Standby Tickets Available for May 27 Leon Panetta 2013 Lecture Series: ‘Gun Control: The Second Amendment — Are There Limits?’
Sarah Brady, chair of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and Asa Hutchinson, former United States congressman and former task force director for the National Rifle Association, will be featured on Monday, May 27 at the third event in the Leon Panetta 2013 Lecture Series. Secretary Panetta will moderate the program, which begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Monterey Conference Center.
Ms. Brady is the wife of former White House Press Secretary James Brady, who sustained a disabling head wound during an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. Since then, she has been a prominent advocate for gun control, and campaigned for the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that was enacted by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
Mr. Hutchinson served as leader of a National Rifle Association task force of security and law enforcement experts to review school security standards in select areas of the country. The goal of the task force was to come up with a comprehensive plan to address the safety of children in schools and to prevent such shootings in the future.
Standby tickets are available for this lecture. For information, call the Panetta Institute at 831-582-4200. For more information on how to watch the Lecture Series, click here.
Monterey County Reads Volunteer Recognition Ceremony to Feature Award-Winning Author Dr. Francisco Jiménez
The Panetta Institute’s annual Monterey County Reads Volunteer Recognition Ceremony will be at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16, 2013 at the Alumni & Visitors Center, CSU Monterey Bay and will feature a keynote address by acclaimed and esteemed author and Santa Clara University professor Dr. Francisco Jiménez.
The annual event will also spotlight the many volunteers in the award-winning Monterey County Reads program, a dedicated group of individuals, who along with past volunteers, have offered more than 105,000 hours of service by reading one-to-one with children in Monterey County.
“These volunteers are making a difference,” said Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia M. Panetta. “By caring enough about the children of Monterey County, they are improving young lives, one by one.”
An educator and author of several award-winning books, Dr. Jiménez emigrated with his family from Tlaquepaque, Mexico to California and as a child worked alongside his parents in the fields of California. He received his B.A. from Santa Clara University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American literature from Columbia University under a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. He has served on various professional boards and commissions, including the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the California Council for the Humanities, the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC), Santa Clara University’s Board of Trustees, the Far West Lab for Educational Research and Development, and ALearn, a non-profit organization committed to helping underrepresented students get to and succeed in college.
Dr. Jimenéz’s autobiographical books, The Circuit: Stories From the Life of a Migrant Child (Cajas de Cartón, in its Spanish edition), Breaking Through (Senderos Fronterizos), La Mariposa and The Christmas Gift/El Regalo de Navidad have won several national literary awards, including the Américas Book Award, the Pura Belpré Honor Book Award, the Tomás Rivera Book Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the Reading the World Award. His books have been published in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Italian and Spanish. His book Reaching Out, the sequel to Breaking Through, was published by Houghton Mifflin in August, 2008, and received the 2009 American Library Association’s Pura Belpré Honor Book Award and the Carter C. Woodson National Book Award. His Spanish translation of it, titled Más Allá de Mí, was published in August of 2009. In addition, Dr. Jimenéz has published and edited several books on Mexican and Mexican-American literature, and his stories have been reprinted in more than 100 textbooks and anthologies of literature.
Dr. Jiménez was selected the 2002 U.S. Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and in 2008 he was awarded an honorary degree from De Anza College and in 2009 an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from the University of San Francisco. He is currently the Fay Boyle Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Santa Clara University.
For more information about Monterey County Reads, click here or call the Panetta Institute at 831-582-4200.
Line-up Announced for 2013 Lecture Series With Secretary Leon E. Panetta as Moderator of Discussions Featuring Ehud Barak, Joe Lieberman, Asa Hutchinson, Richard Lugar and More
Having returned from his post at the Pentagon, Leon E. Panetta, former Secretary of Defense and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has resumed his role as moderator of the celebrated Leon Panetta Lecture Series. This year’s program will focus on the theme 2013 — Gridlock or Action?
“Our nation moves from crisis to crisis,” said Institute Chairman Leon E. Panetta. “And yet, more and more, our elected leaders seem unable to come together to address the many challenges we face. Events at home and around the globe have brought new urgency to stubborn policy debates. Can we at last move forward toward compromise and solution or will the American people continue to pay the price for partisan bickering and legislative inaction? I’ll sit down with key experts to discuss the opportunities for action, the realities of the political environment and the consequences of continued gridlock.” For complete details on this year’s season click here. For information on season subscriptions or tickets call 831-582-4200.
