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"Virginia Leadership" Podcast: College Leaders II
May 30 2006 - 1:36pm

This edition of our podcast includes a talk by Marc Johnson, Director of Sorensen's Youth Programs, to welcome the Class of 2006 College Leaders Program. Marc gave this address on Saturday, May 27, to kick off the month-long class here in Charlottesville. Twenty-six college students from across Virginia are participating in this year's program.

The title of Marc's talk is "Responsible Stewardship and Leadership in the 21st Century: The Role of Ethics, Values and Character." The podcast lasts just under 20 minutes and is attached to this post as an MP3 file.

"Virginia Leadership" Podcast: College Leaders I
May 30 2006 - 1:29pm

This edition of our "Virginia Leadership" Podcast includes Sean O'Brien's opening remarks this past weekend at the launch of our College Leaders Program Class of 2006. The podcast lasts just under five minutes.

The podcast is attached to this post as an MP3 file.

Political Leaders 2006 Profile: Tim Johnson
May 30 2006 - 12:36pm

Name: Tim Johnson
Age: 32
Born: Burlingame, California and grew up in Clifton, Virginia.
Current Digs: I live in Arlington and work in Woodbridge.
Occupation: Legislative Assistant
Favorite part about the job: Watching committees eviscerate a bad piece of legislation.
First job ever? Bagged groceries at Giant food store.
Favorite book? Don Quixote
Favorite movie? The very first Star Wars
Must See TV? English league soccer
Comfort food? Cereal
What's in your car CD player right now? Panic! at the Disco--a new band out of Las Vegas
Next journey? Out to Oregon for a friend's wedding
One thing people might be surprised to learn about you? I'd love to be a stand-up comedian.
Last gift you received? A lamp from my mom.
Best advice you ever got? Life is hard; and if you're dumb, it's really hard.
Whom do you admire and why? My mom. She raised three kids by herself and did it smiling.
If you could have dinner with any one currently living, whom would it be and why? I'd have dinner with Pope Benedict XVI and ask him all sorts of theological and existential questions.
Ambition, political or otherwise? I'd like to be a chief of staff on the Hill, go in to lobbying, make some good money, and then smile as I give it away to charities.
Describe a perfect day. Wake up and watch Manchester United beat Chelsea, go in my backyard and read a book in the sun, then go out to dinner at the Inn at Little Washington.  Perfection!

One Day and Counting!
May 26 2006 - 12:51pm

                                                                                                                                    

Less than one day remains until the Class of 2006 College Leaders Program begins! And the summer staff of Youth Program Managers is ready.

All of this year's Managers are alumni of the Sorensen College Leaders Program. From left to right: Steven Jones (Class of 2004), a recent graduate of Longwood College with a degree in Government; Laura Harris (Class of 2005) who is preparing to enter the second year of a Master's Program in Public Policy at George Mason University; and Chris Wrobel (Class of 2005), who is a rising Fourth-Year at UVA studying History and Economics.

Each of our talented Program Managers has on-site responsibility for the successful implementation and supervision of the College Leaders and High School Leaders Programs this summer in Charlottesville. Additionally, they will assist in program planning, marketing, and student recruitment. 

Alumna and Delegate McClellan Appointed by Speaker
May 25 2006 - 1:02pm

                                                                                                                     

Congratulations to Delegate Jennifer McClellan of Richmond (shown at left with Governor Tim Kaine at our 2006 Gala). She was recently appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve on the Civil Rights Memorial Commission, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, and to the Board of Trustees of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Living History and Public Policy Center.

Delegate McClellan was elected to the House of Delegates from the 71st District in 2005.

She is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute's Political Leaders Program Class of 2001, the Candidate Training Program Class of 2005, and a member of the Sorensen State Board.

College Leaders Program Interview
May 25 2006 - 7:55am

TWO DAY AND COUNTING!
We are only two days away from the start of the 2006 Class of the College Leaders Program. Director of Youth Programs, Marc Johnson, was interviewed  recently on "Charlottesville—Right Now" with Coy Barefoot. Johnson discussed the College Leaders Program in detail and shared some of the exciting plans for this summer.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Johnson Talks Leadership
May 24 2006 - 12:42pm

                                                                  

Sorensen's Director of Youth Programs, Marc Johnson, spoke last night to the Monacan High School Center for the Humanities as a part of the Center's Human Ties Speakers Forum. Approximately 80 people were in attendance, including many students and their parents.

Marc's talked was entitled "Responsible Stewardship and Leadership in the 21st Century: The Role of Ethics, Values and Character."

Speaking of Youth Programs, the College Leaders Program Class of 2006 will arrive in Charlottesville this coming Saturday, May 27. Throughout their month-long studies on Grounds at the University of Virginia, we will be bringing you daily updates about their experiences--including blog posts written by the students themselves and podcast interviews.

