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Author, politician to inaugurate series

Katie Kohler | Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The first annual Plamondon Endowed Lecture in Communications Studies at Saint Mary’s begins today with nationally accredited author and political campaign expert Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson.

The lecture, entitled “Deception in Politics,” is free and open to the public. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Little Theater in the Moreau Center for the Arts on Saint Mary’s campus.

The lecture will focus on the role of the media, namely television, in shaping elections today and in the past. Jamieson will also heavily focus on the 2004 presidential election.

The series, named for Ann Plamondon, a professor in the Communications Department since 1981, was initiated by fellow communications professor and department chair Dr. John Pauley.

“Dr. Plamondon is a longstanding member of our department. In honor of her retirement at the end of this academic year, we wanted to give ongoing tribute to her by establishing this series,” Pauley said.

Plamondon’s influence on her students prompted the creation of the event, as former students provided the funding to endow the series.

“I think it’s wonderful that we have the chance to do this,” Plamondon said. “We didn’t have any real ways to bring in a fascinating expert in communications and now we can. I just think it’s great.”

Jamieson is the first speaker in this annual series and was chosen for her extensive work with elections, campaign ads and her role as a political critic in several important elections.

Jamieson is the Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and a professor of communications at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She has written several books on the topic of campaign deception and their influence on election results.

In addition to her role at UPENN, Jamieson serves as a political contributor to CBS News. During the 1996 presidential debates, she also appeared on “The News Hour” with Jim Lehrer. For her work in the field, she has been labeled an expert in political communications.

“She is in the top of her field and embodies what we, at Saint Mary’s, stand for,” Pauley said. “She is a great person to inaugurate the event.”

While Jamieson is a woman, the series will not be limited to female speakers.

“Dr. Jamieson is just a great speaker and a strong figure in communications. In choosing the speaker next year, we will look for people with similar qualifications, regardless of gender,” Pauley said.

Pauley and other members of the communications department are hoping for a considerable turnout at the event.

“We have contacted faculty of American studies and political science students over at Notre Dame as well as local schools such as IUSB,” Pauley said.

Plamondon, who also resides in New York, hopes for the continued success of the program.

“In the future, I would love to come back each year. It all depends on where I am,” she said.

This is not Jamieson’s first visit to the College. She was also present at the sesquicentennial in 1994.