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The Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce and the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership are proud to cosponsor an informational forum on uranium mining in Virginia to be held Oct. 2 at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.
The forum will feature four panelists, two each on either side of uranium mining issues, and will be free and open to the public from 7 to 8:30 p.m. that Tuesday evening.
Panelists will include Patrick M. Wales, project manager of Virginia Uranium Inc.; Stephen S. Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis in George Mason University's School of Public Policy; Jay Poole, spokesman for the Alliance for Progress in Southern Virginia; and Bob Burnley, an advisor to the Alliance for Progress in Southern Virginia.
Moderator of the forum is Bob Gibson, executive director of the Sorensen Institute and a 34-year veteran political writer from Charlottesville.
Inaugural Emerging Leaders Program Focuses on Bipartisanship, Public Policy
September 4, 2012 | Lisa Kessler
It all started this spring, when Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s office contacted the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, seeking assistance in developing the next generation of state government leaders.
The inaugural Emerging Leaders Program, sponsored by Colonial Williamsburg and State Farm, ended Aug. 26 in Colonial Williamsburg. Its 21 students – Virginians ages 22 to 32 who have worked in state or local government, had spent the month of August developing their leadership skills and learning more about public policymaking in Williamsburg and Richmond. More »
Everyone at the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership is proud of this inaugural class of Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) graduates. The class produced and defended three legislative proposals dealing with improvements to state policy for highway safety, returning ex-offenders to society and helping service members reenter Virginia's workforce and higher education system.
Each member of this outstanding class crafted a personal statement about their own leadership goals. They are quite likely to show solid leadership for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Sorensen thanks Colonial Williamsburg and State Farm for their sponsorship of this first-ever Emerging Leaders Program.
To learn more about the members of the 2012 ELP class, visit their new class page.
Aspiring Virginia leaders meet in August in Williamsburg
By Jennifer L. Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org | 757-247-4644
August 8, 2012
A new program for aspiring Virginia leaders kicked off with sessions in Colonial Williamsburg and continues throughout this month.
The eight-day Emerging Leaders Program is sponsored by the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia and was developed in partnership with Gov. Bob McDonnell's office, according to a statement from officials.
The 21 participants, ages 22-32, have each worked in state government and were selected through an application and interview process. Their work with the program includes exercises on policy formation in Virginia.
The group met at Colonial Williamsburg for three days last weekend. Sessions continue Aug. 10 and 20 at the University of Richmond, and Aug. 24-26 at Colonial Williamsburg.
"It's the first time we've ever done this program for young policy makers, and it couldn't have gone better," said Bob Gibson, executive director of the Sorensen Institute. "Colonial Williamsburg was a great starting place. They have the history and the people to interpret the history and bring it to life."
Participants are going through the training because of an interest in becoming more active in public service and public policy, whether as community leaders or appointed officials in the executive or legislative branches, according to officials. The curriculum focuses on three core subject areas: ethics in public service, public policy and policy advocacy skills.
Three groups of seven each will work on policy in three subject areas: How to improve highway safety to cut traffic deaths, how best to re-integrate former felons back into society and how to facilitate the better return of service people into the economy of Virginia, Gibson said.
Each group will put together a culminating project and present it to a group of legislators and academics on Aug. 25.
Speakers from Colonial Williamsburg, the administrations of the current and previous Virginia governors, the University of Virginia, State Farm Insurance and Christopher Newport University were scheduled to address the group in Williamsburg on the subjects of citizenship, ethics in politics and public service, the Revolution, cooperation in state government and team building.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and State Farm are major sponsors of the program.
High School Leaders Program 2012
Day 15: Saturday, July 21
Reported by: James Bollinger, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
After waking up and meeting our parents, we walked to Garret Hall for graduation.
Executive Director Bob Gibson, Director of Youth Programs Lauren Gilbert, Dr. Stephen Bragaw and Honorable John Hager all gave thoughtful and inspiring addresses.
Lester Coleman was our elected class speaker. He gave a great send-off address, which brought back highlights of the two weeks and also captured perfectly the dynamic and bonds that have formed among us as a class.
