Sorensen Staff

PODCAST: Bob Gibson, HSLP 09 Graduation
Aug 5 2009 - 1:37pm

On Saturday July 25 the members of the High School Leaders Program Class of 2009 celebrated their graduation from the Sorensen Institute at a ceremony in the University of Virginia's historic Dome Room. Family and friends were on hand to help mark this special occasion.

Sorensen's Executive Director Bob Gibson opened the ceremony with these words for the graduates.

RAM 2009: Sorensen Alumni and Staff Reach Out to Rural Va
Aug 3 2009 - 2:04pm

Sorensen alumni and staff were proud to serve as volunteers at the most recent RAM (Remote Area Medical) outreach event in Wise County, Virginia the weekend of July 24-26. RAM is an amazing organization and does incredibly positive work in getting much-needed medical care to thousands of people in rural areas across the country.

Sorensen's volunteer efforts at this year's RAM were led by the Political Leaders Program Class of 2008, which is working to create an annual volunteer/outreach event for Sorensen alumni. Staff member Tracy Tanner Bond, who participated in the RAM trip this year, will be working to facilitate all future alumni volunteer events. If you are a Sorensen graduate and would like to join the Sorensen family in volunteering for this or a similar outreach event in the future, please contact Tracy.

Links for more information:

Click here to watch a CBS News story about RAM.

Click here to listen to an NPR story about the RAM event

Click here to read about Tracy Tanner Bond's experience as a volunteer.

Click here to listen to what PLP 08 class member Ken Bernstein describes as a "life-changing" experience as a RAM volunteer in Wise.

Click here for a slideshow of photos from the Wise County RAM event.

Kaine Appoints Johnson to Board
Jul 31 2009 - 10:37pm



Marc Johnson (CLP 03), Assistant Director and Director of Programs at the Sorensen Institute, was appointed by Governor Tim Kaine to the Virgina Board for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

PODCAST: CLP 09 Graduation, Marc Johnson
Jul 10 2009 - 2:54pm


Marc Johnson, Assistant Director of the Sorensen Institute and Director of Programs, as well as a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2003, shared these final remarks to close out the College Leaders Program Class of 2009 graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 27.

PODCAST: CLP 09 Graduation, Program Managers
Jul 10 2009 - 2:54pm


The Program Managers for the College Leaders Program Class of 2009 shared these memorable remarks at the class graduation on Saturday morning, June 27.

GA Appoints Gibson to Civics Commission
Jul 8 2009 - 1:50pm


THIS JUST IN: The members of the Joint Rules Committee in the Virginia General Assembly have appointed Sorensen's Executive Director Bob Gibson to the Commission on Civics Education. The Commission works to improve civics education and citizen involvement in Virginia.

"I am honored at having been selected to serve on this commission. And I am especially looking forward to receiving helpful input from Sorensen alumni about ways we can improve Virginia's civics education."

If you have any ideas or suggestions regarding civics in Virginia, please contact Bob Gibson.

Congratulations Bob!

MEDIA ALERT: Sorensen Profiled by Virginia Review
Jun 23 2009 - 10:19pm


The Sorensen Institute is the subject of a lengthy cover story in Virginia Review Magazine online.

Click here to read the article!

"Who's Following the Money?"
May 17 2009 - 9:53am


Sorensen's Executive Director and former political reporter Bob Gibson is the author of a commentary in today's Charlottesville Daily Progress titled "Who's Following the Money? Fewer Reporters Than Ever." Gibson laments the disintegration of quality news coverage of Virginia politics in the face of budget cutbacks and warns readers to pay heed to the historic amounts of money in our campaigns. The article reads in part:

Especially at a time when there is more and more money pouring into politics, fewer reporters are following the money.

This trend bodes ill.

Virginia has been a relatively clean state politically for at least the past 60 years, but when newspapers and other major media cut back routine coverage of who is influencing our government to do what, then there is no guarantee the state will stay clean. What positive image there is of government can be replaced all too swiftly by the taint of Illinois on the James.

Another sad trend is the tendency for media consumers to live in an age of designer information. We all can design our own information sources to reflect our likes and prejudices so much that opposing views are either missing or more demonized than understood. We can pick whole networks and other sources of views and news to tell us pretty much what we want to hear.

Click here to read the full commentary.

Stephen Bragaw Joins Youth Programs Faculty
May 11 2009 - 1:35pm

The Sorensen Institute would like to welcome Dr. Stephen Bragaw of Sweet Brian College to our faculty. Professor Bragaw will join Sorensen this summer in Charlottesville to teach in our College and High School Leaders Programs.

Steve Bragaw is Professor of American Politics and Chair of the Department of Government and International Affairs at Sweet Briar.  The Director of Sweet Briar's Law & Society program, he teaches courses on public policy, American political and legal development, social movements and the law, as well as American politics and popular culture.

Bragaw's primary research and writing focuses on the role of the Supreme Court in negotiating the boundaries of power and authority, with secondary interests in media and politics, and the politics of civic education.  He is a frequent commentator on national and state politics for television as well as public and talk radio. Prof. Bragaw earned his bachelor's degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, a Master of Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his Masters and PhD in government from the University of Virginia.  He lives in Crozet, VA, with his wife and four children, and is an avid vegetable gardener. Welcome Steve!

VIDEO: WVPT Showcases Sorensen's Youth Programs
Mar 23 2009 - 3:30pm

WVPT Public Television recently broadcast this program about the Sorensen Institute's Youth Programs. Guests included Sorensen's Marc Johnson (CLP 2003) and alumni Maribel Castaneda (HSLP 2008) and Martin Mash (CLP 2005). Enjoy! 

Featured Alumni

  • Ashley Mick.jpg

    Ashley Boyd Diette

    College Leaders Program

    Class of 2004

    Ashley is government teacher at Hampton Roads Academy and a former director of alumni development at Christopher Newport University. She previously served in both Governor Mark Warner's and Governor Tim Kaine's administrations. She also serves on the Sorensen Institute's Hampton Roads Regional Advisory Board.