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Nancy Karibjanian, UDCPC Director

​Nancy Karibjanian, Director of the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication

Welcome and thank you for visiting the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication, where academic research fosters public engagement and relevant political issues top the agenda.

The CPC strives to meet the challenges of this extraordinary era in political communication with diverse and compelling initiatives and programs. I encourage you to take a few moments and explore the CPC website. You will find links to our 2019 National Agenda program, videos of our events, CPC polling and research results, and our Direction Democracy podcast. More importantly, you can find information as to how to join us at one of our upcoming events.

If you've recently wondered, "what's happening with our democracy," you are not alone. The Center for Political Communication dives into this quandary with the ninth annual National Agenda 2019 speaker series, "Direction Democracy." Beyond the barrage of daily headlines tracking events across the country, National Agenda explores where we have been, where we are going, and the current state of democracy in the United States with nationally known speakers addressing these issues from their varied viewpoints. 

National Agenda Director Lindsay Hoffman Ph.D. says, "We are at a critical juncture in this unique experiment that is American democracy. This series will shed light on who we are as citizens, on the left and the right, and even in the middle."

The University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication presents National Agenda 2019: Direction Democracy, featuring a wide variety of speakers discussing issues surrounding the current state of democracy in the United States. Speakers include Dan Pfeiffer on September 4, Rob Rogers on September 11, Jamelle Bouie on September 25, Tara Setmayer on October 2, Gov. Chris Christie on November 6, and John Della Volpe on November 20.

"Direction Democracy" kicks off with Dan Pfeiffer, a Delaware native who worked with the Obama administration as communication director and is a co-host of the popular political podcast Pod Save America. Pfeiffer is the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump. 

The speaker series continues with editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers, formerly with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Time, Newsweek and The Week. In his most recent book, Enemy of the People: A Cartoonist's Journey, Rogers talks about the importance of satire in today's political climate.

Rounding out the slate of "Direction Democracy" speakers are New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie, Republican political commentator Tara Setmayer, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics.

The National Agenda speaker series is made possible with support from the University of Delaware Provost and is free and open to the public. It is held on selected Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. during the fall semester in Mitchell Hall Theater on the University of Delaware's Newark campus. For more information, please visit

​​Speech Limits conference organizer Jenny Lambe (far left) and University of Delaware Provost Robin Morgan (far right) congratulate second place Voices Matter winner Eric Hastings, a graduate student in the MPA program (left), and third place winner Jymere Stillis-Stanford, a junior who is majoring in mass communication and psychology. Absent from the photo is first-place winner Mia Carbone , who was unable attend because she was studying abroad for the spring semester.

The Speak Up! Audio Essay Contest connects the personal stories of University of Delaware students with a broader audience through Delaware Public Media and the University’s radio station WVUD. Through their essays, students help bridge divides by asking listeners to connect with their emotional struggles on topics such as racism, disabilities, and harassment. Listen to the winning essays from the 2018 contest here.

As the 2020 presidential election approaches, the CPC is ready to continue to track the mood of the electorate with national public opinion polls, as we try to stay ahead of what changes this election cycle may bring to political communication. Our polls and affiliated faculty research projects, sponsored by the CPC, are recognized nationally in academic journals and media publications. The scope of these efforts reflects the CPC’s mission as a nonpartisan, interdisciplinary center fostering public engagement and academic research.

Nearly ten years ago when social media and its use by decision makers had just begun, the CPC was created to examine the impact of new technologies on political discourse. Today, tracking social media feeds is as common as checking news headlines. The CPC was and remains at the forefront of understanding the intersection of political communication methods and influence, and as CPC director I am proud of how our efforts are informing and engaging University of Delaware students and our broader community.

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  • Center for Political Communication
  • 190A Graham Hall, 111 Academy Street
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-7771
  • Send us an email
  • Department of Communication
  • Department of Political Science and International Relations