Home » News » Liberty + Leadership News: August 13, 2020

Liberty + Leadership News: August 13, 2020


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

TFAS alumni, staff and faculty continue to make headlines. Read news, analysis and updates by visiting this week’s “Quick Links.”

Students from Nation’s Top Law Schools Participate in Transformative Virtual TFAS Summer Law Fellowship

Luke Bunting, Law ’20, shared the impact of the TFAS Summer Law Fellowship on his professional development.

Twenty-six students from top law schools across the country gathered for a virtual closing ceremony on July 23 to celebrate the conclusion of the 2020 TFAS Summer Law Fellowship. This year’s ceremony featured a keynote address from U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the D.C. Circuit, Judge Neomi Rao, as well as remarks from current Fellows, TFAS faculty and staff.

TFAS Summer Law Fellow Noelle Daniel, Law ’20, shared what she learned through the Fellowship’s immersive academic and professional components. The University of Kansas School of Law student emphasized the professional impact of her internship with Americans United for Life, where she participated in innovative research alongside prominent legal scholars.

“I was researching things that no one has ever dug into yet,” Daniel said. “It was new, groundbreaking work that I got to be a part of. My internship was a huge stepping stone that TFAS has given me to really advance my career.”

Though the 2020 Summer Law Fellowship could not be hosted in person this summer, Fellows kept a rigorous schedule of remote legal internships, online academic coursework, and virtual networking and career development sessions. The Fellows also heard from leading constitutional scholars, judges and practicing attorneys through a law and public policy lecture series.

Learn more about this year’s TFAS Summer Law Fellowship at TFAS.org/LawClosing20.

Former Prosecutor Sidney Powell Joins Sen. Rand Paul for Exclusive Interview

Author, speaker and attorney for Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, joined Senator Rand Paul for an exclusive interview during the second edition of the 2020 Capitol Hill Lecture Series. During the event, the pair discussed prosecutorial overreach, the latest news and lessons from her best-selling book “Licensed to Lie.”

“The admonition of prosecutors is that their job is to seek justice, not convictions,” Powell said during the interview. “…I’ve done 500 federal appeals – 350 of those in criminal cases – and I’ve tried criminal and civil cases for the government. We were always taught that our job was to seek justice, and if that meant doing a better job in court for the defendant than his own lawyer was doing sometimes, that’s what we did.”

Watch the full video on Youtube:

The event was streamed live on Youtube and Facebook on Aug. 5, and more than 24,000 viewers have tuned in.

Continuing with a part in-person, part virtual format, the 2020 Capitol Hill Lecture Series is an annual event that exposes Washington’s interns to new ideas surrounding “Free Markets, Individual Liberty and Civil Society.” In its 8th year, the series is co-hosted by TFAS and the Office of U.S. Senator Rand Paul and introduces Washington, D.C. interns to prominent leaders advancing the cause for freedom.

Economics Lesson of The Week: The Wheat Activity

As students return back to school, whether online or in the classroom, TFAS continues to provide resources to help teachers and parents continue the important task of educating our nation’s future leaders. This week, we are continuing our series to feature new lessons from our high school programming division – the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE).

This week’s lesson is “The Wheat Activity.” In this simulation, students act as workers producing wheat. The students will use their available capital (pencils) to produce wheat by writing the word “w-h-e-a-t” as many times on the piece of paper (land) as possible in a given time period. Each round more students are added to each team which will slow down production and show how even as total product increases the marginal productivity of workers does not increase at that same rate. Students will use this activity and marginal decision making to understand how companies make decisions to hire based on marginal productivity.

TFAS offers a plethora of online lesson plans, readings, handouts, video demonstrations and hands-on activity guides to teach the “economic way of thinking” in engaging and relatable ways. Visit TFAS.org/FTELessons for a one-stop guide to our available resources.

Video of the Week

Catch a glimpse into TFAS Virtual Summer academic internship program in the highlight reel below. You can read more closing ceremony highlights and student testimonies at TFAS.org/VirtualSummerClosing.



Graham Kilmer ’14 reports for Urban Milwaukee on a decrease in U.S. unemployment rates to 10.2% amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Jared Keller ’10 reports for Task & Purpose on a new Army technique to train dogs to detect COVID-19.

Sienna Kossman ’15 writes for The Balance on potential travel refunds during the coronavirus pandemic.

More News

Faysal Itani ’03, ’06 opines for the New York Times about the recent explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.

Ryan Lovelace, Novak ’17, reports for the Washington Times on scrutiny over Google’s data collection practices.

 Rym Momtaz ’05, ’07 discusses the latest crisis in Lebanon in Institut Montaigne.

Dr. Jamal Ibrahim Haidar ’05, ’06 co-authored a piece in the Washington Post about Lebanon’s latest economic crisis.

Kristin Tate, Novak ’19, opines for The Hill on how President Trump can compete politically with Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Robby Soave, Novak ’17, is featured in a “Slack Roundtable Discussion” on the moral panic over free speech on college campuses.

Ryan Watkins, Law ’08, was interviewed by Toronto.com about the lack of Black lawyers in Ontario.

Firas Maksad ’01 is quoted in this Washington Post piece about the recent explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.

Mene Ukueberuwa, Novak ’19, opines for The Wall Street Journal on gentrification in America.

Veranika Laputska ’11 writes about the role of digital media in fueling challenges to the regime in Belarus in a piece for the German Marshall Fund.

Kari Travis ’12 reports for the Carolina Journal on a new North Carolina state ruling that allows absentee voters to appeal rejected ballots.

Sara El Yafi ’04 was interviewed on CNN about the recent explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.


Kyra Watts ’20 had a nationally ranked op-ed on voting behavior of Generation Z as part of her TFAS internship featured in OpEd News.

Audrey Townend ’16, ’18 is a 2020-2021 Bastiat Fellow at the Mercatus Center. She is also an E.C. Harwood Visiting Research Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER).

Annie Xiao ’14, PPF ’16, is featured in Women in Government Relations for her journey to success as a first-generation immigrant and college graduate.

Avery “Scout” Phillips ’17 is the campaign manager and finance director for Randy Henderson for Congress.

Post of the Week

Amanda Christophe ’20 received the George Viksnins Award for Academic Excellence in Economic Problems, as well as the Public Policy + Economics Program Outstanding Student Award for her participation in the TFAS Virtual Summer.


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