Sorensen Staff

Arehart to Join Sorensen Staff
Mar 12 2015 - 9:44am

David Arehart will be joining the Sorensen staff as Youth Program and Recruitment Director in mid-March. David, or Cash as he is known by friends and colleagues, is the newest addition to the Sorensen staff. He is a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2014, which elected him class President.

Prior to joining the Sorensen staff, Cash was as an Education Outreach Specialist for Colonial Williamsburg where he was a Constitutional Historian and also portrayed several historic characters including John Marshall and Edmund Randolph during his fourteen years with the Foundation. He also served as a liaison between Colonial Williamsburg and Sorensen for the Emerging Leaders Program. A native Virginian and an Eagle Scout, Cash is part of a family that has resided in the Shenandoah Valley since the 1760’s.

In addition to directing the College Leaders Program and High School Leaders Program, he will be Sorensen’s chief recruiter for all five programs and provide staff support to the Political Leaders Program, the Candidate Training Program, and the Emerging Leaders Program. Cash is thrilled for the opportunity to mentor the CLP and HSLP classes of 2015.

All of us at Sorensen are happy for Cash to join the Institute’s team. Welcome, Cash!


Sorensen Institute to be featured on WMRA
Sep 30 2010 - 3:13pm

On Monday, October 4th, from 3pm-4pm, the Sorensen Institute will be featured and profiled on WMRA’s Virginia Insight program. Sorensen’s Executive Director, Bob Gibson, will be joined by the Director of the Center for Public Service and Scholarship at Shenandoah University, Karen Schultz. Together they will discuss the methods for teaching and encouraging public service. Virginia Insight is WMRA’s own call-in talk show, airing Mondays and Thursdays at 3pm, before All Things Considered. An encore broadcast from the week is featured Sunday afternoon at 3pm, following A Prairie Home Companion. Virginia Insight’s producer and host, Tom Graham, served as a radio news director in North Carolina, Tennessee and California. Tom has also worked in television as a reporter and news anchor.

The show’s call-in number is 888-967-2825 and listeners are welcome and encouraged to call in. The show will be streamed live at Below, you will find the radio dial numbers for WMRA.

103.5 FM Charlottesville
91.3 FM Farmville
90.7 FM Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley
89.9 FM Lexington
94.5 FM Winchester

Gibson on Civility
May 17 2010 - 1:50pm

Bob Gibson is the author of a recent commentary in the Charlottesville Daily Progress: "Civility isn't easy but worth making an effort." Click here to read the article.

"The All-Spin Zone"
Mar 24 2010 - 9:26pm

Sorensen's Bob Gibson is the author of a recent Charlottesville Daily Progress op-ed on the media and politics. Click here to read the article.

Gibson Authors Commmentary on Bayh Retirement
Feb 22 2010 - 2:39pm

Bob Gibson's latest column in the Charlottesville Daily Progress concerns the retirement of U.S. Senator Evan Bayh.

Roanoke Times Editorial Showcases Work of Sorensen
Jan 31 2010 - 11:09pm

In its Sunday editorial today, the Roanoke Times presented a thoughtful look at the work and mission of the Sorensen Instiute.

If a new generation of politicians does not get caught up in today's zero-sum politics, the General Assembly might dare to set aside rigid ideology and deal pragmatically with the challenges ahead.

Click here to read the full story.

Johnson to Leave Sorensen Institute
Jan 13 2010 - 10:24pm


In an email to members of the Sorensen Institute's State and Regional Boards this afternoon, Executive Director Bob Gibson announced that Marc Johnson would be leaving the Sorensen staff.

Marc will be joining the Tayloe Murphy Center—Virginia at the Darden Graduate School of Business at UVA, where he will serve as the Associate Director.  The Tayloe Murphy Center aims to help reshape disadvantaged communities within the Commonwealth into economically competitive communities. Marc will join other Center staff in reaching out to select communities within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Targeted communities will be defined by sluggish growth and overall economic distress. They will be communities marked by disadvantage, but which, with Tayloe Murphy Center support — education, leadership, alliances and resources — will be encouraged to reach towards reinvention.

"Marc's enthusiasm and commitment to Sorensen will be greatly missed by all of us," Gibson said. "Since he came to Sorensen in 2004 as an alumnus (CLP 2003) and the new manager of the College Leaders Program, he has helped teach and inspire literally hundreds of Sorensen graduates in pursuit of the institute's mission of improving political leadership and strengthening the quality of governance at all levels. As Assistant Director and Director of Programs the past several years, he has been a great help in building and strengthening all of Sorensen's programs."

"We all wish Marc the best as he pursues new opportunities helping direct the Tayloe Murphy Center's mission of helping distressed Virginia communities. I am delighted that he stays close by at the University in his new career endeavor and expect great things from him as he works to help stressed communities reinvent themselves."

Johnson said he has been "deeply honored to work at the Sorensen Institute for the past six years. It is an institution whose ideals and mission are compelling and easily inspire passion.  To have been part of pursuing that mission alongside Sorensen's staff, program participants, fellow alumni, and board members has been a true delight and inspiration.  As I move on to new challenges, I know that what I have learned from the people associated with Sorensen will be the foundation for my future work.  As an alumnus, I will certainly never be a stranger to the Sorensen Institute, and I look forward to supporting the organization in new ways as I leave the staff."

Free Speech or Disruption: Civility in Public Debate
Jan 6 2010 - 9:38am


The Sorensen Institute's Bob Gibson and Coy Barefoot participated in a panel discussion recently in Charlottesville exploring civility in public debate and discourse. The event was sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression and titled "Free Speech or Disruption: Balancing the Rights to Speak and Hear."

Panelists included Bob Gibson, Executive Director of the Sorensen Institute; Elaine Jones, retired Director-Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the first African-American woman to graduate from the UVa School of Law; Robert O'Neil, Director of the Thomas Jefferson Center and former President of the University of Virginia; Dahlia Lithwick, Senior Editor for and a Contributing Editor to Newsweek; and John Whitehead, CEO and Founder of the Rutherford Institute. Coy Barefoot served as the moderator.

This was a fascinating conversation that explored from many angles the role of civility in public discourse today. Click here to watch a complete video of the event.