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The Stennis Fellows of the 113th Congress were honored individually and collectively on September 8, 2014 at the Newseum.  Nominated by Members of Congress and chosen by an independent selection panel, 26 staff leaders worked together at roundtables and retreats during the 113th Congress to pursue a learning agenda they developed based on the theme of “Meeting the Challenge:  Bridging Boundaries for the Common Good.”  The Stennis Center’s Stennis Fellows program is the premiere leadership development program for top staff leaders on Capitol Hill.



The Stennis Center hosted the Stennis Novice Speech and Debate Tournament on September 12-13, 2014 on the campus of Mississippi State University.  This event is for high school students who have almost no experience debating.  They are able to compete on a level playing field with other novices.  More than 300 students from four states (AL, LA, MS, TN) participated in ten categories of speech and debate. Scott Waldrop of Hattiesburg High School is the tournament director.



 The 2014 USS John C. Stennis Leadership Award winners were recognized during a ceremony near Bremerton, Washington on August 14, 2014.  The Straight Furrow Award was presented to CDR James Belmont, the  Look Ahead Award was presented to ISCS Kevin Lohrke, and the Constitution Award was presented to HM1 Jerry Wagner.  Captain Michael Wettlaufer, Commanding Officer of the USS Stennis, and Rex Buffington, director of the Stennis Center, are shown above with the award winners.  Honoring outstanding leadership on eight aircraft carriers is part of the Stennis Center’s public service initiative to improve civil-military relations.

Stennis Student Congress Winners Visit Washington D.C.

The Stennis Center hosted the winners of the prestigious Leadership Bowl of the Stennis Student Congress in Washington, D.C. on July 28-30, 2014.  Ryan Fedasiuk of Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Arizona won the Senate Leadership Bowl.  Nic Gerard of Shrewsbury High School in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts won the House Leadership Bowl.  The Leadership Bowl goes to the student selected by their peers as the most outstanding leaders among the 48 finalists in the 2014 Stennis Student Congress competition.  Over 450 students from throughout the nation competed in the weeklong event in Overland Park, Kansas.  The students and their coaches visited with members of Congress, congressional staff, and viewed historic documents at the National Archives.

Stennis Center Hosts Civil-Military Dinner with U.S. Senators

Frank Sullivan of the Stennis Center hosted a dinner with Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work on July 21, 2014.  Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) led the discussion.  First term U.S. Senators who attended were Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA),  Mark Kirk (R-IL).  Senators Reed and Chambliss have led a series of discussions bringing together military leaders and first-term Senators, as part of the Stennis Center’s Civil-Military Leadership Program.

USS LINCOLN Award Winners Visit Washington

As part of the Stennis Center’s Civil-Military program, the Leadership Award winners from the USS LINCOLN aircraft carrier visited Washington on June 22-25, 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.

John C. Stennis National Student Congress Meets

The John C. Stennis National Student Congress met June 15-20, 2014 in Overland Park, Kansas as part of the National Speech and Debate Tournament.  The Stennis Center sponsors Student Congress to encourage students to become leaders in government.

Grubbs Wins Harold Keller Award

Steve Grubbs received the Harold Keller Award for Public Service Leadership at the John C. Stennis National Student Congress on June 20, 2014 in Overland Park, Kansas.  The award was established to honor the long-time leader of the Stennis Student Congress, Harold C. Keller, a speech and debate coach from Davenport, Iowa, who died in 2013.

Intern Program Kicks Off

The Stennis Center’s program for Congressional Interns kicked off its first meeting of 2014 with a session on “How to Get the Most from Your Internship."  Future sessions will focus on the legislative process, budget and appropriations, separation of powers and other topics.  Twenty-six interns serving in House and Senate offices are participating in the program this year, which runs through August 1, 2014.

Truman Scholars Day on Capitol Hill

The Stennis Center sponsored the 12th annual Truman Scholars Day on Capitol Hill on May 30, 2014.  This program helps Harry S. Truman Scholars who are interning in Washington, D.C. for the summer to better understand Congress. They meet with Stennis Congressional Staff Fellows and others to learn about congressional public service.

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