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Thursday, March 30, 2017 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The First 100 Days

9:15 -9:30 am              Welcome and Introduction of Event

Dr. Michael Johnson, Dean, College of Sciences, University of Central Florida; Member, Lou Frey Institute Board of Directors


9:30 - 10:20 am           Keynote - “Red, White and Bruised: Post 2016 Election, America and Reconciliation"

Congressman Gonzalez will speak about the closeness of this election, the deep divisions among Americans, how leaders must now bring us together, the need for negotiation and compromise, and what we as individuals can do to encourage and support our elected officials to move away from divisiveness approaches to governance 

  • Moderator: John C. Bersia, Special Assistant to the President for Global Perspectives and Director, UCF
  • Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, (D – TX 20th, 1998 -2013)


10:30 – 11:15 am        The First 100 Days: Congressional Issues

“A New Chapter in Washington:  Is There Potential for Progress?”  The panel will explore the meaning behind last fall’s election, a report card on the first three months of the new President and Congress, and the possibility of solutions to America’s key challenges.

  • Moderator: Terri Susan Fine, Ph.D, Associate Director, Lou Frey Institute; Senior Fellow, Professor, Political Science, UCF
  • Robert Traynham, Vice President of Communications, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Michele Stockwell, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Executive Director of BPCAN


11:25 – 12:15 pm        The First 100 Days: National Security, International Relations, and a New Strategy Since January 20, 2017

The panelists will discuss the current status of national security as it relates to changes in U.S. policy taken since the inauguration of the new administration.  This will include relations with allies and adversaries, treaty obligations, and the changing threats.   Although a new National Security Strategy has not been published, the basis for that strategy is becoming more public and merits a broad discussion that the panelists will attempt to cover here.

  • Moderator: Stephen Masyada, Ph.D., Director, Florida Joint Center for Citizenship
  • Brigadier General Stephen Cheney USMC, (Ret.), Chief Executive Officer, American Security Project (ASP); Member, Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board
  • Matthew Wallin, Fellow for Public Diplomacy, American Security Project (ASP)

12:20 – 1:10 pm          Lunch

1:15 – 2:15 pm            Today's Vote

Presents a piece of legislation currently under consideration by the United States Senate and allows participants to weigh in and vote as a real Senator does. After being presented with a bill summary, special interest groups that support and oppose the bill, and statements from the bill's sponsoring and opposing Senators, the President pro tempore will open the floor to participants to weigh in on the bill with their colleagues. After facilitating a rigorous debate among participants, a vote on the legislation will be conducted. We will then compare the decision of our "Senate" to the current status of the legislation in Washington. 

                                     The BRIDGE Act, S. 138

The BRIDGE Act (or Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow Our Economy Act) is a current piece of legislation introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL).  It was originally introduce at the end of the 114th Congress, shortly after the 2016 election, and then reintroduced at the start of the 115th Congress.  The bill seeks to extend the legal protections granted through executive action by President Obama to unauthorized immigrants who were not yet 16 years old when they entered the country illegally.  Under President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security initiated a program known as "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," or "DACA."  The DACA policy grants unauthorized immigrants who arrived as children temporary permission to live and work in the United States provided they meet certain requirements.  In anticipation of President Trump's White House cancelling the DACA policy, Senators introduced the BRIDGE Act to offer to extend these protections through Congress.  

The BRIDGE Act would provide "Provisional Protected Presence" for eligible undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children.  The “Provisional Protected Presence” would last for three years.  Like the DACA policy, this “Protected Presence” would grant eligible immigrants temporary permission to live and work in the U.S.  It would extend this permission to current DACA recipients, and to others deemed eligible by the Department of Homeland Security. Eligible applicants must have either received a high school diploma or GED or be in the process of doing so, or must be honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Military. They must also pass a criminal background check and satisfy the Department of Homeland Security that they pose no threat to National Security or Public Safety.


  • Moderator: Matt Wilding, Education Producer, Edward M. Kennedy (EMK) Institute for the United States Senate
  • Nate Gundy, Education Program Lead, Edward M. Kennedy (EMK) Institute for the United States Senate
  • Kristina Smarz, Chamber Staff, Edward M. Kennedy (EMK) Institute for the United States Senate


Student Union: Cape Florida Ballroom (Room 316)


Events at UCF




The Lou Frey Institute UCF Global Perspectives