Political Science Faculty and Staff


    Interim Chair of the Department of Political Science
    Associate Professor and Anthony Moroux/BORSF Endowed Professor of Political Science
    Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 2004
    Campaigns and Elections, The Congress, The Presidency, American Politics, 9/11 and American Life, Careers in Political Science
    Mouton Hall 108
    (337) 482-6165
    Professional Curriculum Vitae
    The Presidential Primary Lottery System (PPLS Plan)
  • Ryan Lee Teten is an associate professor in Political Science and the current Departmental Chair. He was also Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts from 2010-2012. In 1999, Ryan Graduated from Clemson University with a double major of Political Science and English. He then attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he earned his PhD in 2004 in the field of political science, with a specialization in American Politics and Political Institutions. His most recent book examines nearly 12000 presidential speeches to trace the evolution of presidential communication and policymaking. He is currently working of articles dealing with the politics of video games and political myths in society. He has also had work published on the political learnings and socialization of children, negative and positive advertising, public opinion, popular culture, and the use of non-traditional texts in the teaching of political science. Ryan is also a proud husband and father of both a teenage boy and girl.

    Interim Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
    Associate Professor of Political Science
    Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1997
    State and Local Politics, Southern and Louisiana Politics
    Griffin Hall 572
    Professional Curriculum Vitae
  • Pearson Cross served as Head of the Political Science Department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette from 2009 to 2014, and as Chair of the Council of Department Heads from 2012 to 2014. He is now interim Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. His principal areas of teaching are State and Local politics, Southern and Louisiana politics, and Religion and politics. He is a frequent commentator on political issues at the national, state and local level. Dr. Cross received his B.A., from San Francisco State University in 1985 and his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in Massachusetts in 1997. He has published on topics including redistricting, elections, white supremacy, southern political culture, and the Louisiana Judiciary. He is currently working on a book about the politics of education reform in Louisiana. Dr. Cross advises the College Democrats and is chair of the Constitution Day Committee. He advises over forty honors students and is a five-time winner of the UL Advising Award. His first avocation is jazz piano; his second is southern cooking. He is married to Lisa Orten Cross and has one son, Elias, and one daughter, Lucy.

    Associate Professor and Crocker Endowed Professor of Political Science
    M.A., Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1991, 1996
    B.A., St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1990
    Political Philosophy, International Relations, Politics and Literature, Comparative Politics
    Mouton Hall 230
    (337) 482-5692
    Professional Curriculum Vitae
  • Bryan-Paul Frost is the James A. and Kaye L. Crocker Endowed Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is co-editor (with Jeremy Mhire) of The Political Theory of Aristophanes: Explorations in Poetic Wisdom (SUNY Press, 2013), contributor and co-editor (Daniel J. Mahoney) of Political Reason in the Age of Ideology: Essays in Honor of Raymond Aron (Transaction, 2007), contributor and co-editor (Jeffrey Sikkenga) of History of American Political Thought (Lexington Books, 2003), and editor and co-translator (Robert Howse) of Alexandre Kojeve’s Outline of a Phenomenology of Right (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000; paperback 2007). He also has an advance contract with the SUNY Series on the Life and Thought of Leo Strauss to co-edit a book (with Timothy Burns) entitled History, Philosophy, and Tyranny: A Re-examination of the Debate between Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojeve, and is currently working with Paul Carrese (Air Force Academy) and Steve Knott (Naval War College) on a two-volume book, War, Justice, and Peace in American Political Thought. In addition to the above, Frost has also published articles on Aristotle, Cato the Younger, Cicero and Roman civic education, and Tocqueville and Emerson.

    Associate Professor, Pre-Law Advisor, and Anthony Moroux/BORSF Endowed Professor of Political Science
    Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2001
    J.D., Southern Illinois University, 1994
    Civil Rights and Liberties, Constitutional Law, Judicial Politics, American Government
    Mouton Hall 231
    (337) 482-6164

