Archive for the 'SWP Spring 2010' Category

 

Jul 06 2010

Ken Mehlman, Former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Speaks to Semester in Washington Program Students

by at 5:29 pm

Ken Mehlman visited with Semester in Washington Program students in Professor Sam Potolicchio’s academic seminar class on American Politics on February 19, 2010.
Semester in Washington Program students engage in political discussion with Ken Mehlman, former Republican National Committee chairman, in Healy Hall.

Semester in Washington Program students engage in political discussion with Ken Mehlman, former Republican National Committee chairman, in Healy Hall.

 
“Ken Mehlman is someone who epitomizes what we try to do with this program,” said Potolicchio. “He reached the pinnacle of politics and he practiced his craft with substance and intellectual heft.”
 
Mehlman lectured on the evolution of the party system and party politics since World War II. He engaged the students in a wide-ranging discussion, touching on an array of issues from the personal to the political.

“Ken Mehlman’s intimate conversation with the eight of us was nothing short of extraordinary,” said Semester in Washington student Jason Cain. “The amount of political insight that we received in this class was equal to what most students get during their entire undergraduate education.”

Mehlman also advised the students to carve out careers that are enjoyable even on the weekends, because happiness makes success.

“I am amazed by how much information I received from one extraordinary individual, who has a passion for education, progress, and personal growth,” said student Sharon Mona. “Mehlman’s visit is my most memorable event here in my experience in Washington.”

Among his many jobs in a storied career of public service, Mehlman served as the White House Political Director, campaign manager for President Bush’s re-election, and chairman of the Republican National Committee.

 Following the discussion, the group gathered in front of the John Carroll statue (from left to right) - Marco Saavedra (Kenyon College), Sharon Mona (Point Loma Nazarene University), Nick Sprague (Kenyon College), Hannah Griffin (Illinois Wesleyan University), Jason Cain (Yellow Ribbon Program), Soroush Damsaz (Point Loma Nazarene University), Ken Mehlman (guest speaker), Brittany Taylor (Point Loma Nazarene University), Sam Potolicchio (visiting assistant professor), and Mike Mancini (Illinois Wesleyan University).

Following the discussion, the group gathered in front of the John Carroll statue (from left to right) - Marco Saavedra (Kenyon College), Sharon Mona (Point Loma Nazarene University), Nick Sprague (Kenyon College), Hannah Griffin (Illinois Wesleyan University), Jason Cain (Yellow Ribbon Program), Soroush Damsaz (Point Loma Nazarene University), Ken Mehlman (guest speaker), Brittany Taylor (Point Loma Nazarene University), Sam Potolicchio (visiting assistant professor), and Mike Mancini (Illinois Wesleyan University).

For more information on the School of Continuing Studies Semester in Washington Program, visit washington.

No responses yet | Categories: SWP,SWP American Politics,SWP Spring 2010

Jul 06 2010

Students Connect with Former Secretary of Energy and Former US Senator of Michigan Spencer Abraham

by at 5:26 pm

The Semester in Washington, D.C. Program American Politics class had an intimate political discussion with former Secretary of Energy and former US senator of Michigan, Spencer Abraham. Abraham was a founder of The Federalist Society, the founder of the Harvard Law Review on Public Policy, and the former Chairman of the Republican Party of Michigan.

APPA Spencer Abraham

Abraham spoke to students about his early interest and involvement in politics at the state level, his service in public office in both the legislative and executive branches, and his transition back into private life where he is CEO of The Abraham Group, an international consulting firm. Abraham addressed the students’ questions on the contemporary political landscape including the upcoming midterm elections, immigration, the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections and pending legislative items. Ultimately, Abraham encouraged the students to pursue their passions and counseled them that when the time came to move on, to move on without regrets.

Visiting Assistant Professor Sam Potolicchio noted that Abraham’s expertise perfectly supplemented the week’s theoretical readings. “In our studies this week, we have looked at the branches as part of a separated system,” said Potolicchio. “The conversation really tied together our week’s lesson with an unparalleled insider’s account of our government.”

Student Nick Sprague noted, “Spencer Abraham’s perspective having been a party chairman, a Senator, and the Secretary of the Energy, provided for enlightening observations about the differing mindsets of the people who work in these distinct positions.

