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Political scientists statewide to attend local event

Oct. 10, 2007

KALAMAZOO--About 100 political scientists from across Michigan will congregate in Kalamazoo this Thursday and Friday, Oct. 11-12, for the 39th Annual Michigan Conference of Political Scientists.

The Western Michigan University Department of Political Science and Kalamazoo Valley Community College are hosts of the event, which has not been held in Kalamazoo for at least a decade, says Dr. John Clark, WMU professor of political science and the event's organizer.

The throng of college professors will gather at KVCC's Arcadia Commons Campus downtown for a wide range of activities that includes presentations by two featured speakers.

Dr. Ed Sidlow, professor of political science at Eastern Michigan University, will deliver the dinner keynote address at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. His topic is titled "What Professors Can Learn from Politicians" and will give an insider's look at political campaigns gleaned from his years of following politicians on the campaign trail.

Sidlow is the author of several books, including "Freshman Orientation: House Style and Home Style" (2007), which followed former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-MI) through his term in Congress. In a 2004 book, "Challenging the Incumbent: An Underdog's Undertaking," he profiled the unsuccessful House campaign of Lance Pressl in Illinois.

The other featured speaker is Dr. Michelle Miller-Adams, assistant professor of political science at Grand Valley State University, who will deliver the luncheon keynote speech at noon Friday. Miller-Adams will address "The Kalamazoo Promise as a Tool for Economic Development." She is currently a visiting scholar at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, where she is working on a book about the Kalamazoo Promise to be published in 2008.

Other activities of note include panel discussions addressing key issues in political science, including "Religion in the 2008 Presidential Election" from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday and a roundtable discussion on the U.S. Supreme Court featuring Drs. Mark Hurwitz and Ashlyn Kuersten, both WMU associate professors of political science, from 10:30 a.m. to noon Friday.

For more information, call Dr. John Clark, WMU professor of political science, at (269) 387-5620.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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