NMSU’s Domenici Institute seeking student panelists for 2013 conference

February 18, 2013 by Justin Bannister, NMSU News Center

New Mexico State University’s Domenici Institute is now accepting nominations from faculty and administrators of universities across the state for students to participate in the 2013 Domenici Public Policy Conference. The conference takes place Sept. 18-19 and nominations are due by April 30.

“Students who serve as panelists have a great responsibility,” said Garrey Carruthers, dean of NMSU’s College of Business and director of the Domenici Institute. “Only 20 students will be selected and they are the only conference attendees allowed to ask questions of speakers during the program.”

Through the sponsorship of U.S. Bank, the 2013 sponsor of the Domenici Student Panelist Program, each student panelist will receive a $250 U.S. Bank Visa gift card, a two-night hotel stay in Las Cruces and will participate in a dinner and orientation banquet. U.S. Bank sponsored the program last year, as well.

“The student panelist program is one of the most unique and important pieces of the Domenici Public Policy Conference,” said Craig Buchanan, market president for U.S. Bank in Las Cruces. “It’s an excellent learning experience for the students who take part and we are proud to help make this happen.”

NMSU has hosted the Domenici Public Policy Conference each year since 2008. Named for retired Sen. Pete Domenici, the yearly conference attracts more than 900 attendees and brings together some of the country’s top experts to thoughtfully examine and highlight important public policy matters.

While the speakers for the 2013 conference have not yet been announced, past student panelists have questioned a host of speakers, including New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, former Secretary of State James Baker, former Senator Christopher Dodd, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, political strategist James Carville, Ambassador Karen Hughes, former Senator Tom Daschle and retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and CIA.

To be considered, students must be nominated by faculty or administrators from their respective universities. All student nominees will be notified of their selection status via email on or before June 14. Student panelists will also have an opportunity to meet privately, as a group, with retired Sen. Pete Domenici during the conference.

“Participating in the Domenici Conference as a student panelist was a wonderful learning experience,” said Emma Hamilton, an NMSU student who participated in 2012. “It strengthened my public speaking and research skills and helped open my eyes to the power of bipartisanship and idea sharing in today’s public policy debates.”

Students selected as panelists will be mentored by a small committee of the Domenici Institute Advisory Council. NMSU College of Education professor and advisory council member Alfred Valdez will lead the committee and guide the student preparation. Over the summer, student panelists are expected to participate in research initiatives resulting in the development of comprehensive and relevant questions to be addressed by the conference speakers. Students will work in teams and each team will be assigned to research and prepare questions for one speaker.

For more information about the program, including the online nomination form, visit http://domenici.nmsu.edu. Questions regarding the program should be directed to Sara Patricolo, Domenici Institute program manager, at 575-646-2066 or spatrico@nmsu.edu.

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