Alumni College 2020

Alumni College is back (virtually)!

Alumni Programs is excited to announce that Alumni College will happen virtually, June 12–14! Our presenters are working to modify their presentations to create meaningful exercises and lectures that will be, in true Reedie style, engaging and thought-provoking. 

Let us know if you’re able to make it to Democracy 2020: Mechanics, Opportunities, and Perils by registering by June 8. Sessions will be facilitated through Zoom and are free for all participants. All you’ll need is an internet connection and the desire to tackle this complex topic with other passionate Reedies. 

How does virtual Alumni College work?

  • After registering, you’ll receive a link to the Alumni College Zoom meeting room. You can use this link to join any and all sessions. If you'd like to attend just one, simply sign on at the designated time. Sessions are freestanding but together create a comprehensive course. 
  • Our topic this year is a nuanced one, and we could probably spend years discussing it! Instead, we're packing our three days full of programming that will run from 9 a.m. to around 3 p.m. each day (this is subject to change as the schedule is finalized). This time will include ample breaks and interactive activities to keep participants feeling energized and engaged throughout. 
  • Can’t make it to a presentation? No problem! A recording of the presentation will be available on the website after the fact. Q&A sessions will not be recorded.



Democracy 2020: Mechanics, Opportunities, and Perils

Expand your knowledge of democracy and get some perspective on the upcoming election cycle. Alumni College will take a nuanced and practical look at democracy on a local and global scale. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the unique triumphs and tribulations of democracy today, such as redistricting and the role of psychology in elections, in an intimate and hands-on setting. All sessions will take place via Zoom.

Friday, June 12, 9-10:30 a.m.

  • Rhodes College Professor Robert Saxe ’93 will give an introductory lecture on some historical elections in the United States, and help us lay the groundwork for the lectures ahead. Robert Saxe specializes in 20th Century US history, specifically focusing on war and society and US politics.

Friday, June 12, 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

  • Reset your political perspectives with a writing workshop led by Khristina Hamilton Haddad '92, Associate Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at Moravian College. Use your writing to clarify your political priorities, to communicate more clearly with others, and to gain confidence and a stronger sense of agency as you prepare for the months ahead. 

Friday, June 12, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

  • Study elections through the lens of cognitive psychology with Vasiliy V. Safin ’07, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology at Reed.

Saturday, June 13, 9-10 a.m

  • What are the dominant forms of power at work in America in June, 2020? Four answers to this question highlight different ways in which power is exercised: by prevailing in direct conflict; controlling the agenda of decision-making; shaping thinking so the powerless do not understand their real interests; and by socialization to prevailing norms. We will consider these answers in relationship to the rise of social media and the progress of climate change. Then, we consider their applicability to current demonstrations about police brutality and racism in America. Lead by Deborah Jones Baumgold ’71, Professor Emerita of Political Science at the University of Oregon, and Ryan Harding, a doctoral student completing his dissertation this summer in the University of Oregon Department of Political Science.

Saturday, June 13, 10:15-11:45 a.m.

  • Learn about the laws that govern redistricting with real data from Multnomah County and Peter Miller ’06, researcher at the Brennan Center, who focuses on redistricting, voting, and elections.

Saturday, June 13, 1-2 p.m.

  • Expand your knowledge of elections and voting access with Paul Manson ’01, Research Director at the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College.

 Saturday, June 13, 2:15-3:15 p.m.

  • Felony disenfranchisement laws disproportionately affect poor and minority citizens, and might also affect electoral outcomes. A new policy restored voting rights to over 150,000 formerly disenfranchised citizens in Virginia. However, many of these newly enfranchised citizens were unaware of this. Victoria Shineman ’15, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh leverages this misinformation as an opportunity to estimate how people respond when they learn that their voting rights have been restored.
Sunday, June 14, 9-10:30 am
  • How are governance and elections intertwined? Learn from Policy Director Derek Bradley ’06 and Ali Nouri ’97, President of the Federation of American Scientists, about affecting change post election, organization in government, and policy development. 

Sunday, June 14, 10:45 a.m.-12 p.m. 

  • Alumni College concludes with a panel discussion between presenters. 

Please note this schedule is subject to change.


Questions? Please reach out to Alumni Programs,, 503/777-7589.