Miller is an expert on religion and politics, religion and consumer culture, the U.S. Catholic Church's involvement in politics and public policy, social justice and public policy and the moral consequences of budgetary policies. He is author of Consuming Religion: Christian Faith and Practice in a Consumer Culture and is working on a book on the effect of globalization on religious belief. Formerly of Georgetown University, Miller has been widely sought for his comments on the global financial crisis, Catholic social teaching and the federal budget's impact on the poor. Media hits include an interview with Bill O'Reilly.

Terrorism, Human Rights

markMark Ensalaco, director of human rights studies
Full profile | Media hits | VideoPR contact 

Ensalaco can discuss immigration and human rights, as well as how politicians could handle foreign policy as it relates to world dictators and transitions of power (Fidel Castro). Ensalaco's focus is especially human trafficking, which is a big problem in the Midwest. He was part of a group instrumental in pushing through an Ohio bill to make human trafficking a felony in Ohio. Latin American issues are another part of his expertise, so he's very familiar with border and immigration issues. He is fluent in Spanish. Media hits include Paris attacks lead Americans to wonder about US safety by the Associated Press.

Human Rights, Foreign Policy

joelJoel Pruce, assistant professor, political science
Full profile | Media hits | VideoPR contact 

Pruce's research interests include human rights, foreign policy and international organization. His published articles include "Constituencies of Compassion: The Politics of Human Rights and Consumerism" for Uses and Misuses of Human Rights. Media hits include The Future of Policing Is Here, and It's Terrifying by GQ.

U.S.-Cuban Relations

JuanJuan Santamarina, chair, history
Full profile | Media hits | PR contact 

Santamarina is co-creator of Cuba: A Lifetime of Passion, a documentary film which focuses on the human cost of the Cuban Revolution. The film aired nationwide on PBS. He is fluent in SpanishMedia hits include The History of Walls Show They Are a Bad Idea by U.S. News & World Report.

Education Policy

tomThomas J. Lasley II, professor, education
Full profile | Media hitsPR contact 

Lasley, former University of Dayton School of Education and Health Sciences dean, is a nationally recognized leader in education reform and an expert on teacher education, classroom instruction and the impact of society and politics on schools. He has written several books and served on many education boards and committees including the Ohio Board of Regents Planning Committee on Higher Learning Accountability and Performance. Lasley also is the executive director of Learn to Earn Dayton, which works to ensure every child in the Dayton region is ready to learn by kindergarten and ready to earn upon graduation from college or after receiving a post-high school certificate. Media hits include A Gap in College Graduates Leaves Some Cities Behind by The New York Times.