New Program will Prepare Young Women for the Rigors of the Campaign Trail
CHESTERTOWN, MD—Washington College will host the first annual “Training Ms. President: College Women’s Candidate Training Program” on its campus November 5 and 6 to address the underrepresentation of women in public office.
A joint project of Washington College and Goucher College, the summit will bring together 10 female students from each campus to attend workshops and network with successful women officeholders and political professionals.
On the first night, a banquet will feature opening remarks from the College’s president, Sheila Bair, who chaired the FDIC for five years and once ran for office in her native Kansas. Dinner will be followed by a screening of Raising Ms. President, a documentary about the conditions in society that discourage girls from aspiring to public office.
Day two will begin with all-female panels of experts from both political parties to coach students on self-presentation. In the afternoon, a networking lunch with local elected officials will be followed by a discussion on candidate recruitment in Maryland and testimonies from women who have experienced the campaign trail.
Panelists, who volunteered their time and expertise to the program, include the following women:
- Sue Aumann, Maryland State Delegate, District 42B
- Courtney Watson, Howard County Councilwoman, District 1
- Diane Fink, Executive Director, Emerge Maryland
- Jennifer Gilbert, Anchor, Fox45 News
- Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of the Governor
- Audra Harrison, Director of Public Information, Office of Housing and Community Development
- Alexandra M. Hughes, Chief of Staff, Maryland House of Delegates Speaker’s Office
- Victoria Jackson-Stanley, Mayor, City of Cambridge
- Brooke Lierman, Maryland State Delegate, District 46
- Hannah Marr, Deputy Press Secretary, Office of the Governor
- Laura Neuman, Former County Executive, Anne Arundel County
- Carol Randall, President, Maryland Federation of Republican Women
- Liz Richards, Political Consultant, McKenna Pihlaja
- Kelly Schulz, Secretary, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
- Donna Victoria, President and Founder, Victoria Research and Consulting
The program was created by three political science professors: Melissa Deckman and Christine Wade from Washington College, and Mileah Kromer from Goucher.
“Our goal is to inspire college women to consider running for political office, which is vital given that only about 1 in 4 elected political offices are held by women in the United States,” says Deckman. The “Women in Public Affairs Initiative” of the Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs at Washington College and the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher are underwriting the program.
Deckman is the Louis L. Goldstein Professor of Public Affairs and Chair of the Political Science Department at Washington College. An Affiliated Scholar and Board Chair of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), she writes regularly about religion, gender, and politics on its “Faith in the Numbers” blog.
Wade is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies and is the Curator of the Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs. She is a specialist in the international and comparative politics of Latin America, with a focus on Central America.
Kromer is Assistant Professor of Political Science and the director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College and oversees the Goucher Poll.
Washington College students interested in the program should contact Dr. Deckman at email@example.com.
Related Documentary Screening October 26
A related event takes place Monday, October 26, at 7:00 p.m. with a screening of Madame Presidentá: Why Not US? The documentary, produced by Women and Girls Foundation president Heather Arnet, asks why Brazil and so many other nations have elected female presidents before the United States has done so. Afterward, Professor Wade will lead a discussion. The event is sponsored by the Women in Public Affairs program in conjunction with a course on Gender and Leadership being offered this semester.