[UTA Magazine]


Media darlings
When news outlets come calling, campus experts soak up the spotlight

During the latest war with Iraq, viewers of the NBC-TV affiliate in Fort Worth-Dallas kept up with not only the battles but the background, thanks to political science Professor Mark Cichock, a frequent political analyst for the station.

When the subject is stress, The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC-TV and national magazines often turn to UTA management Professor Jim Quick.

For commentary on topics ranging from why U.S. troops are in Kosovo to why Texas Democrats are in Albuquerque, political science Associate Professor Allan Saxe is often the prof du jour for USA Today, the Associated Press and a myriad of radio and television stations.

Mark Cichock Foreign policy expert Mark Cichock often appears locally on NBC-TV.

The professors are the standard bearers in a growing parade of UTA faculty who bring national and even international visibility to the University for their quotable expertise. All three are often interviewed by local and national print and broadcast media, including public radio.

Dr. Cichock's strength lies primarily in American foreign policy and national politics, while Dr. Saxe, whom USA Today has called "the Andy Rooney (60 Minutes) of the Lone Star State," gives his opinions on everything from Texas politics to Americans' penchant for grumbling.

Dr. Quick shares with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon the distinction of having been interviewed by Vega, the Time magazine of Brazil with nearly two million readers. He also has appeared on ABC-TV's "Closer Look" national program.

The New York Times interviewed Quick for a story on the stress of returning to work after vacation, and The Washington Post quoted him regarding his research into how men and women react differently to stress. This summer, he was selected as Self magazine's online expert for a week, answering questions submitted to the national women's health publication.

UTA has several other rising media stars.

Political science faculty members Victoria Farrar-Myers and Rebecca Deen are often sought by the media for their knowledge of American politics and campaigns. History Department Chairman Donald Kyle, an expert in ancient sports, was the historical consultant for a program on gladiators on cable television's History Channel.

And when the Dallas Cowboys began talks about the location of a new stadium, economics Associate Professor Craig Depken became an important source because of his research on the impact of stadiums on communities.

School of Nursing Dean Elizabeth Poster is another of the University's most quoted sources for her awareness of the national and state nursing shortage. She also writes a column on health issues in the Fort Worth Business Press.

College of Education Dean Jeanne Gerlach is UTA's expert on K-16 (kindergarten through college) programs, and distance education Director Pete Smith is considered an articulate spokesman for online courses and UTA's award-winning programs in particular.

The connection between UTA faculty and the news media is often made by the UTA Public Affairs Office, which fields calls for prof sources daily from major media. The office also keeps a database of faculty and staff and distributes an experts guide to the media.

Donna Darovich, director of public affairs, says that when local newspapers that are members of the Associated Press or other wire services quote a UTA expert, that material often is published in papers around the world.

UTA engineering and architecture professors are always in demand, she says. "When the World Trade Center towers collapsed and when the design for what would replace them was announced, the media came to UTA, seeking engineering and architecture professors' expertise."

"We can't buy this kind of exposure," Darovich said. "The visibility is priceless."

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