Rutman Distinguished Lecture Series on the American Presidency

Callie Crossley on set of Basic Black

Callie Crossley

The 2020 Election, with Callie Crossley

The 2020 American elections are the subject of two online panel discussions at UNH, moderated by the Boston-based, award-winning journalist and filmmaker Callie Crossley, in this year's Rutman Distinguished Lecture Series on the American Presidency.

The 2020 Election: What Might Happen and What it Might Mean
Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Callie Crossley will guide a conversation just weeks before the election with Tito Jackson ’99, former Boston city counselor and mayoral candidate; Emily Baer, UNH assistant professor of political science; and Kurk Dorsey, UNH professor of history, about the potential outcomes of the 2020 elections, covering the presidential and congressional races, as well as New Hampshire’s contests. From the long lens of history to the micro level of ground-game politics, the panel will contextualize and analyze the current political moment and consider what it tells us about our nation’s future.

The 2020 Election: What Happened and Why
Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

One week after the election, Callie Crossley will return to moderate a discussion with Jennifer Horn, co-founder of the Lincoln Project and former chair of the NH Republican Party; Andrew Smith, UNH professor of practice in political science and director of the UNH Survey Center; and Jason Sokol, UNH professor of history. The panel will examine the outcomes of the elections as well as the issues and forces that shaped the electorate’s will in 2020.

Both events are free and open to the public. 

These events will not be recorded.

The Rutman Distinguished Lecture Series on the American Presidency is generously supported by J. Morgan Rutman ’84 and Tara Rutman. The lecture series focuses on American political history with an emphasis on the modern and historical context of the American Presidency.


The 2020 Election: What Happened and Why
November 10, 2020, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Register Here for Nov 10 Event

Moderator Bio

photo of Callie Crossley



Callie Crossley, of WGBH’s "Under the Radar with Callie Crossley," is a Boston based radio and tv host, commentator, and public speaker.  Her Monday morning commentaries on WGBH’s "Morning Edition" tackle wide-ranging subject matter — from the removal of Confederate statues, police killings of unarmed Black men, the powerful men who shielded Jeffrey Epstein, commercialization of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, safe injection sites, Jay-Z and the NFL and COVID 19 disparities.

She appears on WGBH-TV’s "Beat the Press," examining local and national media coverage, and hosts "Basic Black," which focuses on current events concerning communities of color.  A frequent commentator on television and radio, she is regularly quoted in the national media.

A former producer for ABC News 20/20, Ms. Crossley is also a CIC Visiting Fellow (formerly Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow), guest lecturing at colleges and universities about media literacy, media and politics and the intersection of race, gender and media.

Callie is a multiple awarding winner journalist and documentary filmmaker, whose awards include a National Emmy, the Gold Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia Award, plus Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow, and Clarion Awards, and top honors for commentary from the Public Radio News Directors. She is the first African-American to win an Oscar nomination in the Documentary Feature category for her work as a Producer on “Bridge to Freedom,” her hour in the documentary series, “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965.” She also earned a National Emmy and the Alfred I Dupont-Columbia Award (Gold Baton) for this work.

Crossley won the 2020 Clarion Award for Radio Regular Talk or Interview program for a curated collection of segments from “Under the Radar with Callie Crossley.” She also won the 2020 Clarion Award, Local or Regional Television Talk Show for an episode of “Basic Black: Harriet Tubman movie and 1619.”

“Basic Black” team honored with the 2020 Governors Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

In January of 2019, Cinema Eye awarded the Legacy Award to Crossley and other members of the Blackside, Inc. “Eyes on the Prize” creative team for nonfiction filmmaking.

Crossley won Second Place in the 2019 Best Commentary award from the Public Media Journalists Association (formerly Public Radio News Directors, Inc.) organization for "The Smith College Incident and Everyday Racism.”

Crossley won 2019 Clarion Award for a curated collection of discussion segments from her WGBH radio show, “Under the Radar with Callie Crossley” and for Hosting the TV talk show, “Basic Black: What the Midterm Election Means for People of Color.”

Crossley won a 2017 Award from National Association of Black Journalists for Hosting in the Television Public Affairs: Interview Discussion for the program “Basic Black: Celebrating a Prince, a Queen and a General.”

