Past ADP Events & Presentation Recordings

The American Democracy Project’s mission is to make politics more approachable, understandable, and accessible to Fredonia students. Below is a description of our previous events. In an effort to help students understand the political process, some lectures were recorded and are available via a hyperlink.

Past ADP Events

"Sip and Stroll" the Constitutional Amendments Exhibit

September 1st - 28th

Sip n Stroll

September Voter Registration Drives

We’re hosting on-campus voter registration drives during the month of September. Each event gives students an opportunity to grab a voter registration form, ask questions about filling out the form, and find out how to submit the form. The on-campus voter registration drives are as follows:

  • Sept. 12th: 10am - 2pm - Outside McEwen under the radio station
  • Sept. 13th: 1:30pm - 2:30pm - Williams Center, S204-ABC
  • Sept. 20th: 10am - 2pm - Outside Williams Center by the FRED sign
  • Sept. 27th: 10am - 2pm - Outside University Commons

Constitution Day Keynote Address

September 13th

Constitution Day 2023

Panel: Bail Reform in NYS

Wednesday, April 19th, 1pm - 2pm

Panelists include Dr. Jessica Finkeldey (SUNY Fredonia-Criminal Justice) and Professor Alexandra Harrington (director of both the Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic and the Innocence and Justice Project at UB). The panel will be moderated by Mary Croxton from the League of Women Voters of Chautauqua County. Q&A to follow panelists' presentations.

Workshop: Media Literacy as a Tool for Participating in our Digital Culture

Wednesday, April 12th, 2pm - 3pm

Media literacy is a tool we can use to navigate today’s media ecosystem and the post-truth era. This workshop, which is being co-run by Dr. Angela McGowan-Kirsch and Honors student Grace Quinlivan, will give participants a toolkit that aims to help them understand and avoid spreading misinformation. Workshop participants will become proficient in the SIFT method. Consequently, participants will learn how to distinguish between credible information sources and disinformation and how to avoid erroneous information or correct it quickly once the content has been shared with their online network. This workshop is being offered in person and on Zoom. 

Panel: Democracy Under Attack

Wednesday, March 29th, 2pm - 2:50pm

Panelists will examine how democracy is fostered and challenged around the world. Panelists include Dr. Kerry Fischer (Applied Professional Studies), Professor Raymond Rushboldt (Politics & International Affairs), and Michael Williams (Politics & International Affairs major). Panel moderators include Dr. Vicki Sapp (Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Affirmative Action, ADA Compliance Officer, and Title IX Coordinator) and Alexander Fisher (Politics & International Affairs major). The panel is being co-sponsored by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.

"Pathways to the Public Affairs Universe"

Tuesday, October 25, 6:00 pm

CDO is hosting the "Pathways to the Public Affairs Universe" program in WLMCTR S204E. Panelists include Jaclyn Napoleon from the University at Albany Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy and Laurie Buononno from SUNY Buffalo State's Master of Public Administration and Nonprofit Management program. Dr. Chausovsky (Politics & International Affairs) will moderate the panel. The focus will be on careers and internships in public affairs. Prof. Chausovsky will share information about the Washington Internship Program. Ice cream will be provided for participants!

'Making it on Capitol Hill - My Journey to the Beginning' with Rachel Skeirik

Monday, October 24, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Rachel is a 2020 Fredonia graduate working in Washington, D.C. as a staff assistant with Sen. Patty Murray. She has also worked closely with Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand. The event is being held in WLMCTR S204. The event is being co-sponsored by ADP, the Career Development Office, the Department of Communication, and the Department of Politics & International Affairs.

Capitol Hill

Voter Registration Drives in the Month of September

Voter Drive

September 7, 11-2 pm: McEwen Radio Station
September 14, 10-2 pm: University Commons Lobby
September 20, 10-2 pm: Williams Center
September 28, 10-2 pm: Williams Center


The American Democracy Project is collaborating with the League of Women Voters of Chautauqua County to host a series of on-campus voter registration drives to increase registration among students

Fall 2022 Constitution Day Speaker: Dr. Hildebrand

Dr. Jennifer Hildebrand

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
3:00-4:00 PM  (Williams Center S240DE)

This year’s Constitution Day speaker, Dr. Jennifer Hildebrand, delivered a Constitution Day lecture titled: “Voting Rights Identifying the Deep Roots of #BLM.” Dr. Hildebrand is an Associate Professor (Coordinator Ethnic Studies) here at Fredonia. Dr. Hildebrand’s in person presentation examined voting and civil rights, with a focus on movements in the present with #BLM movements as well as past movements.

