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Former Congress members Barbara Kennelly, Steve Kuykendall to visit campus Monday

Students will have the chance to learn about the upcoming election and the value of a public service career when two former members of Congress visit campus.

Former Congresswoman Barbara Kennelly, D-Conn., and former Congressman Steve Kuykendall, R-Calif., will visit the Park Library Auditorium today from 3:30 until 5 p.m. to lead a panel called Congress to Campus. The panel will be moderated by Professor Maxine Berman, CMU’s Griffin Endowed Chair in American Government.

Kennelly represented the First Congressional District of Connecticut in the House of Representatives from 1982-99. Kuykendall represented California’s 36th Congressional District in the House of Representatives from 1999 until 2001.

“They will focus on basic issues and questions on the 2012 elections,” said Joyce Baugh, professor of political science.

The panel will cover the year’s elections as well as discussion of the jobs of the former members of Congress.

This year will be the sixth time CMU has hosted the program. The Stennis Center and the Association of Former Members of Congress provide transportation costs for the speakers to and from the host school. The host school covers accommodations and meals, as well as an administrative fee.

“I suppose that it was originally my idea to host it. In January of 2000, I learned about the program from William “Brother” Rogers, Assistant Director of Programs at the Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership (one of the sponsoring organizations). I suggested to my colleagues that we participate in the program and they agreed,” Baugh said in an email.

Baugh said Kennelly and Kuykendall want to show students that even people with differing opinions can work together.

“They want to show that you can disagree without being disagreeable,” Baugh said. “They want to emphasize students choosing public service jobs in a time where not many do. They want to show students, through their own experiences, the positive benefits of getting involved in public service jobs and even if you’re not interested in that, there are other ways to get involved.”

Berman deferred all comment to Baugh.

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