Debating for Democracy Student Support

Support from Pitzer Faculty

The following PZ professors have agreed to serve as advisors to students submitting a proposal letter in their related fields:

Alicia Bonaparte:

African American sociology

Medical sociology

Hierarchical system within healthcare for sociological classes

Reproductive health disparities

Birthing and midwifery

Granny midwifery

Teenage pregnancy and infant mortality

Public policy in healthcare

Immigrant healthcare

Consumer health experiences

Healthcare professionals and consumer relationships

Female juvenile delinquency

Gender in American society

Adrian Pantoja:

  • Latino politics
  • Immigration
  • Racial politics
  • Minority issues in the US, urban areas, Los Angeles
  • LA politics and policy issues
  • Presidential politics
  • Border issues
  • Religion and Politics

Paul Faulstich:

  • Cultural ecology
  • Ecological design
  • The ecology of expressive culture

Rachel VanSickle-Ward:

  • CA Politics
  • Public Policy
  • Legal Politics
  • Gender Politics
  • Health Policy

Missed the Policy Proposal Letter Writing Workshop?

 Email to request a copy of the handout

This two-hour workshop (lunch provided by TLC*) will be broken roughly into two sections: the first section will explore how to write a strong, effective policy paper hosted by Pitzer Political Studies Professor Rachel VanSickle-Ward; the second section will include a brief review of how to properly format and polish the policy paper for submission for D4D and provide a working session with consultants from the Writing Center to help brainstorm, refine, and/or edit your ideas. 

To get the most out of this workshop, students should come prepared with ideas or previously written research papers about a passionate topic of interest which could be used to create your policy proposal letter to an elected official.

Find out more about participating today by contacting Tricia Morgan (CEC's Assistant Director and D4D Program Coordinator)!

*This event was supported by the Teaching and Learning Committee.

Need Help Writing Your Letter?

  • A letter written by students at Earlham College that was selected as the winner at the 2012 D4D Legislative Hearing appears on pages 5-8.  This letter is an excellent model. The five letters that were selected for the 2012 legislative hearing can be viewed at
  • THOMAS was launched in January of 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress. The website provides detailed federal legislative information to the public.
  • C-SPAN is a private, non-profit company, created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service. Its mission is to provide public access to the political process. The C-SPAN website contains a wealth of information including video of Congressional hearings related to a number of federal policy issues.
  • National Journal Group is the leading source of nonpartisan reporting on the current political environment and emerging policy trends.
  • The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories.  The NCSL website provides research and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues.
  • Earlham College juniors David Schutt and Clara Stuligross recently completed a video on how to communicate effectively with elected officials. Schutt and Stuligross emphasize that elected officials pay attention to constituents who reach out to them. By engaging with elected officials, individuals and groups can have a significant impact on issues - a view that echoes the underlying philosophy of the D4D Program. In the video, Representative Tonko comments, "Constituent interaction is absolutely critical. It's not only helpful; it's essential."
  • The Pitzer Writing Center is a great resource!