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USS Eisenhower Award Winners Visit Navy CNO

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert met on May 4, 2014 with Master Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Robert Stumm, his wife Kelly, the Commanding Officer of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Capt. Steve Koehler, his wife Gina and Eisenhower Command Master Chief Sheila Langejans, Rex Buffington, Stennis Center Executive Director and Cmdr. Martin Edmonds, the Dwight D. Eisenhower 2013 Five Star Leadership Award recipient after his frocking ceremony to master chief. Stumm was coincidentally visiting Greenert for earning the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower 2013 Waging Peace Leadership Award when the master chief promotion list was released and Greenert proposed an impromptu frocking in his office at the Pentagon so that Stumm would not have to wait to assume the rank and responsibility as a master chief. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor/Released)


As part of the Stennis Center’s Civil-Military program, the Leadership Award winners from the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier visited Washington on April 7-9, 2014.  The award winners are selected through a ship-wide competition.  They and their families travel to Washington, D.C. where they meet with Members of Congress and congressional staff and other civilian leaders. To honor some of the men and women who demonstrate outstanding leadership on American aircraft carriers, the Stennis Center created a special leadership awards program for eight ships.


The Stennis Fellows of the 113th Congress held a roundtable at the University of Virginia on March 28-29, 2014.  Hosted by former Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles, the Stennis Fellows explored historical and societal perspectives on polarization with professors Frances Lee of the University of Maryland and Nolan McCarty of Princeton University. They also examined congressional leadership with John McGuire and Chuck Palus, two top leadership development experts from the Center for Creative Leadership.

Congress to Campus Program at Naval Academy

On March 23-25, 2014, the U.S. Naval Academy hosted the Congress to Campus program. The purpose is to encourage students to consider careers in public service and to provide firsthand knowledge about the work of Congress.  The Stennis Center’s partner in this program is the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (USAFMC).


The Stennis Center hosted 30 Presidential Scholars from Mississippi State University at Harvard University and Tufts University on March 10, 2014.  The MSU students interacted with faculty and students from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.  The program gave the students the opportunity to think about how they might be involved in providing public service leadership as they plan to pursue graduate school.

Stennis Fellows Hold Roundtable Discussion

The Stennis Fellows met on Monday, February 10, 2014 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. for a roundtable focused on "Media and Transparency:  Implications for Bridging Boundaries."  Guest experts included Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project and former managing editor of US News and World Report, and Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. The Stennis Fellows Program is a bipartisan, bicameral experience for senior-level staff of the U.S. Congress that has become the premiere leadership development program for staff leaders on Capitol Hill.


Former Reps. Jim Chapman (D-TX) and Barry Goldwater, Jr. (R-CA) visited the University of Hawaii on February 2-4, 2014 for the Congress to Campus program. This joint program with the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress helps college students understand the importance of Congress in American life and the value of public service.


Captain Michael Wettlaufer, Commanding Officer of the USS JOHN C. STENNIS aircraft carrier, and his wife Tina visited Mississippi on February 2-6, 2014.  Captain Wettlaufer addressed the Mississippi House and Senate and toured Senator Stennis’ hometown of DeKalb with Margaret Stennis Womble, daughter of the late senator. Having the Commanding Officer of the USS STENNIS visit Mississippi gives him a better understanding of Senator Stennis and the state that produced him and that he loved and served throughout his life.  The visit also reminds Mississippians of Senator Stennis' service and of the service the men and women on the USS STENNIS are providing our nation as they project American strength throughout the world.

Stennis Center Mourns Eph Cresswell, Founding Board Chairman

Eph Cresswell, founding chairman of the Stennis Center’s Board of Trustees, died on January 29. He was the administrative assistant, now known as chief of staff, for Senator John C. Stennis from 1958 to 1989.  He served as chairman of the board from 1989 to 2010.  In 2010, the Stennis Center established the William E. “Eph” Cresswell Congressional Staff Leadership Award to recognize and honor an exceptional congressional staff leader who has demonstrated the ideals of patriotism, integrity and leadership through public service that characterized his life and career.


The Stennis Fellows of the 113th Congress held their first roundtable on December 9, 2013. Their theme is “Meeting the Challenge:  Bridging Boundaries for the Common Good.”  They met with a distinguished panel to explore numerous questions, including:

•  What is the historical perspective of polarization?
•  What is the role of the media in polarization and how has it changed?
•  How can you have a dialogue with the current level of distrust?
•  How can we as staff promote bipartisanship and cooperation?

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