Public Policy Doctoral Students Present Research at National Conference

From left: Creed Tumlison, Rachael M. Moyer, Eric Button
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From left: Creed Tumlison, Rachael M. Moyer, Eric Button

Doctoral students in the University of Arkansas public policy program recently presented their research at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Fall Research Conference in Washington, D.C.

Rachael M. Moyer, Creed Tumlison and Eric Button gave poster and oral presentations at the conference.

Moyer and Tumlison presented a poster on how policy narratives are used to gain support or opposition for hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a method used to extract oil and gas.

Moyer's research found policy influencers' value-based beliefs are key in how they think about fracking. Their beliefs influence their internalization of opposing policy narratives that frame fracking as either an environmental danger or an economic advantage.

Moyer collaborated with U of A associate professor Geoboo Song and Oregon State University associate professor Mike Jones in her research.

Tumlison's research found fracking policy narratives are less effective as knowledge levels associated with fracking increase. The narratives impact fracking-related policy preferences for those with strong feelings about fracking. But, they do not impact those with neutral feelings about fracking. The research results have implications for future policy communications associated with controversial topics.

Tumlison collaborated with Moyer, Song and Jones in his research.

Button's oral presentation addressed recent concerns about extended wait times for Veterans Affairs patients. He presented findings on how hospital-controlled factors of patient satisfaction were impacted by the VA's policy reforms.

His research will provide a richer understanding of how veterans access VA healthcare services. The research will also examine the effectiveness of VA services and how the services add to a veteran's successful reintegration into civilian life.

Moyer is a Distinguished Doctoral Fellow in the public policy program. She is also pursuing a master's in statistics and analytics. Her research explores the social psycho foundations of risk and policy debates around controversial issues in energy and environmental policy.

Tumlison is a Doctoral Academy Fellow in the in the public policy program. He is also pursuing a master's in statistics and analytics. His research primarily focuses on the decision-making processes, particularly related to knowledge and information seeking, associated with public policymaking.

Button is a Doctoral Academy Fellow in the public policy program. He is also a U.S. Army veteran. His research interests include veterans' policy, focusing on Department of Veterans Affairs compensation and benefit services. His interests also include renewable energy and energy efficiency policy.


Geoboo Song, assistant professor
Department of Political Science


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