From the Pillars of Democracy to the Dynamic Presidential Race, Election Course Offers an Engaging Curriculum for UM Students


‌The 2016 presidential candidates have been chosen and the race to the White House is on in one of the most controversial and historic elections to date. Who will win? How does the Electoral College work? What role does media play in today’s political arena? These questions and more will be answered by a group of University of Miami instructors teaching a course entitled The 2016 Election, hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Political Science.

“This is one of the biggest and most important courses that the University of Miami has ever offered,” said Dr. Joseph Uscinski, an associate professor of political science at the UM College of Arts and Sciences. “This election is of monumental importance, and our students will have the opportunity to learn about it from both expert professors and top political insiders.”

The 300 students enrolled in the course will meet every Tuesday night in Storer Auditorium to study the democratic process, from the ins and outs of a presidential campaign to issues that divide voters today, election conspiracy theories, voter turnout, and race and gender issues across the U.S. political spectrum.

The course also will feature guest speakers who offer real-world experience in politics, government, and the media, such as U.S. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo, both Republicans from Miami and UM alumni, former U.S. Representative and current news commentator Colonel Allen West, and local filmmaker Billy Corben.

"By bringing in prominent outside speakers from the world of politics and the mass media, we will expose hundreds of UM students to experts with frontline knowledge of this historic election, " said Dr. Casey Klofstad, an associate professor of political science. "UM has a rich tradition of engagement with presidential elections, and with the support of the college we are hoping to make this course a centerpiece of that continued engagement this year.”

The course also will feature an election-night watch party on Nov. 8 for students and invited guests with live broadcasts from CNN, MSNBC, and other news channels, as well as guest speakers and opportunities for students to engage in live polling.

In addition to Klofstad and Uscinski, other lecturers include Fernand Amandi, a UM instructor and managing partner of Bendixen & Amandi International, a Miami-based management and communications consulting firm, and Rudy Fernandez, chief of staff to UM President Julio Frenk and vice president of government and community relations at UM.

August 10, 2016