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What Just Happened? Robertson alumni to discuss election results at Speaker Series event on Nov. 5

Oct 15, 2020

Posted in: News

These Robertson School alumni will discuss the election results at a Speaker Series event on Nov. 5: Chandelis Duster of CNN Politics (top left), Derick Waller of WABC in New York, Sergio Bustos of Report for America (bottom left), and Mechelle Hankerson of WHRO in Norfolk (bottom right).

The Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture and VCU Alumni will host a virtual panel discussion, titled “What Just Happened: Understanding the 2020 presidential election results," as part of the Robertson School Speaker Series. The event will be live streamed as a Zoom webinar from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, two days after the polls close

The 2020 presidential election will be discussed and studied as one of, if not the most, historic election in the history of the United States. Join the Robertson School for a discussion with expert journalists to review how the COVID-19 pandemic, racial protests, a high unemployment rate, economic uncertainty, identity politics, and political behavior shaped the 2020 presidential election, as well as the aftermath in what is likely to remain an unsettled political landscape.

You can view the livestream via a Zoom webinar at the time of the event. Please register in advance. You will also be able to view the live stream on the Robertson School's Facebook page at the time of the event.

The following Robertson School alumni will participate in the panel:

Sergio Bustos (B.S.’84/MC) is Corps Excellence Regional Manager–South for Report for America, a nonprofit organization that seeks to strengthen local newsrooms. Over the span of his career, he reported, wrote and edited for various news organizations, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Miami Herald, Politico, USA Today, and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He was a Washington correspondent for the former Gannett News Service and covered the 2016 presidential campaign for The Associated Press. Bustos has won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Chandelis Duster (B.S.’10/MC) is a politics reporter for CNN Politics covering breaking news in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining CNN, Duster was a reporter at NBC where she worked for NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, The Today Show, Morning Joe, and numerous other shows. Additionally, she also wrote stories for and managed NBCBLK, a section of NBCNews.com that focuses on the black community. In 2018, Duster received a Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalist as an editor of a feature story on Jamaica's 'Barrel Children.’

Mechelle Hankerson (B.S.’13/MC) is a reporter with WHRO in Norfolk. Before joining the public broadcasting station to report for radio, Hankerson worked at the nonprofit startup The Virginia Mercury to cover state government. She reported on elections administration, education and tax policy. Her first reporting job was at The News & Observer in North Carolina. She covered crime, housing and the rural outskirts of Raleigh. Afterwards, she worked at The Virginian-Pilot, investigating stormwater and recurrent flooding in Virginia Beach after Hurricane Matthew.  

Derick Waller (B.S.’10/MC) is a reporter for Eyewitness News This Morning at WABC-TV, the ABC flagship station in New York City. Waller’s journey as a reporter took him to TV stations in Cleveland, OH, Raleigh, NC and Charlottesville, VA, which is where he got his start. While in the Southeast and the Midwest, he covered some of the biggest stories of the past decade, including two presidential campaigns in three different swing states. As a reporter in New York, he has been covering one of the hotspots of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The panel will be moderated by Robertson School Director Dr. Marcus Messner. The panelists will be answering your questions during the event. You can post questions in the Q&A function of the Zoom webinar and on the Facebook livestream as well as tweet questions with the hashtag #VCURobertson.