Fellows and Associates Research Highlights: Fall 2017

Dominique Baker, Associate
  • Academic Lectures, Conference Presentations, and Speaking Engagements
    • “Undergraduate debt’s role in shaping students’ futures,” TG (formerly Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation), June 2017.
    • “Borrowing to get ahead: Undergraduate debt’s effect on graduate school decision-making,” Stanford University Center for Education Policy Analysis, March 2017.
    • “Beyond the incident: Institutional predictors of student collective action,” Midwest Political Science Association, April 2017. (with Richard S. L. Blissett)
  • Papers, Publications, and Other Writings
    • Baker, D. J., & Doyle, W. R. (2017). Impact of community college student debt levels on credit accumulation. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 671(1), 132-153.
    • Flores, S. M., Park, T. J., & Baker, D. J. (2017). The racial college completion gap: Evidence from Texas. The Journal of Higher Education. Published online first.

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James Hollifield: Why Immigration Reform is so Hard

Tower Center Academic Director James F. Hollifield wrote an essay for the Bush Institute’s The Catalyst about the difficulty of immigration reform. He argues that international migration policy is a difficult problem to solve because of politically salient entry and exit laws, as well as questions of market influence and the impact of refugee-causing disasters.

“We must resolve these issues if we are to experience a virtuous cycle of greater openness, wealth, and human development, rather than falling back into a vicious cycle that leads the world into greater anarchy, poverty, disorder and war,” Hollifield wrote.

Read his essay here.

Center Spotlight | Idean Salehyan

Center spotlight Idean Salehyan
Tower Center Associate Idean Salehyan on a hike outside of Oslo, Norway.

Tower Center Associate Idean Salehyan has several research interests, all centered around domestic political conflict. The Tower Center sat down with him to talk with him about his latest projects and goals. Salehyan is Associate Professor of Political Science  at the University of North Texas and the co-Director of the Social Conflict Analysis Database project (SCAD).

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TC Associate’s Book Wins Rosenberg Prize

Congratulations to Tower Center Associate Erin Hochman! Her latest book, “Imagining a Greater Germany” (Cornell University Press, 2016), won the Hans Rosenberg Book Prize. The award was presented by the Central European History Society for the best book published in 2016. Hochman is a historian of Modern Germany and Austria and is an associate professor at SMU.

Jeff Engel weighs in on tax reform and Flynn’s guilty plea

Tower Center Senior Fellow Jeff Engel was interviewed on Fox 4 about what the future holds for the recently passed tax reform bill, and for the Trump administration dealing with the newest advancement in the Russian investigations: Flynn’s guilty plea.

“It’s not only about who doesn’t like a tax cut, it’s who really wants to keep talking about scandal when of course the American people want the country moving forward with legislation,” Engel said.

Watch the interview here.

Tower Center Fellow Conducts Interviews in Norway

Tower Center Fellow Conducts Interviews in Norway with former prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik
SMU Tower Center Fellow LaiYee Leong met with former Prime Minister of Norway, Kjell Magne Bondevik for a project at the SMU Center for Presidential History.

Tower Center Fellow Dr. LaiYee Leong is conducting interviews in Oslo, Norway, as part of an oral history project for the SMU Center for Presidential History. The project focuses on transatlantic relations during the George W. Bush administration. This past month, she recorded conversations with Norway’s former prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik and former defense minister Kristin Krohn Devold.

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Center Spotlight | Lessons from Bush 41

As a result of a massive 10-year declassification project at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, Jeffrey A. Engel wrote his new book, “When the World Seemed New: George H.W. Bush and the End of the Cold War.” The Tower Center sat down with Engel, our Senior Fellow and Director of the SMU Center for Presidential History, to discuss his latest project.

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Center Spotlight | A Life of Service

center spotlight patrick mordente
Ret. Brig. Gen. Patrick Mordente (left) being sworn in by Emily Robison (right), Deputy Director, George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Retired Brig. Gen. Patrick Mordente has dedicated his life to serving the United States, first through the military and now at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Mordente was appointed to be the director of the Bush Library & Museum in February. He is also a member of the Tower Center Board of Directors, a Tower Center Senior Fellow, and a professor for the Tower Scholars Program. The Tower Center sat down with Mordente to discuss his transition from commanding an air force base to directing the 13th presidential library.

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Pia Orrenius | Effects of E-Verify on Unauthorized Immigrant Employment and Population

Tower Center Senior Fellow Pia Orrenius published a new study with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Digital Enforcement, on the effects of the E-Verify system on the employment of immigrants. The E-Verify system requires employers in some states to electronically verify the immigration status of workers before they can be hired.

“E-Verify, when it’s mandatory and all employers have to use it, can have very large deterrent effects on the employment of undocumented immigrants and possibly also on the immigration of undocumented immigrants or illegal immigration,” Orrenius said.

Read her report here.