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School of Communication Students Interview Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

    • Communication students strike a U with Condoleezza Rice after her press conference at UM.
    • Communication students strike a U with Condoleezza Rice after her press conference at UM.

Introduced by University of Miami President Donna Shalala as “one of America’s chief architects of foreign policy,” former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice answered questions on world affairs from School of Communication students.

Rice, one of the most-respected, high profile women in global politics, visited UM on Nov. 3, 2011 as the first stop of her national book tour for her latest offering, “No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington.”  University student media, including The Miami Hurricane and WVUM, were invited to join reporters from local, national, and international media for a press conference.

Rice spoke at UM as part of the Cobb Leadership Lecture Series. She is the first African-American woman in history to serve as Secretary of State. During the press conference students asked a variety of questions on topics including the intelligence failure regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and America’s complicated relationship with Egypt’s former president, Hosni Mubarak.

For many of the students, it was an interview of a lifetime.

“This is amazing. We see these professional journalists out here and we’re here with them. We’re one of them doing what they’re doing,” said Aubrey Aden-buie, 25, a graduate student studying broadcast journalism and visual journalism and a reporter for UMTV, the University’s cable TV station. 

Covering the event for WVUM’s political program, Counterpoint, political science major Michael Matthieson said UM and the School of Communication often provides student with opportunities to “live in a professional world.”

“It was crazy and a little overwhelming to ask the first question, but that’s how it’s going to be in the real world.” added Kaitlyn De Francisco, 21, a broadcast journalism major.

During her visit, Rice also shared personal anecdotes about meetings with famous world leaders, including Saddam Hussein and former President George W. Bush. She also discussed a number of interesting topics such as the Arab spring, U.S. relations with Russia, and how the intelligence community is using social media.

“She shared a lot of information that affects my world because I’m from the Middle East,” said UMTV reporter Omar Aldakheel, 22, a broadcast journalism major. “At times it was unbelievable that I got the chance to talk to her. She was just three feet away from me.”

*To read a story about Rice’s visit in The Miami Hurricane, click here.

See UMTV’s report about Rice here:

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