Pete Abel | St. Louis Public Radio

Pete Abel


Pete Abel started his career as a freelance reporter and later as a full-time staff writer for the St. Louis Suburban Journals, covering municipal politics and local businesses. From 1989 to 2003, he worked at Fleishman Hillard, consulting on public policy, marketing, and other matters for Fortune 500 clients. Today, he works as a public affairs executive for a local company, serves as a senior lecturer at UMSL, and is an avid supporter of health and arts organizations.

Courtesy of Pete Abel

Earlier this year, the Institute of Politics at Harvard University noted a decline in the trust young voters have in public institutions. New York Times’ columnist David Brooks offered perspective on this trend. He summarized a paper by one of his students, who argued that some members of her generation have grown so cynical that they question all promises of change unless those promises can be “tested, substantiated, and … replicated.” In other words, they have what Missourians might call a show-me attitude.

This month, I started my second semester teaching part-time at the University of Missouri St. Louis.  While it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a number of years, I confess to doubts when I walked into that first classroom.  Would these students want to learn?  Would they be capable of learning?  Would they show up because they valued higher education or only because someone compelled them to be there?