BREAKING NEWS: Sorensen To Launch All-New Alumni Association
May 23 2006 - 11:36am

Charlottesville—The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia announced today that it is launching an all-new Alumni Association for the nearly 1000 alumni of its various programs. The Sorensen Institute Alumni Association will include all graduates of each Sorensen program: the Political Leaders Program, the Candidate Training Program, the High School Leaders Program, the College Leaders Program, the Danville/Southside Leaders Program, and the Political Journalists Program (the first class of which is scheduled to begin in 2007). Every Sorensen graduate will automatically become a member of the new Association—at no cost.

“Sorensen alumni have traditionally stayed in touch by class,” said
Executive Director Sean O’Brien. “But as we continue to grow, we want
to help make it easier for our graduates to network by region as well.
This is an exciting time for Sorensen. Our new Alumni Association is
just one of many great things that are happening.”

The Sorensen Institute’s Director of Communications and Alumni
Relations, Coy Barefoot, said he is thrilled about the possibilities of
the new Association. "The most common request that we have received
from our alumni," Barefoot explained, "is for more opportunities to get
involved in Sorensen activities with fellow graduates in their region. People appreciate the statewide Alumni Reunion
we host each autumn, but they would enjoy more opportunities to meet,
network, and learn under the Sorensen banner. This new Alumni
Association will help make that happen.”

A total of nine regional alumni chapters will be established across the Commonwealth: Northern Virginia (including Greater Fredericksburg); Greater Richmond; Greater Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach; Greater Danville/Southside; Greater Lynchburg; Greater Charlottesville/Central Virginia; Greater Winchester/Northern Valley; Shenandoah Valley; Greater Roanoke/Southwest.

Chapter members will be provided with regional email listservs by which they can communicate with fellow graduates in their area. As an integral component of a totally new Sorensen website (to be unveiled later this summer), each alumni chapter will have its own webpage with all the latest alumni news and events. And alumni chapters will have the opportunity to host public forums throughout the year—making the unique Sorensen experience more accessible throughout Virginia.

Additional information about the Sorensen Institute’s new Alumni Association will be posted to this blog in coming weeks.

PLP Photos: Staunton, May 12-13, 2006
May 22 2006 - 8:50am

Here are a few photos from the recent gathering of the 2006 Class of the Political Leaders Program. The class met in Staunton, Virginia.

The weekend kicked off with an unforgettable lunch of old-fashioned Virginia cookin' at Marjorie Rohrer's Country Home Catering-- followed by a fascinating tour of the Virginia Poultry Growers Co-operative Processing Plant near Harrisonburg.



Pierce Homer, the Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Virginia, joined the class Friday evening for an in-depth discussion on everything from ports and trucks to rails and roads.

On Saturday morning the class continued the discussion on transportation with State Senator Creigh Deeds.



Delegate Chris Saxman also spoke with the class regarding the public policy aspects of state-wide transportation challenges.

Mediation specialist and advisor to Governor Kaine, Mark Rubin of the McCammon Group, led the class in a discussion and exercise on the use of mediation techniques in formulating public policy.

Members of the Class of 2006 engaged in the mediation exercise.

Class member and 2006 Candidate Training Program graduate Bryan Collins took a moment to share some of his experiences with the class about his successful campaign for Chesapeake City Council earlier this year.


The Political Leaders Program Class of 2006 will meet again in Charlottesville on June 2-3.

Political Leaders 2006 Profile: Rita Ghazal
May 22 2006 - 7:54am

Name: Rita Ghazal
Age: 20-something
Born: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Current Digs: Richmond
Occupation: Education Policy Analyst
Favorite part about the job: Collaboration and working under a strong, experienced leadership team
First job ever? Babysitting
Favorite book?  The Alchemist, The Color of Water
Favorite movie? Casablanca
Must See TV? The World News
Comfort food? French Fries
What's in your car CD player right now? I do not have one.  I have a cassette player, and it is empty.
Next journey? Central America?
One thing people might be surprised to learn about you? I have an identical twin sister.
Last gift you received? A programmable coffee maker.
Best advice you ever got? Listen.
Whom do you admire and why? Thurgood Marshall.  He was brilliant, persistent, and conscientious.
Ambition, political or otherwise? Create useful, solid, fair, and equitable policy.
Describe a perfect day. Espresso, a non-fiction book, sunshine, and a beach.

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Featured Alumni

  • Ann Flandermeyer.jpg

    Ann Flandermeyer Kirwin

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 2007

    Ann is the co-founder of Principle Advantage, Ltd., a consulting and lobbying firm, specializing in government relations, public affairs and grassroots outreach in Virginia Beach.

    She is the former Director of Legislative Affairs for Delegate Sal Iaquinto and has served as Secretary of the Republican Party of Virginia Beach. Ann also works as a voice-over artist.