Crossley was honored with the 2017 Open Door Award from Old South Church whose previous winners include former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Reverend Frank Schaefer, and Sarah Ann Shaw.

Crossley is the recipient of the 2017 Barbara Stone Hollander Award for Women’s Leadership from the Women’s Institute at Chatham University.

Crossley won the 2016 Best Commentary award from the Public Radio News Directors organization for "Tomorrow Is Not Promised: Life After Hurricane Katrina."

She was also awarded both the 2016 and 2015 National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Awards for a compilation of commentaries, “Observations on Ferguson: America’s Racial Ground Zero” and “Race Matters: Echoing History.”

In 2014 three awards –the Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow, and Clarion awards for writing, producing and co-hosting the hour radio documentary, “Witness to History: WGBH’s 1963 Coverage of the March on Washington.”

She is a graduate of Wellesley College, and holds three honorary degrees, a Doctor of Humane Letters from Wheaton College, a Doctor of Arts degree from Pine Manor College and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Cambridge College.

Crossley has been honored with many community awards including the 2019 Justice in Action Award from Jane Doe, Inc., the 2016 GK100 List, identified as one of Boston’s Top 100 Influential People of Color,  the 2012 George W. Coleman Award from the Ford Hall Forum, and a Leading Woman award from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.

She is also featured in the 2011 book, “Boston’s Inspirational Women” co-authored by award winning photographer Bill Brett, Kerry Brett, and Carol Beggy.

Speaker Bios - What Might Happen and What it Might Mean




Emily Baer is an assistant professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She previously served as a National Fellow at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, and an APSA Congressional Fellow with Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) where she worked as a legislative assistant on labor and regulatory issues, and equal pay and paid leave legislation. Her research examines the development and evolution of American political institutions, including Congress and political parties, as well as women and politics, from an inter-disciplinary and multi-method perspective. Her current projects address the causes and consequences of congressional reform and group organization in Congress, including recent historical and contemporary efforts by party factions (such as the liberal Democratic Study Group and the conservative Republican House Freedom Caucus) to challenge the status quo in the House of Representatives. Her research is ultimately focused on identifying specific strategies that members of Congress can adopt to reform the static legislative branch to be more representative of and responsive to the public and national policy problems.




Kurk Dorsey is the chair of the Department of History.  He graduated from Cornell University with majors in History and Biology, and he received his PhD from Yale University.  At UNH, he teaches courses on U.S. foreign policy and environmental history, and he has won two awards for his teaching.  He has published two books, "The Dawn of Conservation Diplomacy: U.S.-Canadian Wildlife Diplomacy in the Progressive Era," which was co-winner of the Stuart Bernath book prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and "Whales and Nations: Environmental Diplomacy on the High Seas," which won the John Lyman book prize from the North American Society for Oceanic History. He has been interviewed by media in Korea, Slovakia, Iran, Bulgaria, Canada and many places in the United States.




Tito Jackson is chief executive officer of Verdant Medical. Prior to this role, Tito served in the administration of Massachusetts’ first African-American governor, Deval Patrick, attracting and expanding IT companies such as Google and Microsoft to the state, and later served as the Governor’s political director. Most recently, he served as Boston’s District 7 city councilor for seven years and, in 2017 he mounted a historic campaign to become Boston’s first African-American mayor. As city councilor, Tito represented all of Roxbury and parts of the South End, Dorchester and Fenway neighborhoods.

While serving as chair of the Boston City Council’s Committee on Education, he championed the interests of children and families. He also served as vice dhair of the Committee on Government Operations. His work on these and other committees emphasized the importance of equitable economic revitalization for all of Boston’s residents. He has worked tirelessly to ensure Boston residents, especially those from underrepresented communities, participate in the civic process, no matter their socioeconomic status or age. Prior to his time as a public servant, Tito worked for Johnson and Johnson and Eli Lilly in pharmaceutical sales and marketing. Tito was named to the 2017 Root 100 List as one of the country’s 100 most influential African Americans. Tito’s passion for public service and political activism were forged at UNH, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history. He remains active in the UNH Alumni Association and received the group’s Young Alumnus/Alumna Achievement Award in 2011. In Boston, he sits on the board of multiple organizations, including the Global Citizens Circle and the Boston Ballet. (I am noticing that this is missing his honorary degree).

