Randolph-Macon College provides students with a personalized academic experience. In fall 2014, R-MC experienced an extraordinary turn of events as two of its professors faced each other in the same election for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in Virginia’s 7th district. R-MC made the most of this opportunity by offering unique learning experiences that embraced this “living civics lesson” and provided students with a rare front-row seat to witness political history.
In fall 2014, Political Science Professor Lauren Bell Lauren Bell taught a Seminar in Political Leadership class. This course enabled students to examine models of political leadership, and followership in the United States, such as ambition theory, groupthink, and the arrangement of institutions to promote leaders’ agendas. This seminar included visits from key political leaders and an exit poll of the 7th district congressional race between R-MC professors David Brat and Jack Trammell in Hanover County, Virginia.
More than 70 students headed out to conduct the exit polls on Election day and collect surveys at all precincts in Hanover County. Political Science Professors Lauren Bell and Elliott Fullmer tracked data throughout the day for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House races.
Randolph-Macon College students joined United States Senator Tim Kaine on September 22, 2014 for coffee and a Q&A about politics. R-MC President Robert R. Lindgren accompanied Kaine, the first speaker in this series, in an open discussion, which was held in Birdsong Café in Brock Commons, R-MC’s new student center.
Kaine’s topic, "What Can we Learn about Politics from a U.S. Senator?" was an opportunity for students to learn about his career and have an open discussion about Virginia and national politics. Birdsong Café was filled with students, staff and faculty who engaged Kaine in conversation and questions surrounding major issues in the nation.