ACSC Annual Meeting – May 11-13, 2016

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate

Centers for the Study of Congress: Defining Our Audiences

May 11, 2016 Wednesday



12:30 p.m.


1:30 p.m.

Welcome by Program Committee

Welcome by ACSC President and introduction of officers and committee chairs

Membership report and Introduction of New Members

Announce Award winners

2:00 p.m.

Session 1: Keynote –Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication, Annenberg School for Communication and Director, Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania:

The Civics Renewal Network

2:30 p.m.


2:45 p.m.

Session 2: Inside EMK Institute Programs

2:45 – 3:00 Institute Overview by Dr. Jean MacCormack

An introduction to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate: brief overview (with video) of educational programs, the Senate Immersion Module, visitor experience, Public and Special Programs and opportunities for partnerships. Invitation to explore exhibits over the conference period.

3:00 – 4:15 ACSC members invited to participate in 1 hour Senate Immersion Module on Compromise of 1850



4:30 p.m.-


Session 3: National Issues Forum: The Divided State of America

How can we get work done even when we disagree? Join us for a deliberative forum on this central question facing Congress and constituents alike in a time that many experts call “the most politically polarized period in U.S. history. The forum will use The Divided State of America, a new issue guide published by ACSC to guide the discussion.  The guide is the result of a three year collaboration by ACSC and the Kettering Foundation that emphasizes weighing the pros and cons of issues to better inform the public. Representatives from the development team will moderate the forum and assist interested ACSC members in hosting their own public forums.  

5:45 p.m.-


Session 4: Business Meeting

Preview Executive Committee Agenda and Potential Membership

Action Items

News Roundup from Members

May 12, 2016 Thursday

8:00 a.m.

Executive Committee Meeting

8:30 a.m.

Coffee and Danish

9:15 a.m.

Session 5: Public Programming for a Variety of Publics

Centers seek to expand civic knowledge and identify effective ways to do so. This panel describes various ways to promote civic engagement among a variety of audiences.


Charles Flanagan, Outreach Supervisor, Center for Legislative Archives, National Archives


Charles S. White, Associate Professor, School of Education, Boston University: Building Civic Engagement in Public Schools, the National Park Service, and the Special Commission on Civic Engagement and Learning

L. Douglas Dobson, Executive Director, Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government: State-wide Programs for Civics Teachers

Michael DiNiscia, Associate Director, John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress, New York University:  The Young Leaders Program on Capitol Hill

Caroline Angel Burke, Vice-President, Education and Visitor Experience, Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate: Educating the Public about the Senate

10:15 a.m.


10:30 a.m.

Session 6: Former Members of Congress: Our Donors as Audience

Former Members discuss significant events, influential people, memorable moments that defined their congressional careers, and their perspectives on changes in Congress. Discussions also include how their milestones are documented in their congressional papers collection, as well as words of wisdom and advice.

Moderator:  David C. King

Senior Lecturer in Public Policy

Faculty Chair, Master in Public Administration Programs

Harvard University


Peter Torkildsen (R-Massachusetts), 1993-1997

Nancy Lee Johnson (R-Connecticut), 1983-2006

12:00 P.M.


1:15 P.M.

Session 7: Working with a New Audience to Secure Members’ Electronic Records: The Future is Now!

This session brings together systems administrators, Capitol Hill and repository archivists to discuss the unique challenges of managing electronic records on a daily basis and then transferring those records to repositories when the office closes. Centers can learn how to engage with this new audience as panelists share how they capture, manage and preserve electronic records. The Senate’s NDSR Fellow will report on his survey of member office workflows and make suggestions for best practices that can be implemented now.


Alison White, Deputy Archivist, U.S. Senate

Katie Delacenserie, Archivist, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee


Vikram Kulkarni, Systems Administrator, Office of Senator Leahy

Kate Stewart, Archivist, Senator Barbara Mikulski

Hope Grebner, Political Papers Archivist, Drake University

John Caldwell, National Digital Stewardship Resident Fellow, Senate Historical Office

2:15 P.M.


2:30 P.M.

Session 8: Research in Congressional Holdings: Authors as Audience

Three historians discuss their research in congressional holdings and how members’ papers supported their recent publications and current projects.

Moderator:  Betty Koed, Historian, United States Senate


John T. Shaw, Washington D.C. author who covers Congress for Market News International

Assembling the Pieces of John F. Kennedy's Senate Career

Sean J. Savage, Professor of Political Science, St Mary’s College

Researching Primary Sources at and beyond Presidential Libraries for a Book on Senator John F. Kennedy and New England Issues

Barbara A. Perry, Senior Fellow and Co-Chair, Presidential Oral History Program, The Miller Center, University of Virginia and Project Director, Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project

3:30 P.M.


3:45 P.M.

Session 9: Congressional Oral Histories: Expanding Their Usefulness

Two oral historians and their interviewees converse about the process, the information captured, and how oral histories can be mined for words of wisdom for new and current members as well as the historical information they contain. Expand the usefulness of your oral histories by considering how members and staff can benefit from them.


Don Ritchie, Senate Historian Emeritus and

Barbara A. Perry, Project Director, Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project


Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Delaware, 2009-2010)

Senator Paul Kirk (D-Massachusetts, 2009-2010)

5:00 P.M.

Session 10: Business Meeting

Action Items for Membership Vote:

Treasurer’s Report


Items Brought from the Executive Committee

President’s Report

Next Year’s Annual Meeting Host and Dates

Preview of Continuing or Upcoming Projects

May 13, 2016 Friday

8:30 A.M.

Coffee and Danish

9:00 A.M. – 10:00 am

Session 11: The Life-Cycle of the Edward M. Kennedy Papers

The Edward M. Kennedy Papers constitute an extraordinarily large and eclectic collection that documents the long political career of Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy. Our panelists will discuss various aspects of this unique collection: how it was created, the challenges it poses for archivists, and its future potential for research and educational use. 

Moderator:  Donald Ritchie, Senate Historian Emeritus

Chris Casey, Vice President for Digital Services at Winning Connections and former EMK staffer: The First Cyber Senator

John Dutton, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chief Clerk and former Kennedy staffer: Working for EMK

Karen Adler Abramson, JFK Library Director of Archives: Background on the EMK Papers

Christina Fitzpatrick, Archivist: Planning for the Arrangement and Description of the EMK Papers

10:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M.

Session 12:  What About Bobby?


The public life of this most passionate of the Kennedy Brothers was an improbable journey, from cold warrior to liberal icon—a transformation made more compelling because it’s the same one that America was undergoing from the 1950s to 1960s.

Eileen McNamara is a journalism professor at Brandeis University and a Pulitzer-Prize-winning former columnist at the Boston Globe. She is currently writing a biography of Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Larry Tye, Bobby’s biographer, is a former reporter at the Boston Globe and author of seven books, including bios of two other heroes of his, Satchel Paige and Superman.

11:15 A.M.

Tour of JFK Library

1:00 P.M.

Executive Committee meeting [if necessary]            Conference Ends

Contact us

The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement 

Drake University

2507 University Avenue 

Des Moines, IA 50311

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