Forum: Midterm Elections

Pile of red-white-and-blue VOTE buttons

MONDAYS, 5-6:15 P.M., FALL 2018

Students: here is the link to the Forum: Midterm Elections Application Form.  The deadline to apply is midnight Wednesday, March 28, 2018.  

Calling All Political Junkies in the HC!

David Letterman once joked, “Tomorrow is Election Day. It’s what they call the midterm elections, and you can cut the indifference with a knife. It’s the day Americans leave work early and pretend to vote.” Although American “indifference” to midterm elections is well-documented, 2018 is shaping up to be one of the more interesting midterm election years in recent history. A number of questions surround the 2018 midterms. Will the Democrats be able to ride the recent momentum from important victories in Alabama and Virginia? On the other side, will the Republicans be able to maintain their control over both houses of Congress? If they are unsuccessful, what effect would a GOP defeat have on the future of Donald Trump’s presidency? These important questions, and many more, will be discussed throughout Midterm Elections.

All honors students, regardless of their place on the political spectrum, are invited to apply for Midterm Elections. The foundation of the course will be the discussion that takes place each week around a table in the Honors College wing of Gearhart Hall. The class will begin with a foundational study of Congress, focusing on the current state of each of the major political parties. Students will also learn about the recent history of midterm elections, particularly the major “change” elections the United States saw in 1994, 2006, and 2010. Each student will also be assigned a congressional election to track throughout the semester, periodically reporting to the class about the state of the race. Students will also produce essays for the Honors College blog, predicting what will happen before Election Day and then analyzing the results and what they mean for the new session of Congress that will begin in January 2019.

 About Noah Pittman:

 Dr. Noah Pittman currently serves as the assistant dean of recruitment and retention for the Honors College. He is also the director of the university's Advanced Placement Summer Institute, an annual training workshop for AP and Pre-AP teachers from Arkansas and the surrounding region. Dr. Pittman earned a B.A. in political science, summa cum laude, from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., where he was active in a number of campus groups and won numerous awards, among them the Yerger Hunt Clifton Scholarship for British Studies at Oxford, the Seidman Award for Most Outstanding Senior Political Science Major and the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for Senior Male Student. During college, Dr. Pittman also interned at Congressman Steve Cohen's Ninth District Office in Memphis. At the University of Arkansas, Dr. Pittman completed a M.Ed. in higher education leadership and a Ph.D. in public policy. Dr. Pittman's dissertation on the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery and its effects on college participation in the state earned him the William Miller Dissertation Award from the university's public policy program. Dr. Pittman currently serves on the executive committee of the Alpha of Arkansas Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa along with the Provost's Enrollment Advisory Committee. His teaching credits for the Honors College include the Fall 2016 Forum, Tracking Trump & Hillary, and the Spring 2018 Forum, Trump 365. He also served as a teaching assistant for the Spring 2017 Forum, Flagship U!, a course that Chancellor Joe Steinmetz taught on American higher education.