Dr. Rick A. Swanson
Interim Chair of the Department of Political Science
Associate Professor, Pre-Law Advisor, and Anthony Moroux/BORSF Endowed Professor of Political Science
Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2001
J.D., Southern Illinois University, 1994
M.A., Eastern Illinois University, 1991
B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988
Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Public Law and Judicial Politics, American Government
Mouton Hall 111
Besides earning a J.D. and Ph.D., Rick worked from 1994 to 1996 as a law clerk to Justice James A. Knecht of the Illinois Appellate Court. Ever since obtaining his Ph.D. focusing on public law and judicial politics, he has been at UL primarily teaching pre-law courses in the Department of Political Science, but has also taught several humanities courses exploring the meaning of love, life, and spirituality. He also advises the UL Law Club, and serves as UL's Pre-Law Advisor. His legal expertise is in constitutional law, especially civil rights and civil liberties, primarily speech and religion. His articles and essays analyzing legal concepts and judicial voting behavior have been published in peer-reviewed journals, law journals, and legal encyclopedias. Most recently, he authored the chapters "Freedom of Expression" and "Religious Liberty" (and assisted on the chapter "Defamation") in the book First Amendment Law in Louisiana, edited by William R. Davie and T. Michael Maher, published by UL Press. Most importantly, whenever possible, Rick communes with nature, contemplates and philosophizes about the beauty and wonder of the universe, and tries to live life to the fullest, all while sharing these experiences with students, friends and family, especially his amazing wife Anne.
Dr. Ryan Teten
Associate Dean of University College
Associate Professor and Anthony Moroux/BORSF Endowed Professor of Political Science
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 2004
Campaigns and Elections, The Congress, The Presidency, American Politics, 9/11 and American Life, Careers in Political Science
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Ryan Lee Teten is an associate professor in Political Science and the current Departmental Chair. He was also Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts from 2010 to 2012. In 1999, Ryan graduated from Clemson University with a double major of Political Science and English. He then attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he earned his PhD in 2004 in the field of political science, with a specialization in American Politics and Political Institutions. His most recent book examines nearly 12,000 presidential speeches to trace the evolution of presidential communication and policymaking. He is currently working on articles dealing with the politics of video games and political myths in society. He has also had work published on the political learnings and socialization of children, negative and positive advertising, public opinion, popular culture, and the use of non-traditional texts in the teaching of political science. Ryan is also a proud husband and father of both a teenage boy and girl.
Dr. G. Pearson Cross
Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
Associate Professor of Political Science
Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1997
State and Local Politics, Southern and Louisiana Politics
Griffin Hall 572
Pearson Cross served as Head of the Political Science Department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette from 2009 to 2014, and as Chair of the Council of Department Heads from 2012 to 2014. He is now Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts as well as interim Head of the Criminal Justice Department. His principal areas of teaching are State and Local politics, Southern and Louisiana politics, and Religion and politics. He is a frequent commentator on political issues at the national, state and local level. Dr. Cross received his B.A., from San Francisco State University in 1985 and his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in Massachusetts in 1997. He has published on topics including redistricting, elections, white supremacy, southern political culture, and the Louisiana Judiciary. He is currently working on a book about Bobby Jindal and the politics of education reform in Louisiana. Dr. Cross is chair of the Constitution Day Committee and serves on numerous committees. He is a six-time winner of the UL Advising Award. His first avocation is jazz piano; his second is southern cooking. He is married to Lisa Orten Cross and has one son, Elias, and one daughter, Lucy.
Dr. Jason S. Maloy
Professor and Kaliste Saloom Endowed Chair in Political Science
Ph.D., Harvard University, 2004
M.Phil., Cambridge University, 1998
B.A., Brown University, 1996
Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, Public Law
Mouton Hall 226
Jason Maloy teaches courses and conducts research on a wide range of topics related to democratic institutions and constitutions, in both international and domestic contexts. New research collaborators are always welcome! His on-going research and writing projects involve election reform, political juries (a.k.a. citizen assemblies), unicameral vs. multicameral legislatures, how to conceptualize and measure democratic regimes in comparative research, and how to change constitutions (both national-level and US state-level ones). He is the convenor of the Saloom Chair Speaker Series, which brings scholars and consultants in the field of comparative constitutionalism to the Lafayette community. View Dr. Maloy's CV.
