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Liberty + Leadership News: June 18


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.

Faith Bottum Selected as 2021 Joseph Rago Memorial Fellow for Excellence in Journalism

TFAS is pleased to announce Faith Bottum as the 2021 recipient of the Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism.

Born in João Pessoa, Brazil, she was raised in New York, Washington, D.C., and in the Black Hills of South Dakota. A 2021 graduate of the South Dakota School of Mines, Bottum earned a degree in civil engineering with a focus on structures.

Bottum has extensive writing and journalism experience. She was an editorial intern at the Washington Free Beacon, and her undergraduate writing includes op-eds in The Wall Street Journal, along with essays in Commonweal, The Federalist, University Bookman, Symposeum and other outlets. Her new translation of “The Ancient City,” Fustel de Coulanges’s 1864 classic account of the religious origins of Greek and Roman urban culture, will be published this winter by St. Augustine’s Press.

In addition to her journalistic pursuits, Bottum has spent summers as a horseback trail guide in the Black Hills National Forest and as a restoration engineer for a national historic-preservation firm.

As a Rago Fellow, Bottum will work with the Opinion section of The Wall Street Journal through a nine-month internship beginning in August. This Fellowship is named in honor of Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer Joseph Rago, who was a rising star at The Wall Street Journal and a key member of its editorial page team before he passed away at the age of 34 in 2017.

Learn more about Bottum and the Fellowship program at TFAS.org/RagoFellow21.

Week Two of TFAS – Living, Learning and Interning in Washington, D.C.

TFAS alumnus Stephen Oldfield ’85 meets with Journalism + Communications program students before his guest lecture on Tuesday evening.

Today marks two full weeks since 2021 TFAS students moved into their dorms in Washington, D.C. Two hundred sixty students are in the nation’s capital for an in-person experience in our D.C. Academic Internship Programs, and 30 students are participating in an online track. Since move in day, the students have had an exciting schedule of guest lectures, classes, tours and much more.

Kenlee Foskey ’21, a rising senior at Mercer University who is participating in this summer’s Business + Government Relations track, says she is looking forward to getting a more in-depth look at politics and policy this summer. She said she was grateful for the TFAS supporters who give to make the programs possible so she and other students can have the experience of a lifetime.

“The support of the TFAS donors impacts this program and all of us who get to experience it that otherwise would not be able to,” Foskey said. “This support provides an awesome opportunity for us to really experience all of the things we care about and are interested in studying.”

TFAS President Roger Ream ’76, Rep. David Rouzer ’93, ’94 of North Carolina and Rep. David Kustoff ’89 of Tennessee address the TFAS class.

On June 15 and 16, students attended events with professionals working in their program track fields during a series of special evening guest lectures. They also heard from two TFAS alumni congressmen in an exclusive congressional briefing. Representative David Rouzer ’93, ’94 of North Carolina and Representative David Kustoff ’89 of Tennessee spoke about the impact that attending a TFAS program had on their lives. Rouzer shared how TFAS initially sparked his interest and motivation in preserving freedom and going into politics. The two both pointed to TFAS as the key ingredient to their success in Congress.

“Had I not been introduced to The Fund for American Studies, I probably would not be in the U.S. Congress today,” Congressman Rouzer said to the students.

To learn more about the students’ exciting first two weeks in Washington, please visit TFAS.org/2021DCweek2.

Making (Sound) Waves: TFAS Alumni-Hosted Podcasts

TFAS alumni are prolific producers of written material from articles to op-eds to books. They make appearances on news stations, testify in front of Congress and share their expertise on countless radio shows. But that’s not all they do — several alumni take their messages to the masses as hosts of their own podcasts! Podcasts are a great medium for sharing information with a personal touch. Covering everything from current events to the creative industry, check out our list of 10 TFAS alumni who are making their mark with these must-hear podcasts.

Hear from alumni including Naomi Schaefer Riley, Novak ’01; Laura Vanderkam ’99, Novak ’06; John Lettieri ’03, PPF ’08; Cheryl Chumley, Novak ’08; Mark Stansberry ’76 and more at TFAS.org/alumnipodcasts.

Post of the Week

TFAS alumni congressmen Representative David Rouzer ’93, ’94 of North Carolina and Representative David Kustoff ’89 of Tennessee shared advice with the TFAS class this week.


Carmen Geha ’08 writes for An-Nahar on striking balance between personal and political outlooks on the ongoing conflict in Lebanon and how the Lebanese people can navigate daily life.

Will Weatherford ’02 has been elected as the new chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida.

In an article for Agri-Pulse, Ben Nuelle ’14, PPF ’20, describes the costs and benefits of the recent proposal for a new carbon capture pipeline designed to reduce the carbon footprint in the Midwest.

Nina Trentmann ’08 coauthors an article for the Wall Street Journal on how the pandemic impacted large company bank deposits. 

In an article for Associated Press, Alexandra Jaffe ’09 reports on Vice President Kamala Harris’ recent diplomatic efforts with Presidents Alejandro Giammattei and Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Guatemala and Mexico, respectively.

Peter Suderman, Novak ’10, discusses the policy shortcomings during the pandemic as a reason for policymakers to practice humility in an article for Reason.

Kylee Zempel ’17, PPF ’19, explains how COVID-19 relief spending has increased the cost of basic commodities in an article for The Federalist.

Joy Pullmann, Novak ’13, describes the two opposing definitions of ‘civics’ and how the discrepancy influences Americans’ perspectives on civics education in an article for The Federalist.

Brett Decker, Novak ’03, discusses the growing importance of China in the global arena with Ed Martin in the Pro-America Report.

Renato Diniz ’20 won a full scholarship for the Hayek Global MBA by winning an essay contest with his essay, “Can Liberty Principles be Applied to the Management Practices of Day-to-Day Business?”

Stephanie Slade, Novak ’16, was featured as the lead essayist for the June 2021 edition of Liberty Matters for her essay entitled, “Liberty and Virtue: Frank Meyer’s Fusionism.”

In an article for the Washington Examiner, Mark Grabowski ’97 discusses the difference between press treatment of the Trump administration and Biden administration, expressing his concern that the media is too lenient with President Biden and ultimately failing to hold him accountable.

Blaise Misztal ’00, PPF ’09, explains how the Biden administration should navigate its relationship with Turkey in relation to the NATO alliance in a piece for The National Interest

Eliora Katz, PPF ’19, joined the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs as a professional staff member this spring. 

TFAS Board of Trustees member Peter McPherson explains how a bill working through Congress could reshape American scientific leadership in this article for Forbes.

Carrie Sheffield ’06, Novak ’06, discusses the rise of unemployment fraud during the pandemic in an article for Independent Women’s Forum

In an article for The Federalist, Ben Weingarten, Novak ’19, shares insight from an exclusive interview he conducted for a new book he is writing on U.S.-China policy, based on research from his time as a Novak Fellow.

Connect with @TFASorg on social media!


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