Past Columns

In My Words: Here's what happens when you like a brand on Facebook

Elon's Alisha Horky and fellow researcher Mark Pelletier of Radford University write about what it means to like a brand on Facebook. This article was originally published in The Conversation.

In My Words: Standing on the Edge: Is political rhetoric tearing our country apart?

Newspapers around North Carolina recently featured a guest column by Jeffrey Pugh, professor of religious studies, who writes about the contrast between the efforts by South Africa's Nelson Mandela to unite a fractured country and the divisive rhetoric heard in today’s U.S. political contests.

In My Words: Owning the Stories of Slaves in America

Newspapers around North Carolina recently featured a guest column by Naeemah Clark, associate professor of communications, who assesses reactions to recent comments by first lady Michelle Obama about the role of slave labor in the construction of the White House. 

In My Words: The con game of a constitutional amendment on taxes

Newspapers across North Carolina recently featured a guest column by Elon Law Associate Professor Andy Haile, who expressed legal and public policy concerns about a proposed amendment to the state constitution.

In My Words: Proposed law a wrong move for police camera footage

Elon Law Associate Professor Michael Rich writes for regional North Carolina newspapers about legislation that would change the way footage from police body cameras and dashboard cameras might be released to the public in North Carolina. 

In My Words: The constitutionality of HB2 revisited

Elon University School of Law faculty members Scott Gaylord and Tom Molony wrote for several regional newspapers about the way the controversial law known as HB2 might be upheld in North Carolina, and why the debate over such laws should continue regardless. 

In My Words: An open-and-shut case against HB2

Elon University School of Law Associate Professor Enrique Armijo penned a column for North Carolina's largest newspapers in which he argues that state lawmakers passed an unconstitutional law this spring by limiting the rights of local towns and counties to create nondiscrimination ordinances. 

In My Words: More than just a game - the emergence of cognitive computing

Elon University scholar Pranab Das' past research on neural networks inspired a guest column published by regional newspapers in which he gives a preview of what humans can expect from computers in the coming years.

In My Words: The threat of Obama

Professor Rebecca Todd Peters' recent blog entry for Patheos.com - a column also published by regional newspapers - deconstructs the historical context for animosity toward President Barack Obama that, in some instances, is directly tied to racism.

In My Words: OscarsSoWhat?

Associate Professor Naeemah Clark recently published a column in regional newspapers about the lack of diversity among 2016 Academy Award nominees, and how recent changes in the Academy will produce a broader selection of nominees in future years.

In My Words: Why the Y is the 'true America'

A newspaper column by Professor Tom Arcaro reflects on the YMCA's first national advertising campaign, "The Y. For a better us," and contrasts the Y's mission with rhetoric in the 2016 presidential election cycle.

In My Words: This is what happens when we ignore our own 'red lines'

Assistant Professor Haya Ajjan writes in several regional newspapers about the need to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a precondition to success in battling ISIS.

In My Words: Eliminate Duke's monopoly on renewables

Associate Professor Jeffrey S. Coker authored a guest column for regional newspapers in which he criticizes Duke Energy’s efforts to stop a North Carolina nonprofit from selling solar power to a Greensboro church.

In My Words: N.C.'s energy bets driven by ideology, not economic wisdom

Associate Professor Dave Gammon's column for several North Carolina newspapers looks at the way lawmakers support or ignore two forms of energy production in the most recent state budget.

In My Words: Legal protections needed for 'on-demand' workers

In a guest column published by several regional newspapers, Associate Professor Eric Fink at the Elon University School of Law points out shortcomings in federal labor laws as they apply to workers for app-based companies like Uber and Taskrabbit.

In My Words: Brought to you by the letters HBO and $$$

Associate Professor Naeemah Clark authored a guest column for regional newspapers about a new partnership between the Children's Television Network, which produces the beloved children's program "Sesame Street," and the premium cable network HBO.

