90 Students in D.C. for Presidential Inauguration Seminar

Ninety Suffolk University students and five faculty leaders traveled to Washington for a 12-day Presidential Inauguration Seminar on “Media and the Presidency” offered in conjunction with The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars.

The seminar focuses on the 2008 presidential election, the media’s impact on the election process, and the transition to a new administration, all in the context of the inauguration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden as a milestone in American political history.

The Suffolk students are participating in the Jan. 10-21 seminar as part of their requirements for a course offered by the Government Department.

Sessions with the students have been broadcast nationally on C-Span this week. On Tuesday, Suffolk and other students asked questions of NPR news analyst Juan Williams, Fox News anchor Brett Baier and others who took part in a session at the University of the District of Columbia that addressed President-Elect Barack Obama’s presidential transition. On Wednesday, C-Span broadcast a discussion of the Bush presidency and the media that featured Suffolk students asking questions.

Notable speakers

Over the course of the seminar, the students will hear from leading government, political and media figures, such as Ambassador Hussain Haqqani of Pakistan and Sam Donaldson of ABC News. Daily small discussion groups with Suffolk University faculty complement site visits to federal agencies, think tanks, and embassies and attendance at a variety of inaugural events.

Witnesses to history

“The seminar offers Suffolk students a rare opportunity to experience the historic transition of power from one administration and party to another and the key role the media play in shaping and describing the inaugural process,” said Assistant Professor of Government Brian Conley, one of the faculty leaders. “The small-group discussions, guest lectures and site visits will give students a hands-on introduction to official Washington, the inauguration, and the operations of the fourth estate.”

Additional faculty leaders who are leading the daily small-group sessions are Professors Teri Fair and Roberto Dominguez, Meri Power, and Erin Cheuvront.