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Liberty + Leadership News: April 1


We hope you enjoy these news stories about TFAS activities, alumni and events this week. Sign up to receive TFAS updates, and visit us on social media for additional up-to-the-moment TFAS news!

Alumni Feature: Amy Schutte

Schutte being sworn in by Speaker Bedke before commencing her substitution in the Idaho State House of Representatives.

Amy Schutte ’07 would never have told you that she intended to be a politician. And she’s not – well, except for the week that she was.

Schutte, a 2007 TFAS alumna and the founding owner of Hudson and Co., a marketing firm based in Southern Idaho, served as a substitute for Representative Laurie Lickley in the Idaho State House of Representatives earlier this year. Schutte has been Lickley’s appointed substitute since serving as her campaign manager in the 2018 election, and that appointment finally became a reality when Lickley took a temporary leave of absence from the sessions.

“It was a really unique experience, being hands on and doing the people’s work,” Schutte reflected as she shared about the week of participating in discussions, analyzing bills and voting.

Amy Schutte (left) and Laurie Lickley (right)

Her experience gave her a deep admiration for legislators’ capacity to mentally transition between a wide variety of topics in a matter of minutes and an appreciation for the value of common sense.

Schutte looks back on her time with TFAS in 2007 as “confidence-building” and says the opportunity empowered her with the experiences she needed to jumpstart her career and go on to own her own firm. “I learned more that summer in an internship than I did in four years of public relations classes,” she said with certainty. “TFAS was such a beautiful gift, and I tell so many people that they should experience this [program] if they get a chance.”

Find out more about Schutte’s TFAS Journey and her path to empowerment at TFAS.org/AmySchutte.


Voices of TFAS Alumni: Speaking Out and Reporting on the War in Ukraine

Mariya Kapinos ’18 (center) accepts her TFAS graduation certificate at the European Journalism Institute.

TFAS alumni across the globe are utilizing their expertise and passion to shed light on the war in Ukraine from both personal and professional perspectives, providing the rest of us with a deeper understanding of the crisis.

Mariya Kapinos ’18, an alumna of the TFAS European Journalism Institute, is a Ukrainian journalist. She was recently interviewed by TFAS alumnus and professor Paul Glader ’99, ’00 to share her firsthand experience and perspective on the war raging in her country. Kapinos has lived most of her life in Kyiv and shared that Ukraine “was a place where I felt secure and safe.” But all that has changed.

During the exclusive interview with Religion Unplugged, Kapinos provides fascinating insights for listeners on the history of political and religious relations between Russia and Ukraine. However, the most poignant moments of her interview are the personal ones. “[The war] feels like two worlds that don’t match together – a world where you have Nikes and think about traveling to Italy, and then you have war,” she reflects. “My mistake was that deep down inside, I felt that really terrible things could not happen to me.”

Jakub Kulhánek ’07, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, speaks at the U.N. Special Session on Ukraine.

In addition to those on the ground in Europe, TFAS alumni are also speaking from positions of professional influence. Jakub Kulhánek ’07, the Czech Republic’s ambassador to the United Nations, and Krzysztof Szczerski ’96, Polish Permanent Representative to the United Nations, both spoke at the U.N. Emergency Special Session on Ukraine held on Feb. 28.

Kulhánek’s remarks rippled over a rapt audience: “Let me begin with the most important words I can say here today. We urge Russia to stop immediately its military actions, and to unconditionally withdraw all its forces and military commitment from the entire territory of Ukraine.” As Kulhánek discussed the peace-keeping purpose of the original U.N. Charter, he urged listeners to remember that they “are meeting here today at a critical moment – not just for Ukraine, or Europe, but for the United Nations as a whole.”

Learn more about these courageous alumni and others who are speaking out and covering the war at TFAS.org/UkraineAlumni, and see this week’s coverage in the “quick links” below.

Spreading Freedom In Eastern Europe And Beyond

Roger Ream ’76, president of The Fund for American Studies (TFAS), took to the airwaves to spread the message of freedom to a wider audience. He joined Emily Jashinsky, the Federalist Radio Hour’s culture editor, on March 30 to discuss the past, present and future of TFAS.

PAST: TFAS was founded in 1967, and Ream joined the staff in 1991. His first task was to figure out how to reach students in former communist countries with this crucial message. He led a group to the region to visit its universities, and thus the program that came to be known as TFAS Prague was created in 1993.

President Roger Ream ’76 toasts to 53 years of TFAS at the annual conference.

