Strauss Institute

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

2016-10-18 13:23

Lore and Legacy of the Texas Legislature


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

2016-10-28 11:21

A broad-ranging survey on the topics of journalism, the media, politics, civic engagement, discussion networks and communities.


Providing news organizations with research-based techniques for engaging digital audiences

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.


Jump to the Engaging News Project page.
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.

Jump to the Texas Civic Health Index.
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.

Jump to information about the Patricia Witherspoon Research Award.
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.

Jump to the Campaign Mapping Project page.
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.


Jump to the Digital Media Research Program page.
Digital Media Research Project

The core mission of this new systematic Research Program is to advance understanding of today’s complex information communication technologies and media effects.

Jump to the Texas Civic Health Index.
Texas M
edia & Society Survey

The Texas Media & Society survey is a broad-ranging survey on the topics of journalism and the media, politics and civic engagement, and discussion networks and communities.

Jump to the Project Vote Smart page.
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.

Jump to the report on the 10-1 system of geographic representation.Civic Engagement in Austin

Report by the Annette Strauss Institute and Leadership Austin reveals insights into the 10-1 system of geographic representation and how Austinites from across the city view the transition to the 10-1 system.

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 Theriault, Government
Craig Watkins, Sociology



Dr. Roderick P. Hart
Dr. Roderick P. Hart
Former 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
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
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)