2016 Spring Conference

Spring Conference 2016 | April 7 – 8, 2016

TCPW Spring 2016 Conference: “Politics and the Election of 2016: How We Got to Now”

While each Presidential race has its own look and feel, the election of 2016, which is being conducted against an unprecedented backdrop of disdain for the political establishment and status quo in Washington, has proven to be more unusual than most. Join us for our Spring Conference as we explore the landscape that led us to this unique election cycle, and learn about the defining social issues of this election. 

Pre-Conference Events

Thursday, April 7, 2016

11:00 a.m. – Noon

Regional Committee Meeting

Inn at Penn, 3600 Sansom Street
Join us for the first meeting of our newly-established Regional Committee. Our Regional Committee works with members in seven cities to plan events throughout the year: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. If you are the co-lead of the committee in your city, are interested in planning events in your city or are interested in starting a regional committee in your city, please join us. This meeting is for all members, not just those currently in an active TCPW region.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

New Member Orientation

Inn at Penn, 3600 Sansom Street
New TCPW members, their mentors, and committee co-chairs are invited to help our new members learn more about TCPW.

TCPW Conference Events

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Opening Luncheon: Politics and the Media

Inn at Penn, Woodlands Ballroom
3600 Sansom Street
Politics and the media have long been inextricably linked. Starting with the penny press, there were great wars between various newspapers about politicians.  This eventually gave way to fireside chats and ultimately into TV, which gave the candidates greater access to charm the voter through “personality politics.”  Live debates, once commercial-free and sober, are now seen by politicians and networks as profitable entertainment products. How can the contemporary citizen be more than an audience member?

To help us better understand how we can sift through all of the information with which we are being presented and separate fact from fiction, we will hear from:
  • John Lapinski - Director of the Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies as well as the Director of the Elections Unit at NBC
  • Abby Huntsman, C'08 – Reporter for Fox News Channel, Penn alumna, and daughter of 2012 presidential candidate, Jon Huntsman, Jr.
  • Eugene Kiely, Director of FactCheck.org
Our panel will be moderated by Matthew S. Levendusky, Associate Professor of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences.

We look forward to welcoming our newest members at this luncheon!  In addition, the Seventh Annual TCPW/Provost Award will be presented to Engineering Professor Susan Margulies, to recognize her contributions in advancing the role of women in higher education and research at Penn.

2:45 – 4:15 p.m.

Committee Meetings

Inn at Penn, Various Rooms
3600 Sansom Street

4:15 – 6:00 p.m.

The Educated Voter

Inn at Penn, 3600 Sansom Street
School of Social Policy and Practice Dean John Jackson will join us to talk about the most important social policy issues currently in politics, as well as for the 2016 Presidential Election. He will be joined by the Women of FELS, who will engage us in conversation about several of these topics in smaller groups.

Dean Jackson is a noted cultural anthropologist who has written and taught about the impact of mass media on urban life, globalization and the remaking of ethnic and racial diasporas, and racialization and media technology. He joined Penn in 2006 as its first Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) University Professor, a program developed to recruit preeminent faculty who have appointments in two Penn schools and who harness tools from different disciplines and professional perspectives to address compelling societal challenges.

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Thursday Evening Dinner:  Campaigns, Debates and Conventions

Philadelphia City Hall, Conversation Hall
1401 John F Kennedy Boulevard
If driving, please use entrance facing the Marriott Residence Inn

We are incredibly fortunate to welcome Marjorie Margolies, CW’63, and David Eisenhower as our keynote dinner speakers, both of whom have had decades-long careers in and around politics, not to mention their storied connections to several Presidents. In addition to sharing their own stories, we will learn about the class that they teach together once every four years, Campaigns, Debates and Conventions, which takes students behind the scenes at the conventions, as they meet with delegates, talk with policymakers, and hear speeches by rising political stars.

Marjorie Margolies is a TCPW member, a former Congresswomen and Instructor at Penn’s Fels Institute of Government.  She has been both an Annenberg and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. Marjorie is also the founder and chair of Women’s Campaign International, a group that provides advocacy training for women throughout the world.

David Eisenhower is the Director of the Institute for Public Service at the Annenberg School for Communication, as well as the co-chair of the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s History Institute. He is a New York Times best-selling author and Pulitzer finalist in History for his book Eisenhower: At War.  He is the only grandson of the 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the son-in-law of the 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon.

A bus will be available to transport members from the Inn at Penn to City Hall at 6:20, and return to the Inn at Penn after dinner. Identification will be required to enter City Hall.

9:00 p.m.


Living Room, The Inn at Penn 3600 Sansom Street
End the day relaxing, enjoying conversation with fellow TCPW members and listening to a musical performance by Penn students.

Friday, April 8, 2016

8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast and Panel Discussion

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. – The Supreme Court: The Path to Nomination and Key Upcoming Issues

Penn Law School, Gittis Classrooms 213 & 214
3501 Sansom Street

While the Constitution states that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the Supreme Court”, we find ourselves in the middle of a loud debate over how the process of nominating our next Supreme Court Justice will unfold. With the understanding that this appointment could shift the balance for years to come, this is indeed a critical appointment.

We will hear from two preeminent legal scholars, Jeff Rosen, President of the National Constitution Center, and cited as “the nation’s most widely read and influential legal commentator”, as well as Ted Ruger, Dean of Penn’s Law School, who was president of the Harvard Law Review, and whose work has been published in many of the nation’s most highly regarded law journals. Ali Velshi, Anchor Al Jazeera America; Global Affairs & Economics Journalist, will lead this informative discussion.

Their brilliant insights will teach us about the important issues that will be facing the Supreme Court in its upcoming sessions, as well as how to better navigate the onslaught of information we will be hearing on the road to the next Supreme Court Justice.

10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

General Meeting and Admissions Update

Penn Law School, Gittis Classrooms 213 & 214
3501 Sansom Street
Committee Co-Chairs will give updates on their current committee work. We will also hear an admissions update from Penn’s Dean of Admissions, Eric Furda.

12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Closing Luncheon – Wharton's Work with Washington: Bridging the Chasm Between Business and Government

Agora, Annenberg Public Policy Center
202 S. 36th Street
Learn more about Wharton¹s initiative and role as a hub for public policy research and education that bridges the intellectual divide between business and government. Featuring Andrew Coopersmith, Managing Director of the Wharton Public Policy Initiative.

The TCPW Student Leadership Award, Huber-Giles Award, and Athletic Achievement Awards will also be presented during lunch.

Post Conference Event

3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Becoming a Public Intellectual; Lessons on Personal Branding, Communications and Networking

Annenberg School, Room 109
3620 Walnut Street

We hope you will stay after the conference and join us for an event for female Penn faculty sponsored by our Advancement of Women Faculty Committee. This event will provide an opportunity to hear from those that are considered "public intellectuals" – a term used in the academic world for those who are known as recognized thought leaders/those who have developed a reputation and personal brand around an area or subject. The panelists will consist of female faculty and TCPW members who are leaders in branding and networking who will share their knowledge, expertise and their own story about developing their professional reputations.

Please contact Terri Welsh at welsh@upenn.edu or 215-898-3463.

The Trustees’ Council of Penn Women is an international network of Penn Alumnae. These leaders, by power of their example, support, foster, and promote the advancement of women and women’s issues within the University, thus enriching the University community as a whole.

Dawn Porter Eringis, CHE’85, WG’89

Hildegard Kanamuller Toth, FAS’79

Cheryl Peisach, W’87
Lori Pearlman Wachs, W’90

Please visit the TCPW website to pay your dues, make a donation or help defray the costs of our conference.