Day 2: Dallas Historical Tour–Dulce Martinez and Tessa Fendley

The second day of our Dallas trip started early Saturday morning at the Southern Methodist University campus. SMU has one of the most beautiful campuses we have seen. The architecture is the first thing that captures your eye.  Dallas Hall, for example, is beautiful, and it was the first building on SMU’s campus (1915), designed by Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge.

SHSU Students in Front of Dallas Hall
       SHSU Students in Front of Dallas Hall

Also impressive was the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, the location for our New Politics Forum Seminar.  Given Tower’s history serving Texas, it was a fitting venue for our conference on public careers.

John_Tower_Emblem_Web

We first attended a panel on State Policy Making, featuring Chancellor Lee Jackson, Representative Kenneth Sheets, and Representative Rafael Anchia. Chancellor Jackson Lee was formerly a member of the House of Representatives and is perhaps unusual in that he owns no social media accounts.  He emphasized the importance reliability and integrity.

Chancellor Lee Jackson
                Chancellor Lee Jackson

Representative Sheets fell into politics through his work in the military and volunteering for the Republican Party.  Unusual for a public official, he notes that he is horrible at remembering names. His tip for combating this is to always call someone “Ma’am” or “Sir.”

Representative Kenneth Shields
          Representative Kenneth Sheets

Representative Anchia, a first generation American, was the speaker who stood out the most to us.  He emphasized that politics and public service are separate, and that the former should never get in the way of the latter.  He was also spent the most time with students from SHSU, appearing impressed with the school’s LEAP program.

Representative Rafael Anchia with SHSU Students
    Rep. Rafael Anchia with SHSU Students

Our second session featured the keynote speaker, Senator Royce West. He is a fine speaker, and he interacted well with the audience.

TX Senator Royce West
                 TX Senator Royce West

He emphasized integrity as well as the importance of bipartisanship.  He applied these qualities to his own career, and noted that he was able to save his own legislative agenda by “listening and working with people.”  He also graciously stayed after with us, and encouraged us to continue getting the most out of our education.

SHSU Students with TX Senator West
       SHSU Students with TX Senator West

The last panel of the day addressed the Media and was led by Carol Reed, of Reed PRC, and Gromer Jeffers, from the Dallas Morning News.  Both, again, pressed issues of integrity and, members of the media, stressed credibility.

Following the event, we moved to Bandito’s Mexican Cantina for food and conversation.  We met Casey Bingham, who works for Greg Abbott and is a member of the Young Republicans of Dallas.

Casey Bingham and Dulce Martinez
       Casey Bingham and Dulce Martinez

We also met a student from UNT, who told us about a program the University offers focusing on non-profit economics.

We dined at Eatzi’s, a build-your-own meal place, that combines elements of a grocery story and a sit-down cafe. Here we enjoyed a wonderful array of foods. One of the must haves is the spicy spaghetti, with freshly prepared pasta and a spicy tomato sauce. If comfort food is your thing, the combination of the lemon chicken, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes is the ideal combination. If you are adventurous, the sweet curry chicken offers a unique blend of ingredients and texture. For dessert, we visited a small gelato ship, and I Had the “Monkey Business” gelato, which was probably the best ice cream I’ve ever had, offering banana, cinnamon, vanilla, and—as a surprise—chocolate.

With some energy restored, we headed to Dallas City Hall, which was designed I. M. Pei, probably the most celebrated living architect.  It was a beautiful and peaceful scene.

Dallas City Hall by I.M. Pei
               Dallas City Hall by I.M. Pei

From there, we checked out Pioneer Plaza, which was created by Robert Summers, a Texas artist.  It is the largest bronze sculpture in the world and makes for a dramatic scene in downtown Dallas.

Pioneer Plaza
                Pioneer Plaza

It was the perfect way to end the day!

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to news stories, having contributed more than 50 pieces in the past year. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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