Join the LBJ School and its student-run public policy journal The Baines Report for a student op-ed writing workshop and contest.

Participants will learn the value of thought leadership, the role of opinion pieces in public discourse, and how to start writing an oped.

Following the event, The Baines Report will host a student op-ed contest. Submissions are due by 5 p.m. CT on Nov. 6.

Juan Castillo, opinion editor of the Austin American-Statesman, will consider the winning op-ed for publication.

You will receive a Zoom link when you register.



Juan Castillo is the editorial page editor at the Austin American-Statesman, where he leads the editorial and opinion team and is a member of the newspaper's editorial board. His award-winning career in journalism spans four decades as a reporter, editor, content writer and radio news director for national and Texas media outlets.

As the national editor for the American-Statesman, he directed the newspaper's coverage of the historic 2000 presidential election, the 2001 terrorist attacks and the U.S. invasion of Iraq. As a reporter he has written extensively on diversity, immigration, and race and politics. In 2003 at the Statesman he created a specialty beat focusing on the intersection of those topics.

Castillo is a former John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University and is the recipient of national and state awards for journalism, including the 2013 prize for feature writing from the national Society for Features Journalism.

A native of the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, he still considers himself a citizen of the border.

Matt Pene is the media relations manager at The University of Texas at Austin, where he works to bring positive media coverage to the university through various communication tools. In 2014, he started Texas Perspectives, a wire-style service that is intended to provide media outlets with UT faculty-written opinion columns (op-eds) on a variety of topics and current events. To date, he has placed hundreds of topical op-eds in publications big and small, including in such industry giants as the New York Times, USA Today and the Washington Post.

Prior to coming to UT Austin, Pene was the Public Information Officer for the City of San Antonio, the assistant director of communication at Baylor University and a communication professional at Boise State University. Before that, he bounced around the country as a television news anchor and reporter working at several affiliated TV stations.


Baines Report