Panel Discussions Announced for Annual Ralph Munro Institute Nov. 15-16

Western Washington University’s Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education will host Danny Hayes, Political Science professor at George Washington University, for its 2016 Ralph Munro Seminar keynote lecture at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14, at the Mount Baker Theatre in downtown Bellingham. Hayes is a nationally acclaimed scholar of American politics, elections, and media. His lecture will address the role of the media in the Presidential campaign.

The seminar will also feature experts during panel discussions on campus on Tuesday Nov. 15, and Wednesday, Nov. 16, in the Old Main Theatre. All events including Danny Hayes' keynote are free and open to the public.

Topics will include:

Tuesday, Nov. 15

Money in Politics and Campaign Finance, 1:15-2:30 p.m., Old Main Theatre 
Moderator: Paul Dunn, senior executive assistant to President, WWU

  • Alan Durning, executive director, Sightline Institute
  • Todd Donovan, Whatcom County Council, Political Science Department, WWU
  • Dann Mead Smith, president of the Washington Policy Center, WWU alumnus


Media, Elections and Public Perception, 3–4:15 p.m., Old Main Theatre  
Moderator: Karen Stout, director, Karen Morse Leadership Institute, Communication Studies Department, WWU

  • Joel Connelly, columnist, Seattle Post-Intelligencer​
  • Tracy Ellis, News Director and talk show host with KGMI Radio
  • Peggy Watt, Journalism Department, WWU


Wednesday, Nov. 16

The Homelessness Crisis, 1:15–2:30 p.m., Old Main Theatre  
Moderator: Steve VanderStaay, vice provost for Undergraduate Education, WWU


  • Mike Parker, director of Whatcom Homeless Service Center
  • Walter Zisette, associate director, Capitol Hill Housing, Seattle
  • Riannon Bardsley, executive director, Northwest Youth Services, Bellingham
  • Debbi Knowles, Snohomish County Office of Community and Homeless Services, WWU alumna


Mass Incarceration, 3-4:15 p.m., Old Main Theatre 
Moderator: Vernon Johnson, Munro Institute director, Political Science Department, WWU


  • Brad Klippert, Washington State House of Representatives, 8th Legislative District
  • Brynn Jacobson, King County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney/Future Prosecutors for Social Justice
  • Kathleen Kyle, Snohomish County Public Defender Association/Washington Sentencing Guidelines Commission
  • Ron Helms, Sociology Department, WWU
  • Celina Meza, Yoga Behind Bars


For more information, contact Vernon Johnson, Western Washington University professor of Political Science and program director for the Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education at (360) 650-4874 or

Monday, November 7, 2016 - 9:57am