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Co-moderator Dziak welcomes the audience to the event.
Co-moderator Dziak welcomes the audience to the event.
Anna Winstead

OHIO’s Washington Policy Forum connects and engages alumni in presidential election discussion

Zulfa Rizqiya
February 3, 2016

Around 60 Ohio University alumni attended a Washington Policy Forum kickoff event in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Jan. 28 in the Capitol Visitor’s Center. Organized by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Scripps College of Communication, the Ohio University Alumni Association and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, the forums, held quarterly, aim to reconnect alumni in the nation’s capital to Ohio University.

The first of this year’s forums featured panelists who discussed the remaining 2016 presidential candidates with specific comparisons on issues such as immigration, the economy, jobs, and healthcare, as well as unprecedented campaigns. Alumni Doug Dziak and David Hoover led the discussion. Dziak, a government relations specialist and political law attorney at Nixon Peabody, earned degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1993 and 1995. Hoover, vice president of legislative affairs with NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, is a 1993 graduate of the Scripps College of Communication. Read on for a photo essay from the forum.

Photos by Anna Winstead, BSVC ‘16

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“This event started four years ago with the idea to gather OHIO alumni in the Washington D.C. area to share interest and expertise,” says co-moderator Dziak as he welcomes the audience to the event. With a discussion on the unconventional election and key issues ahead of them, Dziak notes, “We’re all friends. Even if there are differences, let’s make this discussion an enjoyable time.”

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Among the event’s panel is Richard Vedder, OHIO distinguished professor emeritus of economics. Vedder shares his expertise in economic history and public policy and research including the economic issues in American education.

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Richard E. May, who earned his bachelor’s degree from The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education in 1976 and master’s degree from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1982, participates on the panel. May currently works as staff director with the U.S. House Budget Committee.

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Rounding out the panel is Hebah Abdalla, a 1992 graduate of the Scripps College of Communication. As executive producer at Al Jazeera America, Abdalla addresses the media’s coverage and impact on the elections.

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The panelists tackle questions from the audience, which come rapidly and concern everything from the current political polarization to gender inequality. A sentiment of “national election anxiety” was echoed between the audience and panelists when discussing the candidates.

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Alumni gather for a reception following the panel, allowing them the opportunity to network with like-minded people, providing them the opportunity to reconnect with OHIO research, news and projects related to timely policy issues.  

Adrienne

Adrienne Green, a 2015 Scripps College graduate and editorial fellow at The Atlantic, recently moved to D.C. and enjoys her first Forum mingling with other Bobcats. “Washington is one of the most plugged in places,” said Green. “There is no better way to learn than by hearing the opinions of alumni who are intimately involved in the government and elections.”

This article was originally published in Compass.