Key Legislators Meet with UT Dallas Students and Administrators

Apr. 27, 2010

This spring, five key state legislators visited The University of Texas at Dallas to teach “Campaigns and Elections,” an undergraduate honors course offered by the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. Several of the legislators also had the opportunity to tour campus and learn about some of the University’s hallmark programs.

Visiting legislators included:

  • Representative Ellen Cohen from Houston.
  • Representative Rob Eissler from The Woodlands.
  • Representative Carol Kent from Dallas.
  • Representative Jerry Madden from Richardson.
  • Representative Michael Villarreal from San Antonio.

During speeches to students, legislators shared their experiences with organizing their own campaigns, motivating volunteers and communicating with constituents.  Dr. Greg Thielemann, director of the Center for the Study of Texas Politics, taught the class of 16 students.

“Our students are so lucky to get to spend time with these leaders face to face. The skills they develop in communicating with important people will serve them well in the rest of their academic and professional careers.”

Dr. Greg Thielemann,
director of the Center for the Study of Texas Politics

“As is the case with virtually every educational experience, the lessons learned are much more relevant when it comes from the mouth of a person who has actually done it rather than a textbook or a professor,” said Thielemann.

“Our students are so lucky to get to spend time with these leaders face to face,” Thielemann said. “The skills they develop in communicating with important people will serve them well in the rest of their academic and professional careers.” 

During their visits, some of the legislators had the opportunity to tour campus and learn about a number of the University’s programs. 

Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman visited with legislators about the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth and the Middle School Brain Years Initiative funded in part by the Texas Legislature. 

Guests also visited with Dr. Tom Linehan, Arts and Humanities Distinguished Chair and director of the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering; Dr. Dan O’Brien, director of the Texas Schools Project; and Nobel laureate Russell Hulse, regental professor and director of the Science and Engineering Education Center.

“It’s an exciting time to be on the UT Dallas campus, and we’re grateful that these legislators took time from their schedules to be with us,” said Amanda Rockow, vice president for public affairs.

“Approximately one third of the University’s budget comes from the state of Texas, and these legislators are very important partners for us.  It was clear from our visits that these elected officials were impressed with the direction UT Dallas is heading.”

The 82nd Texas Legislature will convene on January 11, 2011. For more information about the University's legislative activities on campus and in Austin, contact the Office of Public Affairs.


Media Contact: Karah Hosek, UT Dallas, (972) 883-5890, karah.hosek@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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Tom Linehan, Ellen Cohen and David E. Daniel

Rep. Ellen Cohen visits the University's Motion Capture Lab with ATEC program director Dr. Tom Linehan (left) and President David E. Daniel.

Rob Eissler

Rep. Rob Eissler teaches the "Campaigns and Elections" class.

Carol Kent

Rep. Carol Kent teaches Dr. Greg Thielmann's class.

Jerry Madden

Rep. Jerry Madden (center) with President David E. Daniel and Amanda Rockow, vice president for public affairs. 

Michael Villarreal

Rep. Michael Villarreal offers insights on Texas politics in Dr. Greg Thielmann's class.

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