Detroit — Editor’s Note: The following are a series of blogs contributed by SHSU professor Mike Yawn and students who are members of the Political Science Junior Fellows on a four-day trip last week to Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
By Mike Yawn
Special to The Item
The Political Science Junior Fellows at Sam Houston State University embarked Thursday, Nov. 18, on a four-day trip is built around the American Association of Political Consultants Conference in Akron, Ohio.
In addition to attending a two-day conference, members of the organization have planned 18-hour days that will carry them to three states and more than 20 sites.
The AAPCC is held annually, but this year’s conference was sweetened by the wonderful Bliss Institute at Akron University. The Bliss Institute offered to subsidize student participation at the event and, as a result, each member got a plane ticket, hotel, rental car, and conference registration for approximately $400.
Moreover, the students were able to learn the nuts and bolts of campaigns, from general campaign strategies, to media relations, to the ethics of the campaign trail and the profession — all while networking with high-level consultants across the country.
But the conference was only part of the trip. Students visited more than 20 major tourist destinations in three states, venues as diverse and interesting as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, President McKinley’s Home, Brandywine Falls, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Motown Historical Museum, Dean Martin’s hometown, the Andy Warhol Museum of Art, the house from A Christmas Story, and many others.
The trip fits in well within the mission of the organization, which is to promote professionalism, education, and public service. And while many of these educational opportunities focus on politics—they will see three presidential homes and museums this trip—the organization has pursued a diverse set of learning experiences.
The students—and I—are grateful to The Bliss Institute for this wonderful educational opportunity and to The Huntsville Item for the chance to share our experiences.