Alison Dana Howard, MA

Alison Howard headshot

Associate Professor of Political Science, Co-Chair, Division of Public Affairs, Director of Core Curriculum

Political Science and International Studies

School of Liberal Arts and Education

Alison teaches courses on American Government, the Presidency, Congress, Politics and Media, and Campaigns and Elections. Her research focuses on presidential rhetoric, specifically the State of the Union address, political communication, pedagogy, as well as art, politics, and culture. She has published articles in PS: Political Science and Politics, American Behavioral Science, Journal of Political Science Education, Social Science Quarterly, and Perspectives on Political Science. She is the co-author (with Donna R. Hoffman, University of Northern Iowa) of “Addressing the State of the Union: The Evolution and Impact of the President’s Big Speech” (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006).

She is also a frequent commentator for the media on the State of the Union address and has been interviewed by National Public Radio, The SF Chronicle, NBC Bay Area, and KCBS radio, and other national and local media outlets. 


University of Oklahoma, MA, Political Science

Pepperdine University, MA, Education 

University of California, Los Angeles, BA Political Science

Research Interests

Primarily focuses on presidential rhetoric, specifically, the State of the Union address. Examines the way presidents communicate their policy requests and agenda to Congress and the public through the annual address and how successful presidents are in accomplishing their policy goals. Other research has examined the policy rhetoric and rhetorical narratives of candidates in presidential campaigns.

Honors and Awards

  • Penguin Leadership Award, (Faculty Advisor of the Year), Dominican University of California, 2017
  • Teacher of the Year, Dominican University of California, 2015  

Contact Information