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 languageconsumer news choice, political discourse, and media coverage of politics and policy.  In addition, the Institute houses the Engaging News Project, 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.


Texas Media & Society survey

Texas Media & Society Survey

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

Patricia Witherspoon 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.

Campaign Mapping Project

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.

digital media research project

Digital Media Research Project (DMRP)

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

Texas Civic Health Index

Texas Civic Health Index

The Texas Civic Health Index provides a comprehensive, first-time look at civic and political engagement in Texas. It presents information about who engages in their communities, in politics, and how.

Civic Engagment

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.

Knight Report Cover Title

Newspaper Decline and the Effect on Local Government Coverage

In a new report written for the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life and sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Jay Jennings and Meghan Rubado present their research on the decline of local newspapers and the effect it is having on communities.

Vote! in thought bubble

Electorally Speaking

The Electorally Speaking Project features a set of studies addressing how people talk about voting in the United States and why it matters. One new report, supported by Democracy Fund, presents findings on how to talk about threats to the mechanics of elections in ways that don't dampen people's desire to vote.

Faculty Collaborators

Jennifer Adair, Education
Patrick Bixler, LBJ School
Josh Blank, Texas Politics Project
Joe Cutbirth, Communication

John Daly, Communication
Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, LBJ School
Meme Drumwright, Communication
Suchi Gururaj, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
Jim Henson, Government

Sharon Jarvis, Communication
Peniel Joseph, LBJ School
Dave Junker, Advertising & Public Relations

Robert Luskin, Government
Art Markman, Psychology
Gina Masullo, Journalism & Media
Matt McGlone, Communication
Katherina Payne, Education
Richard Reddick, Education

Stephen Reese, Communication
Nancy Schiesari, Radio Television Film
Jay Scribner, Education
Daron Shaw, Government

Ya’Ke Smith, Radio Television Film
Bartholomew Sparrow, Government

David Springer, LBJ School
Keri Stephens, Communication

Talia Stroud, Communication
Sean Theriault, Government

Paul Toprac, Computer Science
S. Craig Watkins, Journalism & Media
Stephen Vladeck, Law, LBJ School
Hannah Wojciehowski, English



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) | Vita (PDF)


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



Dr. Bethany L. Albertson


Dr. Bethany Albertson
Assistant Director of Research,
Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life
Associate Professor, Department of Government
College of Liberal Arts
Bio (Link) | Vita (PDF)


Political Discourse Infographic