Photo gallery: Tamara Keith visit and Alumni & Friends Reception

This spring, UW–Madison’s spring Public Affairs Journalist in Residence, NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith, shared insights learned from her career reporting on politics, policy, and business through several class visits and meetings, a conversation with local journalists, and a station visit with Wisconsin Public Radio. Her visit culminated in a public talk on March 29, which followed the school’s annual Alumni & Friends Reception at the Overture Center. Photos by Kayla Wolf of Focal Flame Photography unless otherwise noted.

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Tamara Keith sits at a table with area journalists.
During her visit, Keith met with local journalists. One of the topics discussed was Americans’ declining confidence in institutions such as government, big business, organized religion, and the media.
Tamara Keith speaks to a class of undergraduate students
While visiting La Follette School Assistant Professor Mariel Barnes’ class, PA 240: Evidence-Based Policy Making, Keith answered curious students’ questions about her career, how presidential administrations have differed in their approach to the press, her role as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, and how to combat misinformation and distrust in journalism. Photo by Lauren Weitkamp.
Tamara Keith speaks to students in a large lecture hall.
Keith speaks with La Follette School Professor Mark Copelovitch’s class Political Science 140: Introduction to International Relations. When asked for advice on choosing a major, Keith, who received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, advised that students not shy away from difficult topics.
A student takes a selfie with Tamara Keith
Keith poses for a photo with a student after a class visit.
Alumni chat during a reception
Several alumni chat at the March 29 Alumni & Friends Reception at the Overture Center.
Wesley Sparkman holds a certificate while posing for a photo with Susan Yackee
Wesley Sparkman (MPA ’00) was the recipient of this year’s Alumni of Distinction award. He was recognized for his leadership addressing societal disparities and creating a more equitable community in Dane County.
Tamara Keith walks to the podium
Keith’s public talk, which focused on Americans’ declining trust in the media, attracted over 200 in-person attendees and hundreds more viewed the talk via livestream.
The crowd watches the Q&A session in Madison's Overture Center
Keith emphasized the importance of local journalists, noting that local papers are disappearing at an alarming rate. “There was a time when local papers were part of the fabric of every community,” said Keith. “Where reporters would show up at school board meetings and tree plantings and journalism wasn’t some distant activity of elites.”
Amelia Wagner and Tamara Keith sit in chairs during the Q&A session
La Follette School MPA student Amelia Wagner moderated the Q&A portion of the event. During her talk, Keith gave some advice to the audience: Read and support your local paper and public radio station. Pay attention to school board races and city council races and not just what the president and Congress are doing. Be skeptical of what you see on the internet, especially if it makes you angry. Realize you’re living in a bubble and do everything you can to get outside of it. Get involved in community in a way that makes it possible to see the humanity in people who are on the other side.
Susan Yackee, Tamara Keith, Molly Offner, and Amelia Wagner.
Keith poses with La Follette School Director Susan Webb Yackee, Molly Offner, and Amelia Wagner.
Tamara Keith holds a microphone up to a student being interviewed in Union South.
During her visit, Keith interviewed students who were voting at Union South ahead of Wisconsin’s April 4 election, which included a high stakes State Supreme Court decision. Photo by Lauren Weitkamp.

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