Crystal Cole

Project Title: Speechwriting and State crafting: The Politics of Speeches

Project Description: My research is concerned with explaining the ways in which political power is impacted by the pulpit, the press release, and even the pun. How do things like speeches, in other words, affect the perceptions surrounding a given government? Is charisma an asset in authoritarian regimes, or only in democracies? Can one witty joke change the fate of a national election? Would angry and accusative speeches rally more support than poignant ones? Could it be possible to monitor and even predict political futures, simply based on a speech’s promises or propitiations? Questions like this are what I seek to answer.

Most Important Accomplishment: Showing up is the best thing I, or anyone else for that matter, can do. Each day that I do, therefore, is my next greatest accomplishment. “Decisions,” after all, “are made by those who show up,” according to Josiah E. Bartlet (my favorite fictitious president from a show called The West Wing).

Reflections on the College Scholar Program: I think the greatest selling point of the College Scholar Program are the conversations that it fosters. They give us tremendous purchase over our lives and respective goals.