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Liberty + Leadership News: December 4, 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.”


This week, TFAS received the sad news that economist Walter Williams died of an apparent heart attack. TFAS President Roger Ream wrote a tribute to Mr. Williams and his legacy as a champion of freedom:

“I first met Walter in the late 1970s at a conference for high school teachers near Houston, Texas. Shortly thereafter I invited him to speak to congressional staff and interns on Capitol Hill, where I worked at the time. Being the generous man he always was, he accepted.

Champion of liberty and defender of freedom Walter Williams passed away on Dec. 1, 2020.

What struck me from my first encounters with Walter was that he was a no nonsense truth-teller. That impression and my fondness for Walter grew from there. If the evidence pointed to a conclusion that might not be a popular one to express, so be it. He expressed it. Whether the topic was discrimination, racial disparities, occupational licensing, the minimum wage, the role of unions or many other topics, you could count on Walter to present a clear analysis.

Walter Williams was a teacher, author (of 13 books), and nationally syndicated columnist. He served on the Academic Advisory Board at The Fund for American Studies and was a frequent speaker in our programs. He was past chairman of the Economics Department at George Mason University, where he served as the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics. In 2013, I was proud to present him with one of TFAS’s greatest honors, the David R. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Read the full tribute at TFAS.org/WalterWilliams.

TFAS Public Policy Fellows Continue Discussion on Lincoln-Douglas Debates in November Meeting

This year’s Public Policy Fellows are studying the concepts and principles fundamental to the American Founding. Each month, TFAS hosts the cohort of 17 young professionals in D.C. for educational seminars related to “The Experiment in Self-Government.”

Dr. Sheehan recorded a lecture for the Fellows to watch during their November meeting.

November presented the Fellows with an opportunity to expound on what they learned during their October retreat at President Lincoln’s Cottage and learn about the principles on which our nation was founded through the medium of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. The Fellows also explored the concepts of popular sovereignty and equality by analyzing their prevalence throughout history. They considered which of those two ideas has guided U.S. leaders by engaging with a lecture and discussion with Dr. Colleen Sheehan.

Brenda Hafera, Director of International and Continuing Education Programs at TFAS, noted Sheehan’s remarks provided an insightful look into the difficult decisions facing the nation during the 1800’s and are still relevant today.

“Sheehan asked Fellows to consider Stephen Douglas’ proposition that popular sovereignty – that decisions are a matter of mere majority rule and the force of will – is the highest principle in a republic,” Hafera explained. “She challenged the Fellows to identify a principle that holds supremacy if they wanted to argue that Douglas was incorrect.”

Read more about the November meeting at TFAS.org/Sheehan20.


Did you enjoy your experience in a TFAS D.C. program? Are you interested in taking your involvement to the next level? Now is the chance to become a TFAS Alumni Ambassador!

Here at TFAS, we are planning for multiple formats for our undergraduate programs in 2021, including in-person and virtual. The recruitment season is well underway, with the early deadline coming up on December 8. We are looking for alumni of our U.S. Programs to serve as TFAS Ambassadors to connect with potential students. As an ambassador, you will have the opportunity to share your TFAS experience, provide encouragement and serve as a resource for applicants to ask questions about our programs.

TFAS Recruitment + Admissions Associate Director Dana Faught says alumni volunteers play a vital role in our programs.

“We couldn’t host our successful programs without the support of our outstanding TFAS alumni,” she said. “Thank you to the countless alumni who share their time and invest in the next generation of leaders!”

Alumni are integral to the success of TFAS, and by sharing your time, you can make a lasting impact in securing outstanding leaders for the 2021 TFAS class! If you are interested in serving as an Alumni Ambassador, please fill out the volunteer form here.

Economics Lesson of The Week: A Question of Trust

TFAS provides resources to help teachers and parents continue the important task of educating our nation’s future leaders. Our “Economics Lesson of The Week” series features new lessons from our high school programming division – the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE) – each week.

This week’s lesson is “A Question of Trust.” In this activity, students will simulate the origins of the era of trusts in American economic history. Acting as “captains of industry,” students will attempt to create monopoly power within their classroom oil industry. During the activity, their experience will challenge the common belief that the era of trust formation was evidence that Adam Smith’s analysis of capitalism was flawed. Students will discover for themselves that trusts were actually an affirmation of Smith’s theory that in the absence of coercion, an “invisible hand” regulates the market in the interests of the consumer.

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.

Post of the Week

This week as we celebrated Giving Tuesday, TFAS was reminded of how grateful we are for the countless alumni, supporters and friends who contribute to our transformational programs each year.


Fall Capital Semester students Nina Oeberg ’20 and Christopher Fortes ’20 share their experience interning in Washington, D.C., in an interview with the West Volusia Beacon.

TFAS alumna Clara Jace ’16 and TFAS professors Rosilino Candela and Christopher Coyne share the influence the late Walter Williams had on their interest in economics with the Foundation for Economic Education.

Alessandra Bocchi, Rago ’20, opines for the Wall Street Journal on efforts by students at Brown University to accuse ancient Roman emperors of white supremacy.

TFAS campus speaker Jorge Galicia shares fears of the Venezuelan community in South Florida of socialist tendencies in the United States in an interview with the Washington Examiner.

Gracy Olmstead, Novak ’15, discusses advantages of shopping small this year in a piece for The Week.

Stephanie Slade, Novak ’16, reviews Robert R. Reilly’s “America on Trial” in a piece for Reason.

Michael Dougherty, Novak ’09, opines for National Review on identity politics and culture wars in America.

Sarah Sicard ’13 shares Thanksgiving deployment stories from military veterans in the Air Force Times.

Brent Skorup ’10, PPF ’13, discusses the need to bring equitable broadband access to America’s rural areas in a piece for Bloomberg Law.

Joseph Forcherio ’19 was named a Presidential Management Fellow finalist by the Office of Personnel Management.

Haley Britzky ’16 writes about promotion policy changes for women in the Army in Task & Purpose.

Nycollas Liberato ’20 was elected Executive Director of Students for Liberty Brazil, a role that was previously filled by TFAS alumnus Andre Migliore Freo ’18.

Fox News Anchor Maria Bartiromo’s career achievement award from TFAS is featured in Adweek.

Ben Nuelle ’14, PPF ’20, received his second Doan Award at the virtual awards ceremony of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.

Kari Travis, ’12, Novak ’18, discusses the possibility of the next generation of GOP leaders coming from newly elected commissioners in a piece for Carolina Journal.

Haley Britzky ’16 shares an inventive way kids have discovered to communicate with their deployed father in Task & Purpose.

Greg Chafuen, Law Fellow ’14, is now Legal Counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom.

Sarah Dolan Schneider ’11 is now Vice President of Public Affairs for S-3 Group.

Rep.-elect Nancy Mace was interviewed by TFAS alumna Alana Austin ’10 for Gray TV Washington News Bureau on breaking barriers with her all-female campaign team, which includes deputy campaign manager Avery Phillips ’17.

TFAS trustee Peter McPherson writes for Forbes on tackling hunger and homelessness on college campuses.

Connect with @TFASorg on social media!



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