Skip To Content

More About PJC

PJC instructor participates in TribFest

Published or Revised October 23, 2018

PJC instructor at Tribfest 2018

At top: PJC Government Instructor Ruth Ann Alsobrook is show at left with other Texas Exes at TribFest. Center: One TribFest panel discussion included four former speakers of the Texas House of Representatives (from left) Gib Lewis, Tom Craddick, Pete Laney, and Ben Barnes. Bottom: Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey discusses the health of the Texas economy with Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar.

Ruth Ann Alsobrook, government instructor at Paris Junior College, recently participated in the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin. Known as TribFest, the event featured 300 speakers and thousands of attendees over three days to examine politics and policy facing Texas and the United States. Alsobrook was invited to be on two panels on innovative ways to teach Texas Government.

“The panels I served on focused on ways to teach government to make it interesting to college students,” said Alsobrook, “and the problem of keeping information current when things change so quickly. We update textbooks every two years after elections, but books cannot keep up with current events.”

In addition to her panels, Alsobrook was also able to attend other interesting government panels, including with Keynote Speaker John Kerry (former U.S. Senator and State Department Director), Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, and a panel discussion featuring four former Texas House Speakers, Gib Lewis, Tom Craddick, Pete Laney, and Ben Barnes.

“I also attended panels on whether social media was ruining democracy, and the outlook for the 2020 presidential election,” Alsobrook said.

The takeaway on social media was that it is seen as a threat because people with opposing views do not engage in face to face discussions where they eventually reach common ground. Instead they make vitriolic comments and block those who disagree. Also, fake news spreads like wildfire because people do not check out reports with which they agree.

In the other panel, there was agreement that Trump will run again and is unlikely to be challenged in the primary. The Democratic field is wide open with no strong contenders emerging yet.

“It was a great experience, and I was able to find a wealth of information on current events to bring back to PJC students,” said Alsobrook.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan new organization based in Austin, Texas.

Promotional Banner