Monmouth College students will get to study U.S. political campaigns next fall with two of the Midwest’s political veterans.
Former U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos will team up with Monmouth political science lecturer Robin Johnson to teach the College’s “Campaign Methods” course.
The 200-level political science course explores grassroots campaigns, examines the rise of analytics and data-driven campaigns, and gives students the opportunity to apply what they learn about campaign methods to a current campaign.
Bustos, who represented Illinois’ 17th Congressional District from 2013-23, said she is excited about encouraging the rising generation of college students to become involved in public service.
“Public service comes in all shapes and sizes,” said Bustos, who was the first woman elected to Congress from her district in the northwestern part of Illinois. “For the last decade, I served in Congress, representing the men, women and children of central, western and northern Illinois. In my next chapter, public service will mean teaching our next generation of leaders from Monmouth College. I look forward to learning about their ideas and sharing what I have learned in my many years in public life.”
Johnson — who is an expert in governmental relations public policy and a longtime political consultant — is also host of the radio show and podcast “Heartland Politics with Robin Johnson,” which is anchored at WVIK-FM.
“It’s an honor for Congresswoman Bustos to share her knowledge on politics and government with students at Monmouth,” he said. “We plan to provide students with practical, hands-on teaching and have leading political figures from both parties share their expertise as well. It’s a win-win for the congresswoman, Monmouth College, and mostly, the students.”
Monmouth College President Clarence R. Wyatt said the fall class will give students a rare opportunity to benefit from one of Illinois’ most respected public servants.
“Congresswoman Bustos was a great friend and partner of Monmouth College during her time in office,” said Wyatt. “We are very fortunate to continue that relationship as she engages directly with our students as a teacher. Having someone with her experience and commitment powerfully reflects the College’s focus on preparing students for lifelong success as leaders and servants in their careers and their communities.”
Monmouth Dean of the Faculty Mark Willhardt said the class will provide students with “a life-altering occasion.”
“Few students can learn from teachers who live their commitments — to other people, to equitable policies — on the national stage,” said Willhardt. “That our students can do so from someone as grounded and accomplished as Congressperson Bustos is a life-altering occasion for them.”