In My Words: Government transparency is being lost

Jonathan D. Jones, director of the N.C. Open Government Coalition and an instructor in Elon University's School of Communications, authored a guest column for several North Carolina newspapers about recent changes to state public record laws.

In My Words: Stop talking 'rights' and start talking 'health'

In an open letter to presidential hopefuls, Professor Rosemary Haskell uses literature and knowledge of her native Great Britain to make the case for American policymakers treating firearms as a public health issue.

In My Words: Taking a bite out of shark fears

If you're planning one final trip to the shore before the arrival of autumn, Associate Professor Jeffrey S. Coker has data and perspective about the "summer of the shark" that he shares in a guest column published by several regional newspapers.

In My Words: When sharks had another role in making history

Associate Professor Tom Nelson shared the tragic story of the USS Indianapolis, which was torpedoed 70 years ago this summer near the end of World War II, in a guest column published by several regional newspapers.

In My Words: Find the courage to talk openly about race

Elon University's Brooke Barnett and Randy Williams offered wisdom and advice in a newspaper guest column for how people can start conversations about race.

In My Words: The skin is not the sin - the dangers of miseducation

In a guest column published by several regional newspapers, Associate Professor Prudence Layne reflects on the summer tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina, and society's culpability for what transpired at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  

In My Words: In debating the Confederate flag, we're asking the wrong questions

Professor Tom Mould explains the power of symbols in a column published by several regional newspapers as Americans discuss and debate the future of the Confederate flag.

In My Words: Don't lose sight of the good cops

Associate Professor Anthony Hatcher writes for regional newspapers about the ease with which Americans forget about good police officers in an era when the public is easily riveted by abuses caught on cell phone video.

In My Words: Why we should all support #SaveStudentAid

Greg Zaiser, vice president for admissions and financial planning at Elon University, writes for regional newspapers about the need to preserve federal funding that helps students of modest means afford college.

In My Words: Police video exemption too broad for accountability

Jonathan D. Jones, an instructor in the School of Communications and director of the N.C. Open Government Coalition, writes for regional newspapers about his concerns with proposed changes to open record laws in North Carolina.

In My Words: Don't halt progress of sex education in North Carolina

Professor Rebecca Todd Peters in the Department of Religious Studies writes for regional newspapers about efforts to amend a North Carolina law that defines sex education and why changes might do more harm than good. 

In My Words: Sun rises to take on climate change

In the lead up to Earth Day 2015, Associate Professor Dave Gammon writes for regional newspapers about the falling costs of solar energy and the bright news ahead for both the environment and industry.

In My Words: Avoid a job in journalism? Not so fast

Associate Professor Anthony Hatcher and Kaitlin Ugolik '09 co-authored a column for regional newspapers in defense of journalists and the vital role they play in creating an informed democracy.

In My Words: Forgetting lynching at our peril

Professor Rebecca Todd Peters recently published a column on the Huffington Post and in regional newspapers about the complexity of teaching her young daughters about the history of racism in the United States and the concept of privilege.

In My Words: The 'Friendship Nine' show that history keeps evolving

Kenn Gaither, an associate professor and associate dean in the School of Communications, writes in regional newspapers about his experience growing up the son of a civil rights activist and what a recent South Carolina courtroom decision says about today's struggles for social justice.

In My Words: 'Empire' and the Lyons are the new modern family

FOX's "Empire," one of 2015's most popular new television programs, is setting Hollywood records for audience growth, and Associate Professor Naeemah Clark writes in a column for regional newspapers about some of the reasons behind its success.

In My Words: To help stem immigration crisis, U.S. drug policies must be reconsidered

Associate Professor Mathew Gendle writes for several regional newspapers about the impact drug laws have on foreign nations and how changes to American policies will create civic stability elsewhere, which can influence the number of people seeking refuge in the United States.

