by Hannah Fair, Student Public Relations Writer
Dr. Mark Caleb Smith, professor of political science and director of the Center for Political Studies at Cedarville University, is a news source all-star. Smith has become known as the leading political expert among Ohio's leading media outlets. He completed his 1,000th media interview December 18, 2018 with WRFD Columbus radio host Bob Burney.
During interviews, Smith is an objective analyst, bringing his expertise in constitutional law and political science to stories in the news cycle. Smith uses his media platform to explain what is happening in politics so viewers can understand the real issues.
His most memorable interviews, according to Smith, came at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. “I could talk to whomever and interview with a variety of outlets and organizations,” he said. “It was fun and historic to be on the floor of the convention and watch it all unfold.” Smith was interviewed by CTV (Canada) and outlets from Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton.
As a result of the 2016 presidential election, Smith’s exposure reached its zenith. He conducted 295 interviews from media representing all platforms: print, radio, television and the digital media, including 42 during the five-day GOP Convention. Since 2012, Smith has averaged 127 interviews a year.
Smith seems at ease in front of the camera, but there was at least one time when he felt nervous: interviewing with Judy Woodruff, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Newshour’s managing editor and anchor, about the Ohio elections in 2012.
“The interview with PBS was my first high-profile national network exposure, talking on camera to a famous person was awkward and new,” said Smith. “Afterward, I received phone calls and emails from my colleagues from my graduate school, and that was the first time I had ever received recognition from outside our area.”
Other memorable interviews included election night 2016. “I was on Dayton’s WDTN news station for the whole evening when Trump won the 2016 presidency,” he said. “With each interview, I saw more evidence that he might win. I felt like I had a front-row seat to history.”
"Dr. Smith has established himself as a leading political expert for media in Ohio,” said Mark D. Weinstein, Cedarville’s executive director of public relations. “He is regularly sought out because he doesn't allow his opinion to be part of the story; he simply brings a story to life in a way people can understand without a political bias. As a result of his interviews, people learn more about Cedarville University, our excellent academic programs and our commitment to Christian higher education."
Smith noted that the interviews are both humbling and gratifying. “It’s remarkable to me that the media is so interested in Cedarville, because we are not the biggest or most famous school,” he said. “However, the media sees our faculty as experts and interviews us consistently. We are recognized in our region of Ohio and even nationwide for being noteworthy. It is incredible and humbling; we have been blessed.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.