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Alumni Discuss Liberty and Equality at Weekend Seminar


A group of outstanding recent TFAS graduates were selected for a Curriculum of Liberty Seminar on the topic of Liberty and Equality from Feb. 17-19 in Arlington, Virginia.

During the weekend, the group of thoughtful and energetic college students delved into fundamental questions, discussing different definitions of freedom and equality and the role of government in promoting those principles. Their diversity in educational backgrounds and experiences resulted in substantive conversations, and participants were able to voice their varying perspectives openly.

TFAS alumni Daniel Boddie (ICPES 16) and Sarah Markley (IEIA 16) discuss ideas during the welcome event at the conference.

Prior to the weekend seminar, alumni were given assigned readings on the topics of liberty and equality. Authors included Thomas Sowell, Adam Smith, F.A. Hayek, H.B. Acton and more. The impactful discussions were led by TFAS professors Dr. Bradley J. Birzer of Hillsdale College and Dr. Richard Boyd of Georgetown University.

As Jacob Altholz (AIPE 16) recalled, “It was probably one of the best weekends of my life, if only because the conversations were respectful and ultimately productive. The other students were informed and consistently rational in their approaches, something I personally value.”

Altholz initially worried that his educational focus in bioengineering would deter his ability to engage in the weekend’s discussion. “I was worried that my background would be a disservice, but if anything, it was the opposite,” he said. “I noticed that people really brought their background in a useful and open way, particularly the economists and the historians.”

The weekend seminar was part of our TFAS Curriculum of Liberty Seminar series, co-sponsored by Liberty Fund, Inc. To learn more about this continuing education opportunity for alumni, please visit the TFAS Curriculum of Liberty Seminars page.

Meet the 2017 Liberty and Equality TFAS Alumni Scholars

Altholz (AIPE 16) is a bioengineering student, headed to medical school in August of 2017 at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland. Most of his work has been concerned with biomedical research; however he has an active interest in economics and policy-making, resulting in his political involvement. In the long term, he hopes to enhance healthcare for all around the world.

Beley (IBGA 16) is a senior at Hillsdale College and is from Raleigh, North Carolina. He is pursuing a degree in finance and hopes to enter into a career in financial or strategy consulting upon graduation. TFAS has made a significant impact on Michael since he participated in the 2016 summer program and interned with a lobbying firm, The Hohlt Group. He spent the fall semester of 2016 in D.C. again, interning with the Senate Finance Committee and taking several classes through the Washington Hillsdale Internship Program. Michael is passionate about free markets, entrepreneurship, liberty, lively conversation and having fun with those around him. Michael’s main goal is to be pushed further by everything he does and everyone he meets; he is hoping that his experience at the Freedom Scholars conference will do just that.

Daniel Boddie (ICPES 16) is a history, political science and economics triple major at Berry College on the pre-law track. He is very interested in an interdisciplinary approach towards political philosophy and how it can not only help us become better people but also address the problems that surround us. He is an Intercollegiate Studies Institute honors fellow, a former TFAS student commencement speaker, a member of the Berry Center for Integrity and Leadership, a mentor in the Darlington Program for Integrity and Leadership and a Gate of Opportunity scholar.

Rachel Brocklehurst (ICPES 16) is a junior at New York University studying politics and minoring in public policy and management. Last spring, Rachel completed a semester abroad in Florence, Italy where she enjoyed traveling Europe and gaining new perspectives. Last summer, she successfully completed the Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems (ICPES) TFAS program and interned at the Small Business Administration. After a great experience in D.C., she hopes to find herself there again soon.

Brady Gartman  (ICPES 16) is a senior cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, where he is studying economics and operations research. He is passionate about public policy and education and hopes to become a university professor one day. In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing, camping and paragliding. Brady hails from Forsan, Texas and will graduate with a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the USAF in May 2017.

Elizabeth Hartman (IBGA 16) is a political science major and economics minor from Willamette University. She is current chapter president of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, a leadership consultant on campus for the student activities office, legislative aide for Oregon Sen. Jackie Winters, and the alumni student representative for the class of 2018 on the alumni board. Last summer she interned in Washington, D.C. for Hohlt Associates with the TFAS program. Her goal is a career in government relations with a long term interest in political consulting, and she would eventually like to run for office in the state of Oregon.

