The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life to Host 2012 Election Debriefing

After the ballots have been cast and our political leaders have been named, the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life's New Politics Forum will host a 2012 Election Debriefing. The nonpartisan conference, which takes place Friday, Nov. 9, will offer an insider's perspective on the election from campaign professionals, communication experts, scholars and members of the press.

The event will take place at The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication's Belo Center for New Media, 300 W. Dean Keeton St. Members of the public, interested citizens and dedicated learners are encouraged to attend. Registration is $10 for students and $20 for the general public and includes parking at the event, light refreshments and an invitation to our networking after-party. To register, click here. For group discounts and student scholarships, please contact program coordinator Emily Einsohn at or 512-471-7214.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Charles Mahtesian, Politico's national politics editor Mahtesian joined Politico after five years as the editor of National Journal's "Almanac of American Politics." He has served as an election night analyst for National Public Radio and appeared on NPR's "All Things Considered," "Hardball with Chris Matthews" and on FOX News, C-SPAN, CNN and BBC. He has written for The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, National Journal, Congress Daily, Government Executive and Campaigns and Elections.
  • Christina Bellantoni, politics editor for PBS NewsHour Bellantoni directs coverage of campaign, White House and congressional news and appears on the program for on-air analysis. She has spent more than a decade covering national political and business news in Washington, D.C., and California. She served as associate politics editor at Roll Call before joining NewsHour. She has appeared as a political analyst on "Hardball with Chris Matthews," "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren," "Reliable Sources," "The Rachel Maddow Show" and "The Daily Rundown."
  • Will Cain, writer and commentator for CNN and The Blaze Cain is a contributor to CNN and an analyst for The Blaze, which features "The Glenn Beck Program." Cain provides commentary and analysis on the 2012 presidential election and other major political events. He contributes to a wide range of CNN shows and has moderated debates between National Review and The Nation. Cain was named one of the "40 Most Influential People in the Magazine Industry" by Folio Magazine in 2007 and one of the "20 Under 40" by the Texas Press Association in 2005.
  • Cornell Belcher, a progressive political strategist and pollster for the Obama campaign Belcher is president of brilliant corners Research and Strategies a Washington, D.C.-based research and consulting firm. Belcher has earned a reputation as being a progressive thinker who is not afraid to challenge conventional political orthodoxy. As a pollster for the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2008, he helped to create the DNC's 50 State Strategy and since has served both the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
  • Dhavan V. Shah, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison In addition to teaching, Shah is director of the Mass Communication Research Center. His research focuses on the psychology of communication influence, especially the effects of information and communication technologies on social judgments, health outcomes and civic and political participation. He is a member of UW's Consumer Culture and Civic Participation working group, as well as the Social Media and Democracy research team.
  • Natalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud, assistant director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life An associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies, Stroud is interested in how the media affect people's political behaviors and attitudes and vice versa. Her recent book, "Niche News: The Politics of News Choice," explores the causes, consequences and prevalence of partisan selective exposure and the preference for likeminded political information.

Forum moderator is:

  • Regina Lawrence, director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life The Jesse H. Jones Centennial Chair in Communication in the School of Journalism, Lawrence studies the role of the media in public discourse about politics and policy. She has been chair of the Political Communication Section of the American Political Science Association, book editor of "Political Communication" and a fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University. Her most recent book is "Hillary Clinton's Run for the White House: Media, Gender Strategy, and Campaign Politics," co-authored with Melody Rose.

About The New Politics Forum
New Politics Forum programming brings nonpartisan political training and educational seminars to young adults in Texas. Taught by active political professionals dedicated to supporting the next generation, our forums activate citizenship and allow constituents to practice the skills needed for lifelong, sustained civic engagement.

About the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life
Created in 2000 to respond to growing political cynicism and disaffection in the United States, the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life is named for Annette Greenfield Strauss: former Dallas mayor, community leader and philanthropist. The Institute envisions a democracy where all citizens are informed, vote and are actively involved in improving their communities. Through nonpartisan research, education and outreach, the Institute seeks to understand and overcome obstacles to civic engagement. To learn more, visit us online at

About The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication
One of the nation's foremost institutions for the study of advertising and public relations, communication sciences and disorders, communication studies, journalism and radio-TV-film, The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication is preparing students to thrive in an era of media convergence. Serving more than 4,600 undergraduate and graduate students, the College is nationally recognized for its faculty members, research and student media. For more information about the College of Communication, visit