College Leaders

CLP 08 Slideshow
Jul 2 2008 - 12:37pm

The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership's College Leaders Program Class of 2008.

PODCAST: Program Managers, CLP08 Graduation
Jul 1 2008 - 1:29pm


Program Managers for the College Leaders Program Class of 2008 shared their thoughts at Saturday's graduation. In order of speaking were Emily Reijmers (CLP 2006), Chris Wrobel (CLP 2005), and Jamie Lockhart (CLP 2007).

PODAST: Jody Wagner, CLP08 Graduation
Jul 1 2008 - 1:14pm


Jody Wagner, Virginia's Secretary of Finance and a member of the Sorensen Institute's State Advisory Board, was the keynote speaker at this year's CLP graduation.

PODCAST: Spirit Awards, CLP08 Graduation
Jul 1 2008 - 1:04pm



















Allison Hunn (top photo) and Torrey Williams (below photo) shared this year's "Spirit of Citizenship Award" at the College Leaders Program Class of 2008 graduation. The announcement came from Marc Johnson.

PODCAST: Ben Schultz, CLP08 Graduation
Jul 1 2008 - 12:54pm


The Sorensen Institute's College Leaders Program Class of 2008 celebrated its graduation on Saturday, June 28 in the historic Dome Room of the University of Virginia Rotunda.

The members of CLP08 selected Ben Schultz of the College of William and Mary to be its Class Speaker at this event.

Ben is introduced by Marc Johnson, Director of Sorensen's Youth Programs and himself a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2003.

Congratulations CLP 2008
Jun 30 2008 - 12:55pm

















Congratulations to the College Leaders Program Class of 2008!

The CLP08 celebrated its graduation from the Sorensen Institute on Saturday. We will have photos, podcasts, and more from the graduation in coming days, so stay tuned.

The board members, alumni, and staff of the Sorensen Institute would like to extend our hearty congratulations to all the members of the College Leaders Program Class of 2008 and officially welcome you to the Sorensen family!

CLP 08 Day 29 Saturday June 28
Jun 30 2008 - 12:48pm

College Leaders Program Class of 2008
Day 29—Saturday, June 28, 2008
Reported by MoniQue Drake of Longwood University 

Sorensen, the Finale!
     Hold the tomato, don’t peel that orange, and dip it into the cow’s milk. Sounds crazy I know but, Sorensen ’08 was overwhelmed with allergies and dislikes when it came to food choices. Some not liking tomatoes or being allergic to dairy or orange peel, and don’t forget the vegetarians!
     I have the distinct honor and pleasure of writing the final blog of Sorensen 2008. I didn’t think that I would ever see the end but, after week one time started to fly by. The Class of 2008 may go down in Sorensen history as the most high-maintenance group of party animals to ever grace Marc, Chris, Emily, and Jamie’s presence. This month has been filled with excellent eye-opening experiences. We took a “Big Leap” into the program and milked it for all it was worth. The relationships built here will guide and influence us the rest of our lives.
     We’ve had many adventures and countless laughs. This month has been filled with classic memories such as: putting restrictions on orange peels and avoiding cheese and tomatoes like they were the plague. Climbing ropes, and going to the up and coming Danville, Virginia. In Richmond we got to see how the kiddies played in the sandbox, and that didn’t go so well. “This is the song that doesn’t end, yes it goes on and on my friend” is not only good for the long bus rides taken but also as a great way to explain the happenings in the General Assembly. Jordan’s southern twang and eccentric thoughts kept our sides aching from laughter along with Emily’s love for the elderly.
     I’m pretty sure after Sorensen graduates we will not go near another sandwich or salad but, we can never give up Meat-aroni pizza. We became one huge family with the greatest balance of love/hate we argued and disagreed but in the end we accepted each other for who we are. Here at Sorensen we learned the importance of being informed and thoughtful citizens. We made it through Political Science Nerd Camp and we heard some pretty entertaining quotes while here...
- “Remember you’ve already drank the kool-aid”
- “Why Me? I’m gon’ be sick”
- “I’m going to be a born again Christian next year, does that mean I’ll be extra saved?”
- “It’s a uniball”
- “Politics is the most satisfying thing you can do with your life”
- “I always reserve the right to be smarter tomorrow than I am today”
- “Relationships are the essence of life”
- “Leadership can be learned through practice, trial and error, success and failure”
- “Just shut up and go do your job!”
- “I’m not particularly smart but I’m tenacious and a little mean.”
     Jody Wagner had much advice for the Class of 2008 as we pursue our future endeavors. She mentioned four points to remember the most important being never do anything you would not want printed on the front page of the newspaper. She explained to us that life is about going for what you want while maintaining your ethical standards.
     With that, I want my fellow Sorensen grads to remember that X marks the spot along with sugar, sweetener, lemon juice, and Ben’s blue Oakley’s. I wish you much success as you move on to greater pastures. We still have one goal to accomplish besides being successful leaders, politicians, lawyers, etc., and that’s finding out about “The Teddy Bear.”
                                                “PLEASE DON’T GO!”
—MoniQue Drake, Richmond
    Longwood University Class of 2009
    College Leaders Program Class of 2008

CLP 08 Day 28 Friday June 27
Jun 28 2008 - 1:30am

College Leaders Program Class of 2008
Day 28—Friday, June 27, 2008
Reported by Ben Heath of Christopher Newport University

