The University of Suffolk in Boston, USA, invited me to be a Distinguished Visiting Scholar in March 2011, co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the John Joseph Moakley Institute, and the Initiative for Diversity in Civic Leadership (IDCL). The College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Visiting Scholar Program invites ‘outstanding faculty from the United States and around the world’ including historians, authors, a former Poet Lauriat, a Supreme Court Justice and human rights activists.’

Activities completed there included presentations to several student classes, a debate, a presentation to the IDCL and a one day training course to practitioners. These were mostly drawn from The Political Marketing Game. We engaged in discussions for future activities such as a summer school in political marketing and edited book on US political marketing.

I was extremely well looked after and met wonderful colleagues in the department of government; Dr Kenneth Cosgrove led the organisation of my visit and hosted me in his home in New Hampshire at the weekend; Dr Rachael Cobb is chair of the department and took me on a tour of Boston, and Julia Howington organised the training day side as well as other events.

Given I was seven months pregnant when I went there the care of them as well as other staff both academic and admin made a big difference to my visit. I stayed in the Omni Parker House in central Boston which was superb and I was lucky to sample a wide range of cuisine, and local delights such as the Boston cream pie and pastries in the Italian quarter. I visited a maple syrup shack and icecream shack where they did the best peanut butter icecream I’ve ever tasted! Below are some photos of the visit.