In My Words: Lord Mansfield shows why Jane Austen still matters

Professor Rosemary Haskell reflects in a newspaper column on the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park" and points to issues of poverty, class and gender that remain relevant today.

In My Words: Ben Bradlee's greatness was found in his commitment to the truth

Using stories from his own interactions with the journalistic legend, Associate Professor Anthony Hatcher authored a reflection for regional newspapers on the October death of former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee.

In My Words: Teaching my dad a lesson

Associate Professor Naeemah Clark authored a newspaper column that reflects on the relationship she shares with her father and her recent efforts to teach him social media best practices.

In My Words: Eric Holder - Unpopular for all the right reasons

Associate Professor Prudence Layne writes in regional newspapers about the legacy of outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his role in addressing racial inequalities in the United States.

In My Words: Boy, time flies

After his only child moved away this fall to college, Associate Professor Thomas Nelson writes in regional newspapers about the passage of time and how life fulfillment must now come from new sources.

In My Words: U.S. has moral imperative to help children at the border

Elon University professors Mathew Gendle and Carmen Monico co-authored a newspaper guest column in which they argue U.S. actions played a role in the nation's southern border crisis and that all citizens have an obligation to aid children fleeing their homes in Central America.

In My Words: Coal ash legislation shows the political system can work

Associate Professor Dave Gammon gives credit in regional newspapers to North Carolina lawmakers who recently passed a law that helps prevent future coal ash spills like the one earlier this year that polluted the state's Dan River.

In My Words: America must midwife an independent Palestine

Professor Tom Arcaro writes for regional newspapers about the need for the United States to take a leadership role in the creation of a Palestinian state, which he argues will promote regional stability and make America more secure.

In My Words: Retelling the past is harder than you think

A new James Brown biopic gives Associate Professor Naeemah Clark an opportunity to reflect on her own research into "Soul Brother No. 1" on the opinion pages of several regional newspapers.

In My Words: The numbers on mental health

Following the suicide of actor and comedian Robin Williams, Assistant Professor Jason Husser examines survey data on American attitudes toward mental health and calls for more efforts to be made to remove the stigma of depression.

In My Words: A single #hashtag never created lasting change

Associate Professor Prudence Layne describes in several regional newspapers the fleeting nature of social media hashtags and how only a proper education can effectively combat social injustice.

In My Words: When did 'elite' become a bad thing?

Associate Professor Anthony Hatcher authored an opinion column for several North Carolina newspapers about the disdain politicians can show toward those at the very top of their professions.

In My Words: Science, religion and emergence of human life

Professor Pranab Das writes in regional newspapers about the missed opportunity for reasoned debates and conversations on the nature of human life in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on Hobby Lobby, insurance and birth control.

In My Words: Television advice can be another way to build community

Associate Professor Naeemah Clark writes for several regional newspapers about the role she fulfills, and the community she builds, when sharing television show recommendations with friends and loved ones.

In My Words: In the World Cup, 32 nations comprise one tribe

After watching parts of the World Cup from where he's lived this spring in Costa Rica, Professor Tom Arcaro writes for regional newspapers about common humanity on display in the largest global sporting event of the year.

In My Words: 'Slow violence' against N.C. schools harms us all

Professor Steve Braye laments lawmakers' treatment of North Carolina public school teachers and students in a guest column published by regional newspapers.

In My Words: Good teachers already know about trigger warnings

Professor Rosemary Haskell authored a column for regional newspapers in which she analyzes a national debate over professors warning students in syllabi about sensitive material to be covered in a course.

In My Words: As one angel ascends, millions of 'phenomenal women' remain caged

Associate Professor Prudence Layne wrote a column for regional newspapers on the legacy of poet, author and activist Maya Angelou, who died at home in North Carolina on May 28, 2014.

In My Words: Advice for new college graduates out to save the world

Professor Tom Arcaro writes for regional newspapers about the keys to success for fresh college graduates joining international aid and development organizations like the Peace Corps and OxFam International

In My Words: For dedicated educators, parting really is sweet sorrow

Associate Professor Naeemah Clark writes for regional newspapers about the joys and sadness each spring of watching students graduate.

