Speaker Howell Joins Barefoot on Radio Program
Aug 31 2006 - 1:27pm

Delegate William J. Howell, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, recently joined the Sorensen Institute's Coy Barefoot on "Charlottesville--Right Now," an afternoon radio program that Barefoot hosts and produces. Speaker Howell discussed in some detail the upcoming special session on transportation, the recent $137 million accounting error in the state budget, and his vision for the 2007 General Assembly session.


Harris Accepted to Women Leaders Program
Aug 31 2006 - 12:02pm


Laura Harris, a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2005, has been accepted to the Political Leadership Training Program of the Young Women Leaders Board of the Women & Politics Institute at American University. 

Laura is a graduate student in Public Policy at George Mason University. She also worked as a Program Manager during the Sorensen Institute's Youth Programs this past summer.

Congratulations Laura!

Perrin Profiled in Jepson School Newsletter
Aug 29 2006 - 11:23am

Tripp Perrin, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 1997, was recently profiled in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies Online Newsletter. Tripp is a 1995 graduate of the Jepson School.

Click here to read the article.

Dates for Special Session on Transporation Announced
Aug 28 2006 - 10:11am

THIS JUST IN: Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, William J. Howell and Virginia Senate Floor Leader Thomas K. Norment have just announced the dates for the Special Session to discuss transportation issues. According to their statement:

"By agreement, the Special Session now underway will conclude no later than Saturday, September 30, 2006.  To ensure appropriate consideration, legislators are expected to file all transportation-related legislation no later than Friday, September 15, 2006.  The full House and Senate are expected to convene on Wednesday, September 27.  Respective committees are anticipated to meet earlier that week to consider legislation."

Alumnus Miyares Praises George Allen in RTD
Aug 28 2006 - 10:07am

Alumnus Jason Miyares of Virginia Beach, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2000, is the author of a Letter to the Editor published in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch. Miyares, a former Aide to Senator Allen, writes, "I am proud to have worked with such an exemplary leader. The grace and
dignity with which he treats his fellow man is a wonderful example for
all who are blessed to know him."

Click here to read the complete letter.

Political Leaders 2006 Profile: Krysta Jones
Aug 28 2006 - 8:44am

Name: Krysta Jones

Age: 27

Born: Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Fort Walton Beach, FL
Current digs: I live in Arlington and work in D.C.
Occupation: Government Affairs Representative for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Favorite part about the job: I get to be involved first-hand with a lot of important women’s health issues and meet many of the leaders and decision-makers in my field.
First job ever? Teaching gymnastics 

Favorite book? 1984
Favorite movie? Same Time, Next Year with Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn. A love story about two people that are having an affair with each other. They meet for one weekend a year, each year, for about 30 years. The movie follows them as they go through changes in their lives from the 1950s-1970s. At the end they end up with each other.  I love that time in American history/culture and I like love stories. 

Must See TV? Grey’s Anatomy
Comfort food? Penne Pasta with marinara sauce and a lot of parmesan cheese with garlic bread 

What's in your car CD player right now? Tribe Called Quest Anthology 

Next journey? Hopefully London and Paris
One thing people might be surprised to learn about you? I take a choreographed hip-hop dance class. I am not sure why this surprises people…maybe that is not a good thing!
Last gift you received? Ipod
Best advice you ever got? Follow your heart and do not be afraid to take risks. 

Whom do you admire and why? I admire people who live life to the fullest everyday. Its easy to become preoccupied with the negative aspects of our lives, but I hope to get to the point where I can live each day as if its my last.
If you could have dinner with any one currently living, whom would it be and why? Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the newly elected President of Liberia. She has to have such courage and passion for her country to take on such a huge task. She also is in a great position to make major changes within Liberia and the continent of Africa. I would love to learn from her, hopefully catch some of her energy and wisdom, and hear her thoughts on where the country has been and where its going. 

Ambition, political or otherwise? To found and lead an organization that increases political participation among African Americans in Virginia. Start a magazine that is the political counterpart to Black Enterprise.
Describe a perfect day. Get up early and attend an event where I believe I can empower others, like encouraging political empowerment at a workshop or giving a speech. Then play tennis in the early afternoon. Then spend the rest of the day/evening with friends or family watching good movies, cooking a delicious meal together, playing games and having great conversations.

WSJ Election Coverage
Aug 28 2006 - 8:18am

Sorensen alumni and friends may enjoy the Wall Street Journal's Battleground States Poll webpage which tracks polling in this year's U.S. Senate and Gubernatorial races. The headline polling news in Virginia this morning is that challenger Jim Webb has pulled slightly ahead of incumbent George Allen--still within the margin of error but up from up from a double-digit deficit less than eight weeks ago.

Governor Kaine Appoints Alumna Ryals to Top Post
Aug 25 2006 - 2:16pm

Governor Kaine announced today that he has appointed Sorensen graduate Sandra Whitley Ryals (Political Leaders Program Class of 1999) to be the Director of the Virginia Department of Health Professions. According to a statement from the Governor's office:

Ryals was appointed by Governor Kaine in February 2006 as VDHP Chief Deputy Director.  A registered nurse and nursing instructor, she served previously under Governor Warner as Executive Director of the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation, and as Chief Deputy Director of the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. 

“Sandy brings impressive experience to her position as director at VDHP, and I am confident that the agency will continue to provide a high level of service to both practitioners and the public under her leadership,” Governor Kaine said.

VDHP licenses, registers, or certifies more than 270,000 health care professionals through 14 health regulatory boards established by state law.  The Department has a staff of 200 employees, with central headquarters in Henrico County and inspectors and investigators serving across the state.


Ferraro To Speak in Charlottesville
Aug 25 2006 - 10:43am

Friends and alumni of the Sorensen Institute will be interested to know that Geraldine Ferraro, former Vice Presidential nominee, will speak in Charlottesville on Wednesday September 13. The event will be held at 7pm in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom at the University of Virginia. It is free and open to the public. Ferraro's appearance will be sponsored by the UVA Center for Politics and is a part of the Women & Politics 2006 National Symposium series.

Alumnus Muse Reports on Elections in the Congo
Aug 24 2006 - 6:33pm

Adisa Muse, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2003, was a recent guest on WINA's "Charlottesville--Right Now" with host Coy Barefoot. Adisa discussed his work as a political consultant in the historic Congolese elections, and his speedy flight from the country shortly before violence broke out in Kinshasa.


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Featured Alumni

  • Jennifer McClellan.jpg

    Jennifer McClellan

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 2001

    Jennifer serves in the Virginia House of Delegates where she represents the 71st District. She is also a graduate of the Candidate Training Program Class of 2005 and a member of the Sorensen Institute's State Advisory Board.