Timur Insanally  (IEIA 16) is a junior majoring in political science and international relations and minoring in human rights at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. When he was seventeen, his mother revealed to him that she was a trafficking victim in Guyana. Because of this, in his last year of high school, he traveled to China as a field researcher to investigate various forms of child labor exploitation in unguarded factories. In conversations with youth in Beijing, he learned many had endured painful conditions, excessive hours, low wages and been heavily trafficked into China. Witnessing these conditions transformed and fundamentally shaped his perspective on human suffering and personal volition. He believes he has a moral obligation to utilize his skills, resources and passion in order to develop fair and equitable solutions for disenfranchised and marginalized groups—through constitutional and legal means. Last summer, he participated in th Institute of Economic and International Affairs (IEIA) TFAS program. Through TFAS, he was given the opportunity to work with the Department of Defense’s Human Trafficking Task Force and their contractor, Global Centurion. He worked with the DOD Expert on Human Trafficking to develop a federal strategy on how military service members can combat human trafficking. Timur intends to acquire a law degree and confront the problem of human trafficking by serving as a prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.

Originally from the grand state of Wisconsin, Clara Jace (IEIA 16) is currently a senior economics and marketing major at Creighton University. She’s had the joy of holding many diverse roles over these last four years, from being the director of marketing for a local publisher of the classics, to teaching English in the Dominican Republic, to a two-year economic research project on school choice. But perhaps her favorite job has been leading an 8th grade confirmation class at her neighborhood Hispanic parish every Saturday morning. This myriad of passions has augmented Clara’s love of learning and writing and has led her to pursue graduate school with the hope of becoming an economics professor one day.

Jonathan Lee (IBGA 16) studies economics, business administration and film production at Chapman University in Southern California. He works part-time, managing the media of Shirley and Banister Public Affairs and is a ghostwriter for Third Dimension Strategies. As an award-winning filmmaker, he creates advertisements, music videos and public service announcements for corporations, businesses and film festivals. Outside of film and writing, he enjoys playing the piano, playing golf and rock climbing.

A senior at Grove City College, Sarah Markley (IEIA 16) is majoring in history and French and minoring in international studies. She is passionate about fostering understanding and effective communication between diverse groups of people and loves to learn about other cultures. Through her involvement with campus chapters of International Justice Mission and Liberty in North Korea, she has been able to learn more about human rights abuses around the world and raise awareness about those important issues. In the future, Sarah plans to pursue a career in international relations with a focus on conflict resolution and peace strategies. She enjoys traveling and has studied abroad in South Korea and Northern Ireland. These experiences have allowed her to better understand the recovery process societies divided by violence undergo. Upon graduating in May, Sarah will explore job opportunities in Washington, D.C., and after gaining more experience, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in international relations.

Jacob Medvitz (IBGA 16) is a recent Duquesne University alumnus. He graduated in December 2016 and received a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in business. During his time in college, Jake served on the executive board of Pi Sigma Alpha Honors Society and Mortar Board Honors Society. Additionally, he co-founded and established a Red Cross chapter on Duquesne’s campus. Through these organizations, he was able to run food, blood and clothing drives which assisted the local community. Jake thoroughly enjoyed attending The Fund for American Studies summer 2016 program as a student in the Institute for Business and Government Affairs (IBGA). During this time, he gained invaluable relationships and experiences from classes and from his internship at Stateside Associates. Jake seeks to enter the government affairs field, in no small part due to his summer with TFAS. He is interested in economics, sociology, politics and policy ­– especially issues relating to energy, the environment and health care.

Abigail Oliver (ICPES 16) is currently a senior studying political science at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). She interned at the Kent County Republican Party where she led election day operations. On campus, Abigail is a member of the executive board of College Republicans where she coordinates volunteering and fundraising events. For her efforts, Abigail was recognized by the Michigan Federation of College Republicans as Patriot of the Week. She is also the financial officer of GVSU Model UN and president of the political science honors society, Pi Sigma Alpha.

Born and raised in Shanghai, Yitong (Nora) Qiu (IEIA 16) is a firm believer in the importance of bridging science and humanity. She is majoring in history and economics at Mount Holyoke College. Nora came to the United States seven years ago to attend a boarding high school in Massachusetts. Interested in world cultures, she loves to learn new languages and research relationships between nation states and culture groups. Her hobbies includes reading different genres of books, calligraphy, painting and filmmaking.

Jeffrey Skinner (IBGA 16) is a junior at Georgia College studying marketing and business management with a minor in logistics. He is planning on attending graduate school to earn his MBA in supply chain and logistics. He is the regional president of Young Entrepreneurs Across America, on the president’s list and received a full academic scholarship. Jeffrey is a part-time volunteer at the Georgia College Wesley Foundation as a worship and discipleship leader. He also worked for Caterpillar, Inc in Washington D.C. as a TFAS student, and will be working for Georgia Pacific in Cuba, Missouri in the summer of 2017 in a supply chain position. He plays seven instruments and is an audio engineer at a studio he built in Atlanta. Jeffrey loves fishing, hiking, writing music and watching the stock market. He has spoken at sixteen conferences across the United States about young professionalism. Jeffrey’s main goal is to work in a management position with a large company and eventually become an entrepreneur and run his own business.


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