More Than Politics: Elected Officials to Share Their Journeys To and From Office at LSU Reilly Center Event

November 8, 2021

BATON ROUGE–The LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs will host “Stories of Statesmanship: Nine to Fives and Limelight Lives” on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 4:30 p.m. CT. While many politicians follow a predictable pipeline to political office, there are some who take alternate routes.

“Stories of Statesmanship” highlights the variety of figures within American politics and the value of this diversity. Public offices are re-elected every two to four years, and the men and women in these seats have a large effect on our country. This event will take a dive into who these people are, where they come from and their lives after public office.

“I have loved the opportunity to organize this event from start to finish,” said Ana Block, Reilly Center intern and event organizer. “I think it is interesting to see the difference in politicians’ lives before and after office. I used to think of politics as a very singular track, and now I understand the widespread backgrounds of those in public office."

Joining the panel are state and local elected officials from varying backgrounds who will discuss their paths to politics and the roles they pursued after leaving office. In addition to former politicians, the panel will feature Amy Vilela, current candidate for the United States House of Representatives, whose nontraditional journey to politics was featured in the award winning documentary, “Knock Down the House.”

Panelists include:

  • Ana Block, Moderator, Reilly Center Intern, LSU Manship School of Mass Communication Senior
  • Trey Grayson, Member, Frost Brown Todd LLC; Managing Director, CivicPoint
  • Rep. Julie Stokes, Founder and President-CEO of Ellevate Louisiana
  • Amy Vilela, Candidate, U.S. House of Representatives, Nevada, District 1
  • Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, Member, East Baton Rouge Democratic Executive Committee

The event will be hosted on Zoom and livestreamed on the Reilly Center’s Facebook page. Admission is free, but you must register by Monday, Nov. 8, on Eventbrite to receive the meeting access code. For more information, contact


The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School’s national and state leadership in media and politics.

LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: master of mass communication, Ph.D. in media and public affairs, certificate of strategic communication, and dual MMC/law degree.