Newsroom

Coy Barefoot Interviews Attorney General Bob McDonnell
May 16 2006 - 7:13am

The Sorensen Institute's Coy Barefoot interviewed Attorney General Bob McDonnell on Charlottesville radio recently. Barefoot is the host of an afternoon talk radio program on NewsRadio 1070 WINA called "Charlottesville—Right Now."

The Attorney General discussed a host of topics including: price gouging at the gas pumps, sexual predators, illegal immigration, identity theft, and the marriage amendment referendum which will be on the ballots in Virginia this November.

Click here to listen to the interview.

BREAKING NEWS: Alumna Strayhorn Named Director of the Department of Business Assistance
May 15 2006 - 1:20pm

BREAKING NEWS: Governor Tim Kaine announced today that "Louisa M. Strayhorn of Virginia Beach (a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of Spring 1995) will serve as Director of the Department of Business Assistance.  Previously, Strayhorn was a management, workforce development and reengineering consultant for 18 years, specializing in minority, women-owned, and small businesses.  In 2004, she was recognized with the Small Business Administration’s Regional Small Business Advocate of the Year Award and the SBA’s Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year for Virginia. She also is a former member of the Virginia Beach City Council."

Congratulations Louisa!

BREAKING NEWS: Alumna Anderson Named Deputy Director of the Department of Business Assistance
May 15 2006 - 11:21am

                                                              
   

   

BREAKING NEWS: Governor Tim Kaine announced today that "Lynda Sharp Anderson of Richmond (Political Leaders Program Class of 2005) will serve as Deputy Director of the Department of Business Assistance.  Previously, Anderson served as Deputy Secretary of the State Board of Elections, a position she has held since 2003. Prior to her appointment, Sharp Anderson served as Chief Executive Officer of The Metropolitan Business League in Richmond for ten years."

  Congratulations Lynda!

Blog Summit Update 4
May 15 2006 - 9:40am

The Sorensen Institute has confirmed that veteran Virginia journalist Gordon C. Morse, a Contributing Editor at the Hampton Roads Daily Press and former speechwriter for Governor Gerald Baliles, will be a speaker at our 2006 Blog Summit. Gordon will join the Saturday panel to discuss Blogging and Journalism.

Political Leaders 2006 Profile: Michael Farruggio
May 15 2006 - 8:17am

Name: Michael Angelo Farruggio
Born: Born in Brooklyn, grew up in Freeport, New York of course.
Current Digs: Charlottesville!
Occupation: Police Sergeant of our Traffic Unit
Favorite part about the job? Riding a Harley Davidson Police Edition Road King wherever I am going.
First job ever? Besides delivering the newspaper (Newsday), it was working as a carpenter's assistant.
Favorite book? The Bible
Favorite movie? "A Wonderful Life" 
Must See TV? Absolutely none.
Comfort food? Gin.  Is that a food?  Only kidding, any quality, well prepared food, especially Italian.
What's in your car CD player right now? A Contemporary Christian compilation.
Next journey? Camping in the Dolly Sods area of West Virginia. 
One thing people might be surprised to learn about you? Not much, what you see is what you get.
Last gift you received? New camping equipment.
Best advice you ever got? My father used to tell me an ancient proverb: "make sure brain is engaged before putting
mouth into gear."
Whom do you admire and why? Any one who can plot a course, set sail and make good time, while balancing life's other priorities.  
If you could have dinner with any one currently living, whom would it be and why? There is no one living that I know of that stirs my soul so much that I could make that determination. 
Ambition, political or otherwise? To be the best father and husband I can be, and to help improve my community. 
Describe a perfect day. Spring, late April, at home or on a vacation with family and friends, doesn't matter where really, outdoors, no rain, enjoying a great meal, with some great wine (red of course), talking about life, without any expectations or responsibility to compete with the atmosphere.

Blog Summit Update 3
May 12 2006 - 9:19am

Two more speakers have been confirmed this morning for the Blog Summit. They will both speak about Campaign Finance Laws in Virginia and how those laws bear on political blogging:

Attorney, lobbyist, political consultant, and blogger Claire Guthrie Gastanaga as well as Chris Piper, an Administrator with the Virginia State Board of Elections.

