- Cheri Russo Communications and Marketing Communications
Lancaster – An Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington assistant professor of Political Science, whose research was inspired by Nelson Mandela, believes Mandela's legacy is one of a global leader who broke down racism and oppression around the world.
"When I learned of his death yesterday, it had a major impact on me because of what he represented," said Dr. Linda Trautman. "He was a relentless fighter for human rights, not just for the South African people, but for people across the world."
Mandela, who guided South Africa out of apartheid to a multi-racial democracy and became an international icon of peace, died Thursday at the age of 95.
"My research is an extension of some of the things Mandela attempted to accomplish, especially when you think of how he stood up for social and political justice," said Trautman. "My research focuses on examining the best means to make sure everyone is included in the political process, so that no one is disenfranchised and everyone has a chance to be heard in the United States and throughout the world."
In addition to a published review in a national journal of political science on the issue of congressional representation, Trautman is currently conducting research on disenfranchisement and voting rights related to political equality, which was also a key concern waged by Mandela. The study focuses on how felony disenfranchisement negatively impacts electoral outcomes across demographic groups.
"I think Mandela has set the world stage for bold leadership and actions to promote international peace and equality," said Trautman. "He will inspire many generations to uphold the banner of social and political justice for people worldwide."
Trautman got her PhD in American Politics from Ohio State in 2007. Her studies focused on legislative politics, urban politics and mass political behavior.