2017 Wisconsin State Budget

The politics of state budgets

Mordecai Lee, government
414-227-3282 (office)
414-962-0270 (residence)
414-559-0271 (cell)

A professor of urban planning, Lee served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1977 to 1983 and State Senate from 1983 to 1989. He has also written articles in academic journals about his experience in the state Legislature.

Budget accounting practices

Daniel Neely, government accounting
414-229-4164 (office)
832-671-6358 (cell)

Neely, an associate professor of accounting, is actively researching the role of financial information in governmental and nonprofit organizations. He can speak about the use of standard accounting practices to define the state budget deficit.

The economic impact of the state budget

Scott Adams, health care, fiscal policy, education policy
414-229-4812 (office)
414-403-0347 (cell)

Adams served as a senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisors in 2008-’09. His research interests include health and labor economics. He can comment on K-12 funding proposals and the governor’s self-insurance proposal.

Owen Thompson, health policy, education policy
612-723-2263 (cell)

Thompson, an assistant professor of economics, researches health economics, labor economics and the economics of education. He can comment on K-12 funding proposals and the governor’s self-insurance proposal.

Health insurance

Jennifer Kibicho, health-care economics
414-229-2596 (office)
313-832-0214 (cell)

Kibicho is an assistant professor of nursing. Her research interests include the economic analyses of health-care costs, prescription drug cost drivers, cost containment policies and the cost of providing care to persons living with HIV/AIDS. She can comment on the proposal to have the state self-insure.


James Peoples, transportation costs, health-care labor markets
414-229-4482 (office)
414-759-5939 (cell)

Peoples has written extensively on the transportation sector of the U.S. economy. He is on the editorial board of Transport Policy, and has served as president of the Transportation and Public Utilities Group of the Allied Social Sciences Association, and of the National Economic Association. He can speak about costs and benefits of infrastructure investment, and the funding mechanisms available.


The Super Bowl

Sports Psychology

Barbara Meyer, applied sport psychology
(414) 229-3360

Meyer is director of the Laboratory for Sport Psychology & Performance Excellence. In her sport psychology practice, Meyer works with athletes to enhance the performance of athletes, teams, and sport organizations, and facilitate rehabilitation and return to sport following injury. She has worked with professional and world-class athletes, teams, and sport organizations in freestyle skiing, ice hockey, speed skating, football, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, equestrian, and many other sports.

Media coverage

Richard Popp, advertising and consumerism
(414) 229-4436

Popp is an associate professor of journalism, advertising and media studies, and has worked on the history of advertising. He also is interested in the question of whether contemporary American professional sports are a financial “bubble” at risk of deflating.

The Business of Sports

Laura Peracchio, marketing
(414) 229-3830

Recently named the  Judith H. and Gale E. Klappa Endowed Professor of Marketing, Peracchio specializes in the application of consumer behavior research to marketing issues. She investigates the ways in which consumers are influenced by promotional and advertising information. Her research interests are in the areas of persuasion, consumer decision-making, language and culture, children’s consumer behavior and social marketing issues.

Xiaojing Yang, marketing
(414) 229-6537

Yang specializes in issues related to consumer behavior, especially how advertising and creativity influence how consumers process information and are persuaded.

The Trump Transition


Scott Adams, health care, education policy, fiscal policy
(414) 229-4812 (office)
(414) 403-0347 (cell)

Professor of economics Scott Adams served as a senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in 2008-’09. His research interests include health economics and labor economics. He can address efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act and redirect U.S. education policy.

John Heywood, labor
(414) 229-4310 (office)

John Heywood is a UWM distinguished professor of economics and director of UWM’s Master of Human Relations and Labor Relations program. An expert in the economics of personnel, he has held appointments in the United Kingdom, Germany, Hong Kong and Australia. His research examines performance pay, earnings discrimination, the labor market for older workers, the determinants and consequences of companies’ family friendly practices, public sector labor markets and the economics of trade unions.

Owen Thompson, health policy, education policy
(612) 723-2263

Owen Thompson, an assistant professor of economics, researches health economics, labor economics and the economics of education. He can comment on proposed changes to health care policy, as well as Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos’ general ideas on charter schools and vouchers.


