Political pundits

A resource for reporters covering elections

Experts from Wayne State University are ready to help reporters interpret campaign and election happenings, and to help explain the sometimes complex hot-button issues facing the state of Michigan this election year. The WSU Public Relations staff are available to get media in contact with a university expert: 

Politics & History 

Mark Kornbluh, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, is a professor of political science and digital historian. He is the author of the book Why America Stopped Voting, and is prepared to talk about political participation, election laws, electoral reforms, voter fraud, and polling. 

Jeffrey Grynaviski is an associate professor of political science. He is an authority on congressional party activities, voter behavior and congressional election strategies. Grynaviski is prepared to talk about American political parties, the U.S. Congress, electoral politics and quantitative research methods. 

Frederic Pearsonis a professor of political science. He is a Gershenson Distinguished Research Professor and twice Senior Fulbright Scholar (UK and Netherlands). Pearson is ready to discuss international politics and conflict, international economic analysis, political and civil conflict analysis, and peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.  

Susan Finois a professor of American government, Constitutional law, and Constitutional rights and liberties. Fino is prepared to talk about public law, American Constitutional law, Constitutional rights and liberties, administrative law, and state supreme courts.  

Liette Gidlow is a professor of history. She is an authority on U.S. politics since the Civil War, with an emphasis on women's suffrage and the 19th Amendment, voting rights and voter turnout, African American electoral politics, and racial and gender dynamics in elections.  

Marjorie Sarbaugh-Thompson is a professor of political science. She is prepared to discuss term limits, legislative oversight of the executive branch and state legislatures.  

Brady Baybeck, associate professor of political science, is available to discuss public policy and elections.  

Key Issues 

Wayne State University scholars are prepared to provide nonpartisan expertise on major issues influencing the election season.  


  • Lance Gable, professor of law, can talk about bioethics and the law and public health law. 
  • Chris Lund, professor of law, can talk about matters related to Constitutional laws and religious liberty. 
  • Megan Hicks, assistant professor in the School of Social Work, can talk about risk and protective factors influencing health disparities among Black youth. 
  • Ijeoma Nnodim Oparais a double-board certified assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. She can talk about health equity and justice in medicine. 

 Civil Rights  

  • Peter Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights and professor of law, is prepared to discuss issues of equity in educational, economic and political opportunities and human rights and the law.  
  • Dan Golodner, university archivist, is available to discuss the history of voting rights.  

 Climate & Energy 

  • Caisheng Wang, professor of electrical and computer engineering, is available to speak about sustainable energy, including renewable and alternative energy systems and system integration.  
  • Donna Kashian, professor and director of environmental science, is available to discuss general sustainability, healthy waterways and the Great Lakes.  


  • Kevin Ketels, an assistant professor in global supply chain management, can offer perspective and insight about ongoing disruptions in supply chains. 
  • Kevin Cotter, chair of the Department of Economics, is prepared to address inflation and interest rates and can explain what can be done in both the short and long term to quell economic uncertainty. 
  • Attila Yaprak, professor of marketing and international business, can discuss international business and cross-cultural consumer behavior issues.  


  • Jun Sung Hong, associate professor of social work, can speak to risk outcomes associated with bullying and peer victimization, youths' perceptions of safety in schools, predictors of school shootings, effects of family violence, and delinquent behaviors among youth involved in the child welfare system.  
  • Elizabeth Barton is an associate professor of research. She can offer perspective about youth violence, conflict resolution, and bullying and victimization. 
  • Erika Bocknek, associate professor of educational psychology and director of the Families and Mental Health Lab, can share insights on early childhood mental health and the need for mental health services for youth and families. She can also discuss the mental health of students and teachers after trauma exposure, including school shootings and the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Erica Edwards, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies, is prepared to discuss the school-to-prison nexus, school discipline and restorative justice practices. 
  • Sarah Kiperman is an assistant professor of educational psychology, licensed psychologist, nationally certified school psychologist, and registered play therapist. She can discuss student mental health and issues that LGBTQIA+ youth face in schools. 
  • Sarah Lenhoff, associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies and director of the Detroit Partnership for Education Equity and Research, is available to discuss charter schools, educational equity, educational policy, school attendance, school choice, school improvement and school reform. 
  • Jennifer Lewis, associate professor of mathematics education and director of TeachDETROIT, is available to talk about mathematics education, STEM education, culturally responsive teaching, teacher evaluation and online teaching. 
  • Nate McCaughtry is a professor, assistant dean in the Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies, and director of the Center for Health and Community Impact. He can provide perspectives on healthy school transformations; enhancing physical activity, nutrition and mental health support in schools; teacher training and development; links between school wellness, school attendance, academic performance and behavioral issues; and urban health equity and disparities. 
  • Monte Piliawsky, associate professor of teaching in educational leadership and policy studies, is ready to discuss education as it relates to race, class and gender; the history of American education; school funding; and school reform. 
  • Ben Pogodzinski, professor of educational leadership and policy studies, is prepared to offer perspective on governance, labor relations, policy development and implementation, school choice, teacher evaluation, teacher labor markets, and teacher unions. 

Gun violence 

  • Pontus Leander, director of Wayne State's Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and associate professor of social psychology, can talk about public reactions to and the social psychology of mass shootings, as well as the psychology of hate crime denial.  
  • Stephanie Hartwell, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of sociology, is prepared to discuss community trauma and the effects of gun violence.  


  • Carol Miller, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Bill Shuster, civil and environmental engineering department chair, are available to talk about the current infrastructure problems and what solutions may be available. 
  • Ali Abolmaali, dean of the College of Engineering, can speak about structural mechanics and civil engineering, and structural testing of civil, aerospace and underground systems.  

Labor and Workplace Issues 

  • Marick Masters, professor of business and a labor historian, is prepared to speak about business and labor political activity, labor unions and union finances, negotiations, labor-management relations, and workplace conflict.   
  • Matthew Piszczek, assistant professor of management, is available to discuss work-life issues, remote work, workforce aging and employee/labor relations.  
  • Ajay Ponnapalli, assistant professor of management, can speak about remote work and leadership.  

Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice 

  • Anthony Holt, chief of police at the Wayne State University Police Department, is prepared to discuss de-escalation training and community policing.  
  • Charles Klahm, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, is available to discuss community perceptions of police, media and crime, and police decision-making. 
  • Matthew Larson, associate professor and director of implementation, Center for Behavioral Health and Justice in the School of Social Work, is prepared to discuss criminal justice/legal policy evaluation, criminology, violence, and the intersection of mental illness and criminal justice policy. 
  • Sheryl Kubiak, dean of the School of Social Work, professor and director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice, is available to discuss mental health and substance abuse among those in the legal system and the intersection of criminal and legal systems and behavioral health.