Purdue offers forum series for 2012 election season

September 27, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A variety of speakers will be featured in a Project Impact forum series aimed at engaging Purdue University students in the conversation and debate leading to the 2012 presidential election.

"2012: It's Not Just Politics, It's Our Future" this fall will feature the founder of C-SPAN, a leading writer on immigration and a presidential historian. The series, which is free and open to the public, also will include events in the spring and next fall leading up to the election. Project Impact stands for the Intersection of Media, Policy and Communication Technology and is led by Ambassador Carolyn Curiel, a former senior White House aide who is a clinical professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication.

"The series' purpose is simple: to engage Purdue students and the community as never before in a presidential election," Curiel said. "At the same time, we will show that Purdue is a leader in driving discussion and provoking thought about approaches and solutions to the big issues in an election year."

Speakers are: 

   * Sept. 28, 5:45 p.m., Matthews Hall, Room 210. Brian Lamb, Purdue alumnus and C-SPAN founder will interview students who participated last May in a Purdue class that visited Washington, D.C. Curiel partnered with Lamb and C-SPAN to offer 18 students two weeks of study in the nation's capital. The students visited with leadership at the White House, State Department, Capitol Hill, The New York Times, Bloomberg News and other top government, nongovernment and news media organizations. Curiel is planning the next class for May 2012.

   * Oct. 27. 7 p.m. Matthews Hall, Room 210. Roberto Suro, a University of Southern California professor, author and former reporter for The New York Times and Washing Post, will discuss immigration. Jay McCann, Purdue professor of political science, will moderate the session.

   * Dec. 1. Richard Norton Smith, a presidential historian who has directed four presidential libraries, including those dedicated to the Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln presidencies. More details about this event will be available soon.

Curiel and students in a directed study course and in her honors communication course organized this speakers series.

"We hope this first forum attracts students from all around Purdue who are interested in studying or working in Washington," she said.

Lamb's visit is part of a College of Liberal Arts' celebration in honor of naming the School of Communication for him. The new school was named for Lamb this summer after the Board of Trustees approved it in April. As part of the celebration, Lamb on Thursday (Sept. 29) will visit with students and faculty and will interview Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels in a public forum on campus. Tickets are no longer available for the interview.

Lamb and Curiel are both alumni, each with a bachelor's degree in communication and honorary doctorates from Purdue.

In addition to serving President Bill Clinton as special assistant and senior speechwriter at the White House and as ambassador to Belize, Curiel has been a member of The New York Times editorial board, where she wrote about politics and foreign and domestic issues.

The "2012: It's Not Just Politics, It's Our Future" series is supported by the Brian Lamb School of Communication as well as International Programs, Purdue Alumni Association, Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence, College of Technology, and Department of Political Science.
Writer:  Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Sources:  Carolyn Curiel, curiel@purdue.edu
                  Katie Cahill-Rincon, deputy director of Project Impact, kacahill@purdue.edu