Michelle Bernard to be 2009 Commencement Speaker

The 2009 graduating class of Hodges University will be addressed by Michelle Bernard, MSNBC political analyst and President/CEO of the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF). The graduation ceremony will be held at 4:00 p.m. June 14 at Germain Arena in Estero.

“I’m delighted that Ms. Bernard will be addressing the Class of 2009,” said Dr. Terry McMahan, President of Hodges University. “She is both an incredible journalist and perceptive analyst, and we feel that she will offer a unique insight of the future that our graduates are about to face.”

An attorney by training, Bernard concentrates on domestic and foreign policy matters.  As a political and legal analyst, Bernard has spoken on topics as varied as the political participation and voting trends of African Americans and women, education reform and school choice, energy policy and security, foreign policy and national security issues, the war in Iraq, and advancing democracy, economic liberty, and the human rights of women and ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East.

Bernard has been featured as a regular panelist on several television news programs, including Hardball with Chris Matthews, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with David Shuster and The McLaughlin Group.  She has been featured in several publications, including Fast Company magazine, The Legal Times, The New York Daily News, The Washington Business Journal, The Washington City Paper, The Examiner, The Washington Lawyer, The Washington Post, The Washington Post Sunday Magazine, and The Washington Times.  In July 2008, Newsmax magazine named Bernard as one of three "Fast Trackers" on its list of the nation's top opinion leaders.

Before joining IWF, Bernard had a short stint with the 2000 Bush-Cheney Presidential Inaugural Committee, Inc. Prior to that time, she was a partner at the District of Columbia's Patton Boggs LLP.

Bernard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and political science from Howard University and a Juris Doctor degree from The Georgetown University Law Center.  Bernard is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Maryland. 

For more information, please contact Joe Turner, Public Relations Coordinator, at (239) 598-6169 or email at jturner@hodges.edu

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