Two Panetta Institute Programs Selected for Prestigious Excellence in Education Award
The Panetta Institute has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Excellence in Education Award by the Monterey County School Boards Association for two of its innovative programs that have transformed students’ lives.
Both programs – Monterey County Reads and the Leon E. Panetta Lecture Series Afternoon Student Program – were selected based on the following criteria:
- For having a significant, transformative impact on students’ education and/or well being.
- For exceeding expectations in pursuit of addressing unmet student needs.
Monterey County Reads Launches Spring Semester: New Community Partners Join Important Literacy Initiative
The Monterey County Reads program, now in its sixteenth year, resumed its work in 2013 with increased outreach to a wide range of community volunteer resources and an ever-increasing collaboration with a wide cross-section of schools throughout the region.
Across Monterey County children are being served by community volunteers who bring reading skills to the very students who need help the most.
“It is well known that pupils who do not gain strong reading skills in the early elementary grades are more likely to be struggling learners in later years,” said Panetta Institute Board Member Rhonda Williams. “The evidence is overwhelming that children who engage in adult-child storybook interactions from a young age are more likely to have later reading success. This program is essential. It is saving lives.”
In the last year, the Panetta Institute launched an expanded recruitment effort in Salinas and Salinas Valley areas, as well as the rest of Monterey County, welcoming volunteers from a variety of community groups, churches and military installations. “It’s exciting to watch a child have a new world open up to him just by simply reading a story,” said one volunteer. “It’s the most rewarding project I’ve ever been involved in.”
Outreach to volunteers who are members of community groups has resulted in a ripple effect, where community members who belong to more than one organization spread the word to other community groups and thus establish new volunteer resources.
The Institute has also strengthened its staff resources with the addition of Mary Alicia McRae, a literacy specialist, to organize and conduct orientations with school site teams as well as to perform student assessments. “Putting orientations and assessments in the hands of a skilled literacy specialist ensures more effective and accurate data to study upon the students’ completion of the program,” stated Ms. McRae.
Volunteers receive training in cooperation with the Institute and the Monterey County Office of Education. In addition, the Institute, the County Office of Education and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School collect and analyze data surrounding children’s progress to ensure a high quality program outcome.
Click here to learn more about this program and how you can help.
Three Research Fellows Conclude Studies at Institute
Three law school students from Santa Clara University School of Law have concluded their studies in the spring 2013 Policy Research Fellows Program, where they researched and analyzed selected issues of critical national concern, work that fits in with the Panetta Institute’s public policy mission. Students earned three units of credit and gained first-hand experience and instruction while studying public policy issues.
This semester, among other assignments, fellows concentrated on:
- Healthcare and patient advocacy;
- Providing research assistance to Panetta Institute staff in preparation for the Leon Panetta 2013 Lecture Series.
In addition, fellows attended special seminars with former and current elected officials, who shared their experience in drafting, advocating for and ultimately passing policy legislation. Working with the fellows were Ellen Wilson, program coordinator and archivist, Dr. Richard Kezirian, the Institute’s senior program coordinator and professor, as well as local attorneys Bill Daniels and Marian Penn.
This semester’s fellows were Mediha Mohyuddin Ali, Roujin Mozaffarimehr and Tom Skinner, all from the Santa Clara University School of Law.
The Policy Research Fellows Program started in 2006, and since then, fifty three students have completed their semester of service, receiving academic credit from their host schools. Participants are nominated by the dean of Santa Clara University School of Law and once selected, work on site at the Panetta Institute.
Congressional Interns Head to Nation’s Capital in August
Twenty six nominees for the fifteenth annual Congressional Internship Program have been confirmed to participate in a unique program that features intensive background studies and briefings from national leaders in addition to daily assigned tasks with individual congressional members. The program will commence on August 11 and continue through November 9.
Interns from California State Universities, Dominican University of California and Santa Clara University will begin their studies with an intensive two-week course at the Panetta Institute, featuring discussions with elected officials, seasoned government staff, policy experts and Panetta Institute professors. Upon conclusion of that course, interns will fly to Washington to work in the congressional offices of members of the California delegation. While in Washington, the interns continue with their course work with weekly seminars organized by the Institute, featuring background discussions with Republican and Democratic representatives of both parties as well as non-partisan, career government officials, experts in a variety of fields, from budgeting to healthcare and from demographics to foreign policy.
