Sotelo: National Conference Fast Approaching

Hello from 2011 Conference Central!

The countdown to the conference has begun and we are less than four months away from the “don’t miss” Truman event of the year. The TSA Board and particularly the events committee is moving into high planning mode as we finalize details for the July 22-24 event at the OMNI Hotel in Washington DC.

First, we have lined up two of your fellow scholars who have recently reached major milestones in their public careers. First, Senator Chris Coons (DE ’83) will be our guest of honor on Friday, July 22 for a Gala Banquet. Second, Michelle Gavin (AZ ’95), the newly appointed “Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Botswana” will be our guest on Saturday at lunch. We are very fortunate to have two public servants at such a high level agree to speak at our conference.

We are also working on bringing you informative and timely plenary sessions with speakers and topics that will appeal to the broad range of scholars. More information on the plenaries (general sessions) will be announced as it becomes finalized.

Recently the events committee formed a subcommittee to look at breakout sessions and develop a plan to have a good mix of both panels, speakers and workshops for the breakouts. We heard your feedback from the last conference and wanted to structure the breakouts a little differently this time. Thank you to everyone who submitted ideas and proposals. I’m sure the subcommittee will send out an announcement soon.

We have so many surprises and things we are working on. Recently Matt Garza (CA ’09) created a map of “Truman Locations” for you to visit while you are in DC! Thank you Matt! We are also planning to request a White House Tour so very shortly we will announce registration is open and if you are interested please provide the security information requested.

If you or your organization is interested in being a sponsor, please email me or call me as soon as possible. Last conference we were able to keep registration costs down because of donors and a sponsor. Likewise, if you would like to make a donation to help offset costs and lower registration costs for everyone, please let me know.

Finally, I want to assure anyone with a dietary restriction such as: vegans, vegetarians, gluten free, kosher and others that the OMNI is prepared to have special meals during the conference! We appreciate everything the OMNI is doing to make the conference special. For those who do not have dietary restrictions, I can tell you that the dinner Friday night will be delicious. Recently Adair Boroughs (SC ’01), Anthony Shop (MO ’04), Kimberly Jones (CT ’99) and I all had the opportunity to participate in a tasting at the OMNI. I don’t think you will be disappointed with the food!

Watch your email and other Truman information sources for announcements in the coming weeks about registration and other details. As always, please contact me if you have questions.

A big thank you to the events committee for all their hard work: Chiraag Bains (MA ’02), Michele Buckley (CO ’06), Sarah Sattelmeyer (GA ’04), Dara Purvis (CA ’02), Katie Liberman (MA ’06), Lyric Chen (WI ’05), Matt and Adair. I takes many people to organize an event of this size–and in this case its being organized by Scholars volunteering their time to create an event that we will all remember.

Jessica Sotelo (ID’ 00), Executive Director at Partners for Prosperity, is the 2011 Truman Scholars National Conference Director.

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