Dr. Joshua D. Fetterman

Dr. Joshua Fetterman
Dr. Fetterman discusses group polarization

Group Polarization in Politics
February 25, 2022
2:00-3:00 PM  (Virtual Presentation)
» View Dr. Fetterman's presentation on polarization

Join the American Democracy Project and the Department of Psychology for a virtual presentation. From a bipartisan voice, Dr. Fetterman will present the topic of group polarization in politics over time and psychological predictors of polarization.

Dr. Joshua D. Fetterman obtained his B.S. in Psychology from York College of Pennsylvania in 2003, and his Ph.D. in Psychology (social area) from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. He is now an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, teaching undergraduate and graduate psychology.

Virtual Panel Discussion on Voting Rights

Thursday, November 11, 2021
1:00-2:00 pm
» View panel discussion on voting rights

Join the American Democracy Project and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council for a virtual panel discussion! Coming from the perspective of their respective disciplines, each panelist will discuss voting rights:

  • Dr.  Hildebrand (History) will discuss "Voting Rights: Identifying the Deep Roots of #BLM"
  • Dr.  Finkeldey (Criminal Justice) will overview "Voting Rights & the Criminal Justice System"
  • Professor Rushboldt (Politics & International Affairs) will examine "Current Voting Laws in the Context of Polarization and Political and Societal Change"

Freedom to Vote: The Time is Now

Thursday, November 11, 2021
5:00 pm
Gazebo in Washington Park, Dunkirk, NY

Join the "Freedom to Vote: The Time is Now” event. The Declaration for American Democracy Coalition (DADC), a coalition of over 130 member organizations, is hosting rallies and vigils in support of the Freedom to Vote act. The event will feature brief remarks by speakers and a time for meditation or prayer. Participants are encouraged to dress for inclement weather and to bring flashlights. Let’s work together to ensure that the Senate delivers for the American people so all our voices are heard and we can elect people who will deliver for us!

Fall 2021 Constitution Day Speaker: Jennifer Wilson

Jennifer Wilson
Jennifer Wilson, Constitution Day Speaker

Friday, September 17, 2021
1:30-2:30 pm (via Zoom)
» View ADP Constitution Day Speaker on redistricting

This year’s Constitution Day speaker, Jennifer Wilson, delivered a presentation entitled: “Your Map Matters: How Redistricting Impacts Everything in Your Life and How to Use Your Voice to Change It”. The presentation was held via Zoom on Friday, September 17 from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm.

Speaker Bio:
Jennifer Wilson is the Deputy Director for the League of Women Voters of New York State. She serves as the in-house lobbyist, policy advisor, and communications representative. Since joining the League in 2015, she’s helped advocate for the passage of progressive voting reforms including early voting, primary consolidation, pre-registration for 16- and 17-year old’s, and voter registration modernization.

Before joining the League Jennifer served as Deputy Regional Director for the Albany office of Senator Charles Schumer. Jennifer has a Master of Public Administration from the Rockefeller School of Public Affairs and Policy, with a specialization in Public Management and Policy Analytics. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Business from the City University of New York where she graduated magna cum laude.

ADP Spring 2021 Panel Series

SUNY Fredonia’s American Democracy Project is hosting the following events this semester in an effort to increase voter registration and an understanding of the issues, as well as the importance of BEING CIVICALLY ENGAGED!!