Last year, twenty-four participants went through the program. The 2012 interns were a diverse group who worked with congressional members of both parties. Speakers included Thomas J. Wickham Jr., parliamentarian, U.S. House of Representatives, and John Sullivan, former parliamentarian, U.S. House of Representatives; Congressmen Dan Lungren (R-California) and Sam Farr (D-California); Nancy-Ann DeParle, White House Deputy Chief of Staff; Dr. Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute; and Doris Meissner, senior fellow and director of the Migration Policy Institute.
One of the interns, Jordan Ball of California State University, Channel Islands, cited in particular the seminar conducted by Ms. Meissner, “Ms. Meissner did an excellent job critiquing popular notions and misconceptions surrounding immigration reform. After the seminar ended I better understood the complexities of the issues.”
Another intern, Hannah Plummer of California State University, Monterey Bay, noted: “Today’s seminar with Congressman Dan Lungren was very informative. He talked briefly about his background in politics and law before he went through a very extensive question and answer session. Overall, I thought his lecture was very powerful and knowledgeable.”
“Our program has earned the reputation of being one of the finest internship programs in Washington, D.C.,” said Panetta Institute Chairman Leon E. Panetta. “What sets this program apart are the benefits our students receive from the orientation provided by our visiting staff of experts who explain how the legislative process actually works.”
Congressional offices have taken notice of the program. Said one congressional staff member, “The Panetta Institute does a fantastic job training interns. We look forward to receiving them and depend on them every fall semester.”
Aerris Hoskin of San Francisco State University, following her service as an intern last year, said: “I am eternally thankful for the opportunity to participate in the program. I have learned a lot during the past three months and I am confident that the experience has made me a better individual.”
Since beginning the program in 1999, more than 300 students have participated in the Congressional Internship Program. For more information about the program click here.
Steny Hoyer, Ray LaHood and Candy Crowley Honored at Annual Jefferson-Lincoln Awards Ceremony
The Panetta Institute’s thirteenth annual Jefferson-Lincoln Awards was held on Saturday, November 10, 2012 at the Inn at Spanish Bay, with attendees warmly greeting three honorees: House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and CNN anchor Candy Crowley.
All three speakers expressed their hopes for a bipartisan approach to our nation’s problems and their gratitude for the honor of serving this great country.
Congressman Hoyer (D-Maryland) and Secretary LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, discussed their years on Capitol Hill working with members of both parties in finding solutions to the nation’s problems. They both recalled the impact of former congressional members like the late Everett Dirksen and Bob Michel, both of Illinois, and how that spirit of bipartisanship is exactly what will be needed in Congress during the months ahead.
A similarly hopeful note was sounded by journalist Candy Crowley, CNN’s chief political correspondent and host of State of the Union With Candy Crowley. In accepting her award, Ms. Crowley recalled her many years covering the halls of Congress as well as presidential politics, and thanked the Institute for honoring her work.
The awards were presented by Institute Co-Director Sylvia Panetta, who commented that the three honorees “serve as shining examples of commitment to duty.” She added: “From working to protect our infrastructure and ensuring our safe transport, to legislating campaign finance reform and wise fiscal policy, to asking tough follow-up questions to serve the best interests of the voters, our honorees are true patriots and true stewards of our democracy.”
The Jefferson-Lincoln Awards are presented annually to policy makers and journalists whose work best exemplifies
public service and dedicated effort on behalf of the greatness of our nation. In presenting the awards, Mrs. Panetta explained: “We have held this event the weekend following each November election because with each election, there is renewed hope that elected leaders will be inspired to govern in the best interests of our democracy.”
In Congress, Representative Hoyer has earned a reputation as a skilled consensus-building leader who has helped the House pass important legislation to strengthen the economy while maintaining fiscal responsibility. In his role of Democratic Whip, Congressman Hoyer has argued that a workable solution to the nation’s fiscal problems will require that both political parties rise above narrow ideological agendas.
Secretary LaHood has said that his aim as Secretary of Transportation was to bring President Barack Obama’s priorities to the department and see them effectively implemented with a commitment to fairness across regional and party lines. During his fourteen years in Congress, he served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and, after that, on the House Appropriations Committee.
Ms. Crowley has won several major journalism awards for her coverage of both Democratic and Republican administrations and has covered every political convention except one since President Jimmy Carter’s nomination. She is known around Washington as unbiased, objective and knowledgeable — with more than one office-holder describing her as “tough but fair.”
“The awards serve as a reminder to us all that there are dedicated individuals working in government and journalism on behalf of our democracy and the people of our nation,” commented Panetta Institute Board Member David Benjamin.
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