Kevin Spellman
(608) 334-2110

Kevin Spellman is a senior lecturer of finance and director of the Investment Management Certificate Program in the Lubar School of Business at UW-Milwaukee. A former analyst, portfolio manager and director of research, he continues to consult for various sell-side and buy-side investment firms in the areas of behavioral finance, asset pricing, investment strategy and quantitative investments. As Trump’s first term gets underway, Spellman can discuss how the 45th president’s economic-policy decisions affect the economy and financial markets. He can also speak in general about President Trump’s real-estate holdings, as Spellman’s first role was as an analyst in real estate stocks.

Foreign Relations/International Trade

Robert Beck, international law and use of force
(414) 229-3713 (office)

UW-Milwaukee’s chief information officer, Robert Beck is a political scientist whose research interests include international relations, international law and foreign policy. He is working on a new edition of “International Law and the Use of Force: Beyond the U.N. Charter Paradigm.

Christine Evans, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in Russian media and pop culture
(414) 979-1402

An assistant professor of history, Christine Evans’ research interests include modern Eurasian mass culture and communications and play, leisure and consumption. She’s the author of “Between Truth and Time: A History of Soviet Central Television, published in 2016 by Yale University Press. She travels to Russia yearly for research, and was a recent guest on “Sean’s Russia Blog Podcast. She can speak about Trump and Putin’s pop-culture appeal in Russia, and analyze how the Russian entertainment industry, fake news and contemporary Russian propaganda portray that nation’s complicated, evolving relationship with American politics and our 45th president.

Ora “John” Reuter, Vladimir Putin or US/Russian relations
(931) 312-9132

An assistant professor of political science and senior researcher at the Moscow-based International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development, Ora “John” Reuter’s research interests include comparative political institutions and political economy, elections, democratization, bureaucracy, authoritarian regimes and Russia and the former Soviet Union. He can speak about the potential for a new American/Russian partnership and analyze the key differences between the Russian and American political systems that will shape relations between the two countries over the next four years.

Jeffrey Sommers, Russia, Baltic economies
(414) 988-9670

A professor and senior fellow at UWM’s Institute of World Affairs, Jeffrey Sommers’ research centers on austerity economics in Europe and the United States. Regional focuses include the role played by the Baltic states as the drain for both commodities and capital from the former Soviet Union, and global markets in the context of a wider international political economy. His writings have appeared in the New York Times and the Financial Times. He can speak to shifts in U.S. relations with Russia in a Trump administration.

Leadership Style and Executive Behavior

Stanislav Dobrev
(801) 712-8155

Stanislav Dobrev is the Robert L. and Sally S. Manegold Chair in Strategic Management in the Lubar School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dobrev’s research interests include business and corporate strategy, organizational change, managerial careers and incentives, and entrepreneurship. He can speak to how the president elect’s entrepreneurial background might shape his management style in the Oval Office, and he can comment on the appeal of Trump’s unorthodox, nonconformist communication/impression management style.


Sara Benesh, Judicial decision making

An associate professor of political science, Sara Benesh’s research interests include judicial decision making and the legitimacy of courts and institutions. She can discuss the impact of likely Trump nominees on American jurisprudence.

Thomas Holbrook, voter behavior
(414) 939-4207 (Google voice to text)

A professor of political science, Thomas Holbrook can talk about voter behavior, political campaigns, campaign spending and forecasting national elections. He is the author of “Do Campaigns Matter?” and the recently published “Altered States: Changing Populations, Changing Parties, and the Transformation of the American Political Landscape.” His views on Trump’s unexpected appeal to voters appeared in The Daily Caller.

Mordecai Lee, government
(414) 227-3282 (office)
(414) 962-0270 (residence)
(414) 559-0271 (cell)

A professor of urban planning, Mordecai Lee served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1977 to 1983 and State Senate from 1983 to 1989. He is the author of “A Presidential Civil Service: FDR’s Liaison Office for Personnel Management” and “Nixon’s Super-Secretaries: The Last Grand Presidential Reorganization Effort.” Lee can speak about presidential appointments, presidential staffing, the politics of presidential transitions, and presidents and civil service.