PANEL 1: What the Biden Administration's Decisions Mean for YOU (Part 1)
March 2, 2021 from 2:00-3:00 PM (Virtual Zoom Session)

Co-Sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & ADP

Join the American Democracy Project and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council for a virtual panel discussion featuring Dr. Courtney Wigdahl-Perry from Environmental Sciences, Dr. Jessica Finkeldey from Criminal Justice, and Dr. Gregory Geer from the College of Education. Coming from the perspective of their respective disciplines, each panelist will discuss what the Biden Administration’s decisions mean for Fredonia students, faculty, and staff.

» Register in advance for the Panel 1 discussion. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

PANEL 2: What the Biden Administration's Decisions Mean for YOU (Part 2)
April 14, 2021 from 2:00-3:00 PM (Virtual Zoom Session)

Co-Sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & ADP

Join the American Democracy Project and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council for a virtual panel discussion featuring Dr. Angela McGowan-Kirsch from Communication, Dr. David Rankin from Politics and International Affairs, and Dr. David Kinkela from History. Coming from the perspective of their respective disciplines, each panelist will discuss what the Biden Administration’s decisions mean for Fredonia students, faculty, and staff. Particular attention will be paid to leadership and the media.

2020 CONSTITUTION DAY Virtual Speaker:

Anthony O’Rourke, J.D., University at Buffalo Professor
"Pathological Policing & Constitutional Entrenchment"

Anthony O’Rourke, J.D., Constitution Day Virtual Speaker, September 17, 2020
Anthony O’Rourke, J.D., University at Buffalo Professor

Professor O’Rourke will speak about police defunding and its connection to U.S. and state constitutions. He will also discuss the problems that give rise to the push to defund police and provide a constitutional hook that touches on criminal procedures (e.g., stop and frisk, procedural justice).

Anthony O’Rourke is Director of the Advocacy Institute and the Joseph W. Belluck and Laura L. Aswad professor of Civil Justice criminal law and procedure, legislation, constitutional law and legal theory. His scholarship draws on work in the social doctrine and the institutional arrangements that structure legal decision making.

September 17, 2020, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Click here to register to attend the virtual event or go to > Sept. 17 to register and learn more about the speaker. Once you register you'll receive the Zoom login information.

Every time you attend an ADP event, you will be entered in a drawing for $50 or $100 in
group funding! (Great for T-shirts or pizza!)

Sponsored by the American Democracy Project (ADP) and supported by Fredonia Democracy Initiative (FDI).

Questions? Email

ADP List of Events for Fall 2020

» Download ADP Events Flyer

SUNY Fredonia’s American Democracy Project hosting the following events this semester in an effort to increase voter registration and an understanding of presidential debates, the issues, and the importance of BEING CIVICALLY ENGAGED!!

Make time to join in as many virtual events as possible!
Election questions? Email

November 3, 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Election Day! Vote in person, by absentee ballot, or vote early!

October 22, 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Pre-debate Meetup discussion of “The Media and Presidential Debates” facilitated by Mike Igoe, JD and Elmer Ploetz

October 15, 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Pre-debate Meetup discussion of “The Russian Challenge to American Democracy: Constitutionalism and Hardball Politics” facilitated by Dr. Jonathan Chausovsky and Dr. John Staples

October 7, 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Pre-debate Meetup discussion of “Vice Presidency, the Electoral College, and other Constitutional Stupidities” facilitated by Dr. Jonathan Chausovsky,   Fredonia Democracy Initiative President Tom Sheffield, and students in HONR303: Elections 2020

September 30, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Voter Registration Drive in McEwen/William Ctr. Walkway in front of Radio Station/Reed Library and on Zoom

September 29, 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Pre-debate Meetup discussion of the “Role of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication in Presidential Debates” facilitated by Dr. Angela McGowan-Kirsch and Dr. Amanda Lohiser

September 22, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Voter Registration Drive in McEwen/William Ctr. Walkway in front of Radio Station/Reed Library and on Zoom

September 17, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Constitution Day speaker “Pathological Policing & Constitutional Entrenchment” by University at Buffalo Professor Anthony O’Rourke, J.D.

September 16, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Voter Registration Drive in McEwen/William Ctr. Walkway in front of Radio Station/Reed Library and on Zoom

U.S. Census Bureau 2020

2020 U.S. Census Bureau: "Shape Your Future"

Tuesday, February 18, 2020:  Jason Eastman, a partnership specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, will explain the significance of the census.

