• Zion Fitzpatrick

Professor Spotlight: Dr. Heather Katz

Updated: Jan 13

By Zion Fitzpatrick

For The Southwestern

Dr. Heather Katz joined the Department of Social Science at SWOSU in 2018.

Before she started teaching at SWOSU, Katz taught at Queens College for nearly 10 years. She received her Ph.D. from City University of New York. She received her master’s and bachelor’s degres in the Department of Political Science at William Paterson University of New Jersey.

In terms of goals for her students, she said: “First, students should know that the study of political science, namely of power, goes beyond the formal institutions of governance like Congress or the mayor’s office.

“It is relevant to our everyday lives: in our interactions with people in our workplace, communities, and even our family,” she added. “Political science is important for everyone, from majors and minors to those lucky ones taking the required (but exciting) course on American government.”

She added that she also wants students to be better researchers and consumers of news.

“In the era of misinformation, fake news, and something called ‘narrowcasting,’” she said, “it is crucial that can get reliable information and practice critical thinking and analysis. It will enable students to be better informed and even better participants in our democracy.”

Katz has taught all of the following courses: American Government and Politics, Principles of International Relations, Political Theory, International Organizations, Comparative Politics, The Road to Equality, Theories of War and Conflict, Political Parties, The Internet and Politics, Area Studies in Comparative Politics and Model UN.

As for her research, Katz said: “My research centers on human rights as they apply to the internet, particularly about a right to internet access in the face of persistent digital divides. I am working on several projects that include a study of internet service providers in Oklahoma, how the transition to virtual learning affected students in the context of the digital divide, and the effects of internet shutdowns.”

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