Blog Summit Update 2
May 11 2006 - 1:44pm

The Sorensen Institute has confirmed more speakers for the Blog Summit:

Kenton Ngo of 750 Volts will address the topic of Blogging 101: How to Get Started.

John Henke of QandO Online Magazine will be speaking regarding Promoting and Enhancing Your Blog.

Blog Summit Update
May 10 2006 - 10:33am

The Sorensen Institute's 2006 Summit on Blogging and Democracy in the Commonwealth can confirm the following speakers:

Political scientist and commentator Bob Holsworth of Virginia Commonwealth University will deliver the kick-off keynote on the topic of Virginia politics in 2006 and beyond.

Blogger and Washington Post journalist Mike Shear ("The Richmond Report") will deliver the closing keynote on blogging and journalism.

Blogger and journalist Danny Glover, author of the National Journal's Beltway Blogroll will speak on the subject of "Blogging and Journalism."

Many other speakers are currently being confirmed and will be immediately announced here as they become available.

The Blog Summit will be held in Charlottesville on June 16-17. Click here for more details and to register to attend.

For any questions, please contact the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

BREAKING NEWS: Sorensen Announces 2006 Blog Summit
May 9 2006 - 11:00am

The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership will host its 2006 Summit on Blogging and Democracy in the Commonwealth on June 16 and 17 in Charlottesville.

The only conference of its kind in the nation, the Summit will bring together political bloggers from across Virginia to discuss the role, impact, and future of political blogging in Virginia. The Summit is open to veteran bloggers and newcomers alike.

The 2006 Blog Summit is sponsored by Verizon.

Click here for full details.

Political Leaders 2006 Profile: Missy Neff
May 8 2006 - 9:03am

Name:  Missy Neff
Age:  27
Born: I grew up in South Boston, VA
Current Digs: Richmond.
Occupation:  Assistant Secretary of Natural Resources
Favorite part about the job?  Doing something different everyday and working with so many skilled, intelligent people.
First job ever?  Pricing baskets at the Faulkner and Lawson's drugstore in South Boston.
Favorite book?  A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Favorite movie?  Dances with Wolves or Napoleon Dynamite
Must See TV?  I'm a big fan of Sunday nights on ABC:  Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy.  I'm also a sucker for Survivor.  But my favorite is Meet the Press.  I worship Tim Russert.
Comfort food?  Anything tomato based (pasta, pizza, mexican)
What's in your car CD player right now?  A Decade of Steely Dan
Next journey? I've always wanted to travel the Trans-Siberian Railroad. If things pan out, I plan to go to China with my friend Kate and then check out the railroad.
One thing people might be surprised to learn about you? I did musical theater all through high school and college.  I absolutely love it.  
Last gift you received?  I just found out I was approved to adopt a puppy. I've been wanting to adopt a dog for a while.  So it was a welcome gift.  :)
Best advice you ever got?  Pick your battles.  My dad constantly told me that, and he's right.  If I fought all the battles I wanted to, I'd be exhausted.
Whom do you admire and why?  I admire my Dad.  He taught me a lot about what it takes to be a good person: both a good friend and a good business person.  Even though he died when he was 49, he accomplished a lot in his life. It always makes me proud when I meet someone who knew him.
If you could have dinner with any one currently living, whom would it be and why?  I would like to have dinner with the President.  Perhaps we could eat at the White House! I'd like to understand a little more about what he bases his decisions on.  And if that didn't pan out, I bet we would at least have a funny time.
Ambition, political or otherwise?  I want to make a positive difference in the lives of people.  Whether that is my friends and family, the people I work with, or people that I don't know.  
Describe a perfect day.  Sleep in, go on a hike with my friends, sing some songs, and eat some good food.  

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Featured Alumni

  • Maribel Ramos.jpg

    Maribel Ramos

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 2007

    Maribel serves as a Legislative Assistant in the Washington office of U.S. Senator James Webb of Virginia. She previously served as a Policy Assistant to Governor Tim Kaine.