Jamison Lecture

4th Annual Jamison Lecture

Women on the Rise: Reflections on the 2018 Election

March 21, 2019 | 7 p.m. | Margo Jones Performance Hall, TWU Denton Campus

Free and open to the public

Sponsored by the Department of History and Political Science

This annual lecture is made possible by the Alonzo and Elisabeth Jamison Lectureship Endowment, which assists the TWU Department of History and Political Science in bringing nationally or internationally recognized scholars or civic leaders to the University for a public lecture. The late Alonzo Jamison represented Denton County in the Texas House of Representatives for 14 years, then served on the TWU faculty and as Chair of the Department of History and Government. His wife of 62 years, Elisabeth, was a TWU alumna who also taught at the University.

For more information, contact Dr. Jonathan Olsen at jolsen1@twu.edu or 940.898.2133.


Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia

Headshot of Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia

Sylvia R. Garcia was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2018, becoming the first Latina ever to represent Texas 29th Congressional district.

Sylvia is a native of Palito Blanco, a South Texas farming community. The eighth of ten children, Senator Garcia saw her parents struggle to raise her and her siblings. Senator Garcia's parents taught her that with hard work and a good education she could accomplish anything. As a result of these lessons, Senator Garcia dedicated herself to success at school. She earned a scholarship to Texas Woman's University in Denton, where she graduated with a degree in social work and political science. Senator Garcia then received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston, working several jobs to pay for her tuition. Just as her parents believed in her future, Senator Garcia believes the children of Texas can do anything. Garcia has dedicated her life to her community and to public service. As a social worker and legal aid lawyer early in her professional career, she protected our community's most vulnerable, old and young, and ensured no one was forgotten.

Sylvia continued her public service career by serving as Director and Presiding Judge of the Houston Municipal System for an unprecedented five terms under two mayors. In 1998, she was elected City Controller, the second highest elected official in Houston city government and its chief financial officer. She quickly earned a reputation as the taxpayers' watchdog, fighting to protect the pocketbooks of working families and ensuring the City was transparent and accountable.

After two terms as Controller, Sylvia was elected to the Harris County Commissioner's Court. The first Hispanic and first woman to be elected in her own right to the office, she continued her advocacy for working families and made certain Harris County took care of its most defenseless, all while making certain Harris County led the way for new jobs and economic development.

Sylvia was sworn in to the Texas State Senate on March 11, 2013, representing Senate District 6. She became the seventh woman and the third Hispanic woman to serve in the upper chambers after winning a special runoff election for the seat of the late Senator Mario Gallegos.

In 2018, Sylvia decided to take her fight to Washington. She ran to represent her community, country and family in Congress. On Jan 3, 2019 she was inaugurated to represent Texas Congressional District 29. She became the first Hispanic member of the Houston Congressional Delegation and one of the first two Latinas to represent the State of Texas in the U.S. Congress.

Congresswoman Kay Granger

Headshot of Congresswoman Kay Granger

A leader in national defense and global security, Kay Granger serves and fights for the 12th congressional district of Texas. Elected to her 12th term in 2018 by an overwhelming margin, Kay has earned her reputation in Congress as a hard-working, tough and principled leader on the issues that matter most to the people she serves. Her legislative prowess and ability to get things done, widely respected by both policymakers and influencers in Washington alike, led to her recognition by CQ’s Roll Call as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Congress.

The first and only Republican woman to represent Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives, Granger was chosen by her colleagues to serve as Ranking Member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee in the 116th Congress. As the top Republican on the Committee, she is responsible for advocating for Republican Members and working with House leadership, the Senate and the White House to ensure the priorities of the American people are funded.

Before becoming Ranking Member, Granger served as Chairwoman of the powerful Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which handles over 50 percent of all Appropriations Committee funding. As Chairwoman, Kay was committed to rebuilding America’s military and taking care of our service members and their families, making it her top priority to address the readiness crisis in our military and reverse the harmful, arbitrary budget cuts to our nation’s defense. In these dangerous times, Kay understands that for our country to be safe, we must be strong.

Granger has received numerous honors for her leadership on national defense issues. Most recently, she accepted the 2016 Henry M. Scoop Jackson Distinguished Service Award presented by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs for her unwavering commitment throughout her career for a robust military capability for the U.S. and its allies. Granger was also awarded the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award and the Department of the Army’s Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service. These honors are the top recognition given to civilians by the secretary of the Navy and secretary of the Army.

To promote global security, Kay served as Chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee. In this role, she oversaw State Department and security programs abroad where she insisted on transparency and accountability including in the probe on the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi. She has also been a champion for the Israeli missile defense systems, which help protect the State of Israel from constant threats it faces from adversaries in the region. Her staunch support of Israel and strengthening the U.S.–Israel relationship led her to be recognized for her role in helping get the 10-year, $38 billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two countries completed in 2016.   

During the 2014 national security and humanitarian crisis resulting from the influx of more than 58,000 displaced children at the U.S.-Mexico border, Granger was selected to chair the task force to address the challenges created by the crisis. Granger was also the first to call for oversight hearings to respond to the Ebola outbreak in the United States and was instrumental in creating a bipartisan Congressional task force to combat the global rise of anti-Semitism.

Kay has also been recognized for her humanitarian efforts, being named the U.S. Agency for International Development’s 2014 Champion in the Global Fight Against Tuberculosis and receiving Malaria No More’s Malaria Vision Award in 2015. In attacking the immoral practice of human trafficking, she has provided greater stability in volatile parts of the world while disrupting recruitment efforts and funding sources for terrorist organizations.

Her work to end the poaching of black rhinos and elephants in the wild led the World Wildlife Fund to award her the title of Conservation Champion. Granger’s work in this area sharply reduced the sale of rhino horns, which terrorists and other criminals sell to fund their activities worldwide. For her efforts, she was honored as a Conservation Hero by Conservation International in 2014.

In recognition of her achievements, Kay was elected to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame and the Fort Worth Business Hall of Fame. Additional honors she has received include the National Federation of Independent Business’ Champion of Small Business Award; the Texas Association of Business’ Bob Bolen Champion of Free Enterprise Lifetime Achievement Award; as well as Texas Wesleyan University’s Law Sone Medal.


Jennifer L. Lawless

Headshot of Jennifer Lawless

Jennifer L. Lawless is the Commonwealth Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining the UVA faculty, she was a Professor of Government at American University and the Director of the Women & Politics Institute. Before that, she was an assistant and then associate professor at Brown.

Jen’s research focuses on political ambition, campaigns and elections, and media and politics. She is the author or co-author of six books, including Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in a Polarized Era (with Danny Hayes) and It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office (with Richard L. Fox). Her research, which has been supported by the National Science Foundation, has appeared in numerous academic journals, and is regularly cited in the popular press. She is an associate editor of the American Journal of Politics Science, and holds an appointment as a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. 

Jen graduated from Union College with a B.A. in political science, and Stanford University with an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science. In 2006, she sought the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives in Rhode Island’s second congressional district. Although she lost the race, she remains an obsessive political junkie.

Page last updated 1:49 PM, February 21, 2019