Meet The New Council Members: Byron D’Andra Orey

Bryon D'Andra OreyByron D’Andra Orey earned a B.S. degree from Mississippi Valley State University, Masters from the University of Mississippi and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans. He has taught at the University of Mississippi, the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and currently teaches at Jackson State University where he is Professor and former chair of the Department of Political Science. During the 2003-2004 academic year he was selected as a Gallup Professor by the Gallup Organization. His research is in the area of race and politics, Bio-Politics and Legislative Behavior. He has published over thirty scholarly articles and book chapters.

He has received university awards that include Teacher and Researcher of the Year. He has also received the Jewel Prestage Teacher and the Rodney Higgins Mentor awards from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, TESS, Academic Exchange, the Palestinian American Research Center and he has worked with colleagues through a grant from the University of California, Irvine for undergraduates to participate in a summer research program.

Statement views: My views on the role of political scientists as individuals and political scientists as a social formation expressed through the APSA are shaped by my biography as a son of the American South. Consistent with the philosophy expressed by one of APSA’s past presidents, David Easton, I believe that our task is not only to develop an objective understanding of political matters, but to also use our knowledge and societal standing to promote desired social change, particularly in those areas such as race, ethnicity, gender and politics where widespread inequities remain. To that end, I consider myself a scholar activist with a special commitment to mentoring young men and women who are interested in becoming political scientists. As someone who is committed to civic engagement, I pride myself in leaving the ebony tower and stepping onto the urban concrete. As a member of the APSA Council, I would work to help forge alliances among APSA, major research intensive universities, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  In that regard, I would continue the tradition established by Professors Samuel DuBois Cook, Jewel Prestage, Mack Jones, Hanes Walton and others.  Moreover, given APSA’s commitment to diversity, I would work with other Council members to find a way to aid in creating a continuous spotlight on the report of the Task Force on Political Science in the 21st Century.  Currently, there seems to be no incentive for Departments to improve their efforts in addressing diversity as outlined in the Report.  On a related issue, I would work with other Council members to create a data base of scholars who study race, ethnicity, gender and politics.  Such a data base could be used in a variety of conducive ways, one being a resource for editors of journals who are in search of experts who study race, ethnicity and politics.

The APSA Nominating Committee met on February 13, 2015, and nominated the slate of officers and council members to serve beginning in fall 2015. The call for nominations was circulated widely among the membership with outreach to APSA committees and organized sections. The nominating committee made its decisions after careful deliberation and due consideration for the diversity of the field and the varied interests of political scientists. There were no additional nominees from the members, and council members and officers were approved in October 2015 by the APSA Council, under its power to fill interim vacancies (APSA Constitution, Article V). APSA welcomes the new council members and other officers to APSA leadership.