Three faculty members with the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and The City Wire will collaborate to deliver a series of political-based essays and reports beginning in March.
The series is scheduled to run on a bi-weekly basis beginning in early March, with essays and reports written by Dr. Williams Yamkam, assistant professor of political science; Dr. Eric Baker, assistant professor of political science; and Dr. Robert Willoughby, head of the history, geography, political science, philosophy and religious studies department. The three will continue to alternate as the series progresses.
Dr. Henry Rinne, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said he believes the series will be good for the University and for the community.
“I am very pleased that our political science faculty have entered into a partnership with The City Wire to create a platform to facilitate the exchange of ideas,” said Rinne. “Our faculty members have many years of experience with public policy, campaigns and elections. I look forward to reading their insights into local politics as well as state and national issues."
Michael Tilley, an editor and co-owner of The City Wire, hopes that improving access to the various aspects of political science will result in a more informed electorate.
“Too often, a voter’s knowledge of political candidates or issues is based on sound bites or some of the nonsense on which television and radio attack ads are built. We believe information from the UAFS faculty will provide The City Wire readers a better filter from which to make political decisions,” Tilley said.
The three writers bring their different backgrounds and experiences to their roles as members of the UAFS faculty and to what they will write for The City Wire.
Yamkam came to UAFS in 2009 after earning his doctorate in political science from Wayne State University in Michigan. Yamkam teaches multiple political science courses, including a course on campaigns and elections. Besides the various professional trainings that he has received in campaign operations, he is a graduate of American University’s Campaign Management Institute in Washington, D.C.
Baker, who joined the UAFS faculty in 2008, has a doctorate in political science from the University of Florida. He teaches several different courses in the political science department, including American National Government, State and Local Government, The American Presidency, Public Policy, and International Relations. Baker previously taught at the University of Richmond in Virginia and East Carolina University in North Carolina.
Willoughby, who first came to UAFS in 2006, has been head of the department since 2010. He has a doctorate in American history and government from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Willoughby has a wide range of teaching experiences, ranging from public middle and high school to small, private colleges and state universities. He has also published articles and books and has delivered numerous papers at history conferences.