Laura Katz Olson, professor of political science, has been elected to a two-year term on the American Political Science Association (APSA) Council.
Founded in 1903, APSA is the leading professional organization for the study of political science and serves more than 15,000 members in over 80 countries. During the recent APSA membership election, Olson finished third in the balloting, as the top eight of 16 candidates were elected to the governing council.
“My election to the APSA Council is a great honor for me and I intend to be an active and engaged member of the board over the next two years,” Olson says. “I would like to pursue a number of issues of concern to my colleagues in political science, including the growing methodological homogeneity in APSA journals and in graduate education, which constrict our ability to address urgent social questions. I also will push the organization to advance the interests of graduate students and recent graduates to a greater extent, many of whom face problematic work environments, including fewer opportunities for full-time and tenured positions.”
Olson, a Lehigh faculty member since 1974 and chair of the political science department from 2003 to 2007, has published eight books: The Politics of Medicaid; The Political Economy of Aging; Aging and Public Policy; The Graying of the World; Age Through Ethnic Lenses; The Not So Golden Year; The Handbook of Long-Term Care Administration and Policy (co-edited); and Heart Sounds (her first novel).
She also has published more than 35 articles and book chapters in the field of aging, health care and women's studies, addressing such topics as pensions, Social Security, problems of older women, Medicaid and long-term care. Olson has been a Scholar at the Social Security Administration, a Gerontological Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar. She is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Aging Studies and New Political Science.
Olson also has been appointed to a number of APSA committees, including the Committee on Departmental Services, chair of the Victoria Schuck Award Committee and the Alice Paul Award Committee for the Women's Caucus and will organize the New Political Science (NPS) section program panels for next year. In 2009, she received the Charles A. McCoy Career Achievement Award from NPS.