Simpson Colloquium 101
Not long ago most Americans read a single newspaper or watched news and public affairs programming on one of the three major television networks. Now, because of the Internet and cable, we have access to an almost limitless variety of news, information, and opinion. How can we make sense of all of this in a way that enables us to be engaged citizens in the messy but crucial public discussion that is part of a democracy? This class is designed to help students learn how to read the news carefully and critically, separate facts and analysis from opinions and speculation, and think about issues and public policies that affect all of our daily lives. Although we will focus on Internet resources, we will also gather and analyze public affairs reporting from other media sources.
Meet Your Professor
John Epperson, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science
I did my undergraduate work at Centre College a small liberal arts college in Kentucky near where I grew up. When I went to Centre I intended to major in biology and go on to medical school as my father, grandfather, several uncles and assorted other relatives had done. However I decided in my freshman year that I enjoyed my government class much more than my biology class and, to the eternal benefit of medical science and patients everywhere, I became a political science major. My plan was to be a lawyer but at the start of my senior year I realized I did not want to work on wills or estates but instead I wanted to learn about constitutional law. This took me to the University of Virginia where I earned an MA and PhD. A version of my dissertation entitled The Changing Legal Status of Political Parties in the United States was published some years ago.
I came to Iowa to teach at Simpson and I have enjoyed it immensely. I like teaching a broad range of courses and I particularly like working with students and getting to know them as more than faces in a classroom. I also like Iowa because I met my wife here and we raised our three daughter in Indianola not far from the campus.
I continue to be interested in the work of the Supreme Court but I also focus a lot of my time and energy on political parties and elections. Because of the Iowa caucuses this is a great place from which to observe politics, political personalities and elections. For the past few years I have been able to share my analysis and opinions as the political analyst for Channel 5 WOI, the ABC television station in Des Moines.
In my spare time I enjoy reading, doing things with my family, and cheering on the Baltimore Orioles (a frustrating task in recent years) and the Kentucky Wildcat basketball team.In my spare time I enjoying reading, watching good movies, visting daughters in Los Angeles and New York and cheering on my favorite teams: the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens and the Kentucky Wildcat basketball team.
Meet Your Simpson Colloquium Leader
Hey! My name is Austin Jacobs and I will be the helping Professor Epperson in the “News and Public Affairs in the Internet Age” SC Class. My job will be to help you have an easy transition from high school to college. I will be a sophomore in the fall and plan on graduating with majors in Political Science and Management and a minor in Mathematics. After graduating from Simpson, I plan on attending a law school. I’m originally from northwest Iowa and graduated from Southern Cal High School. I was very involved in student government, music, FFA, speech, Academic Decathlon and cross country. Coming to Simpson was the best choice for me and I still stay very active. I’m a member of many groups on campus including being on Student Government, Best Buddies, Campus Activities Board, College Republicans and work as an Ambassador. I’m a very outgoing person and love meeting new people! Don’t be afraid to find me on Twitter and Facebook if you have any questions. I can’t wait to meet you all in the summer and Go Storm!!
Meet Your Writting Fellow
My name is Shelby and I will be your writing fellow for Professor Epperson’s News and Public Affairs in the Internet Age. I will be a junior in the fall and I am double majoring in Criminal Justice and Sociology and minoring in English. I grew up in the Grinnell area in Iowa and graduated from Grinnell High School in 2011. I love it here at Simpson and am involved in many things. Currently I am a supervisor for Phonathon (an on campus job), I am the secretary for Multicultural Student Alliance, a member of the Simpson College Shooting Sports Club, and a member of the Student Alumni Association. When I do have spare time I like to spend it hanging out with my friends and my boyfriend, watching movies, or reading a good book. I love meeting new people so feel free to add me and talk to me on Facebook (Shelby Rae Montgomery) or email me at email@example.com ! I look forward to meeting you all and getting to know you!