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Flagler College announces impressive lineup for 2023-2024 public lecture series

Sep 25, 2023

Flagler College proudly announces its 2023-2024 public lecture series lineup. This series includes nationally recognized journalists and commentators through the Forum on Government and Public Policy and renowned religious scholars as part of the Cecil and Gene Usdin Judeo-Christian lecture series.

The Forum on Government and Public Policy has invited journalists and commentators of diverse ideologies to speak on politics, government affairs, public policy, and international relations since 1988. These lectures deal with issues of regional, state, and national importance. 

Funded by college donors Cecil and Gene Usdin, the Judeo-Christian lecture series features lectures with a religious lens. In the past, the Usdin lecture series has hosted speakers like Father Columba, an American Benedictine monk and Dr. Raymond Scheindlin, a scholar, author, and translator of Hebrew poetry.  

The sponsors for this academic year’s public lecture series include Casa Monica Hotel in historic downtown St. Augustine and Leonard’s photography. 

If you need to request an accommodation due to a disability for reasonable access or participation, please contact the Director of the Disability Resource Center, Phil Pownall at If you need an ASL interpreter to participate, please contact  

For more information about this event, please contact Anna Gilbert, Associate Director of Special Events, at (904) 826-8716 or] 

All lectures are free and open to the public. 


Fall Semester, 2023

“2024 - An Election Like No Other” 
Major Garrett, CBS Chief Washington Correspondent 
Forum on Government and Public Policy 
Oct. 3 | 7 p.m. Virginia Room, Ringhaver Student Center   

As chief Washington correspondent, Major Garrett reports for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Garrett is also the host of "The Takeout," a weekly multi-platform interview show on politics, policy and pop culture. From 2012 until 2018, Garrett served as the Network's chief White House correspondent. 

Garret also served as the chief White House correspondent for Fox News for eight years, covering two presidential elections, Congress, the war in Iraq and other major stories. 

“Still Supreme? The High Court Today” 
John Fritze, USA Today Supreme Court Reporter 
Forum on Government and Public Policy 
Nov. 14 | 7 p.m. Virginia Room, Ringhaver Student Center   

John Fritze has covered politics for nearly two decades and is now the Supreme Court correspondent for USA TODAY. Fritze has written about local, state and national politics from Balitmore’s city hall to the White House - and now covers the Supreme Court for USA TODAY. 

Spring Semester, 2024 

"What Jst Happened?: News from Iowa and New Hampshire"
Arit John,
National Political Reporter for CNN
Forum on Government and Public Policy
Feb. 1 | 7 p.m. Virginia Room, Ringhaver Student Center

Based in Washington, D.C., Arit John is a political reporter for CNN, covering the 2024 presidential election and the stories and themes that arise as voters consider the candidate field and the issues that matter most to them. 

Most recently a national political correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, Ms. John covered the 2022 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential election. Ms. John covered the 2016 presidential campaign and the covered Congress for Bloomberg News. She grew up in southern California and studied English at UCLA. 

Bishop Stowe, OFM Conv. 
Cecil and Gene Usdin Lecturer 
Feb. 6 | 7 p.m. Virginia Room, Ringhaver Student Center 

Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., was ordained as the third Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington on May 5, 2015, succeeding Bishop Ronald Gainer who was appointed as Bishop of Harrisburg, Pa. in 2014. 

During the time of his candidacy, he began studies in philosophy and history at St. Louis University and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in each in 1990, after an interruption for his novitiate. He subsequently earned a master's in divinity and a Licentiate in Church History from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif. 

Hilke Schellman, Emmy Award-winning journalist and author of “The Algorithm”  
Forum on Government and Public Policy 
March 7 | 7 p.m. Virginia Room, Ringhaver Student Center 

Hilke Schellman is an Emmy-winning investigative reporter and journalism professor at NYU. She has reported for HBO, NPR, The New York Times, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, where she has led a team investigating how artificial intelligence is changing our lives.  

Her documentary for PBS, “Outlawed in Pakistan,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where The Los Angeles Times dubbed it “among the standouts.” It won an Emmy, an Overseas Press Club award and a Cinema for Peace award. 

“Positive Change for Women”
Jodi Enda, Washington Bureau Chief for the Fuller Project
Forum on Government and Public Policy 
March 19  | 7 p.m., Virginia Room, Ringhaver Student Center

Jodi Enda is the Washington bureau chief and senior correspondent for The Fuller Project, where she focuses on the effects of U.S. policies and politics on women and girls in America and around the world.

Jodi is an award-winning journalist who has covered government and politics at every level, from city hall to the statehouse to the White House and presidential campaigns. Throughout her career, she has paid particular attention to women’s rights, challenges and emerging power, with special emphases on the battle over abortion rights and the influence of female voters.


“A.I & U” 
Lee Rainie, Founder and Fmr. Director of Pew Research Center’s Internet & Technology Research Group 
Forum on Government and Public Policy 
April 11  | 7 p.m., Virginia Room, Ringhaver Student Center 

Lee Rainie is the founder and former director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & Technology Research Group, which has studied the social impact of digital technologies since 2000. He gives several dozen speeches a year to government officials, media leaders, scholars and students, technology executives, librarians, and non-profit groups about the changing media ecosystem. He is an expert source on technology trends for major news organizations. 

Lee is a co-author of Networked: The New Social Operating System and five books about the future of the Internet that are drawn from Pew Internet research. Prior to launching the Pew Internet Project, he was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report. 

Ross Douthat, American political analyst, blogger, author and New York Times columnist   
Hosted by the Center for Religion and Culture
April 23 | 7 p.m., Virginia Room, Ringhaver Student Center

Ross Douthat joined The New York Times as an Opinion columnist in April 2009. His column appears every Tuesday and Sunday. He is also a host on the weekly Opinion podcast, “Matter of Opinion.” Previously, he was a senior editor at The Atlantic and a blogger on its website.  


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