Political Science Faculty and Staff


    Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science
    Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1997
    State and Local Politics, Southern and Louisiana Politics
    Mouton Hall 111
    Professional Curriculum Vitae
  • Pearson Cross has served as Head of the Political Science Department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette since 2009, and as Chair of the Council of Department Heads since 2012. 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.

    Professor of Political Science
    Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 1989
    M.A., University of New Orleans, 1984
    American Electoral Politics, American Institutions, Research Methods
    Mouton Hall 109-B
    (337) 482-5371
    Professional Curriculum Vitae
  • David Breaux is currently Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His principle areas of teaching are American Electoral Politics and Institutions, and Research Methods. He has published articles in various peer-reviewed, academic journals, including Legislative Studies Quarterly, American Politics Quarterly, American Review of Politics, and Public Administration Review, as well as numerous book chapters on political party activists, state politics and policy, and southern politics. He has also been the recipient of various research grants, including three awarded by the prestigious National Science Foundation.

    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, 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.

    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 226
    (337) 482-6165
    Professional Curriculum Vitae
    The Presidential Primary Lottery System (PPLS Plan)
  • Ryan Lee Teten is an associate professor in Political Science. 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 work is a book that examines nearly 12000 presidential speeches to trace the evolution of presidential communication and policymaking. 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 a 12-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl. In his free time he does nerdy political science things, coaches the soccer teams for his children, and dreams of fighting in the UFC or playing in the English Premiership.

    Assistant 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
  • Elizabeth Nyman is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, specializing in world politics and international relations. As befits a person who grew up on the water, her research interests revolve around international ocean issues, including maritime conflict and piracy. She has conducted dissertation research in Barbados and post-doctoral research in Canada, and can speak with equal confidence on ocean pollution issues and conflict potential in the Caribbean Sea and the Arctic Ocean. She has had articles published recently on international maritime piracy law, island maritime conflict, and maritime utopias, and is part of a coauthored book project on the Arctic Ocean called Contesting the Arctic: Rethinking Politics in the Circumpolar North (under contract with IB Tauris, to be published in 2013). When not at work, she likes to travel both within the United States and abroad.

    Assistant 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.


    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