Provost & Academic Vice President

Launching a Serious Campaign Panelists


Elizabeth Van Holt

Elizabeth Van Holt

Elizabeth Van Holt is a Partner at Rasmussen Public Affairs and Founder of Isaiah Consulting Group. She specializes in lobbying and business development at the state and local level across the United States. She has worked with top business leaders as well as a wide range of associations and educational institutions on issues such as technology, education, infrastructure, and small and medium size businesses.  Ms. Van Holt is currently writing a book on the subject of women in elected office. She tracks trends and voter polls, campaign speeches, literature, images, endorsements, and compares them with candidates in similar races around the country. She has conducted interviews with hundreds of women involved in the political process to create a snapshot of women in politics since they gained the right to vote 90 years ago. No stranger to political campaigns, she has worked on dozens of campaigns throughout the United States. 

Elizabeth is an honors graduate of Purdue University, holds a post-graduate degree from DePaul University, Chicago, IL, and received advanced training at the Leadership Institute in Washington D.C. in the areas of Grassroots Organizations, Campaign Structure, Candidate Training and Lobbying.

Emily Parcell

Emily Parcell

Emily Parcell is Managing Director at Wildfire Contact. Her decade-long campaign resume includes managing a state legislative program that flipped control to Democrats, field and political roles on three Presidential Caucus campaigns and overseeing President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory in Indiana. Prior to joining Wildfire, Emily logged three election cycles as a lead direct mail strategist for local, statewide and federal campaigns across the country.

Robin A. Johnson

Robin Johnson

Robin A. Johnson is a governmental relations, public policy and political consultant.

Robin has served as consultant or manager for dozens of state and local campaigns in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. His expertise is in strategy, message, polling and communications. Robin has helped candidates win elections for the legislature, judiciary, local government and Congress. He also served as an Alderman in Monmouth, IL for one term.

Johnson has a B.A. in Government from Monmouth College and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Western Illinois University. He is a part-time lecturer in the Political Science Department at Monmouth College.

Robin also hosts a weekly public affairs radio program in Burlington, IA.

Drew McConville

Drew McConville

Drew is a lead designer, developer, and digital strategist at Revolution Messaging. Before joining Revolution Messaging, Drew worked as a Senior Designer for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a DC based political action committee focused on electing progressives to Congress. Most recently Drew helped define the visual style and narrative for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign and the campaign of Illinois gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy. His award-winning political design work has been featured by numerous news outlets including the New York Times, Politico, Huffington Post, and MSNBC. 

In addition to work at the national level, Drew worked in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and in public higher education at a community college in Illinois. 

His educational background includes a BA in American Government from Western Illinois University and a MS in Political Science from Suffolk University in Boston, MA. His Masters studies focused on working with the Boston Election Department, helping with the improvement of Boston’s poll worker training program. 

When he’s not focused on giving voters a great digital experience, Drew’s kayaking, biking, parenting and focusing on being a good husband.