Zoe Oxley, professor of political science, grew up in Etna, Maine, and spent her undergraduate years at Bowdoin College.
During her college years, she had two transformative experiences that ignited her love of travelling. She worked one summer at Glacier National Park in Montana, and spent her junior year abroad at the London School of Economics. One reason she enjoys teaching at Union is the opportunity to lead terms abroad and introduce students to international education.
After college, she worked for a few months in London, then went to graduate school at Ohio State University. 1998 was a busy year for her: she earned her Ph.D. in June, moved to Schenectady in July, got married in August, and started teaching at Union in September.
Oxley teaches courses on a variety of topics within the arena of U.S. politics, including public opinion, women and politics, media and politics and political psychology. Her research interests include the effects of news media framing on public opinion, gender stereotyping in elections, and political socialization among elementary school children.
She lives in the city's Stockade neighborhood with her husband, Dale, and son, Owen, a senior at Schenectady High School.
FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING:
Usually my email app, to see what arrived in my inbox overnight. I generally resist the urge to read any of the messages, though, until after I have eaten my breakfast!
ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES:
Instead of rereading books, I prefer to read new ones, mostly because I always have a long list of books I want to read. Occasionally, I do reread scenes or chapters of a book I have just finished, especially when I am not ready to let go of the characters quite yet.
BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED:
"Stay curious, it’s worth it.” This wasn’t advice I received in the normal way, it was the advertising slogan of a newspaper in Hamburg, Germany, in the late 1990s. I was first attracted to the ad by an image of a very cute child, but it is the words that have stayed with me over the years. I have a photo of the ad in my office, hopefully to inspire others.
FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS:
I have a lovely view of the Nott from my office desk, so that’s one reason I am keen on my office in Lippman Hall. But my overall favorite spot is the space between the Feigenbaum Center for the Arts and the Henle Dance Pavilion – the combination of the beautiful garden, sculptures, and Jackson’s Garden overlook is spectacular.
Because I am usually pressed for time in the morning, I go for something quick, such as granola or toast. Then I spend the morning drinking coffee.
Current favorites include The Moth, Poetry Unbound, Desert Island Discs, and This Day in Esoteric Political History. I have also enjoyed most of the Serial-produced podcasts – Nice White Parents and The Trojan Horse Affair stand out as especially excellent.
ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD:
There are so many! Lately, I have been wishing I could speak a second language better. I have a 1,000+ day streak learning French on Duolingo and it is embarrassing how little my conversational skills have improved over that time.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU:
I grew up in a very small town in Maine (about 900 residents), on a farm. One year, when a cow was born on Christmas Eve, I suggested that we name him Jesus. My Dad said no.
THREE DINNER PARTY GUESTS (living or deceased): This one is easy: my mother, my grandmother and my son. My mom died before my son was born, and it saddens me beyond measure that they never met. My grandmother died when my son was quite young, so he doesn’t remember her very well and she didn’t see him grow up.
The two earliest concerts I remember attending were The Ramones (on my college campus) and Bob Dylan with Tracy Chapman opening (in Calgary). Both were fantastic, but I can’t recall which was first.