On Dec. 4, 2018, I was honored to be asked by Aaron Dusso, department chair and associate professor of political science, to be a part of the Media Panel at the L. Keith Bulen Symposium held every two years at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Here is how the event is described on the official website:
An across-the-aisle discussion about American politics
Every other November, the L. Keith Bulen Symposium on American Politics brings together politicians, political staffers, journalists, and scholars to discuss the latest election and look to the next one.
The one-day event cuts through the sound bites to talk about politics in a more meaningful way. Each symposium includes a media panel, presentations, and a discussion with the Indiana party chairs.
IUPUI’s Department of Political Science hosts the symposium, which is free and open to the public.
Please join us Dec. 4, 2018, for this year’s Symposium, "Politics Near and Far: From Grassroots Organizing to Judicial Decision Making." This year’s keynote speaker is the Honorable Loretta H. Rush, Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court. In addition, we will have a serious of excellent discussion panels with political journalists, community organizers, and state party representatives.
Since 1998, the Bulen Symposium has been the premier forum for active discussions of American political parties, elections, and other important issues relating to our political system. Please join us as we bring together political practitioners, journalists, and scholars to discuss the politics that shape our world.
First held in 1998, the Bulen Symposium has had many prominent participants, including former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton, former Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard, and current Indiana governor Eric Holcomb. Political reporters who have participated include Jim Shella, Amber Stearns, Amos Brown, Lesley Weidenbener, and Tony Cook.
About L. Keith Bulen
L. Keith Bulen was a prominent political figure in Indiana. He worked in government for nearly half a century, and was elected or appointed at the block, precinct, ward, county, district, state, national, and international levels.
Bulen cultivated the initial successes of Richard Lugar and helped shape the careers of many other leaders and officials. He helped develop metropolitan government in Indianapolis (Unigov), and was involved in the management of campaigns for U.S. Congress, governor, and president. President Reagan appointed him a commissioner of the International Joint Commission, which prevents and resolves disputes between the United States and Canada over boundary waters.
Republicans and Democrats came together to establish this symposium in honor of Bulen’s life.
(Photo credit: Amanda Friesen)
The Media Panel was up first on the schedule:
9:10 - 10:30 a.m. Media Panel
Barbara Brosher —Senior News Editor and Reporter, WFIU and WTIU in Bloomington, IN
Prior to joining the NPR and PBS Bloomington stations, Barbara worked as a reporter and anchor for WNDU in South Bend, IN. She has received multiple AP awards for her reporting.
Kaitlin Lange—Statehouse Reporter, Indianapolis Star
Prior to joining the Star, Kaitlin covered the state legislature for the Evansville Courier & Press. She began her career as News Editor and was promoted to Editor-in-Chief at the Ball State Daily News where Kaitlin earned her political science, journalism, and telecommunications degrees.
Lesley Weidenbener—Managing Editor, Indianapolis Business Journal*
Prior to joining IBJ, Lesley covered politics and government for over 20 years for the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, The Courier-Journal in Louisville, and the TheStatehouseFile.com.
Rob Burgess—News Editor, NUVO
Prior to joining NUVO, Rob was a city editor and editorial board member at the Kokomo Tribune and managing editor of the Indiana Lawyer. He has won numerous awards from the AP and Hoosier State Press Association.
Dr. Kristina Horn Sheeler—Executive Associate Dean, IUPUI Honors College, and Professor
of Communication Studies, IU School of Liberal Arts
* = Lesley Weidenbener did not attend the event, but was scheduled.