About the Contributors to Old North State Politics


Dr. Michael Bitzer is the T.P. and J.C. Leonard Chair of Political Science and professor of politics and history at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he serves as chair of the department of politics and pre-law advisor. He earned his Ph.D. from The University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs in the areas of American politics, U.S. public law, and public administration. His primary areas of interest, both in the classroom and in research, is on American politics, Southern U.S. politics, North Carolina history and politics, and voting, elections, and campaigning.

He has conducted research and published on administrative law, North Carolina voting methods, popular culture, public opinion, and satire in American politics, and book chapters on North Carolina politics and the 2016 election in North Carolina. He is currently working on a book manuscript regarding redistricting in North Carolina and a book chapter on the state’s 2020 elections. He tweets at @bowtiepolitics


Dr. Chris Cooper serves as the Robert Lee Madison Distinguished Professor and Department Head of Political Science and Public Affairs at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. Dr. Cooper earned his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee and teaches and conducts research in the fields of American Politics, Public Administration, and Research Methods.

With Gibbs Knotts, he is the co-author of “The Resilience of Southern Identity: Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of Its People” and co-editor of “The New Politics of North Carolina,” and a noted expert on southern U.S. politics and North Carolina politics.

In 2013, he was named “Professor of the Year” in the state of North Carolina by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, along with being awarded the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is currently writing a book manuscript on North Carolina politics, and tweets at @chriscooperwcu


Dr. Whitney Ross Manzo serves as an associate professor of political science, assistant director of the Meredith Poll, and pre-law advisor at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr. Manzo holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas in Political Science and Methodology. Her general field is American politics, and her primary expertise is in the areas of public opinion, constitutional and electoral law, elections, and gender issues in politics.

Dr. Manzo’s research agenda focuses on imbalances of power and issues of representation. She is currently working on a book chapter about views toward women in elected office and a couple of projects on women in North Carolina politics. 

She also studies higher education pedagogy, and is contributing to a book on the teaching of research methodology. She tweets at @whitneymnz




Dr. Susan Roberts is a professor of political science at Davidson College. Dr. Roberts holds a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in political science and teaches a wide variety of courses in American politics, particularly on Congress, the presidency, political parties, interest groups, campaign strategy, and public policy.

Dr. Robert’s research includes work on activism regarding reproductive policy, political capital, interest groups, and hashtag politics. 

She has served as a political analyst and commentator for a number of regional, national, and international media venues and was named the 2020 recipient of the Diane Blair Award from the Southern Political Science Association in recognition of her work as a political scientist “who has played an outstanding role in politics and/or government during their career.” She tweets at @profsuroberts.