No responses yet | Categories: SWP,SWP American Politics,SWP Spring 2010

Jul 06 2010

An Intimate Discussion with Former Congressman Lee Hamilton

by at 5:22 pm

Pictured left to right: Nick Sprague (Kenyon College), Sam Potolicchio (Prof), Marco Saavedra (Kenyon College), Soroush Damsaz (Point Loma Nazarene University), Hannah Griffin (Illinois Wesleyan University), Sharon Mona (Point Loma), Hamilton, Brittany Taylor (Point Loma), Jason Cain (Yellow Ribbon), and Mike Mancini (Illinois Wesleyan University).

Pictured left to right: Nick Sprague (Kenyon College), Sam Potolicchio (Prof), Marco Saavedra (Kenyon College), Soroush Damsaz (Point Loma Nazarene University), Hannah Griffin (Illinois Wesleyan University), Sharon Mona (Point Loma), Hamilton, Brittany Taylor (Point Loma), Jason Cain (Yellow Ribbon), and Mike Mancini (Illinois Wesleyan University).

The Semester in Washington, D.C. Program American Politics and Political Affairs class visited with former Congressman Lee Hamilton, president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, to talk about Congress, American foreign policy, elections, and presidential power. Hamilton served as a United States Congressman for 34 years, chaired the National Security Preparedness Group, vice-chaired the 9/11 Commission Report, and co-chaired the Iraq Study Group. He is also currently the Director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University.

“His insights into campaign finance, political parties, and consensus building are what aspiring young students of politics need to, yet rarely, hear about,” said student Jason Cain. “Our class had the privilege of participating in an intimate conversation with an insightful political leader.”

No responses yet | Categories: SWP,SWP American Politics,SWP Spring 2010

Apr 28 2010

American Politics Students Meet with Nation’s Top Lobbyists Bruce Mehlman and Alex Vogel

by at 4:45 pm

Semester in Washington students visited with Bruce Mehlman and Alex Vogel, two of the nation’s top lobbyists, in their offices in downtown D.C.  Over barbeque food and banana pudding, the students listened to a dynamic presentation on the business and ethics of the lobbying profession. The two lobbyists founded the firm Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti which is widely considered to be one of the top bipartisan lobbying shops in America.
Group with lobbyists Bruce Mehlman and Alex Vogel in their offices of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti
Group with lobbyists Bruce Mehlman and Alex Vogel in their offices of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti

Both Mehlman and Vogel bring a wealth of experience and accomplishment to their lobbying practice. Bruce Mehlman , who is also the Executive Director of the Technology CEO Council and Co-Chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance, served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy, telecommunications policy counsel for Cisco Systems, policy director and general counsel to the House Republican Conference under Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK) and as general counsel to the National Republican Congressional Committee. Alex Vogel, who is a frequent contributor on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and to the Washington Post, was chief counsel to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, General Counsel for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the Majority Leader’s liaison to the 9/11 Commission.  

Visiting Assistant Professor Sam Potolicchio remarked that “the students left completely inspired. Bruce Mehlman and Alex Vogel not only gave a tour-de-force presentation of the lobbying profession, but they also provided insights into politics and professional development that were as uplifting as they were discerning. My students probably won’t all become lobbyists, but they all noted after class that they wanted to have the same passion and energy that Bruce and Alex bring to their work.”  

APPA student Hannah Griffin noted that, “in addition to being completely brilliant, Mehlman and Vogel are extremely likable guys.  Despite all their success, they seemed so willing to share their experiences.  I’m very grateful for their frankness— I learned a lot.”

Nick Sprague counted the visit to the lobbying firm as one of his favorite field trips. “Mr. Mehlman and Mr. Vogel provided our SWP class a perspective on the business and techniques of lobbying that many of us were unaware of.  Lobbying is legitimate and necessary in American government, and often, the media tries to make people think otherwise. As I determine my own life goals, it was very informative to hear about their career choices leading to their successful lobbying firm, and I admired their clear passion and commitment to their work.”

No responses yet | Categories: SWP,SWP American Politics,SWP Spring 2010