Blain Neufeld

Blain Neufeld is an associate professor of philosophy at UWM, where he works on public reasoning, religious and moral pluralism, and the relationship between economic inequality and political freedom. He can speak to the nature of Trump’s political rhetoric, especially with respect to the growing religious and cultural diversity of American society, and to Trump’s appeal to economically disenfranchised voters.

Paru Shah, race and politics
(651) 324-8797 (cell)

An associate professor of political science, Paru Shah works in the areas of race, ethnicity and politics, urban governance and politics, public policy analysis and outcomes in the educational arena. Her article, “The Centrality of Racial and Ethnic Politics in American Cities and Towns,” will appear in the forthcoming “Oxford Handbook on Local Politics.” She can address issues involving immigration policy, the Voting Rights Act and states’ rights.

Zika Virus

Loren Galvao, global maternal and child health

Galvao is a Brazilian-born physician with more than 20 years of experience in global health programs and research. Her major focus is on HIV prevention, maternal and reproductive health and family planning in less developed countries. She is a senior scientist in global health at the UWM College of Nursing Center for Global Health Equity and an honorary fellow in population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison.

Aaron Buseh, global public health
(414) 229-5462 (office)

An associate professor of nursing and director of the nursing doctoral program, Buseh can discuss the issues surrounding poor health systems, poverty as a risk factor for vector borne diseases and how poor sanitation and lack of access to clean water perpetuates breeding grounds for mosquito-borne illness. He is the author of the book “Empowering Resilience: Improving Healthcare Delivery in War Impacted African Countries” and has written extensively about AIDS and tropical diseases. He was quoted in national and local media covering the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Natasha Borges Sugiyama, Brazilian politics and public health
(414) 229-4401 (office)

Sugiyama, who is of Brazilian-American descent, is associate professor of political science and interim director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS). She has written about Brazilian economics and politics, particularly the “Bolsa Familia” program to improve the lives of the poor. She can speak about the structure of the Brazilian public health system and the government’s response to the Zika virus.

Mark Eckman, study abroad programs
(414) 229-5182 (office)

Eckman is director of Study Abroad for UWM’s Center for International Education. He can respond to questions about UWM students currently studying abroad in areas affected by the virus and talk about the impact of the outbreak on planning for future study abroad programs.

Katie Mosack, psychology of health care

An associate professor of psychology, Mosack studies health compliance. For example, some people who are told what precautions to take to avoid getting sick ignore the information or choose not to follow directions. Some people given prescriptions don’t take the drugs or take hem properly. Mosack studies this in the context of HIV, but the concepts are applicable to other diseases, including Zika.

Flint Water Crisis

With the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, many cities are looking look at the safety of their water supplies, especially given the widespread use of lead pipes. Here are some UWM experts who can help inform the public discussion on this issue:

Rebecca Klaper
(414) 382-1713

Klaper is a professor and director of the Great Lakes Genomics Center at UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences. Her research examines the impact of contaminants found in trace amounts in water, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products and endocrine disruptors, on freshwater organisms and potentially humans. She also can talk about the potential new screening tools, such as genomics, may have in determining the impact of these contaminants. She was recently interviewed by the New York Times.

Tim Grundl
(414) 382-1744 (School of Freshwater Sciences)
(414) 229-4765 (Department of Geosciences)

Grundl, a professor in both the School of Freshwater Sciences and Department of Geosciences, specializes in aqueous geochemistry of groundwater and surface water bodies. Grundl can talk about aqueous environmental chemistry; contaminant transport and degradation; and the use of environmental tracers to understand the dynamics of aquatic systems, both natural and manmade.

Michael Carvan
(414) 382-1706

The Shaw Professor in the School of Freshwater Sciences, Michael Carvan focuses on human and ecosystem health. In the field of toxicology, his research concentrates on heavy metal neurotoxicity and the effects of toxic environmental chemicals on development, physiology and reproduction. He can talk about potential contaminants in drinking water and their effects on health and the environment.

James Wasley
(414) 229-4045

Wasley, an architect and director of the Institute for Ecological Design at UWM’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning, is an expert on storm water infrastructure. He also can talk about the limitations of conventional urban water infrastructure in general and the emergence of “green infrastructure” that provides alternative ways of extending or replacing aging infrastructures.