Sean McIntosh and Karen Xia were awarded the Spirit of Citizenship Awards. Congratulations to all the graduates!
After graduation, we walked back to Bice Hall for the final time. Leaving was sad, but I’m sure I speak for all us when I say we will take many memories and lessons from our two weeks at Sorensen. It’s hard to leave, but I look forward to seeing you all at a reunion soon!
The HSLP Class of 2012 now has its own alumni page featuring the class photo as well as individual photos and bios.
High School Leaders Program 2012
Day 13: Thursday, July 19
Sean McIntosh, Edison High School (Alexandria) and Emily Votroubek, Broad Run High School (Ashburn)
As Sorensen's HSLP is coming to a close, we are all feeling the pressures of our final culminating projects. Throughout the week, we have been consulting with our both our groups and advisors on our projects, trying to fine tune every aspect of our proposals. Everyone is stressing about the projects tomorrow; however, we are all very excited to reach the home stretch.
Today, with our last day of the Thoughtful Citizen, Dr. Bragaw ended the class with the Budget Game. In this game, we had to divide our class into two separate groups, the House and the Senate. The morning started off with both sides breaking off to formulate their own separate budget proposals. After a few hours of intense discussion, both groups were divided into their own separate halves, to meet up with the opposition to start budget committees. These budget committee meetings were very heated, but in the end, both sides met in the middle to form a productive conclusion.
After a short intermission for lunch, we had renewed vigor to participate in discussions. However, this time, everyone met up with their respective sides to have the general debate on both budget proposals formulated by the two committees. After around two hours of intense discussion, it was time to vote between the two different proposed budget plans. In the end, Conference Committee One’s proposal reigned supreme, receiving the vast majority of both houses.
Afterwards, we had the luxury of some free time. However, this time was short-lived as we quickly had to convene with culminating project groups to prepare for any last-minute decisions before our mock presentations with the Youth Program Managers and Lauren. Throughout the evening, they provided essential information in order to further improve our projects. Yet, this was not just any random day. Tonight, all the Sorensen students celebrated one of our favorite YPM’s birthday. We planned a fantastic surprise birthday party for Troy, and everyone had a great time! There was plenty of cake and drinks, and there was even sparkling cider! All in all, this will be one of the most memorable moments at Sorensen, and we will surely miss it.
High School Leaders Program 2012
Day 12: Wednesday, July 18
Reported by: Jasmine Parham, King’s Fork High School (Suffolk) and Matthew Watts Grafton High School (Yorktown)
Early in the morning, we all boarded a bus excited to be going to the Richmond. After arriving and going through security, we headed to the House Chamber to meet Del. Jennifer McClellan. She spoke to us about how she became interested in politics and becoming a delegate. Following our astute dialouge with Del. McClellan, Ms. Generra Peck spoke to us on how it was working in the office of the Governor.
Right before lunch, we met with Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli, who spoke on political style. After a nice, filling lunch, we met with Todd Haymore, Virginia's Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. He gave us insight into the agriculture and forestry business and how it affects Virginia's economy. We then went on a wonderful tour of Virginia's beautiful Capitol building, spotting statues of great Virginian political leaders like Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
After the tour we spoke to Del. David Toscano, the Democratic Minority Leader, about how we could improve our culminating projects. At 2 p.m., we met with Rick Savage, President and Founder of Media Directions, which provides sound strategic advice in addition to direct mail. Afterwards, we took a tour of the first floor of the Governor's Mansion, seeing its original rooms with antique furniture. Our final speaker of the day was former Del. Bill Janis, who now serves the veterans of the United States.
Finally, it was time for dinner at the Capital Ale House. With a delicious meal in our belly we were now on our way from Richmond back to Charlottesville to work on our culminating projects!
High School Leaders Program 2012
Day 11: Tuesday, July 17
Reported by: Grace Charlton, Battlefield High School and Gowri Buddiga, Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies
The Sorensen HSLP started off the day with an interesting discussion regarding decisions in policy-making by Dr. Bragaw. We were all engaged as he explained how leaders make decisions and the power of unexpected consequences. Using Watergate as an example, he further discussed with the class how politics evolves over time with changing demographics and technology.
