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Valerie Wiener – Whip, Alumnus, Practitioner

Posted by Julie Willbrand on September 12, 2008

Valerie Wiener (BJ ’71, MA ’72) takes notes during the "Religion and Politics" forum Thursday morning.

“I should be knocking on doors,” said Valerie Wiener (BJ ’71, MA ’72).  The current minority whip in the Nevada State Senate is up for re-election after being in the Senate 12 years.  I had the privilege of interviewing this remarkable woman following the “Religion in Politics – God in the White House” forum Thursday morning in the new Reynolds Journalism Institute.

What got you interested in this particular forum?

VW:  I just completed a year of prerequisites, and I’m about to begin a two-year study in my church to become a religious science licensed practitioner.  It’s a metaphysical church like Unity or Christian Science, not Scientology… The first half of the year I’ll be at the legislature if I get re-elected, though, so I’ll do it by web-cam or telephone, which will be interesting…  So I kind of lived this story.

What do you plan to do as a practitioner?

VW:  It will help me become a better person.  I don’t know, I have to get through it first.  If I get re-elected, I still have four years of service left to my district in Las Vegas.

What have you enjoyed most about the Centennial so far?

VW:  Catching up with classmates that I haven’t seen for 37 years, reminiscing about the old days.  We actually have an event tonight – there will be 15 or 20 of us.  A lot of my classmates have done really well… Mike Wheeler of CNBC… Paul Fiddick, the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture under Clinton.  Ironically, the first T.V. show I produced here as part of my masters in broadcasting, Rod Gillette was my anchor, the host on the show.  I just saw him for the first time in decades.


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