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  • O'Keefe remembers Shuttle Columbia tragedy on LocalSYR's Bridge Street

    On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up after a failed re-entry in the earth’s atmosphere and all seven astronauts on board were killed. University Professor Sean O'Keefe was NASA administrator when the tragedy occurred. "The courage that they [the victims' families] demonstrated that day became the source of resolve thereafter that all of us throughout the agency, throughout NASA, relied upon as a way to continually encourage us to do what they admonished us to do which was to find out what happened, go fix it, and then rededicate ourselves to the very objectives in which their loved ones had given their lives for" says O'Keefe. Watch the full interview via "Bridge Street" on LocalSYR.



    Popp talks to CNN, Wash Examiner about effects of Obama's Recovery Act

    A study led by Professor David Popp, Caroline Rapking Faculty Scholar in Public Administration and Policy, examined the "green" funds from the Recovery Act—focused on environment-related issues—and found that for every $1 million spent, 10 new jobs were created a few years later. "Almost all of those jobs were in manual labor, a lot of them were construction," Popp told CNN. "A lot of that's by design because that's where the money was targeted" through energy efficiency renovations and installing renewable energy infrastructure. Popp also spoke to the Washington Examiner about the impact of Obama's Recovery Act.



    Allport reviews best books on first act of WWII in Wall Street Journal

    Alan Allport, associate professor of history and author of "Britain at Bay: The Epic Story of the Second World War, 1938-1941" (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group), selects his top five books on the harrowing first act of World War II in the Wall Street Journal article, "Five Best: Alan Allport on the Year 1940."



    Lasch-Quinn discusses Ars Vitae on New Books Network

    Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, professor of history, spoke with the New Books Network about her recently published book "Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Art of Living" (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020). Lasch-Quinn provides a cultural critique that connects the most pressing needs of the individual in modern society to the insights of the ancient approach to philosophy as a way of life.



    Williams explains the value of a NATO CSG on Atlantic Council podcast

    Michael John Williams, associate professor of public administration and international affairs, was a guest on the Atlantic Council's NATO 20/2020 podcast. Williams discussed his recent article on creating a NATO carrier strike group (CSG) to bolster the Alliance’s force posture and interoperability.



    Himmelreich discusses vaccine verification systems in Brookings piece

    "Building robust and ethical vaccination verification systems," co-authored by Assistant Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs Johannes Himmelreich, was published in Brookings TechStream. "VRV systems present both opportunities and risks in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic," the authors say. "They offer hope of more accurate verification of vaccine status, but they also run the risk of both exacerbating existing health and economic inequalities and introducing significant security and privacy vulnerabilities." The authors argue that VRV systems ought to align with vaccine prioritization decisions, uphold fairness and equity, and be built on trustworthy technology.



    Barkun cited in Mere Orthodoxy article on insurgency in America

    Professor Emeritus Michael Barkun's research on extremism and conspiracy theories was cited in the Mere Orthodoxy article, "A Homegrown Christian Insurgency." In 2017, Barkun predicted that Trump’s "mainstreaming of the fringe" would likely wash away customs, practices and norms that served as crucial protections of democratic culture in America. "Should formerly fringe forces substantially weaken the informal rules and practices that historically kept violence at bay," Barkun wrote, "the stability we now take for granted would become, for the first time in our lifetimes, problematic."



    Popp weighs in on Biden's climate directives in New York Times

    On Wednesday, President Biden signed a sweeping series of executive actions while casting the moves as much about job creation as the climate crisis. David Popp, Caroline Rapking Faculty Scholar in Public Administration and Policy, discounted the notion of creating one million new auto manufacturing jobs. "He’s basically saying he’s going to double auto manufacturing. I find that hard to believe," says Popp. "You can’t do that with auto emissions regulations. You can’t do that with government procurement." Read more in the New York Times article, "Biden, Emphasizing Job Creation, Signs Sweeping Climate Actions."



    Landes study on signature authority, cause of death accuracy published

    "Assessing state level variation in signature authority and cause of death accuracy, 2005–2017," co-authored by Associate Professor of Sociology Scott Landes, was published in Preventive Medicine Reports. The authors examined whether variation in death certificate certifier type predicts the accuracy of cause of death reporting in the U.S. Their findings suggest that state-level differences in statutory signature authority may contribute to inaccuracies in U.S. mortality data, especially when considering myriad professional groups that can certify the cause of death.



    Thompson shares her thoughts on Biden, Harris with LocalSYR

    "President Biden served eight years as Vice President, so he was very much involved in the Obama Presidency," says Margaret Susan Thompson, associate professor of history and political science. "He saw things from the inside. But I think one of the things that’s going to make a big difference is his respect for and I think a reliance on expertise in a variety of fields." Thompson also believes Vice President Harris will play a big role over the next four years, especially because the Senate is so narrowly divided at this time. Watch the full interview via



    In a challenging year, Humphrey Fellows focus on program goals

    Nompumelelo Prudence Radebe, a director at the National Treasury of South Africa, was thrilled when she learned in February that she would spend a year at the Maxwell School as a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow. Radebe and eight more Maxwell Humphrey Fellows started a compressed program Dec. 1. The program, typically 10 months beginning Aug. 1, will last six months this year. Radebe hopes her Humphrey experience will teach her to collect and use data to develop public policy. She also is interested in using technology to improve service delivery.



    Steinberg quoted in China Daily piece on improving US-China relations

    University Professor James B. Steinberg says there are opportunities for cooperation, but if the deep diagnosis is that China is challenging the U.S., it would be very hard to sustain and insulate areas of cooperation from the deeper conflict. "I think we have got to find a way to deal with these deeper challenges, and to come to some understanding about whether we really do have a way,… can we coexist in a way that is not threatening to each other, and can we convince each other that we're serious about that," he says. Read more in the China Daily article, "Cooperation can immediately improve China-US relations, ex-diplomat says."



    Reeher talks to CNY Central about local benefits of a Biden presidency

    Professor Grant Reeher thinks a Biden presidency will be good for Central New York. "It might make it a little bit easier for John Katko to get the ear of the President if there's a major piece of legislation being negotiated," Reeher says. "We may be on his radar when he's thinking about the problems of small to mid-size cities. Are they getting the help from the federal government that they need? I think that is going to be a good thing for this area." Reeher was interviewed for the CNY Central story, "How CNY could benefit from Biden presidency."



    McDowell examines the yuan's potential to challenge the dollar in WPR

    In his latest piece, "Dollar Doomsayers Are Wrong—Again," published in World Politics Review, Associate Professor of Political Science Daniel McDowell explains why the Chinese yuan does not pose a threat to the dollar's reserve currency status. "Chinese financial reforms have undoubtedly boosted the yuan’s economic appeal over the past 10 years. Yet, at the same time, concerns about the Chinese political system are a major impediment to the yuan’s global competitiveness," says McDowell. "In the long run, the dollar is likely to outlive predictions of its demise not because of its inherent attractiveness, but because of its competitors’ flaws."



    Schwartz study on special education, academic performance published

    "The Effects of Special Education on the Academic Performance of Students with Learning Disabilities," co-authored by Amy Ellen Schwartz, was published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. In the 40‐plus years since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, special education has grown in the number of students and amount spent on services. Despite this growth, academic performance of students with disabilities remains troublingly low compared to general education students. The authors looked at students with specific learning disabilities (LDs), using rich New York City public school data and found that academic outcomes improve for LDs following classification into special education and impacts are largest for those entering special education in earlier grades.



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