Aquinas Staff Member Featured on ‘60 Minutes’ with Oprah

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Aquinas College staff member Tim Ramsay ‘08  has always been interested in politics.

He majored in political science at Aquinas, has volunteered on political campaigns and participated in a variety of political events in West Michigan and at the national level. So clicking on a Facebook ad to take part in a political focus group for national pollster Frank Luntz was right up his alley.

However, the Aquinas College director of international programs and services had no idea the focus group would be an element of a “60 Minutes” special called “Divided” featuring Oprah Winfrey.

In August, Ramsay was chosen from a larger group of participants to be a part of a 14-member focus group, but he didn’t have a lot of information.

“We knew it was going to be ‘televised’ but we had no idea this was going to be on ‘60 Minutes,’” said Ramsay of the show, which aired Sunday, September 24. “I was completely shocked when Ms. Winfrey walked in. Am I dreaming? One of the most influential people in the world is sitting a few feet away.”

The diverse group from the Grand Rapids area discussed politics, especially the 2016 election and President Donald Trump. Ramsay found himself to be a key contributor to the conversation, especially regarding President Trump’s controversial travel ban, in part, because of his unique position at Aquinas working with international students.

After the three-hour discussion was done, the group decided to continue the conversation away from the cameras over drinks at Cygnus 27 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

Tim said it was unforgettable.

“This was a great experience. Honest and open dialogue is the key to any successful community. We have to come together, at a local level, to end the divide. As a Catholic, I have become more involved with my faith, since the election, without faith, there is no hope.”