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University Relations

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September 21, 2005
Contact: Bill Lacy, Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics. (785) 864-4900.

KU institute names former Rep. Karen McCarthy, Paul Curcio as Dole Fellows

LAWRENCE -- The Dole Institute of Politics has named former Democratic Rep. Karen McCarthy of Missouri and Republican media consultant Paul Curcio as Dole Fellows for the fall semester at the University of Kansas. The institute also named Nancy Jackson as its new research fellow.

McCarthy and Curcio will join institute Associate Director Barbara Ballard, who also is a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, in leading weekly study groups at the institute. Jackson will conduct interviews and write a book-length study about broad issues in which Americans are in general agreement, despite the polarization between blue and red states on more narrow issues.

" We are delighted to have such highly experienced practitioners as Dole Fellows," said institute director Bill Lacy.

The seven-week, 90-minute study sessions will all take place at 4 p.m. in the Simons Media Room. The sessions, which are free, are intended primarily for students, but the public is welcome to attend and participate. McCarthy, who served in Congress for 10 years before retiring this year, earned a bachelor's and MBA at KU. She was teacher when elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1977 and served until her election to Congress in 1994. In Congress, she was on the Select Committee on Homeland Security and the Energy and Commerce Committee.

She will lead the Thursday study groups, "A Citizen Can!" starting Sept. 29. Topics will enable participants to become familiar with how to access the local, state and federal level of governance. Featured guest speakers will share their experiences as an elected official, citizen advocate, special interest advocate or member of the press.

Curcio was the National Republican Senatorial Committee's political director in the 1992 and 1994 election cycles, during which Republicans captured the Senate majority. He began his career in advertising, working on such accounts as Crest, Scope, Zest and Pepto-Bismol. An adjunct instructor at George Washington University, he holds degrees from Stanford University and the University of California at Los Angeles.

He will lead Tuesday study groups, "Behind the Scenes: Big Time Political Advertising," starting Oct. 18, covering political advertising. Because television advertising consumes up to 75 percent of a major campaign's budget, the groups will study how these commercials are created and utilized; production basics from writing scripts to buying air time; and how political advertising differs from product advertising. Participants will write and produce their own ads.

Ballard, a former Lawrence school board president, will lead Wednesday groups starting Sept. 28 focusing on "A Community of Civil and Responsible Citizens." The group will discuss what it means to be a responsible citizen, whether Americans take citizenship for granted and the process of becoming a naturalized citizen. Guest speakers will include city and state leaders, international and American students, and military veterans.

Jackson, who has a master's in history from KU, is a former acquisitions editor at the University Press of Kansas who has commissioned and developed dozens of books on American culture for the past decade. She is a development director at the Kansas University Endowment Association.

For more information, call (785) 864-4900 or visit


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