     Today started as any other day at Sorensen starts, at least that what we all hoped for. Though we went through the same motions as any other day: waking up to annoying alarms, taking hot showers and drinking copious amounts of coffee, we all knew that today wasn't every other day at Sorensen. It was our last. It was D-Day. Today was the day we presented our culminating projects. Groggy and excited as we were, we headed over to the famous UVA Rotunda.
     Settling in, we had a chance to walk around and view the remarkable architecture that represents everything UVA and everything Thomas Jefferson stood for. We were able to look out over the Lawn and see the great Academical Village that is UVA. Waiting in my seat for our project judges to arrive, I felt as though everything was being put into perspective. Sitting under the gorgeous Rotunda dome, I was reminded that though we all came from different backgrounds, have different life stories and different political ideologies, here we were, about to be judged as equals and peers in a way only Sorensen can achieve.
     During our culminating project presentations, whether a group was advocating the increase in non-renewable energy alternatives, ways to solve problems with the growing cost of higher education or the increase of rural conservation, the passion that was clearly evident astounded the judges, Sorensen staff and CLP'ers alike. I was not only proud of my own group, but I was proud of all my CLP colleagues and friends. We held ourselves up in front of tough questions and the ever present fear of public speaking.
     After the successful deliverance of six presentations, I felt personally honored when a member of the Sorensen staff told me that out of the eight sessions of presentations he had seen, ours on the whole were the best. I believe that it was a testament to our two extraordinary teachers, Dr. Quentin Kidd and Dr. Tom Shields. It's a testament to our class' ability to come together to solve a common problem.
     Ultimately, I have finally realized the core meaning of our culminating projects. Sorensen, in due course, shows us through our own actions that by coming together in a non-partisan way to solve a common problem and achieve a common goal, it is much easier than arguing about partisan politics.
     The rest of our day was spent lounging in Bice Hall, playing croquet on the Lawn, eating great food at Baja Bean Co. and playing another rousing game of Lawn football. There is a bitter-sweet feeling in the air, people are packing, cleaning and starting to say their goodbyes.
     All I know, maybe all I need to know, is that through this experience, I have seen the positive results of non-partisan discussion and debate. All I know is that each and every one of my CLP peers have left a permanent mark on me and I on them. I will come away not only with an increase of knowledge, not only with an increase in business cards in my pocket, but 29 true friends (raging pincko-commie liberal democrats and gun-tottin' fire-breathing republicans alike).
     Non-partisanship: it's not the act of giving up one's view for those of another; but rather, realizing that neither view may get the job done by itself, and that only by coming together can we produce a government that is good, transparent and compassionate about the needs of it's constituents.

—Ben Heath, Virginia Beach
    Christopher Newport University
    College Leaders Program Class of 2008


CLP 08 Day 27 Thursday June 26
Jun 27 2008 - 12:57pm

College Leaders Program Class of 2008
Day 27—Thursday, June 26, 2008
Reported by Elizabeth Maloney of Radford University

     The finish line is now on the horizon, but we are not there yet. Many students awoke after getting little sleep as we scrambled to finish the final drafts for our culminating projects, due this evening. (We’ll also have the post-graduation report due in mid-July.)
     An unfortunate side effect of Sorensen is students going down like ninepins, and due to the hectic pace at the end, many are getting sick. We can make it until Saturday and then catch up on sleep. The leisurely pace of earlier days is gone.
     At 9am, we reported to class and began the day performing mock radio interviews with Coy, who hosts a local radio show in Charlottesville. Each Culminating Project group chose two representatives to discuss our prospective plans. Coy demonstrated dealing with different types of hosts and how to stay on message during the interview.
     The highlight of the day was a panel of CLP Alumni who shared with us their thoughts and experiences during and after the program. It was clear that the bond created by Sorensen was lifelong and many CLP graduates stayed in touch and would hang out after hours. (This made many of their co-workers on either side of the aisle suspicious.) After sharing laughs and listening to more presentations we trudged back to Bice Hall.
    Alas, no football on the lawn tonight, because the projects are due at 7pm and each group has a mock presentation in front of Jamie, Chris, and Mark to practice for tomorrow. Not much sleep tonight, but hopefully we'll be done with work earlier than the 3am as I was this morning.

—Elizabeth Maloney, Vienna
    Radford University Class of 2010
    College Leaders Program Class of 2008

CLP 08 Day 26 Wednesday June 25
Jun 26 2008 - 11:47am

College Leaders Program Class of 2008
Day 26—Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Reported by Lacey Howard of Christopher Newport University   

     Can 30 students solve a budget deficit of $1 billion dollars? If they are Sorensen College Leaders then the answer is yes! After spending 8 hours together, we finally left our classroom with pride that we had balanced the budget! At 10:00 a.m. we were given instructions for the day and a packet including examples of line items from the State budget. These line items were divided into two categories: ones that we could cut or reduce and ones that we could chose to increase funding or restore funding. After a few questions, we were divided up into a senate and a house.
     As we moved into separate rooms, I sensed that many of us felt this was an impossible task that would involve a lot of bickering and quibbling. As a member of the Senate, I was impressed with the leadership within the group and our willingness to quickly commit to a plan and accomplish our goal of ending with a zero balance by only raising the Alcoholic Beverage Tax by 15%.
     At 2PM, members of both the house and senate were divided into joint committees to compare budgets and decide how the budget would be balanced. Again, both groups were able to exchange ideas and had a zero balance budget by the deadline of 4PM.
     Though today was somewhat draining and frustrating at times, I think it made all of us realize the daunting task our legislators face every two years. Though some of us were grateful to return to the life of students (working on culminating projects till the early morning), others of us were grateful for the chance to play a role we hope one day will be a reality— one where we may still be working till the early morning.

—Lacey Howard, Newport News
    Christopher Newport University Class of 2008
    College Leaders Program Class of 2008

Featured Alumni

  • Pat Gottschalk.jpg

    Patrick Gottschalk

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 2000

    Pat is a partner at Williams Mullen. He serves on the boards of the Virginia Economic Developers Association and the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce. Pat was Virginia's Secretary of Commerce and Trade under Governor Tim Kaine.