College of Liberal Arts

Experts Available to Discuss Austin Plane Crash

Thu, Feb 18, 2010

The University of Texas at Austin has experts who are following today’s plane crash in northwest Austin and are available to discuss aspects of it. This list will continue to grow. Visit this Web site for the most updated version, please visit.

Suicide terrorism and political violence
Ami Pedahzur
Associate Professor, Department of Government
512-363-6387 (cell)

Pedahzur is an expert on terrorism, counterterrorism and political extremism. Pedahzur can provide context on how the incident relates to suicide terrorism and political violence. Please visit this Web site for a discussion of his most recent book on terrorism in Israel.
Psychological motives for suicide
The culture of aggression and anger
Arthur Markman
Professor, Department of Psychology
512-300-5248 (cell)  

Markman researches a broad spectrum of topics in the realm of behavioral psychology. He can speak about the motivation to commit suicide and an attack. He is also available to discuss the culture of aggression, and how pent-up anger can lead to violence and suicide. Visit his Psychology Today blog, “Ulterior Motives” for more about his research.  

Use of New Media in Spreading Information
Homero Gil de Zuniga
Assistant Professor of Journalism
College of Communication

De Zuniga's research revolves around new media consumption (podcasts, blogs, etc.) and the role it plays in political and civic engagement among individuals. He is able to speak to the role that social media has played in allowing people to share information and opinions about the plane crash.

National Security Law
Robert M. Chesney
Professor, School of Law

Chesney is a national security law specialist, with a particular interest in problems associated with terrorism. He recently served in the Justice Department in connection with the Detainee Policy Task Force, is a member of the Advisory Committee of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law and National Security and a senior editor for the Journal of National Security Law & Policy.

Violence and society
Thomas Palaima, Ph.D.
The Raymond F. Dickson Centennial Professor in Classics
512-680-6623 (cell)

Palaima has spent decades researching violence and society from comparative and historical angles ranging from antiquity to present-day America.

Societal response to crime
Mark Warr
Professor, Department of Sociology, Population Research Center (contact by e-mail only)
Available for print media only
Warr, a professor of sociology and an affiliate of the Population Research Center, is a criminologist who researches peer influence and social reactions to crime. His research on fear of crime in family households appeared in the American Journal of Sociology.

Coping with Tragedy
Ricardo Ainslie
Professor, Department of Educational Psychology

Ainslie has done research on, and written books about, communities' responses to tragedy. He offered insights and expertise after tragedies like the Columbine shootings, epidemic of drug-related killings in Mexico and the racially motivated murder of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas.

Aaron Rochlen
Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology

Rochlen is the preeminent national researcher on men's emotional health and has done one of the only scientific studies on stay-at-home dads as well as one of the few studies on how men process, manifest and handle depression.

Christopher McCarthy
Professor and Counseling Psychology Program Director, Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education
512-825-3768 (cell)

McCarthy Is available to discuss the psychology of stress and the body’s physical reaction to it. With reports of Andrew Joseph Stack's frustrations in his career as a software engineer, McCarthy can offer insights into how the suicide pilot reached a breaking point. His research also investigates coping strategies and stress prevention.

Damage to the targeted building
Oguzhan Bayrak
Director, Phil M. Ferguson Structural Engineering Lab, Professor of Civil Engineering

Bayrak and other civil engineers at the university’s Phil M. Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory can comment on how the building could respond to fire, impact, and damage once investigators determine its structural type.

Violence as Political Expression
Dana L. Cloud
Associate Professor of Communication Studies
512-731-1025 (cell)

Dana Cloud has researched violence as political expression. She is an expert on political rhetoric, American social movements, labor movements and public life in the United States.

For more information, contact: Gary Susswein, College of Liberal Arts,, 512 471 4945.


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