A Conversation with Our Newest Faculty Member

We are thrilled to welcome Annelise Russell to our faculty! We asked her a few questions to get to know her. We look forward to collaborating with her!


Where are you originally from?

I am originally from Oklahoma (much to the chagrin of my extended Texas family!). I grew up in Norman, OK, went to college there, and then committed the ultimate sin and did my PhD at the University of Texas. I said as long as class was not held on the football field, we would be fine.


What made you want to come to the Martin School?

The Martin School offers both students and faculty a unique opportunity to collaborate on policy across disciplines and subfields. Too often we get into silos specific to our field, and it is refreshing to be in a school where there are so many different academic perspectives and approaches.


What are your current research interests?

My current research interest is assessing the different way policymakers communicate and the effects of that communication on both the policy process and representation. This means I now know way too much about the Twitter habits of our U.S. Senators and their staff.


How would you describe your teaching style?

My teaching style is deliberately casual with high expectations. I want my students to feel comfortable working with me both in and outside the classroom. At the same time, I expect students to push themselves, ask tough questions, and contribute to the Martin School's high standard of policy research.


Why did you choose this profession/field?

I had originally wanted to become a sports historian, but decided a more stable career would be journalism. Go figure. I then chose public policy when I decided that covering women's basketball games and reporting on policymakers in Congress was just not going to hold my interest long term. I needed a career where I could merge my interest in communication and public policy, and that's what led me to study public policy and social media.


What is your favorite thing(s) to do in your free time?

Free time, what a concept! When I am not guilting myself into finding more work to do, I turn to sports (hence the sports historian idea). I will watch nearly any sport and will attend any sporting event if I have the time. I was a terrible athlete myself (my daily jog is still an unpleasant sight), so I admire those who have the coordination to pull it off. I also have a small dog, Russell (yes, that means his name is Russell Russell) who would argue I don't pay him enough attention.

Annelise Russell