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Advance Team 2014-15

The 2014-2015 Riley Institute Advance Team is compiled of 34 students from many different hometowns, academic interests, and personal passions. Meet this year’s Advance Team members!

This year's Advance Team leader is Logan Lundberg ('15), Political Science, Spanish, and AGRS major from Tallahassee, FL.

This year’s  Advance Team, packed with seniors and seasoned veterans, was ready to take on a busy fall semester. We first hosted Andrew Michta, who discussed “U.S., Russia, and Crisis in Ukraine: How Bad Can This Get?” after the escalating violence in the Ukraine. Drawing a huge crowd of students, faculty, and community members, Dr. Michta discussed the situation in Eastern Europe, and the proper response for both the United States and the rest of the Western world. Aside from giving this lecture, Dr. Michta also attended several international politics classes and held a brief meeting about careers in international relations.

On Constitution Day the A-Team hosted a panel discussion about the Hobby Lobby decision, bringing in Holly Hollman from the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, to evaluate the constitutionality and idea of First Amendment rights with professors Cosby, Aeisi, and Maher. “Hobby Lobby Ruling: Winning Religious Liberty or Extending Corporate Reach?” was a highly successful CLP, drawing interest from the Furman community that stemmed from the hotly debated Supreme Court case.

Following Constitution Day, the Advance Team hosted another symposium on China’s Global Rise, this year discussing the environmental crisis going on in Asia. On the first night, Jennifer Turner discussed “China’s Environmental Choke Points,” showing students and attendees the science behind China’s environmental problems, and the response of Chinese citizens. Her well-appreciated address was followed the next night by a panel, hosted by Dr. Kaup, featuring Stevan Harrell and Andrew Mertha who spoke about “Missed Opportunities: Reforestation at the Local Level,” and “Success is Not an Option: Lessons from the Anti-Dam Protests at Pubugou” respectively. Later that same night, Patricia Adams spoke about “Saving China’s Environment: Give Power to the People,” adding a political perspective to the scientific panel’s observations.

Later in October, the Advance Team had the pleasure of assisting with participants at the White-Riley-Peterson meetings.

Furman and the Riley Institute also had the honor of hosting the second South Carolina Gubernatorial Debate on October 21, featuring all candidates including Governor Nikki Haley, Vincent Sheheen, Tom Ervin, Steve French, and Morgan Bruce Reeves. This debate focused on jobs, the economy, and education.

The Advance Team also had members Sarah Katherine DeVenny and Kelly Dickson attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation symposium in Beijing, China this fall. (Current A-Team member Emily Vontsolos attended APEC in 2013.)

After such a busy fall, the Advance Team jumped right back into action in the spring semester, attending and working the Tenth Wilkins Legislative and Civic Awards Dinner in Columbia, SC. Honoring Speaker Jay Lucas and Bill Barnet, the Team had the pleasure of hosting and listening to Bob Schieffer’s keynote address, as well as speeches from the Institute’s founder Secretary Richard Riley, the award namesake Ambassador David Wilkins, and Furman President Elizabeth Davis.

In February, the Advance Team hosted an unprecedented group of women for the Women in Public Media symposium. President and CEO of CPB Patricia Harrison, President and CEO of PBS Paula Kerger, President and CEO of SCETV Linda O’Bryon, and Senior VP of Television and Digital Video Content at CPB Jennifer Lawson came together for the first time to discuss the future of public media and their role as women in leading the media in the United States. The first night included remarks from Patricia Harrison and Paula Kerger, followed by a conversation hosted by Linda O’Bryon. The second night was a panel discussion of all four women, moderated by Mark Quinn, a former host on SCETV. All four women attended classes and discussions throughout their time at Furman, as well as participated in a dinner and discussion with the Hollingsworth and Townes Scholars.

In late March, the team hosted a Riley Institute Woodrow Wilson Fellow in Residence Robert Musil, to discuss “Hope for a Heated Planet: What Would Rachel Carson Do?,” addressing the political ramifications of climate change around the world.

With such a busy year, this Advance Team has been working diligently to provide the most enjoyable and professional experiences for all of the Riley Institute’s guests. 

Finally, a huge "Thank You" goes out to Logan Lundberg for doing an incredible job of overseeing the Advance Team and organizing the Advance Team's participation in this plethora of events held throughout the year!