2024 Spring Lecture

Thursday, March 21st, 2024

6:00pm Reception; 6:30pm Presentation Begins

“Women On Politics” A focus on the inner workings of government and women’s roles in influencing policy.


Dr. Ann Burnette:

Piper Professor and Regent’s Teaching Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Texas State University


Talan Tyminski:

Tyminski, currently serving as Senior Vice President at the Mach 1 Group, is a seasoned communication expert with a decade-long career spanning both public and private sectors. She’s played pivotal roles in over a dozen political campaigns across Utah, Illinois, and Texas at all levels. Before joining Mach 1, Tyminski led crisis communications at the Texas Workforce Commission during the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s been recognized nationally as a PRNEWS Rising Star (’23) and Ragan Communications / PR Daily Rising Star (’23). Tyminski holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Economics from Bradley University and a Master’s in Communications Studies from Texas State University. She attended the University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson Women’s Campaign School and currently serves as Marketing Co-Chair of the Alumni Board. Additionally, she is a member of Austin’s Young Women’s Alliance, Emerge America’s Young Leaders Cabinet, Women Communicators of Austin, and the Pink Granite Foundation. In 2021, Tyminski was appointed to the City of Austin’s Minority-Owned Business, Women-Owned Business, Small Business Enterprise Procurement Program Advisory Committee.

Trish Bode:

Trish Bode has dedicated her career to impactful work and leadership. Her journey began at Texas State University, where she developed in her communication studies and grew her skills through the speech and debate program, laying the foundation for her passion for policy and communication. Since 2006, she has applied her expertise working in corporate communication at HillCo Partners, a top lobbying and consulting firm. Trish’s commitment to education continues in her service as an elected school board trustee in Leander ISD since 2015, including serving as Board President from 2019 to 2023. Her leadership roles extend to the Central Texas School Board Association, where she currently serves as President, and Trustees United, a movement advocating for public education and necessary funding. Recognizing the importance of fostering female leadership, Trish graduated from the Texas LBJ Women Campaign School in 2022, with a vision for empowering women to seek positions of leadership and service. Her academic achievements include a BA and MA in Communication Studies from Texas State University, obtained in 2002 and 2006, respectively. Beyond her professional endeavors, Trish’s personal life is equally fulfilling. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two awe-inspiring children. Her daughter is graduating from Texas State this year with a degree in Wildlife Biology, while her son enjoys band and is working towards his driving permit. In her spare time, Trish supports her husband’s new practice and actively seeks ways to support women in leadership roles. She finds joy in traveling, reading books, and listening to podcasts. Guided by her family’s mission of “the courage to pursue a fulfilling life”, Trish strives to make a meaningful impact every day.

Bonnie Bruce:

Bonnie Bruce has enjoyed a successful career working in Texas politics and government for a quarter of a century and is particularly knowledgeable on the procedures of the Texas Legislature, the Sunset Advisory Commission, Texas elections, and the public policy aspects of redistricting, healthcare insurance, workers’ compensation, and licensing issues. Bonnie worked in the Texas House and Senate over eight Regular Sessions serving as Chief of Staff to legislators in both chambers where she drafted, negotiated, and guided landmark legislation and the successful passage of redistricting maps in 2011 when she was Chief of Staff for the Chair of the House Redistricting Committee. She also has considerable political experience, acting as the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Texas Society of Anesthesiologists where she lobbied for physicians for almost a decade. While there, she managed a quarter million-dollar PAC, evaluating candidates for office, making recommendations for endorsements and growing revenues by half. The founder of her own lobby firm, Mesquite Strategies, Bonnie now represents clients from a variety of industries before the Texas Legislature and executive agencies. She has continued her work in Texas elections, interviewing candidates as co-chair of a candidate evaluation forum for independent business lobbyists, as a consultant to independent PACs, and as publisher of a popular newsletter on the state-level elections.