History professor Dr. Thomas Kidd, May 14 on the Fox News Channel's "Glenn Beck" discussing Rev. George Whitefield's influence on the Founding Fathers:
"That kind of religious celebrity is what he [George Whitefield] was about. And he raised enormous amounts of money for charity, especially for his orphanage. And [Benjamin] Franklin and Whitefield had a funny relationship...because they differed on religion. Franklin's autobiography has a nice section in there about his relationship with Whitefield.... Even though Franklin believed in God, he believed in Providence, but was skeptical about traditional Christianity.... They kind of understood one another. And so, Franklin went to one of his meetings and he said, 'I know he's going to ask for money and I'm not giving anything.' Whitefield started speaking and Franklin said, 'Oh, I guess I'll give the coppers in my pocket.' Next thing you know he was giving the silvers. And by the time the sermon was over, he emptied the whole thing out, including the gold."
Baylor Law professor Mark Osler, April 28 in USA Today explaining the push for a re-evaluation of sentencing for crack cocaine offenses:
"'Ultimately, the question is: By incarcerating all these people, are we solving any problem? No,' says Baylor University law professor Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor who favors eliminating guidelines set in 1986 that call for much longer sentences for crack offenses than for those involving powder cocaine."
Political science professor Dr. Bradley Thayer, April 20 in Foreign Affairs Magazine on the most valuable disciplines for students to pursue in combination with the study of political science:
"The disciplines of philosophy and economics remain valuable for students of political science. As an undergraduate, I found that studying philosophy aided greatly my understanding of political ideas and placed them in an ideational and historical context. Economics helped as well in ways that can be expected, facilitating the understanding of international trade for example, but also less obvious ways, for example, allowing me to appreciate the concepts of scarcity, value, and opportunity cost and apply them within the realm of political science.
"To those disciplines, I would add that an understanding of evolution and related life sciences is becoming increasingly important."
Education professor Dr. J. Wesley Null, April 28 in Education Week magazine breaking down the national impact of Texas' decisions on textbooks:
"'They [textbook publishers] are always trying to come up with new things to kind of sweeten the pot for districts to choose their materials,' [...Null says]. Mr. Null said that without careful study of textbooks, it's hard to gauge with confidence the extent to which the Texas brand ends up on textbooks elsewhere, but he suggests there may be some exaggeration on both sides.
"'I think it's overblown by the people who don't like what Texas ends up doing,' he said, and 'underplayed' by others. 'Where is the truth? Probably somewhere in between.'"
English professor Dr. Greg Garrett, May 2 in the Palm Beach [Fla.] Post on why fans are so committed to the TV show Lost:
"'The creators made the show consistently terrific. The pilot was the most expensive in TV history, and felt like a feature film, and Lost has lived up to that benchmark season after season with only the occasional flop -- amazing when we consider Twin Peaks and Heroes, two similar mythology-laden shows that lost their way,' he says. 'The writing has been character-driven, even when it was most mythological, because the show is about people who are lost -- physically and in their own lives. These are broken characters being given the chance to redeem themselves, and there's no more compelling character arc in storytelling.'"
Honors College Dean Dr. Thomas Hibbs, April 22 in National Review discussing the film Avatar and its "contradictions of organic liberalism":
"James Cameron's record-shattering film Avatar is being released...to coincide with the 40th annual Earth Day: Avatar highlights the threats posed by an advanced, war-mongering, and artificial society to a primitive, pacific, and organic culture. Ironically, the film has received accolades for both this ideological vision of a pristine world untouched by industrial man and the high-powered technology evident in its mesmerizing 3-D visuals. The contradiction here is deeper and more instructive than the inconsistencies involved in Earth Day celebrations that leave tons of rubbish behind, or in the hypocrisy of Hollywood stars' cavorting about the globe in private jets to lecture the rest of us on conservation."
Family and Consumer Sciences professor Dr. Jay Yoo, Dec. 22 talking to United Press International (UPI) on his study of the effects of peer pressure and advertising on the appearance of adolescent boys:
"Teen boys are more likely to use tanning booths, take diet pills and have their bodies waxed if their peers think it is a good idea, a U.S. researcher says.
"[Yoo] says the study also shows boys ages 12-17 focused more on how their skin appears to others than on other aspects of their appearance, including body shape, when they were influenced by peers.
"Yoo studied 155 boys, with an average age of 14.3 years, in seven schools in the eastern United States.
"'I studied what kids are teased about,' Yoo says. 'If anyone looks different, people tease you. There are cultural differences, but smooth skin is highly desired, and that may translate into other parts of the body[...].
"'Tanning as a fashion trend is a relatively new phenomenon,' Yoo says. While tanned skin once was associated with being blue collar, a tan is considered a sign of the leisure class.'"