Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship Presented to Peter J. Woolley

Teaneck, NJ (September 28, 2006)—Fairleigh Dickinson University honored Peter J. Woolley, professor of political science and executive director of FDU’s PublicMind, with the Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship on September 27, 2006.

“The popular astronomer Carl Sagan once wrote, ‘We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers,’” began Dr. Willard Gingerich, University provost and senior vice president, when presenting the award. “A superlative scholar, you have continually posed the boldest questions and unveiled illuminating answers.”

The principal focus of Woolley’s research has been Japanese military and diplomatic policies. In addition to numerous articles, reviews, book chapters and presentations, he has written two highly commended books on the topic, "Geography and Japan’s Strategic Choices: From Seclusion to Internationalization" (Potomac Books 2005), and "Japan’s Navy: Politics and Paradox, 1971-2001" (Lynne Reiner, 2001), which provided a penetrating analysis of the expansion of the Japanese maritime defense forces.

But Woolley’s intellectual inquiries extend far beyond Pacific powers. He was an advanced research scholar at the U.S. Naval War College. In 1997, his provocative piece examining the role of strategy in the decline of great powers earned him the prestigious Edward S. Miller Prize for the best historical article in the "Naval War College Review." That article became required reading for the U.S. Army War College’s Defense Strategy course.

Woolley has long been an editorial board member and book review editor of the distinguished "Journal of Conflict Studies," the first journal to focus exclusively on low-intensity conflicts. He is also co-editor of the widely used text, "American Politics: Core Argument and Current Controversy." The book, now in its second edition, features a fascinating collection of classic and contemporary readings that show the continuity of fundamental arguments in American politics over two centuries.

In 2002, Woolley took over as the executive director of the University’s survey research center, PublicMind. Infused with his political savvy and guided by his spirited direction, PublicMind has become an impact player, with polls on elections, the economy, foreign policy, and cultural topics from the Sopranos to the Super Bowl.

Providing expert commentary to outlets as influential as "The New York Times, the Associated Press and CBS, Woolley has brought clarity to the news of the day. “While you of course enjoy a good quote in the "Times," your highlight was having the Sopranos actually refer on-air to one especially relevant Fairleigh Dickinson survey,” said Gingerich when presenting the award. “Nothing like wise guys recognizing the brilliance of a real wise man.”

“Our best research and mass polling indicates that your approval ratings have gone through the roof and, as such, you are a winner of the Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship,” said Gingerich.

Peter Woolley

Gretchen Johnson

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