Episode for December 21, 2021

Columnist Michael Cohen and Professor Melissa Michelson

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23 mins Michael A. Cohen is a regular contributor for The Boston Globe on national politics and foreign affairs. He is also the author of “American Maelstrom: The 1968 Election and the Politics of Division.” Michael has written for dozens of news outlets, including as a columnist for the Guardian and Foreign Policy and he is the US Political Correspondent for the London Observer. He previously worked as a speechwriter at the US State Department and has been a lecturer at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

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46 mins Dr. Melissa R. Michelson is an accomplished teacher, scholar, and leader in her profession.

Originally from the island of Alameda, California, she now bicycles to work at Menlo College in Atherton, California, where she is Dean of Arts & Sciences and Professor of Political Science. Dr. Michelson is also a founding Executive Committee member of WomenAlsoKnowStuff and past president of the American Political Science Association Latino Caucus and of the American Political Science Association LGBT Caucus. She is a past visiting faculty fellow of the Stanford University Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and is currently co-editor of the journal Politics, Groups, and Identities.

Dr. Michelson frequently speaks at public events and to the media, including a Menlo TedX talk in 2019 and as the long-time election night analyst at Peninsula Television. She is a frequent source for news stories about Latinx politics, LGBTQ politics, and California politics, including national outlets like the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal, as well as international media. She enjoys speaking to students outside of the classroom, including as a guest speaker in political science classes and to student audiences at the high school and college levels interested in how to be allies to the LGBTQ community.

Dr. Michelson is a nationally recognized expert in Latinx voter mobilization and LGBTQ politics. Her academic work is solidly based in activist scholarship. Whether the focus is on members of the Latinx, LGBTQ, or other marginalized groups, she uses her research to motivate greater equality and justice for all. Dr. Michelson went to graduate school to become a teacher and delights in leading classroom discussions, but also to write books that might make a difference, inspired by her undergraduate professor at Columbia University, Dr. Charles V. Hamilton. She went on to earn a PhD from Yale University and has since written seven books and dozens of journal articles and book chapters.

Dr. Michelson’s current projects include ongoing research on how best to motivate Black and Latinx citizens to vote, how drag performers can increase voter turnout, how to reduce prejudice against members of the LGBTQ community , and many other smaller projects. More than a quarter century after completing her PhD, she is still excited by new research ideas and eager to dive into new literatures to learn more.

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