U.S. Congressman Dennis Ross Joins SEU to Launch American Center for Political Leadership

seu news

LAKELAND, Fla. - Southeastern University (SEU) announced today that Congressman Dennis A. Ross will join the faculty as a distinguished professor of political science to launch the American Center for Political Leadership (ACPL).

The new bipartisan center will house key research activities, academic programs, courses, workshops and resources that will prepare the next generation of political leaders and passionate citizens who aim to promote traditional American values and individual freedoms with civility, authenticity, respect and decorum in government and society.

Congressman Ross will teach courses in political science, hold seminars on civic engagement at SEU’s extension sites, convene town halls and help lead the center’s research focus.

“For more than 20 years, Congressman Ross has worked tirelessly to transform state and national politics, and encourage civic participation,” said SEU President Kent Ingle. “We are delighted that Representative Ross will join our academic community and look forward to his active leadership to cultivate and engage the next generation of political leaders and active citizens.”

As the representative of Florida’s 15th congressional district, Ross introduced bipartisan resolutions that encourage elementary and secondary schools to administer a U.S. history and civics test to promote civic education and democratic engagement among students.

Ross also routinely collaborated with the Florida YMCA Youth in Government chapters across the district. The youth-run, youth-led model government process prepares students for a life of engaged and active citizenship built on the values of civil debate, statesmanship and research-based policy solutions.

“Servant leadership is absent in much of today’s political landscape,” said Ross. “The American Center for Political Leadership is a much-needed incubator that will cultivate a new generation of leaders who can protect and promote traditional American values and individual freedoms at all levels of government. I am honored to launch the center and serve as a distinguished professor of political science to embark on this important work.”

ACPL was formed in response to the toxic political climate, the disconnect that many Americans feel towards the policies and motivations of political leaders, and their lack of understanding of how to get involved in the political process.

“Sadly, far too many Americans feel disconnected from and disappointed in today’s political process,” said Ingle. “For many, that has led to a yearning to get involved but without clear direction on how. The American Center for Political Leadership will provide a trusted pathway for anyone to learn about government and take the next steps to become active as a passionate citizen or as a public servant.”

SEU is working now to prepare for the opening of the center and to plan initial research priorities.

“We must move thousands of highly qualified, motivated citizens from casual spectators to real policy players so that Americans can once again proudly vote in favor of candidates who represent their values rather than simply against those who they support least,” said Ingle.

The center will operate under the Jannetides College of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and is slated to open in the spring.

For more information, contact Dana Davis at 863-667-5020, 863-712-1997, or dcdavis@seu.edu.

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About SEU

Southeastern University is a Christ-centered institution of higher learning. Founded in 1935 and located in the Central Florida community of Lakeland, Southeastern offers more than 80 degree programs including bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Southeastern’s reach expands beyond the Lakeland campus, with a comprehensive online learning program and more than 100 extension site programs nationwide. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Learn more at SEU.edu.

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About Congressman Dennis Ross

Dennis A. Ross was born in Lakeland, Florida where he met his wife, Cindy, in high school.

Ross received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He worked as an associate for Holland & Knight before serving as in-house counsel for Walt Disney World. He then opened his own law practice. Ross served as a State Representative until 2008. As a fourth-term U.S. Congressman, he serves as a Senior Deputy Majority Whip and on the Committees of Financial Services and Oversight and Government Reform. In addition to his role with the Center, Congressman Ross recently accepted the role of distinguished professor at SEU’s Jannetides College of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership.