‘Game Changers’ highlights, broadcasts research

Shreya Banerjee

Although the Longhorn Network is primarily focused on sports, it will feature its first academic series this October. The series, called “Game Changers,” will showcase faculty who have done extensive research in their respective fields.

“One of the best things about UT is its faculty,” said Kathleen Mabley, director of brand initiatives at the Office of the President. “The series is meant to bring a unique presentation of information not necessarily given in class. It also provides alumni with the opportunity for life-long learning.”

The first episode of “Game Changers” will premiere in October and will air three episodes this semester.

Business and communication professor John Daly will give a presentation called the “Politics of Ideas” in the first episode, which will be taped Thursday at 6 p.m. in the CMB Studio 6A. The presentation will involve the audience in interactive comprehension exercises led by Daly and will focus on the importance of following through with and promoting ones ideas. All UT students and alumni as well as the general public are invited to attend the taping Thursday.

“Good ideas go nowhere if you can’t advocate for them,” Daly said. “When students get out of school, they are often brilliantly trained in their fields, but they face an additional challenge. How well they advocate makes all the difference in [their] careers.”

The series had been planned before the creation of the Longhorn Network and creators decided to use the network as a medium for presenting the series to the public, Mabley said. She said a combination of faculty, staff and students across campus came together to choose “dynamic” faculty with different and innovative ideas for the show. Communication representatives also suggested speakers and worked with the Longhorn Network to pick ideas which would appeal to a TV audience, Mabley said.

“I have great hopes for the series,” Daly said. “It will hopefully let people around Texas and the world know about some of the most interesting research people at UT are conducting. Too few people appreciate how extraordinary our campus is when it comes to new discoveries that will change the world.”

Another episode will feature history professor H.W. Brands. Brands, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, has done extensive research in American history and is presently focusing his research on the Gilded Age of the late 19th century. He is also currently writing a biography of Franklin Roosevelt. Brands said his episode will discuss the history of the American financial policy and focus on the evolving role of the dollar.

Art history freshman Maggie Conyngham said she is interested in learning more about the series.

“I think this show will add something different to the Longhorn Network,” Conyngham said. “It will show people that the network is not just geared towards sports but to UT as a whole.” 

Printed on Thursday, September 29, 2011 as: 'Game Changers' series showcases high-achieving faculty