SIU Public Policy Institute plans to host spring semester events

A summit of Illinois college students in March to consider the state’s future is one of the featured events planned by SIU Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute this spring.

The summit, “Renewing Illinois: Ambitious Dreams and Practical Steps to Revive the Prairie State,” is scheduled in Carbondale March 28-29.

John T. Shaw, the institute’s director, said the summit is designed to encourage a vigorous discussion and generate creative ideas on how to get Illinois moving again with the help of bright Illinois students.

Organizers expect students from about two dozen Illinois colleges and universities, Shaw said. 

With the continued focus on policy challenges confronting Illinois, the institute again plans to host several state representatives this semester for its popular “Pizza and Politics” series. 

The programs are at the institute, which is located at 1231 Lincoln Dr. in Carbondale. The series is free, but an RSVP is encouraged, the institute noted.

Speakers scheduled for this semester are:

Jan. 28, 5 p.m., State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Westchester, chair of the Illinois House Higher Education Committee.

April 8, 5 p.m., State Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis.

The institute plans to continue to work on its Statesmanship Initiative this spring, examining ways to improve the quality of leadership in Illinois and across the United States. 

Former U.S. Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas will discuss the importance of civility in public affairs during a luncheon speech at the institute on March 21. 

Elam-Thomas had a 42-year career as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State.

Barbara Walter, a political science professor at the University of California San Diego, is scheduled to be the spring 2019 Morton-Kenney lecture guest. 

Walter is an expert on international security with an emphasis on civil wars. 

The Gazette-Democrat

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