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President Builds Relationships During Visit to Washington, D.C.

July 5, 2016

Group around a table eating dinner

Meeting national leaders, re-connecting with alumni, shepherding existing relationships and building new relations were goals for ESU President Allison Garrett’s trip to Washington D.C.

During the five days in the nation’s capital, Garrett and Brian Denton, ESU legislative liaison, met with the members of the Kansas Congressional delegation as well as other lawmakers to advocate for the designation of the Memorial to Fallen Educators on ESU’s campus as a national memorial.

Kansas Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts already had sponsored Senate Bill 2061, the “National Memorial to Fallen Educators Act of 2015.” On June 24, the Friday of Garrett’s visit, Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp introduced the companion bill, House Resolution 5582.

Garrett has asked the rest of the Kansas delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor the bill.

“It is a non-fiscal bill, meaning there is no money associated with it,” Garrett explained. “If passed, it will bring additional visibility with highway signage and a website.”

Garrett also enjoyed a visit with former U.S. Senator from Kansas Bob Dole. 

“He’s certainly well-connected,” she said, noting they discussed Senate Bill 2061.

Visits at embassies and education organizations in the D.C. area allowed Garrett to introduce Emporia State, share some ESU programs and explore new relationships. These included meeting Germán Rojas, ambassador of the Paraguayan embassy, Daniel Camilo Pedraza, first secretary at the Colombian embassy. Garrett also visited with leaders at the Council for Opportunity in Education, which oversees the TRiO program; the American Library Association; the U.S. Department of Education and American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

“We talked about the big picture education needs in the United States,” said Garrett about some of the visits.

A highlight of the trip was meeting Hornets in the capital during an evening dinner event.

“We had a number of current students in Washington who were also able to engage with our alumni,” Garrett said of the dinner.




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