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Special Programs

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​From left to right: Dianna Colasurdo (AS09), Leo Shane (AS98), Robin Sproul, and Paul Kane (AS92) discussed "The Role of Media in Today's Political Climate" with moderator Nancy Karibjanian (AS80) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 4, 2018.

​The Center for Political Communication is proud to sponsor nonpartisan, interdisciplinary initiatives throughout the University of Delaware that help shape the emerging field of political communication. The CPC supports events and programs that inspire public participation in politics and engage the next generation of public service leaders, in the United States and abroad.

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Dr. Sheena Howard, Rider University Assistant Professor, who wrote, produced and directed "Remixing Colorblind."

Washington, DC, alumni event

Dianna Colasurdo (AS09), Leo Shane (AS98), Robin Sproul, and Paul Kane (AS92) discussed "The Role of Media in Today's Political Climate" with moderator Nancy Karibjanian (AS80) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 4, 2018.

​From left to right, Dianna Colasurdo (AS09), Leo Shane (AS98), Robin Sproul, and Paul Kane (AS92) discussed "The Role of Media in Today's Political Climate" with moderator Nancy Karibjanian (AS80) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 4, 2018.

​Center for Political Communication Director Nancy Karibjanian (AS80) moderated a discussion about  "The Role of Media in Today's Political Climate" with a panel of esteemed media experts on April 4, 2018. The University of Delaware's Washington, D.C., Alumni Club and the CPC hosted the event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  

The distinguished panelists included:

  • Paul Kane, AS92, Congressional Correspondent, Washington Post
  • Leo Shane, AS98, Columnist, Military Times
  • Robin Sproul, Biden Institute Senior Advisory Board Member; Executive Vice President at Javelin; Former VP and Washington Bureau Chief at ABC News
  • Dianna Colasurdo, AS09, former Senior Account Executive at Twitter

Bridging the Divide

Bridging the Divide logo

In an effort to bring unity to campus, several University of Delaware departments hosted "Bridging the Divide" in December 2016 at the Trabant Student Center. Featuring a balanced panel of left and right-leaning professors, the discussion facilitated conversations about the 2016 election, as well as the general political environment of the United States today. The event was sponsored by the University of Delaware's Honors Program, the Political Science and International Relations Department, the English Department, Student Life, Provost for Diversity, and the Center for Political Communication. The University of Delaware groups jointly issued this statement about their mission: "We believe that there is something to be learned from every point of view. We strive to achieve progress through understanding, acknowledging, and respecting those with opinions different from our own. We hope to bring unity to college campuses everywhere, which we believe should be accepting of its entire student body." Student and faculty were encouraged to attend the event.

Fall 2016 Political Communication Lecture Series

As part of the University of Delaware College of Arts and Sciences' focus on the 2016 presidential election, a Political Communication Lecture Series featured UD faculty members discussing issues related to the election. 

Paul Brewer, professor of communication and of political science and international relations and research director of the Center for Political Communication, discussed  “Entertainment Media and the Presidential Election” on September 14. Brewer presented clips from numerous late-night comedy shows and engaged the students and community members in a spirited Q&A session. On October 12, Jenny Lambe, associate professor of communication and a Center for Political Communication senior fellow, gave a lecture on “The Problem of Hate Speech in the Election.” Lambe argued that despite the uptick in hate speech in 2016 political climate, the reality is that there is little that the US government can do to stop it. David Wilson, associate professor of political science and international relations and associate dean of social sciences for the College of Arts and Sciences, engaged the UD community in an October 26 talk entitled, “Telling U What to Think About, When You Think about Issues: Priming, Framing, and Public Opinion.” Wayne Batchis, associate professor of political science and international relations, wrapped up the lecture series on November 30 with a discussion entitled “Conservatism and Freedom of Speech.”

