Feature Story

OWU Student to Take Part in CNN Focus Group at Republican National Convention

July 19, 2016 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

Christopher Dobeck '18 has been selected to take part in a televised CNN forum July 20 during the Republican National Convention. He also participated in OWU's Mock Convention in February. (Photo courtesy of Christopher Dobeck '18)

Christopher Dobeck Invited to Participate in Televised July 20 Discussion

Ohio Wesleyan University student Christopher Dobeck served as a regional and state chair during OWU’s spring semester Republican Mock Presidential Convention, and on July 20 he will participate in the real thing.

Dobeck, a junior from Chagrin Falls, will spend much of the day observing the goings-on at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and then participate in a live, televised CNN focus-group discussion after the day’s speeches end. The focus group discussion is expected to air sometime between 11 p.m. Wednesday and 1 a.m. Thursday.

A history major and education minor, Dobeck says he looks forward to attending the Cleveland convention, where the GOP will set its party platform and officially select its presidential and vice presidential candidates for the November election.

“Mock Convention will prove an incredibly useful source of background information,” Dobeck says. “As someone who spent months prior to Mock Convention helping prepare for it, and as the state chair of the South Dakota delegation, being part of Mock and then seeing the real RNC unfold is my own version of OWU’s Theory to Practice.”

Education is an issue close to Dobeck’s heart, as he anticipates attaining his license to teach grades seven through 12 after earning his OWU bachelor’s degree. He anticipates teaching U.S. history and government, but is still deciding his ultimate career path.

“Honestly at present I'm just trying to leave as many doors open as possible,” Dobeck says. “I like to experience new challenges, so who knows where I'll end up a decade from now.”

Wherever life takes him, Dobeck believes his OWU liberal arts education will prepare him for a successful journey.

“I ultimately chose to attend Ohio Wesleyan for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the one I tell people the most is the variety of studies available,” he says. “For a school of our size, having the chance to study a range of courses including Latin, history, astronomy, geography, philosophy, and business is remarkable. For the student who loves to learn, OWU is a wonderful place to be.”

Ohio Wesleyan President Rock Jones will be among those tuned in to watch Dobeck's CNN appearance. Jones published an op-ed in the July 15 Cincinnati Enquirer, “Want civil politics? Look to students,” discussing the value of experiences such as OWU's Mock Convention and the importance of engaged, informed students in the nation's future.

“Our Mock Convention was a clear reminder of the desperate need in our society for deep but civil public debate and participation,” Jones states. “… Now more than ever, our nation hungers for individuals prepared to engage in a thoughtful and civil manner with the most pressing issues of our time.”