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The Presidential Election: Race and Politics

April Ryan
April Ryan

As the nation prepares for the presidential election in November, Rutgers-Newark will be getting a firsthand report from a veteran White House correspondent. Journalist April Ryan has been named the Fall 2012 Visiting Scholar for the Diversity Research Center at Rutgers University.

As Visiting Scholar, Ryan will give a public presentation on the upcoming presidential election, the intersection of race and politics, and her role as a White House correspondent on October 22, from 11:30am-1pm, in the Dana Room on the fourth floor of Dana Library.

Ryan's appointment as Visiting Scholar and her public presentation are intended to further the conversation on diversity in the public realm. In 24 years as a journalist, Ryan has reported on a plethora of social, economic, political issues. Along with her daily White House responsibilities, she is the host of "The White House Report," broadcast daily on the American Urban Radio Network. Her interviews and features have been highlighted on major news programs and newspapers around the country.

Ryan began her journalism career in 1997 in Baltimore radio stations and has since become renowned for her interviews with presidents and other top Washington political figures, including Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, former Vice Presidential candidates John Kerry and Al Gore, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush.

Her work is not limited to the goings-on in Washington, however. Under the Bush administration she traveled to Haiti with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to observe the Haitian democratic elections and to New Orleans with the Bush family on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. She has accompanied several presidents on their special missions to Africa and was granted a personal interview with South African President Thabo Mbeki.

The Visiting Scholar designation is only the latest in Ryan's long list of accolades. She is a member of the National Press Club and was elected to the Board of the prestigious White House Correspondents' Association. She is the third African American elected to the Board in the Association's 97-year history.

The Diversity Research Center is a part of the John Cotton Dana Library on Rutgers University's Newark campus. The Center was founded in 2010 to help Rutgers-Newark become a leader in research related to diversity in both higher education and libraries. For the past 15 years, U.S. News and World Report has ranked universities on the basis of diversity and Rutgers-Newark has been ranked the most diverse national university in the United States every year since the publication began assessing diversity.

The Visiting Scholar program was launched in 2010 with great success. The program hopes to bring top scholars, public figures, and experts on issues related to diversity to the most diverse campus in the country. Dr. Karen Downing, a University of Michigan librarian and scholar of social identity, race, and biracialism, and diversity in libraries was the first Visiting Scholar.

The Diversity Research Center Visiting Scholar presentation, "The Presidential Election: Race and Politics," with April Ryan will take place on October 22, from 11:30am-1pm, in the Dana Room on the fourth floor of Dana Library on the Rutgers-Newark campus.

The event is co-sponsored with the Institute for Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience []. It will be free and open to the public, including the reception. RSVP to Merve Fejzula at 973-353-5906 or

Posted October 2012