Dr. Bryan Paul-Frost
Associate Professor and Crocker Endowed Professor of Political Science
M.A., Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1991, 1996
B.A., St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1990
Political Philosophy, International Relations, Politics and Literature, Comparative Politics
FG Mouton Hall 302
Bryan-Paul Frost is the James A. and Kaye L. Crocker Endowed Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is co-editor (with Jeremy Mhire) of The Political Theory of Aristophanes: Explorations in Poetic Wisdom (SUNY Press, 2013), contributor and co-editor (Daniel J. Mahoney) of Political Reason in the Age of Ideology: Essays in Honor of Raymond Aron (Transaction, 2007), contributor and co-editor (Jeffrey Sikkenga) of History of American Political Thought (Lexington Books, 2003), and editor and co-translator (Robert Howse) of Alexandre Kojeve’s Outline of a Phenomenology of Right (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000; paperback 2007). He also has an advance contract with the SUNY Series on the Life and Thought of Leo Strauss to co-edit a book (with Timothy Burns) entitled History, Philosophy, and Tyranny: A Re-examination of the Debate between Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojeve, and is currently working with Paul Carrese (Air Force Academy) and Steve Knott (Naval War College) on a two-volume book, War, Justice, and Peace in American Political Thought. In addition to the above, Frost has also published articles on Aristotle, Cato the Younger, Cicero and Roman civic education, and Tocqueville and Emerson.
Dr. Sharon Ridgeway
Associate Professor of Political Science
Ph.D., Northern Arizona University, 1996
Public Administration, Bureaucratic Politics, Environmental Policy and Ethics, Feminist Theory, Role of Media in Democracy
Mouton Hall 228
Dr. Ridgeway took a rather circuitous route to her Ph.D. in political science from Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff, AZ. Her first twenty-year career was in film and theater in Los Angeles and New York. Her decision to enter the arts as a mechanism for political change was inspired by the Smothers Brothers who were willing to risk, and then lose, their very popular TV comedy show to challenge the rationality of the Vietnam War. These years in the arts continue to influence her view of how political change can come from the most unlikely of sources, but ultimately must rest in the people’s willingness to fight for it. Her current research and teaching focus on how to create a sustainable environment that can support life for all of Earth’s entities, and the role of media in shaping how we perceive issues swirling around the public square. She is currently finishing a book, The Talking Stick, which examines how corporate-led globalization is destroying the environmentally friendly indigenous and peasant cultures around the world. Her most recent peer-reviewed publication is in the international journal, Peace Review, "Globalization from the Subsistence Perspective." She continues to hold the dream of a planetary consciousness in which peace and joy are the highest values.
Dr. McKinzie Craig Hall
Adjunct Professor of Political Science
Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 2012
M.S., University of North Texas, 2007
Judicial Politics, Moot Court, Mock Trial, American Politics, Research Methods
Mouton Hall 230
Dr. Hall is an instructor in Political Science. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science. Her PhD from Texas A&M University focused on judicial politics with fields of study in American politics and political methodology. Kinzie's teaching interests are the US courts and law, various aspects of American government and politics, and research methodology. Her research focuses on the effect Supreme Court decisions have on the actions of institutions (primarily, the Court itself and the other branches of government). These research projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation and the American Association of University Women. When she's not working or nerding out over a recent SCOTUS decision, Kinzie really enjoys Netflix marathons...and an occasional actual marathon/half marathon (mostly to offset her deep love of cupcakes). Kinzie lives in Lafayette, with her husband Will (UL alumnus '05) and their amazingly fuzzy dogs Beau and Sully.
Political Science Staff
Ms. Whitney Kidder
Political Science Administrative Assistant
Mouton Hall 112