Two LAS faculty members receive Lucken Awards

CATEGORIES: News, Notable, Research

Two faculty members in Iowa State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, David Peterson, Department of Political Science, and Tao Wang, Department of History, have been named Lucken Award recipients. These awards are possible thanks to a generous donation by alumnus Kent Lucken (’86 political science).

David Peterson receives Lucken Professorship in Political Science

Peterson, professor of political science and editor emeritus of the journal Political Behavior, has received the Lucken Professorship in Political Science. This award is given to faculty in the Department of Political Science who demonstrate excellence in teaching, research and service.

Peterson’s research focuses on American politics, particularly elections, public opinion and voting behavior. Currently, he is examining the role of political interest in mass politics, implementing surveys related to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses, and developing new tools to automatically capture and code online political ads and the Twitter feeds of state legislators. He recently released a new book, “Ignored Racism,” which examines the history of hostility toward Latinos and how it influences attitudes about American politics.

Peterson’s commitment to teaching and service is showcased in the numerous department, college and university awards he has earned, most notably several Dean’s High Impact Awards for Undergraduate Research, an Outstanding Teaching Award and a University Honors Committee Award for Excellence in Honors Mentoring. He has also served as a chair, lead organizer and committee member for multiple political science conferences, committees and associations.

“I am deeply honored and thankful to be named the Lucken Professor in Political Science,” Peterson said. “The generous support of the Lucken family will enable me to continue engaging in research projects with our undergraduate students, particularly work focusing on the role of race and ethnicity in American politics and how nonpartisan and nonpolitical cues can be used to encourage Americans to change their attitudes and behaviors to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Tao Wang receives Lucken Faculty Fellowship

Wang, assistant professor of history, has received the Lucken Faculty Fellowship, which supports a faculty member who is advancing students’ understanding and appreciation for China and its expanding role in shaping international affairs and the global economy. Funds from the award may be used to support research as well as advance opportunities for students to expand their understanding of China’s global role, including classroom education, educational programming, lectures, discussion groups and other events.

Wang studies modern Chinese history, U.S. foreign relations and the Cold War international history. His research, which primarily focuses on U.S. relations with China during the Cold War period, is supported by a Bou Family Foundation Special Grant, a Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Doctoral Fellowship and a Henry Chauncey Jr. ’57 Postdoctoral Fellowship from Yale University’s International Security Studies program. His first book, “Isolating the Enemy: U.S.-China Interactions, 1953-1956,” will be published in spring 2021 by Columbia University Press. In it, Wang puts Sino-American interactions into the broader context of their relations with allies and explores the two countries’ perceptions and misperceptions of each other.

Wang regularly presents his research about the history of U.S.-China relations at historical and foreign relations conferences across the nation, and he has lectured on campus about Chinese history. Wang recently received an LAS Award for Early Achievement in Teaching.

“I am humbled to receive the honor,” Wang said. “The Lucken fellowship will enormously support my research on the history of modern China and its relations with the United States. It will also benefit the whole community because I am planning to invite scholars to discuss some pressing issues facing us in this critical moment of U.S.-China relations. I really appreciate Mr. Lucken’s contribution to a better understanding of China.”