Midterm election issues: U-M experts can discuss

October 13, 2022
Concept illustration of a ballot box. Illustration credit: Kaitlyn Bukema


Americans return to the polls next month for the midterm elections to let their voices be heard about various issues and candidates. University of Michigan experts are available to comment on a broad range of political topics. For topics not listed, contact Michigan News.


Siobán Harlow is a professor emerita of epidemiology and global public health, and obstetrics and gynecology. She is also the director of the Center for Midlife Science.

Contact: harlow@umich.edu

William Lopez is a clinical assistant professor of health behavior and health education who researches and teaches on the ways in which policies impact communities of color.  

Contact: wdlopez@umich.edu  

Paula Lantz, professor of health policy, is a social demographer/social epidemiologist who studies the role of public policy in improving population health and reducing social disparities in health. She is engaged in research regarding abortion policy, housing policy and on how COVID-19 continues to exacerbate existing social, economic and health inequities in the U.S.

Contact: plantz@umich.edu


Paul Fleming is an assistant professor of health behavior and health education. His research focuses on the root causes of health inequities, with a particular focus on developing and evaluating interventions in poor and marginalized communities.

Contact: pauljf@umich.edu


Justin Heinze is an assistant professor of health behavior and health education. His current research focuses on school safety and violence prevention, and on an anonymous reporting system designed for the early identification of threats in a school community. He also serves as the faculty lead for the U-M School of Public Health’s IDEAS initiative for preventing firearm injuries and is part of the U-M Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention.

Contact: jheinze@umich.edu


Richard Rood, professor of climate and space sciences and engineering, is an expert on U.S. weather modeling and can discuss the connection between weather, climate and society. 

Contact: 301-526-8572, rbrood@umich.edu 

Sue Anne Bell is an assistant professor of nursing and a disaster response expert whose research addresses health effects of disasters and the impact of climate change on human health. She is active in clinical disaster response, with recent deployments to Hurricane Maria, California wildfires and the COVID-19 response. 

Contact: sabell@umich.edu 


Tom Ivacko is executive director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy. He has studied Michigan local policy for more than 20 years and heads up the Michigan Public Policy Survey, a comprehensive annual look at a wide range of issues facing local government officials. He can discuss confidence in, as well as threats to, local election administration.

Contact: tmi@umich.edu


Josh Pasek, associate professor of communication and media, has done research exploring how new media and psychological processes each shape political attitudes, public opinion and political behaviors. 

Contact: 734-763-3185, jpasek@umich.edu


John Chamberlin is a professor emeritus of political science and public policy. He is an expert on election methods and ethics, and a member of the board of directors for the nonprofit Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

Contact: johnch@umich.edu

Jonathan Hanson is a lecturer in statistics for public policy. He served as a legislative assistant in Congress for several years and worked on political campaigns.

Contact: jkhanson@umich.edu

Jenna Bednar is a professor of public policy and political science whose research examines how systems and institutions operate in complex environments—relevant for today’s unprecedented politics.

Contact: jbednar@umich.edu

J. Alex Halderman, professor of computer science and engineering and director of the Center for Computer Security and Society, can discuss vulnerabilities in the U.S. voting system.

Contact: 734-647-1806, jhalderm@eecs.umich.edu


Ken Kollman is the director of the Center for Political Studies at the U-M Institute for Social Research and professor of political science. His research focuses on political parties and organizations, elections, lobbying, federal systems, American politics and comparative politics.

Contact: kkollman@umich.edu


Aaron Kall, director of the U-M Debate Program and Debate Institute, can discuss the debates and the impact on voters.

Contact: 734-239-3996, akall@umich.edu