Faculty Profiles

Politically Speaking

sean savage talkingProfessor Sean Savage has been talking politics. A lot. As an expert on American politics, media outlets in South Bend and around the country have called upon the political science professor for commentary on the presidential election. Savage says he finds his role as the go-to guy both interesting and challenging. “Media interviews provide the opportunity to share my knowledge and analysis outside of campus,” says Savage. Savage has appeared more than 90 times in newspaper, TV and radio stories since January 2008. The New York Times and the Associated Press have interviewed Savage, and he has appeared on national radio stations in Cleveland and Houston. The election hoopla that has been heard around the country is also resounding on Saint Mary’s campus.

“Both Democratic and Republican students seem to be more interested and involved in this presidential election than in any since 1992,” notes Savage. “The signs have been evident in the amount of student volunteerism in both campaigns and in non-partisan voter registration efforts, as well as through campaign T-shirts and buttons.”

Savage has been a professor at Saint Mary’s College since 1990, teaching a number of courses including Politics of American Democracy, Introduction to American Law, The Presidency, The U.S. Constitution, American Civil Liberties, Public Administration, and American Political Development. In December he plans to discuss and analyze the election results in two of his courses. “By that time we will have the official election results, exit poll data, and analyses of them by leading pollsters and journalists,” says Savage.

In addition to teaching and acting as a local and national political expert, Savage has published books in his area of expertise. His first book, Roosevelt: The Party Leader, 1932-1945 (1991), garnered him an Emerging Scholar Award from the American Political Science Association. Other titles include Truman and the Democratic Party (1997), and JFK, LBJ and the Democratic Party (2004), which won a Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title of 2005. Alumna Jessica White ’03 assisted in the preparation of that book. Savage is currently conducting research for a new book on John F. Kennedy’s relationship with New England politics during the 1950s.

When the dust settles from this presidential election, Savage has something else he’d like to do. “I definitely intend to catch up on my sleep! Then I’ll begin to prepare for analyzing the 2010 mid-term elections. Someone somewhere is always running for something.”