Home » News » Liberty + Leadership News: June 18, 2020

Liberty + Leadership News: June 18, 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, honors and updates by visiting this week’s “Quick Links.”

TFAS Mentor Program Provides Resources for Students to Expand Network

Matthew Ellias ’18 (center) participated in the D.C. Summer Programs International Affairs track in 2018.

This week, the TFAS Virtual Mentor Program kicked off for students participating in our Virtual Summer Program. More than 100 D.C.-area professionals volunteered for this year’s virtual program, many of whom signed up to mentor more than one student. Over the course of the summer, students will virtually meet with their mentors for weekly professional development sessions, covering topics like resumes, cover letters and networking tips and more.

As a vital part of the TFAS Academic Internship Program, the mentor program has been providing valuable connections and advice for students for many years. TFAS alumnus Zach Pagovski ’10, PPF ’12 and his 2018 mentee Matthew Ellias ’18 are just one example of a mentor/mentee pair who has stayed connected over the years.

“TFAS provides such a good introduction to the D.C. world,” Ellias said. “Not only does the program allow you to intern somewhere, but it also allows you to build broader connections in the D.C. community. That was something that was really impressive to me.”

See how their shared bond led to new opportunities and learn more about the program at TFAS.org/Mentor20.

Generous Legacy Society Benefactors Leave $300,000 Gift to TFAS Programs

A $300,000 estate gift to The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) will impact the lives of thousands of young leaders and ensure that TFAS can continue to build strong and influential programs for many generations to come.

The gift was made by a supporter who wished to remain anonymous and who was a member of the TFAS Legacy Society, a distinguished group of generous supporters who have included TFAS in their estate plans. Just last year, the society celebrated an important milestone, surpassing 100 members.

It is so crucial that we do whatever we can now to ensure that freedom will outlive us all.”— Bob Meissner, TFAS Legacy Society Chairman

The lastest Legacy Society gift comes at a critical time when the coronavirus crisis and subsequent shutdowns are hitting nonprofits with new and unprecedented difficulties. Despite these barriers, TFAS has stuck to our mission of teaching limited government and free-market principles by adapting our programs to reach young people virtually and deciding against seeking a government loan through the CARES act. TFAS does not accept government funding and relies solely on the voluntary support of generous individuals.

To learn more about this bequest, please click here. To learn more about the TFAS Legacy Society and become a member of this distinguished group, please visit TFAS.org/Legacy.

Economics Lesson of the Week: “In The Chips”

TFAS continues to provide resources to help teachers and parents carry on the important task of educating our nation’s future leaders. Each week, we feature a different lesson from our high school programming division – the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE).

This week’s lesson is “In The Chips,” an activity that simulates a market for computer chips. Students, acting as buyers and sellers, will experience the competitive nature of markets. As a result, they will see how competition influences the price of goods and the decisions of buyers and sellers. Students will be introduced to concepts including supply, demand, equilibrium price (or market clearing price) and competition.

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

TFAS alumna Steff Thomas ’13 shares her excitement for the virtual mentor program kick off this week. Thomas is one of the more than 100 mentors who are sharing advice and connections with TFAS students this summer.



TFAS professor Dr. Don Boudreaux co-authored a piece in the The Washington Post on how the COVID-19 lockdowns have revealed the vulnerability of small businesses in our country.

Elise Amez-Droz, PPF ’19, interviews a nursing student in Boston on her experience volunteering to care for COVID-19 patients in nursing homes in a piece for the Mercatus Center.

Abby Smith ‘14 interviews Iowa senator Joni Ernst on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the biofuel industry in the Washington Examiner.

Yasmin Kayali ’01, ’03 is featured in Marie Claire for her work on behalf of Syrian refugees, especially during the current crisis.

Chris White, Novak ’13, questions the difference between packed churches and packed streets for protests amid coronavirus shutdowns in The Tablet.

Alexandra Hudson, Novak ’19, shares her story of giving birth to her son amid the coronavirus pandemic in USA Today.

TFAS Director of Foundation Relations Tyler Groenendal opines on Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 policies in his first piece for The Dispatch.

Kristin Tate, Novak ’19, shares how the end of the coronavirus lockdown could potentially hurt Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in an article for The Hill.



TFAS Academic Director Dr. Anne Bradley and FTE speaker Dr. Russ Roberts are participating in a panel discussion for the Acton Institute on “Economic Perspectives on a Paralyzed Labor Force.”

Elise Amez-Droz, PPF ’19, discusses cultural opposition to healthy living habits and weight loss in a piece for Town Hall.

Two TFAS summer journalism students are interning for Higher Education Today, conducting interviews and editing footage for the education-themed TV program. Their first segment includes an interview with TFAS alumna and Journalism + Communications Board of Visitors member, Dr. Kim Meltzer ’96.

TFAS campus speaker and asylum seeker Andrés Guilarte joined Americans for Prosperity – Florida and The LIBRE Initiative – Florida to share his experience speaking out against socialism on college campuses across the U.S.

Jennifer Kabbany, Novak ’02, opines for the College Fix on Ivanka Trump’s virtual graduation speech, calling out “cancel culture.”

TFAS Regent Emeritus Lee Edwards opines for the Daily Signal on the importance of remembering the victims of communism across the globe.

TFAS Grewcock Senior Scholar Don Devine discusses bureaucratic response to President Trump’s recent executive order on “Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery” in a piece for the American Spectator.

Oriana Pawlyk ’10, writes for Military.com about the U.S. Space Force’s efforts to gain intellectual property rights over Netflix.

TFAS Regent Emeritus Lee Edwards opines for Fox News on the national civil unrest following the death of George Floyd.

The Triad Business Journal featured the 2020 DeJoy-Wos scholarship recipients for the TFAS Virtual Summer.

Graham Kilmer ’14 reports for Urban Milwaukee on committee support in Milwaukee county of implementing a ride-share tax to fund road work and public transit.

Ryan Lovelace, Novak ’17, reports for The Washington Times on petitions by professional athletes to end qualified immunity for police officers.

Peter Suderman, Novak ’10, opines for Reason on how accessibility of phone cameras and increased footage of police brutality is holding officers accountable.

Jared Keller ’08 writes for Task & Purpose on President Trump’s recent speech promoting unity at West Point graduation ceremony amid civil-military tensions in the U.S.

Matthew Walther, Novak ’10, opines for The Week on how voters aren’t prepared to accept the political outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Frederico Bartels, PPF ’18, opines for the Daily Signal on the Senate Armed Services Committee’s recently passed bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act.

Joy Pullman, Novak ’13, shares 10 book recommendations for the summer in a piece for The Federalist.

Peter Suderman, Novak ’10, discusses the first-ever FDA approved prescription video game in a Reason Magazine article.



Marisa Burleson ’17 recently started working as a strategic initiatives coordinator for the Republican National Committee.

Danyale Kellog ’18, ‘19 was promoted to a graduate research assistant position at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M.

Alex O’Connor, PPF ’18, started a new position as special assistant to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Alexandra Seymour, PPF ’18, is the speechwriter for the Deputy Secretary of Defense.


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