Film Screening of "Remixing Colorblind" and Q&A with Director Dr. Sheena Howard

As part of the University of Delaware's diversity initiative, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Political Communication, the Center for Black Culture, and the Office of the Provost collaborated to present a screening of Remixing Colorblind  on September 28, 2016. The documentary examined how the educational system has shaped the public's understanding of race. CPC Associate Director Lindsay Hoffman talked with the film's director, Sheena Howard, after the 30-minute screening, then moderated a Q&A session with the audience.

Remixing Colorblind encouraged the audience to critique how the educational system has shaped notions of race and influenced their relationships. It explored the nuances of race relations, including notions of implicit bias, individual racism, institutional racism and reverse racism. The documentary featured interviews with prominent thought leaders such as Dr. James Peterson (MSNBC Contributor), and Dr. Yaba Blay (2012 Consulting Producer for CNN Black in America).

Howard, an assistant professor with Rider University, wrote, produced, and directed the documentary. She asserted that to effectively address the racial climate on college campuses, people need to move outside their comfort zones. She said, “I think you really have to think outside of yourself and talk to people who are not like you and are not in your groups to be able to understand that they are having a different set of experiences on the college campus than you are."

Howard is an award-winning author, including a 2014 Eisner Award winner for her first book, Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation (2013). Howard is also the author of Black Queer Identity Matrix (2014) and Critical Articulations of Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation (2014). Howard has appeared on NPR (National Public Radio), The Washington Post, ABC network, as well as other networks and documentaries as an expert on popular culture, race, politics and sexual identity negotiation. She also writes for The Huffington Post.

Now Hear This UD!

The Center for Political Communication is a proud co-sponsor of Now Hear This UD!, an annual spring public speaking contest for UD students. Communication professor and CPC-affiliated faculty member, Dr. Tracey Holden, has directed the event since 2013, which annually draws an audience of more than 300 students. Seven to 10 students currently enrolled in COMM212, Oral Communication in Business, are eligible to compete. Prizes are awarded to the top three public speakers. Contestants deliver 7-minute speeches about a chosen topic based on the theme of diversity and inclusion. The purpose of the competition is not just to find the best public speaker but also to showcase the value of communication and committed effort from all to foster inclusion in a diverse community.

Students host Delaware Democratic Primary Debates

The Center for Political Communication co-sponsored a Delaware Primary Debate held in Mitchell Hall on April 12, 2016, hosted by the University of Delaware College Democrats. The event featured Democratic candidates for running for the open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Moderator Jordan McBride, a news anchor with 49 News at STN (Student Television Network at UD) questioned the candidates. Retired Marine Sean Barney, State Senator Bryan Townsend, and accountant Mike Miller shared their positions on the most vital issues in Delaware and Washington on education, women's rights, the environment, criminal justice reform, foreign affairs, and the economy. The debate was free and open to the public.

Conversations and Connections in Washington, DC

The Center for Political Communication proudly co-sponsored an alumni networking event on November 12, 2015, at NPR Headquarters in Washington, DC. CPC Founding Director Ralph Begleiter moderated a panel talk on "The New World of Digital Politics," featuring NPR's Domenico Montanaro (AS '01), campaign strategist Brian Donahue, CPC Associate Director Professor Lindsay Hoffman, and NPR correspondent Sam Sanders. The event was part of the popular Conversations and Connections series, hosted by the UD's Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Conversations and Connections draws together current students, alumni and friends all interested in broad, far-ranging topics.

In addition to the panel discussion on digital politics, members of the Delaware Diamonds Society and donors to the CPC and College of Arts and Sciences had the rare chance to tour NPR’s headquarters earlier in the evening, walking through the newsroom, sitting in production studios and even meeting on-air personalities Audie Cornish, one of NPR’s All Things Considered anchors, and Mara Liasson, NPR’s senior political correspondent. 

Students benefited from the networking event as well, chatting up the speakers and alumni before and after the event. Freshman political science and international major Tamar Epps sought advice from NPR reporter Sam Sanders on the importance of black voices in the media. “It’s fascinating to be here,” she said after their discussion. “I’m so glad we have events like this, where we can meet and learn from leaders in the field. It’s an incredible opportunity.”

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