    Professional Curriculum Vitae
    Course Websites for Dr. Swanson
  • Besides earning a J.D. and Ph.D., Rick worked from 1994-1996 as a law clerk to Justice James A. Knecht of the Illinois Appellate Court. Ever since obtaining his Ph.D. focusing on public law and judicial politics, he has been at UL teaching pre-law courses in the Department of Political Science, advising the UL Law Club, and serving as UL's Pre-Law Advisor. His legal expertise is in constitutional law, especially civil rights and civil liberties, primarily speech and religion. His articles analyzing judicial voting behavior have been published in the peer-reviewed journals Judicature, Justice System Journal, Social Science Journal, and Journal of Political Science. Articles by him analyzing free speech and religious liberty have been published in the the legal journals Journal of Law and Education, University of Memphis Law Review, and Southern Illinois Law Journal. His summaries of legal concepts and cases have appeared in several encyclopedias: Encyclopedia of American Law, Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties in America, Encyclopedia of the Constitution, Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court, and Encyclopedia of Social Deviance. He also has several chapters forthcoming in the book First Amendment Law in Louisiana, to be published by UL Press. Most importantly, whenever possible, Rick communes with nature, contemplates and philosophizes about the beauty and wonder of the universe, and tries to live life to the fullest, all while sharing these experiences with friends and family, especially his amazing wife Anne.

    Assistant Professor and Anthony Moroux/BoRSF Endowed Professor of Political Science
    Ph.D., Florida State University, 2010 International Relations and Comparative Politics
    Mouton Hall 229
    (337) 482-5693
    Dr. Nyman's Website
    Professional Curriculum Vitae
  • Elizabeth Nyman is assistant professor of political science at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she holds the Anthony Moroux/BoRSF Endowed Professorship of Political Science I. Her research focuses on international maritime conflict, piracy, and environmental issues, and has been published in a variety of academic venues. She is particularly interested in oceanic resources, such as fish or offshore oil and gas, and how those impact state desires to control ocean spaces. In addition to this, she has done fieldwork in three countries and served as an NOAA Teacher at Sea, traveling with a scientific crew in the Gulf of Mexico in 2013. In 2014, she received an ATLAS grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents to finish her book manuscript, tentatively titled Salt Water Conflict. A coauthored book project, Contesting the Arctic: Politics and Imaginaries in the Circumpolar North, by Hannes Gerhardt, Philip E. Steinberg, and Jeremy Tasch, with Adam Keul and Elizabeth Nyman, is currently in press with IB Tauris. When not at work, she likes to travel both within the United States and abroad.

    Associate Professor of Political Science
    Ph.D., Northern Arizona University, 1996
    Public Administration, Bureaucratic Politics, Environmental Policy and Ethics, Feminist Theory, Role of Media in Democracy
    Mouton Hall 228
    (337) 482-6548
    Professional Curriculum Vitae
  • Dr. Ridgeway took a rather circuitous route to her Ph.D. in political science from Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff, AZ. Her first twenty-year career was in film and theater in Los Angeles and New York. Her decision to enter the arts as a mechanism for political change was inspired by the Smothers Brothers who were willing to risk, and then lose, their very popular TV comedy show to challenge the rationality of the Vietnam War. These years in the arts continue to influence her view of how political change can come from the most unlikely of sources, but ultimately must rest in the people’s willingness to fight for it. Her current research and teaching focus on how to create a sustainable environment that can support life for all of Earth’s entities, and the role of media in shaping how we perceive issues swirling around the public square. She is currently finishing a book, The Talking Stick, which examines how corporate-led globalization is destroying the environmentally friendly indigenous and peasant cultures around the world. Her most recent peer-reviewed publication is in the international journal, Peace Review, "Globalization from the Subsistence Perspective." She continues to hold the dream of a planetary consciousness in which peace and joy are the highest values.

    Adjunct Professor of Political Science
    Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 2012
    M.S., University of North Texas, 2007
    Judicial Politics, American Politics, Research Methods
    Mouton Hall 112
  • McKinzie Hall is a recent transplant in the Bayou from Texas (with a brief stop up north). Kinzie's teaching interests are the US courts and law, various aspects of American government, and research methodology. Her research focuses on the effect Supreme Court decisions have on the actions of institutions (primarily, the Court itself and the other branches of government). These research projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation and the American Association of University Women. When she's not working or nerding out over a recent SCOTUS decision, Kinzie really enjoys Netflix marathons...and an occasional actual marathon/half marathon (mostly to offset her deep love of cupcakes). Kinzie lives in Lafayette, with her husband Will (UL alumnus '05) and their amazingly fuzzy dog Beau.


    Department Secretary
    Mouton Hall 112
    (337) 482-6171

Department of Political Science, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Mouton Hall Room 112, P.O. Box 1652, Lafayette, LA 70504-1652
Tel. 337-482-6171; E-mail: pols@louisiana.edu