Holidays and Observances

Holidays and observances bring communities together to connect us to important historical events. Penn State experts are available to share insight into the significance of national holidays and the collective impact these events continue to hold on the public.

  • Ali A. Olomi

    Assistant Professor of History

    Politics & Policy

  • James Piazza

    Professor of Political Science

    Politics & Policy

  • Bradford Vivian

    Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences

    Politics & Policy

  • Shoba Wadhia

    Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar

    Civil Rights, Law and Policy, Education

  • Sascha Meinrath

    Palmer Chair in Telecommunications

    Civil Rights, Law and Policy, Telecommunications

Upcoming observances like the 20th anniversary of 9/11 may be vividly experienced by people who witnessed the event firsthand, while some people may be too young to remember it at all. Penn State experts can discuss the history of this event, how people’s collective memory of the event has changed, as well as the differences in privacy and national security policies in a post 9/11 world.

Ali A. Olomi

Ali A. Olomi

Assistant Professor of History

Expertise:

  • Politics & Policy

Focus Areas:

  • Middle East

Contact Ali A. Olomi with questions about: the history of U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, deep roots of nationalism, the histories of science and rationality, Islamism, gender and sexuality, and the tension between the global religious community and local identity.

James Piazza

James Piazza

Professor of Political Science

Expertise

  • Politics & Policy

Focus Areas:

  • Politics
  • American Politics
  • International Affairs
  • American Foreign Policy

Contact James Piazza with questions about: Middle East politics, politics in the Islamic world, terrorism, U.S. foreign policy, and the Taliban and regional politics.

Bradford Vivian

Bradford Vivian

Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences,
Director of the Center for Democratic Deliberation in Penn State's McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Expertise:

  • Politics & Policy

Focus Areas:

  • Politics
  • American Politics
  • Ethics Education
  • Historical Commemoration

Contact Bradford Vivian with questions about: How 9/11 has shaped the public’s collective memory; how holidays shape public memory; rhetoric and public memory; rhetoric and political theory.

Shoba Wadhia

Shoba Wadhia

Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar,
Clinical Professor of Law,
Director, Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic

Expertise

  • Civil Rights
  • Law and Policy
  • Education
  • Politics & Policy

Focus Areas:

  • Racism
  • Diversity
  • Immigration Law
  • American Politics
  • International Affairs

Contact Shoba Wadhia with questions about: How immigration laws have changed post 9/11; Civil rights; Diversity; Law and Policy; and Racism. Wadhia is an expert on immigration law whose research focuses on the role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law and the intersections of race, national security and immigration.

Sascha Meinrath

Sascha Meinrath

Palmer Chair in Telecommunications,
Director of the X-Lab

Expertise:

  • Civil Rights
  • Law and Policy
  • Telecommunications

Focus Areas:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Technology Policy
  • Election Hacking
  • Privacy
  • Surveillance
  • Artificial Intelligence

Contact Sascha Meinrath with questions about: How surveillance, cybersecurity, and privacy have changed in a post-9/11 world; government policy; broadband; and the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on Internet connectivity. He can also comment on voting security, technology policy, privacy, surveillance, civil liberties, broadband mapping and artificial intelligence.

Need help finding an expert?

Penn State expertise spans far beyond those that we have currently featured on the site. Call us at 814-865-7517 or contact a member of the media relations staff

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