After a delicious lunch of sandwiches from Mona Lisa Pasta, all of us Sorensen students were put through a resumé building workshop with Barbara Kessler, a faculty member of U.Va.'s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She discussed with us how our resume will change as we age and earn more qualifications. Next, we began to watch All the President's Men, a movie portraying the journalist's point of view about the Watergate scandal, which was a relevant continuation of this morning's discussion.
Then, we finished our class day with the remainder of guest speakers. The first of them was Mary Loose DeViney, who discussed the relevance of parliamentary procedure in the debate and decision-making process. She emphasized throughout the presentation that parliamentary procedure was created with a system that respected the opinion of the minority, while letting the majority prevail. The second of our speakers was John Scott, the chairman of the Young Republican Federation of Virginia. In his presentation, the class learned of the organization's partisan activities throughout the Commonwealth.
We all enjoyed kebabs for dinner and worked long into the night with our policy groups on culminating projects. Tired from a fun day at Sorensen, HSLP students were glad to get some sleep before tomorrow's big trip to Richmond.
High School Leaders Program Class of 2012
Day 10: Monday, July 16
Reported by: Marc Petrine, Maggie L. Walker Governor's School and Karen Xia, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
After a short and restful weekend, we were all ready for a fun-filled day with Dr. Steve Bragaw. We spent a whopping six hours listening to our eloquent teacher speak about policy paradox, Brazil’s government led by the charismatic President Lula, and the recent controversial health care reform.
During our morning session, Dr. Bragaw critiqued our culminating project ideas and elaborated on our assigned reading. Regarding policy paradox, he explained that there are three parts to every public policy model: reasoning, society and policymaking. Dr. Bragaw was so enthusiastic about policy paradox and equality that he brought in two delicious plates of brownies to share with the class. After the morning session, we enjoyed even more treats during lunch in the form of wraps and cookies from Revolutionary Soup.
After the delectable lunch, Mr. Bob Gibson visited us to discuss our group projects further. He questioned every group thoroughly on their topic and offered some insight on communicating with the media. Bob also grilled one member of our class, Will, and had an interesting conversation with him on topics ranging from local government to gay marriage. Then, Mr. Gibson unfortunately had to depart.
In the afternoon session with Dr. Bragaw, he expounded upon the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) about which the Supreme Court recently set a historic precedent. We discussed the implications of this act and how it will impact future generations. It was a relevant and interesting topic to wrap up the class.
We concluded our workday with a wonderful barbecue dinner hosted by Room 203. We are continuing to work very hard on our papers and proposals for the final culminating project. We look forward to tomorrow with eager minds.
High School Leaders Program Class of 2012
Day 9: Sunday, July 15, 2012
Reported by: Laura Houchens, Douglas Southall Freeman High School (Richmond) and FitzHugh Johnson, Fredericksburg Academy
We woke up this morning well-rested and ready to start the day. Some went to Bodo's Bagels, but most just relaxed in our dorms and did some chores. It was a happy day for everyone because of the relaxed schedule, giving everyone the ability to take a breather and rest. We met for lunch at noon in Bice House. Lunch was catered by The Market and contained sandwiches, chips and a cookie.
After lunch we headed to the lawn for a public speaking lesson. Tony Sanchez, a professional actor, taught us how to utilize our voices when speaking to a crowd through correct phonetics and intonation.
After a quick break to change, we went to the parking lot for a fun activity to put a big smile on everyone's faces! We played a game called "gladiator" which was run by Troy Ehardt and Todd Galyean. After a long and competitive water balloon battle, James and Marc, roommates and close friends, entered the arena for the championship round. Although James was victor, they shook hands like gentlemen and put their differences behind them.
Dinner was soon to come; Chipotle was on the way. After a little Mexican fiesta, we parted ways and started working in our groups for the culminating project. With a 12 a.m. deadline, each group buckled down to complete the literature review. After tiring work, we are ready to get to bed and wake up for another busy day!
- Jun 17 2013 - 10:34am
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