This year’s winners were chosen by a selection committee composed of Alumni Council members and chaired by Neil Vigdor (IPJ 98). TFAS honored its 2014 Alumni Award winners at the “Freedom and the Future” 47th Anniversary Annual Conference dinner held at the Fairmont Hotel on June 20 during Alumni Weekend. Each year TFAS presents the awards to recognize the distinguished accomplishments of its alumni and commend their dedication and service to TFAS.
“The caliber of the nominees was just outstanding and I really marvel at the resumes and the credentials and the work that people do, in not just furthering their own careers but in promoting the values and mission of The Fund for American Studies,” said Vigdor.
In addition to the Alumni Awards presentation, the Outstanding Professor award was presented at the dinner. Each year TFAS presents this award to a member of our distinguished faculty for his/her dedication to TFAS.
This year’s professor and alumni award winners were:
Kevin Burket Alumni Service Award – Elizabeth Bryant (IBGA 05)
Betsy Bryant first came to TFAS as a rising senior to participate in the Institute on Business and Government Affairs (IBGA) in the summer of 2005. The experience made a significant impact, and two years later she found herself leaving Iowa to start a career in D.C. Since the, she has mentored TFAS students, held a variety of role in the D.C. Alumni Chapter and is currently serving on the Alumni Council. She is passionate about alumni engagement and is motivated to keep members of the TFAS community involved with the TFAS mission. In true D.C. fashion, Bryant has sampled an array of professional opportunities from the Hill to a nonprofit to consulting. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa in political science and international studies, and a master’s degree from Georgetown University in security studies. She is currently applying her interests in security issues as a researcher for the U.S. government. She lives in Arlington, Virginia but remains a loyal Hawkeye.
Alumni Achievement Award – Michelle Easton (ICPES 73)
Michelle Easton is the president of the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute (CBLPI), an organization she founded in 1993 which prepares and promotes conservative woman leaders. CBLPI also produces an annual calendar and hosts campus lectures, conferences, seminars and summits featuring and honoring rising conservative women leaders. Prior to founding CBLPI, Easton received Presidential appointments from both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush with Senate confirmation for her position at the U.S. Department of Education, serving the flu 12 years of their administrations. In 1994, Virginia Governor George Allen appointed Easton to the State Board of Education, whose members later elected her president of the board. She led the board to create nationally acclaimed academic standards, tests and a rigorous new system of accountability of both students and schools. Prior other government service, Easton worked five years for Young Americans for Freedom and two years for National Right to Work, putting herself through law school at night to graduate from American University’s Washington School of Law in 1980. She received her bachelor’s degree in development psychology from Briarcliff College in New York where she briefly taught elementary school before moving to Washington, D.C., in 1973. Easton travels widely to promote conservative principles and speaks at conferences, meetings and campus events. She has been interviewed on hundreds of talk radio programs and television programs, including C-SPAN. She lives in Reston, Virginia, with her husband of 40 years, Rob Robinson, and they have three grown sons and two grandchildren.
Outstanding Professor Award – Richard Boyd
Richard Boyd is an associate professor of government at Georgetown University. His research interests include the intellectual history of liberalism, civil society and pluralism, economic and sociological theory, post-colonialism and the theory and practice of immigration and citizenship policies in the United States. Before coming to Georgetown in 2007, Boyd taught at the University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Deep Springs College. Boyd is author of “Uncivil Society: The Perils of Pluralism and the Making of Modern Liberalism.” His article have appeared in Review of Politics, Journal of Politics, Political Theory, History of Political Thought, Polity, European Journal of Political Theory, Urban Studies, Social Philosophy & Policy and other journals. He is currently completing a book-length manuscript titled “Membership and Belonging: On the Boundaries of Liberal Political Theory.”