Areas of Specialization: American Public Opinion, Voting Behavior, and Survey Research
Professor Howell ‘s research interests included approval of mayors, race and racial attitudes, hurricane evacuation behavior, and citizen recovery post-Katrina. Her book, Race, Performance and Approval of Mayors (2007, Palgrage Macmillan) describes how race and perceptions of performance interact to produce an individual's evaluation of the mayor. The four-city project was funded by the National Science Foundation. She has also published articles in the Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, American Politics Quarterly, Political Behavior, The Polling Report, Urban Affairs Review, and a few other academic journals.
Dr. Howell also served as founder and Director of the UNO Survey Research Center which conducted approximately seventy academic and public interest surveys. The SRC is best known for its biennial Quality of Life Surveys which began in 1985. Following Katrina the SRC has assessed how citizens living in this metro area were coping with life in the new environment and their evaluations of government services. Prior to Katrina the SRC had just completed a comprehensive study of evacuation behavior in twelve parishes which was being used as the basis for a public education campaign on the necessity for evacuation. Dr. Howell frequently appeared as a political analyst for local television and radio stations.
She retired in May 2007