Barbara Warner has returned to her alma mater, the University of Kansas, where she is a Lecturer in the School of Journalism, teaching Strategic Communication and Media Writing.
She has a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Arkansas, an MA in government from Johns Hopkins University, an MS in journalism from the KU and a BA in English from the University of Hawaii. At KU, she received the “Calder Pickett Award” for her thesis on the history of the School of Journalism and the “Severance Scholarship for Outstanding Graduate Student.” At the U of A, she was co-winner of the Public Policy Ph.D. Program’s “Distinguished Dissertation Award” for her work on how presidents “talk us into” war.
While at KU, she interned with The Associated Press at the Topeka statehouse and with the Topeka-Capitol Journal. She went on to work for the AP at the Kansas City bureau and for the Capitol-Journal as a state and federal affairs reporter. She was a Knight Fellow in politics at the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. She was also a political columnist for the Benton County (Arkansas) Daily Record, the Northwest Arkansas Times and the Siloam Springs (Arkansas) Herald-Leader. She has won 45 writing awards, including for her “day-in-the-life” stories on former U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum, and former U.S. Representative Jim Slattery.
She won a Congressional Fellowship for Journalists from the American Political Science Association and subsequently worked as a legislative aide/press secretary/communications director for five members of Congress, as well as for the U.S. House Small Business Committee and the Women’s Caucus. President Bill Clinton appointed her to the U.S. Commerce Department, where she was Senior Adviser for Communications to the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs. She helped oversee the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the release of gross domestic product and international trade figures. She traveled with the Under Secretary throughout Europe and Russia, assessing political and economic conditions; managing press relations; and meeting with officials in the British Prime Minister’s office, the Bank of England and the European Union.
Her academic career has included being a Visiting Assistant Professor and an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Arkansas State University, where she taught in the Master of Public Administration program and was an affiliated faculty member with the Environmental Studies Program. She developed a course in Public Information Management, which focused on public affairs, including e-government, social media management and data management/security. She also created courses in Media & Politics, Administrative Leadership, the American Legislative Process and Emergency & Disaster Preparedness. In addition, she taught Environmental Law & Politics. Previously, she was a political science instructor at the U of A and a public relations instructor at John Brown University. She has been a researcher for the U of A’s “American Terrorism Study.”
She has published in the areas of presidential war and terrorism rhetoric, presidential religious rhetoric, e-government, fracking and federalism, civic participation and gender pay equity, and has presented at numerous domestic and international conferences. She also has been a member of the Arkansas Civics Working Group, a consortium of professors who have advocated that the state legislature require more civics education. She has served on county library and local arts boards. She has displayed her black-and-white photos at gallery events.