WCU to host panel discussion analyzing election

A panel of political scientists and journalists will gather Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Western Carolina University to provide analysis of the recently concluded election and a look toward upcoming political trends.

The panel discussion, “2012 Election Wrap-Up: Looking Back, Looking Forward,” will be held in the conference room of Blue Ridge Hall from 6 until 7:15 p.m. It is open to the public free of charge.

Members of the panel are

* Michael Bitzer, associate professor and political science department head at Catawba College, who is an accomplished scholar and has been quoted frequently by the news media about North Carolina and Southern politics.

* Todd Collins, WCU associate professor of political science and public affairs, and director of the university’s Public Policy Institute. Collins is an expert in judicial politics who will serve as panel moderator.

* Chris Cooper, WCU associate professor and political science and public affairs department head, who has published dozens of academic articles on electoral politics in North Carolina and the South and has written numerous op-ed columns in newspapers across North Carolina and the Southeast.

* Jon Ostendorff, reporter for the Asheville Citizen-Times, who covered the 2012 election extensively. “Mr. Ostendorff’s unique, ground-level insight into journalism and politics will provide an important perspective on this panel,” said Cooper.

The event is sponsored by WCU’s Department of Political Science and Public Affairs and the Public Policy Institute. For more information, call 828-227-7475.