In My Words: United Church of Christ brings the fight for equality to North Carolina

Associate Professor Anthony Hatcher writes in several regional newspapers about the activist history of a church that filed a federal lawsuit to overturn North Carolina's constitutional ban against same-sex marriage.

In My Words: Media shades the truth when it comes to colorism

Associate Professor Naeemah Clark criticizes in newspaper guest columns an entertainment industry that perpetuates standards of beauty that celebrate lighter complexions over elegance also found in people with darker skin.

In My Words: Speaking clearly is a skill that's, like, lacking, you know?

Too many "filler words" are making too many people look less than confident about their ideas, and Mark Fox, who teaches public speaking in the School of Communications, offers suggestions in regional newspapers on countering the problem.

In My Words: Relationship between science and faith is still evolving

Associate Professor Dave Gammon writes in a newspaper opinion column about the tension between strong religious adherents and members of the scientific community, arguing how the two groups aren't mutually exclusive.

In My Words: The Fab Four and the fantastic fortunes of failure

On the 50th anniversary of The Beatles making their American television debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show," Associate Professor Michael Frontani shares insights in regional newspapers about early setbacks for one of the biggest bands of the modern era.

In My Words: Dreaming of rainbows but cashing bad checks

Associate Professor Prudence Layne authored a newspaper guest column for the MLK Jr. holiday in which she reflects on the shared legacies of the slain American civil rights leader and his counterpart in South Africa, the late Nelson Mandela.

In My Words: The climate change war may already be over

Professor Pranab Das writes in a newspaper opinion column published across the region about the reasons climate change has subsided from public debate in recent years.

In My Words: New Year resolutions require 'SMART' approaches

Liz Bailey in the Department of Health and Human Performance shares in regional newspapers her advice for setting realistic and obtainable goals for improving your life in the new year.

In My Words: Our 'global community' is alive and well

Professor Tom Arcaro illustrates in a newspaper guest column how humans now more than ever are looking beyond politics and lines on a map to provide comfort and aid to those in need.

In My Words: Real women of the hair salon

Associate Professor Naeemah Clark in the School of Communications writes in a newspaper opinion column how several "reality" television programs don't accurately portray the roles African-American women play in their communities.

In My Words: Supporting those on the front lines of support

The recent kidnappings of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers in Syria are the backdrop to a newspaper column from Professor Tom Arcaro on the responsibilities people have to assist aid workers.

In My Words: Stop arguing about the science of climate change

Public policy debates on addressing climate change are one thing, but in a newspaper guest column, Associate Professor Dave Gammon says it's time to move past disagreements about the scientific data proving that humans are largely the cause.

In My Words: In defense of 'Invisible Man'

When a North Carolina school system temporarily pulled "Invisible Man" from its libraries,  Associate Professor Anthony Hatcher turned to newspaper opinion pages to explain why such bans are misguided.

In My Words: A strike to end the war in Syria

With relatives in Syria and steeped in its history, Assistant Professor Haya Ajjan writes in a newspaper guest column about the need for U.S. military involvement to end a brutal civil war while putting a stop to the use of chemical weapons in her home country.

In My Words: Beautiful, strong … and invisible

Associate Professor Naeemah Clark writes in a newspaper guest column about the lack of minority female role models on television who can be a positive influence for all girls of color.

In My Words: Changing the narrative of the future in Honduras & the world

Professor Tom Arcaro writes in a newspaper guest column about a new model for delivering humanitarian aid around the globe, and he calls on colleges and universities to be a part of finding solutions to challenging social ills.

In My Words: Anti-nationalism and atheism from a Founding Father?

Professor Tom Arcaro writes in a newspaper column that Americans should consider what the author of "Common Sense" had to say about patriotism and religion.