ROCK HILL, S.C. - Youth political involvement will be the focus of Winthrop's Constitution Day 2010 program Sept. 17.
Keynote speaker Bobbi Gentry ’04, assistant professor of political science at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., will discuss “The 26th Amendment and Young Adults’ Political Participation” – a subject she experienced firsthand during her undergraduate studies at Winthrop. Gentry's talk begins at 2 p.m. in Kinard Auditorium.
As an undergraduate student, Gentry completed an internship on a local political campaign, where she discovered numerous York County Board of Elections practices that discouraged Winthrop students from registering to vote in York County. Gentry’s discovery launched a six-year university campaign – which ended successfully just before the 2008 elections – to change these policies.
Gentry’s efforts to boost young adult political participation in York County made her a natural choice for this year's program, said Karen Kedrowski, chair of the Department of Political Science and director of the John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy.
“Because of her work here, she has become one of the foremost authorities on young people and political participation,” explained Kedrowski. “She is an example to students and faculty of this profession of what you can get when you work hard.”
Gentry, a native of Charleston, S.C., double majored in political science and psychology at Winthrop, where she completed honors requirements in both programs. She also was the recipient of Winthrop's Mary Mildred Sullivan Award, the university’s highest award given to a woman in the graduating class. Gentry earned her Ph.D. in political science at the City University of New York.
Winthrop has observed Constitution Day since 2005 with speakers, events and programs. Gentry's talk is free and open to the public.
For more information on Constitution Day 2010, contact Kedrowski at 803/323-4662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.