Fall 2019 Monthly Table Topics

November 11-12, 2019:  “NYS Excelsior Scholarship”

October 23-24, 2019:  "Criminal Justice Reform" 

ADP logoFredonia's American Democracy Project co-sponsors these events with the student group, Fredonia Democracy Initiative (FDI).  Students, faculty, and staff are invited to drop by their table in McEwen Hall to write a postcard to their local legislators.  This is not only an opportunity for students to voice their opinions, but for them to sign up and become members of the FDI which works closely with Fredonia's American Democracy Project in a variety of ways to make students aware of the importance of the issues in government and becoming more civic-minded individuals.  Close to 50 postcards were sent.  

Dr. Edward BallVisiting Professor, Dr. Edward Ball, lectured to a full house of over 120 students, faculty, and staff on October 2, 2019 in the Williams Center on his book, Life of a Klansman.  His book explores the life of an ordinary carpenter who joined the movement of the Ku Klux Klan in New Orleans during the years after the Civil War.  This talk was part history and part family memoir as the carpenter and white supremacist was a member of his own family.  One of Balls’ five non-fiction books, Slaves in the Family, won the National Book Award for non-fiction and became a New York Times bestseller.  Dr. Ball, who currently teaches at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University as well as part-time at Yale University, has been featured on national NPR broadcasts, major television networks, and appeared on Oprah.  This event was supported by the Williams Visiting Professorship Endowment in the Fredonia College Foundation and co-sponsored by Fredonia's American Democracy Project.

Constitution Day - Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Photo of CCWBA lawyers with Angela McGowan-KirschFredonia's American Democracy Project hosted a panel in the Garden Room at Reed which was comprised of lawyers from the Chautauqua County Women's Bar Association (CCWBA). They discussed "Checks and Balances of Government as outlined in Articles I, II, and III" and the "Impeachment Clause in Articles I and II".  Following the panel discussion, there were "open office hours" from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. to allow students to stop in and ask questions on a variety of law-related topics while grabbing light refreshments.   Along the route from the entrance of Reed Library to the Garden Room, each Amendment was displayed on its own large easel for easy reading along with an opportunity for everyone to write comments on why a specific Amendment matters most to them and if they feel it should be amended, and why.  Constitution booklets and voter registration forms were available. 

Voter Registration Drive - May 1st (Law Day)

The Fredonia ADP co-hosted this voter registration drive with the Chautauqua County Women's Bar Association in the Williams Center on May 1st.  Representatives were on hand to answer student questions and to collect voter registration forms.  This was another great event to bring awareness to the importance of voting and that "Your Voice Matters!"

ADP logo

April's Monthly Table Topic:  "Environmental Issues" Gets response from Assemblyman Andrew Goodell

For the second month, the Fredonia ADP has sponsored a table with over 35 students submitting postcards to their local Legislators regarding environmental concerns.  Students are eventually becoming familiar with the process and feeling comfortable in writing about their concerns.  Click to read Assemblyman Andrew Goodell's response.

Campus Group Engages Students in Statewide Topic
ADP March Table Topics

Election Day


"Why the U.S. Constitution Matters in our Everyday Lives"

Mike Igoe, Assistant Professor of Communication

Monday, September 17
2:00-3:00 p.m.
In the Garden at Reed Library

Mike Igoe, J.D.
Assistant Professor of Communication

Guest speaker, Mike Igoe, J.D., will lecture for our Constitution Day event speaking on how the Constitution affects our everyday lives.  He is currently an Assistant Professor of Communication at Fredonia in addition to being an attorney admitted to the New York State Bar, and an award-winning former TV news reporter for 30 years. His area of research is first amendment rights and the media.  Mike has taught international journalism for three years in China, lectured in Hong Kong and Turkey, as well as authored multiple books. 

Please join us for this interesting lecture at 2:00 p.m. with a chance for questions at the end.

Refreshments will be served.
» Download the poster

This event was co-sponsored by the Division of Advancement, Engagement, and Economic Development and the Fredonia American Democracy Project.

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