With Barack Obama recently sworn into office as the new U.S. President, a panel of Utah professors will be at Utah Valley University discussing the topic of “New Presidency: A Turning Point in History?” on Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at Center Stage in the Sorensen Student Center. The event is part of the Utah Democracy Project and is free and open to the public.

“There will be some great analysis of the past election and what trends we see, what determined the outcome of the election, and what we should look for as things move forward with midterm elections in two years,” said David Connelly, associate professor of political science at UVU who organized the event.

The three panelists participating in the discussion are Jay DeSart, associate professor of political science at UVU; J. Quin Monson, assistant director of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy (CSED) at Brigham Young University; and Vikki J. Vickers, assistant professor of history at Weber State University.

DeSart joined UVU in 2004 to help develop the new political science program. He was previously at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla. where he had a front row seat for the controversial presidential election in 2000. His research focuses on election forecasting and the effects of campaigns. His recent presidential election forecast of Obama and McCain was referenced by The Wall Street Journal.

Monson is an assistant professor of political science at BYU and co-investigated on CSED projects that monitored non-candidate spending in U.S. elections. As a co-editor of many publications, his research involves public opinion and voting behavior, Congress and legislatures, religion and politics, and survey research methods.

Vickers teaches at WSU in the subjects of American Colonial, American Revolutionary War, civil-military relations, eighteenth century intellectual history and religion. She is the faculty advisor for Delta Psi Nu, the African-American Honors Society and the faculty advisor for Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honors Society.

Those in attendance will hear each panelist’s perspective on the previous election and what to expect with the new presidency in the next four years.