Welcome Susan

Join us in welcoming Susan Nold as our new director! Learn more about Susan.

Engaging News Project

Studies find people more willing to engage in political discussion when provided with pro-con arguments

Strauss Institute

Understanding and overcoming obstacles to civic engagement through research and educational outreach

Campaign Bootcamp 2015

Photos are now available and discover how to join us for Campaign Bootcamp 2016!


A comprehensive, first-time look at civic and political engagement in Texas

Creating More Voters and Better Citizens


Our Research

The Annette Strauss Institute seeks to improve scholarly and public understanding of media, politics, and civic participation. Our affiliated faculty conducts research on topics such as political language, consumer news choice, and media coverage of politics and policy.  In addition, the Institute houses the Engaging News Project, Project Vote Smart, the Texas Civic Health Index, and the Campaign Mapping Project, and annually gives the Patricia Witherspoon Award to support graduate student research on public service, civic life, and citizenship.


Engaging News Project

The Engaging News Project has a single aim:  to provide research-based techniques for engaging online audiences in commercially-viable and democratically-beneficial ways.

Texas Civic Health Index

A report on rates of political participation and civic involvement across Texas.  Based on US Census data, this report provides the first comprehensive, nonpartisan assessment of our state's civic life.

Patricia Witherspoon Award

Patricia Witherspoon Research Award offsets costs for students conducting original research in the areas of public service, government, community service, civic life, citizenship, or politics.


Campaign Mapping Project

A multi-year effort to assemble political campaign materials produced during presidential elections between 1948 and 2012, as a guide to understand the direction of American politics.

Project Vote Smart

A unique internship in the study of American and state politics in which student interns come together to produce Project Vote Smart’s Key Votes database to help citizens acquire accurate information about politics, candidates, and key legislation.

Faculty Research Group
The Faculty Research Group is composed of faculty from the Colleges and Schools of Communication, Education, Law, Liberal Arts, Social Work, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Their research and teaching range broadly in the areas of political participation, civic volunteerism, media and politics, and social studies curricula in the nation's schools.

David Anderson, Law
Ronald Angel, Sociology
Bruce Buchanan, Government
Richard Cherwitz, Communication
John Daly, Communication
Meme Drumwright, Communication
Betty Sue Flowers, LBJ Library
James Galbraith, LBJ School
Sherri Greenberg, LBJ School
John Higley, Sociology
Sharon Jarvis, Communication
Michael Lauderdale, Social Work
David Leal, Government
Robert Luskin, Government
Maxwell McCombs, Communication
Jamie Pennebaker, Psychology
H. W. Perry, Government
Scott Powe, Law
Stephen Reese, Communication
Lodis Rhodes, LBJ School
Nancy Schiesari, Radio-Television-Film
Jay Scribner, Education
Daron Shaw, Government
Bartholomew Sparrow, Government
Calvin Streeter, Social Work
Talia Stroud, Communication
Sean Theirault, Government
Craig Watkins, Sociology



Dr. Roderick P. Hart
Dean, Moody College of Communication
Shivers Chair in Communication, Professor of Government
Founding Director, Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life
Bio (Link) | Resume (PDF)

Dr. Sharon A. Jarvis
Associate Director of Research, Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life
Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Moody College of Communication
Bio (Link) | Resume (PDF)

Dr. Talia Stroud
Assistant Director of Research, Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life
Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Moody College of Communication
Director, Engaging News Project
Bio (Link) | Resume (PDF)