Dr. Terri Towner

Welcome to my professional website!

I am a Professor of Political Science at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. In 2007, I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from Purdue University. I study American Politics, specializing in public opinion, elections, voting behavior, and quantitative methodology. Presently, my specific research lines include investigating the role of social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, in campaigns and elections. I have authored several articles and book chapters on subjects including how digital images influence citizens as well as the agenda-setting relationship between Instagram and mainstream media.To learn more about my research, see my CV and Research.

I teach a wide variety of courses at Oakland University, including Introduction to American Politics, Public Opinion, Elections and Voting Behavior, Research Methods and Statistics, and Politics and the Internet. The latter course is examines issues involving privacy, digital democracy, misinformation, media literacy, blog power and social media in campaigning. The course draws on cutting-edge research in multiple disciplines, including political science, communications, psychology, and computer technology.

I am also pleased to be the faculty advisor to Oakland University’s award-winning Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science Honor Society) chapter - Nu Omega. This talented student group has been named “Best Chapter” by the national office for six years and has also earned awards from Oakland’s Center for Student Activities and Leadership Development, for Outstanding Political/Social Awareness Program and Student Organization of the Year. The chapter won the Outstanding Political/Social Awareness Program for its grant-funded film series, which featured four films about policy topics: Thank You for Smoking, Hot Coffee, Our Brand is Crisis and La Haine.

Nu Omega will be hosting the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics through 2020. The journal publishes outstanding undergraduate research from around the United States on a bi-annual basis and is completely operated by undergraduate students who review, edit and publish material. Undergraduates are encouraged to submit their original research to the Journal for publication!