Dr. William Hicks came to Appalachian State University in fall 2014 because of the school’s reputation as a “great school full of really great students,” and as most people say, a love for the setting.
“Learning complicated ideas requires an investment in time and effort,” Hicks said. “App students are willing to make that investment. For that reason, teaching at App State is really exciting and rewarding.”
Hicks’ research areas are democracy, elections and representation. He is currently researching laws that require American citizens to show photo identification in order to vote and the impact of partisan competition on representation in American state governments.
Graduate students in political science have helped Hicks compile data on both topics. However, Hicks said, students in all of his classes help him with his research by allowing him to improve his theories and evidence through in-class discussions.
Studying elections is important because of how elections affect representation in our democracy, Hicks said.
“The conditions surrounding an election determine how well it delivers a representative government,” Hicks said. “It’s important for everyone to discover these conditions so that each of us can better exercise our own political power.”
Hicks said he wants students who are interested in political science to consider that “political science is not about proving that one worldview, ideology or party is better than another. Instead, regardless of their personal feelings, political scientists should weigh the costs and benefits of various points of view.”