Steffen W. Schmidt is a Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University. He grew up in Colombia, South America, and has studied in Colombia, Switzerland, and France. He obtained his Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York, in public law and government. Schmidt has published six books and over seventy articles in scholarly journals. He is also the recipient of numerous prestigious teaching prizes, including the Amoco Award for Lifetime Career Achievement in Teaching and the Teacher of the Year award. He is a pioneer in the use of Web-based and real-time video courses and is a member of the American Political Science Associationï¿½s section on Computers and Multimedia. He is on the editorial board of the Political Science Educator. Schmidt has a political talk show on WOI radio, where he is known as Dr. Politics. The show has been broadcast live from various U.S. and international venues.
Born in Lincoln, Illinois in 1908, William Maxwell is one of America's more prominent writers. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the National Book Critics Circle Award (1994), and the American Book Award (1982) for his novel "So Long, See You Tomorrow." Maxwell's fiction has been described as nostalgic. Most of his work takes place in simpler, gentler times in the small towns of the American Midwest. Two of Maxwell's novels, "They Came Like Swallows" (1937) and "So Long, See You Tomorrow" (1980), deal with characters who lose relatives in the influenza epidemic of 1918. Maxwell's own mother died in the epidemic when he was ten years old. Maxwell published his first novel, "Bright Center of Heaven," in 1934. He moved to New York City in 1936 and was hired by the New Yorker. His years as an editor there, 1936 to 1976, coincided with what many believe are the magazine's finest. This was the era that saw the publication of the works of many accomplished writers, such as J. D. Salinger, Eudora Welty, John Updike, and Mary McCarthy in the New Yorker's pages. Maxwell has published six novels, several collections of short stories, a family history, and numerous book reviews. He served as president of the National Institute of Arts and letters from 1969 to 1972. William Maxwell has been married for over 50 years to the former Emily Noyes. They met at the New Yorker when she applied for a job. The couple has two daughters.
A thirty-five year veteran instructor of political science, Ernest Crain specializes in political party competition, comparative state politics, and Texas public policy. Crain co-authored UNDERSTANDING TEXAS POLITICS, POLITICS IN TEXAS, THE CHALLENGE OF TEXAS POLITICS, and four editions of INTRODUCTION TO TEXAS POLITICS. Crain received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Texas in Austin.