Speaker Bios - What Happened and Why




Jennifer Horn is a co-founder of The Lincoln Project and a communications strategy consultant. She served as chairman of the NH Republican Party, 2013-2017, and was the 2008 NH2 Congressional nominee. She served as co-chair of the NH Log Cabin Republicans and sat on the Log Cabin Republicans national board of directors. She was an award-winning radio talk show host and is currently a columnist for the New Hampshire Union Leader.




Andrew Smith is the director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. He has more than 30 years experience in academic survey research, currently as director of the Survey Center since 1999, following positions at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Cincinnati. As director, Dr. Smith is responsible for overall staff and financial management of the UNH Survey Center. Dr. Smith is also professor of practice in Political Science in the UNH Department of Political Science where his teaching and research has focused on survey methodology, elections, and public policy. Dr. Smith is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and is president of its New England Chapter. He is also a founding member and past president of the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations (AASRO). His methodological research has included work on question wording effects, question and response order effects, the issue of non-attitudes in surveys, and methods of improving the accuracy of pre-election surveys. He regularly presents at academic conferences on public opinion and political science.




Jason Sokol is a historian of the civil rights movement. He is the author of three books: "There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights" (Alfred A. Knopf), which was named one of the 10 best books of 2006 in the Washington Post Book World; "All Eyes Are Upon Us: Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn" (Basic Books, 2014); and "The Heavens Might Crack: The Death and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr." (Basic Books, 2018). Sokol was raised in Springfield, Massachusetts (the birthplace of basketball). He graduated from Oberlin College, and received his doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the recipient of post-doctoral fellowships from Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Cornell University. He was also awarded a Public Scholar grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has published articles in a variety of scholarly journals as well as popular publications including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Politico, and The Root.

Questions? Contact the College of Liberal Arts at or 603-862-2062.

Past Rutman Distinguished Lecture Series Events



Maggie Haberman

Maggie Haberman, New York Times White House correspondent and CNN political analyst, spoke at the University of New Hampshire on Oct. 22, 2019. The evening was titled President Trump and the Press: A Conversation with Maggie Haberman and featured Haberman in an interview-style conversation with UNH political scientist Dante Scala. Haberman is one of the country’s most respected journalists and reliable resources for expert commentary on current events and national issues. In 2018, she and her team at the New York Times received the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their coverage of the Trump administration and alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign, and the Aldo Beckman Award from the White House Correspondents’ Association.

Eric Foner


Eric Foner

Eric Foner delivered a lecture titled The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and Slavery on October 23, 2017. Foner is one of America's most prominent historians, writing and speaking widely on the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery and nineteenth-century America. His 1988 book, "Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877" won the Bancroft Prize, the Parkman Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. His 2010 book, "The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery," won the Bancroft Prize, the Pulitzer Prize for History and The Lincoln Prize, among other awards.




Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward, renowned investigative journalist and author, spoke at the University of New Hampshire on December 6, 2016. His talk was titled The Age of the American Presidency from Nixon to Now. Woodward is an associate editor of The Washington Post. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first in 1973 for the coverage of the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein, and second in 2002 as the lead reporter for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has authored or coauthored 18 books, all of which have been national non-fiction bestsellers.

Chuck Todd


Chuck Todd

Chuck Todd, moderator and managing editor of “Meet the Press,” NBC’s flagship public affairs program and the longest-running broadcast in television history, spoke at the University of New Hampshire on October 14, 2015.

Doris Kearnes Goodwin


Doris Kearns Goodwin

The second lecture in the series was delivered on September 29, 2014 by Doris Kearns Goodwin, world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Goodwin is the author of six critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books, including her most recent, "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism" (November, 2013). Her talk was titled, Leadership Lessons of History: Doris Kearns Goodwin on the American Presidents. 

Robert Caro


Robert A. Caro

The inaugural lecture took place on September 27, 2013 with Robert A. Caro, Pulitzer Prize winner, renowned presidential historian, and author of four volumes of "The Years of Lyndon Johnson." His talk was titled, Fifty Years Ago: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and November 22, 1963.