PRESENT: Fast forward nearly 30 years, and TFAS alumni have gone on to do incredible things, some even rising to the rank of Permanent Representative at the United Nations (one alumnus represents Czech Republic and the other Poland).

TFAS and its tens of thousands of alumni are stepping up and speaking out against the Russian invasion. Courageous leaders throughout the world continue to fight for key freedoms in Eastern Europe and reinforce those same values in the U.S. Even from a bomb shelter in Kharkiv, students are trying to get to TFAS to gain the education and foundation to be able to do just that.

FUTURE: TFAS will continue its outreach to aspiring leaders throughout the world to provide them with the necessary tools, skills and eduction that is lacking in universities today. With a new five-year strategic plan, TFAS has laid the groundwork for this future growth and will continue to develop courageous leaders for a free tomorrow.

Ream shared a similar message with TFAS alumnus Dan Proft ’93 on Chicago’s Morning Answer on March 24. In addition to current events and the fight for freedom, they discussed financial literacy and the importance of foundational economics education and a strong grounding in individual liberty.

Listen to “Spreading Freedom In Eastern Europe And Beyond” on Spreaker.

Post of the Week

TFAS alumnus Atif Choudhury ’10 is a program officer with the Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC) working on international diplomacy and peacekeeping. He tweeted this week that TFAS laid the groundwork for his passion for working with NGOs.



TFAS alumni, faculty and friends continue to speak out and report on the conflict in Ukraine

Ukrainian journalist Olena Makarenko ’15, ’17 is interviewed on TVP World about the war in Ukraine.

Henrik Larsen ’08 served for years as a political advisor for the European Union in Ukraine. He writes in Foreign Policy that the EU should admit Ukraine as a “potential candidate.”

In a World Politics Review article, Faysal Itani ’03, ’06 argues that, from a realist perspective, there is a stronger case for intervention in Ukraine than in Syria, for example.

Vladimir Vano ’99 is interviewed on BNN Bloomberg about Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, leaving the European market.

Matthew Continetti, Novak ’08, writes for Free Beacon about some of President Biden’s actions that may have given Putin a strategic advantage. He argues that Biden’s job is to “give Ukrainians the tools to guarantee democracy’s survival and the brute’s defeat.”

Cheryl Chumley, Novak ’08, writes for The Washington Times on the growing dissent in the U.S. on Biden’s response to Russia’s invasion.

Paul Crespo, Novak ’03, writes for The Republican Standard on the growing dissent in Russia regarding the war in Ukraine.

Claire Alfree ’21 reports on people in a small town having a big impact helping Ukrainian refugees in Poland for WNEP News.

More News

TFAS President Roger Ream ’76 joins Chicago’s Morning Answer with Dan Proft ’93 to discuss financial literacy, the foundations of economics, individual liberty, current events and the ongoing fight for freedom.

Christine Emba, Novak ’18, just had her first book published based on her Novak project, “Rethinking Sex: A Provocation.”

Nermine Mohamed Wally ’03 writes about her experiences in Haiti in the aftermath of the August 2021 earthquake for UN Development Programme.

Marci Manley Burks ’08 is now the director of corporate affairs and global communications with Walmart.

Tony Gonzalez, Novak ’11, reflects on six years of his podcast, Curious Nashville.

Sarah Westwood, Novak ’15, shares six key takeaways from President Biden’s budget proposal in an article for The Washington Examiner.

Ethan Easterwood ’13 started a new position as the PAC and government relations manager at Blue Origin.

TFAS Trustee Emeritus Mitch Daniels is quoted in an article for The Journal Gazette saying that Purdue University will welcome Ukrainian students and scholars.

Naomi Schaefer Riley, Novak ’01, explains how pandemic slowdowns reached the courts and impacted children for the New York Post.

Faith Bottum, Rago ’21, observes the dwindling stock of manual transmission vehicles in the U.S. in a piece for The Wall Street Journal.

TFAS Regent Deborah Lawrence was elected to the Board of Governors and Executive Officers for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

Curt Mills, Novak ’18, eulogizes Madeleine Albright for The American Conservative.

Moss Brennan ’19 remembers the costs of the Vietnam War in an article for the Watauga Democrat.

TFAS economics professor Dr. Don Boudreaux pens a powerful indictment of current education systems in the U.S. for the American Institute for Economic Research.

Katerina Dimitratos ’08 has been named COO of Epoch Financial Group.

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