IACC Day 2: Monday, November 28, 2022 –
Program Opening in St. Pete, and a Practitioner’s Overview of Federalism!
We welcomed Washington to Tampa Bay to hold the Program Opening at the Vinoy! USDOS Program Officer Elizabeth Barry and Meridian International Center Program Officer Erica Ginsberg and Program Associate Anna Bradley conducted the traditional Washington opening in St. Petersburg, and gave the IVLP visitors their first opportunity to tell their personal stories. Once again the importance of in-person exchanges was driven home; reading a bio is one thing, hearing these individuals tell their stories brings to life their accomplishments, and even their hopes and fears. As a result of what we learned at the Opening, the World Partnerships team was able to brief all of the local professionals they would meet over the coming days on the work and lives of our visitors.
After breaking for a buffet luncheon outdoors on a private patio at the Vinoy, the group attended a Federalism briefing conducted by Dr. Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan, an Associate Professor of Political Science and Founding Director of the Center for Civic Engagement at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where she teaches courses in American Government and Public Law. She is the Frank E. Duckwall Professor of Florida Studies (2022-24) focusing on Florida politics and government. A former Fulbright Scholar to Moldova (Constitutional Law, Politics, and the Judicial Process) and to North Macedonia (Rule of Law and Civil Society), Dr. McLauchlan gave the group a “full semester civics and US Government course in two hours”! Judithanne drew on her research and perspective as a political scientist, and from her extensive experience as a practitioner working at the US Supreme Court, the US Senate Judiciary Committee, the US Department of Justice, and the White House and Presidential campaigns. Dr. McLauchlan is a frequent participant in IVLP projects in Tampa Bay, and has created her own “IVLP alumni network” for her academic travels.
With a fresh perspective on US civic education and civic engagement, the IVLP Champions departed together for a walk along Beach Drive and Straub Park, and a journey out to the new St. Pete Pier to end their day.