Home » News » Liberty + Leadership News: June 20, 2019

Liberty + Leadership News: June 20, 2019


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 for our newsletter to receive weekly updates.


Sen. Rand Paul Makes Case for Bipartisan Support of Liberty During TFAS Lecture

Student interns line up to ask Sen. Paul questions following his remarks. Photo by Capitol Hill Photo.

More than 270 interns gathered at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, June 13, to hear Sen. Rand Paul kick-off the 2019 TFAS Capitol Hill Lecture Series. During his remarks, Sen. Paul made the case for political parties to reach across the aisle to work together on issues that can unite Americans including the fourth amendment, privacy, separation of powers, criminal justice reform and foreign policy.

Leading by example, the senator noted several pieces of legislation that he had co-sponsored with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden including The REPUBLIC Act, which would automatically end all presidential emergency declarations within 72 hours unless Congress agrees to extend it.

Once you start using emergencies, you are going around checks and balances. You are assuming all the power of the executive and legislative in one person, and when that happens there can be no liberty.” –  Sen. Rand Paul

The annual TFAS Capitol Hill Lecture Series on “Free Markets, Individual Liberty and Civil Society” is a free educational opportunity for Washington, D.C., interns to hear firsthand from today’s leaders in liberty. The series is held in partnership with the Office of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and made possible through the generous support of the Einhorn Family Foundation. To learn more, visit TFAS.org/CHLS.

TFAS Alumnus Named New President of Liberty International

Jacek Spendel (AIPES 08, CSF 09) has participated in numerous TFAS programs and now runs his own international nonprofit.
Spendel has participated in numerous TFAS student and continuing education programs and has led several organizations to help young leaders promote liberty.

TFAS alumnus Jacek Spendel ’08, ’09 was named president of  Liberty International, a nonprofit organization committed to advancing world liberty through international education and networking. The new role will continue Spendel’s exceptional career path committed to spreading the ideas of liberty and helping young leaders fight for freedom within their own countries and communities.

We spoke to Spendel last year about his passion for liberty and how his participation in TFAS programs in both D.C. and Prague have impacted his life and career.

I was inspired in a big way by TFAS in D.C. TFAS identifies necessary things. It gives young folks tools, knowledge and experience they can later implement in their lives and the lives of their communities when they become successful.” – Jacek Spendel, ’08, ’09

You can read Spendel’s full profile at TFAS.org/JacekSpendel.

Novak Fellow’s Book on Campus Activism is Amazon Best Seller

Soave discusses his new book on “Fox & Friends.”

A new book by TFAS Novak Fellow Robby Soave, Novak ’17, hit shelves this week and is an Amazon best seller. “Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump” profiles campus activists from across the political spectrum to learn their motivations and desired outcomes.

Soave appeared on “FOX & Friends” this week to discuss the book and his findings, stating that campuses have been upended by fringe radical students on some of the most elite university campuses whose goal is to protect people’s feelings above any tactical exchange of ideas. “Their numbers are small, but their influence is huge,” he said.

You can also read about Soave’s book in The Washington Times. The book was made possible in part by Soave’s TFAS Novak Fellowship, which enabled him to spend a year researching and writing about the “selfie generation” trend toward censorship.

Soave will be speaking on a panel about the “State of Media in the U.S. Today” during our TFAS Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. next week. Register online today at TFAS.org/AC19Register to reserve your spot.

Theater Group Uses Humor and Improv to Engage Students in Discussion on Free Speech

The T2P2 group acts out scenarios on free speech and civil dialogue.

On Tuesday, June 11, TFAS students watched policy come to life through comedy thanks to a special presentation from The Theater of Public Policy (T2P2).

As an improv group dedicated to making civic issues funny, T2P2 can best be compared to “a mash-up of Saturday Night Live and C-SPAN.”

TFAS students participating in our D.C. Summer Program tracks on Leadership + the American Presidency, Journalism + Communications, and Public Policy + Economics gathered into small groups to discuss ideas related to civil dialogue, campus free speech and diversity of thought.

Students gather into small groups to discuss their given prompts.

During their breakout conversations – led by policy prompts provided by the theater group – performers listened in and gathered material for their improv sketches.

Following the student conversations, T2P2 performed several scenarios that brought humor to issues related to interpersonal communication in the age of social media, disagreeing without being disagreeable and embracing new ideas.

Photos by Capitol Hill Photo.

Post of The Week

More than 90 TFAS students volunteered with nonprofits in D.C. this weekend during our annual Service Saturday event. Overall, students provided 260 hours of service to their summer community by removing 20 bags of trash from the National Mall, planting trees at the Mount Olivet Cemetery with Casey Trees, restoring D.C. parks with Washington Parks & People, and serving 150 meals to the hungry with So Others Might Eat and Iona Senior Services.

Quick Links

William Pawlak ’17 thanked TFAS and professor Gary Armstrong in his published article, “Primacy and the United States: The Role of the US in the Modern Era.” Pawlak writes, “As part of the TFAS program, I studied American foreign policy under Professor Gary Armstrong of William Jewell College. It was his erudition, profundity – and most of all – patience, which made this article possible.” The article appeared in the inaugural edition of Norwich University’s Journal of Peace and War Studies. Pawlak is an Army ROTC at Norwich where he studies politics and military history. Upon graduation, he will commission as an officer in the US Army.

David Senoff ’88 has launched a new law firm in Philadelphia, aiming to “fill a niche better served by a smaller, low-overhead operation.” 

Jacek Spendel ’08, ’09 shared a photo of fellow TFAS alumnus Daban Najmadden Mala ’15 opening the Language of Liberty Institute’s First Entrepreneurship Workshop in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan. Mala told the participants that his journey with liberty and entrepreneurship began with his participation in the TFAS Prague program.

The Carolina Journal did a feature about their associate editor Kari Travis ’12, Novak ’18, being named a recipient of  the TFAS Young Alumnus Award.

TFAS professor Dr. Chris Coyne talked U.S. foreign policy and its impact on civil liberties during a discussion of his book, “Tyranny Comes Home,” at the Cato Institute

Amanda Finnegan ’07 launched a new travel initiative at The Washington Post called, “By The Way.” You can read about the new product on Medium.

The Wall Street Journal calls Michael Brendan Dougherty’s, Novak ’09, new book, “My Father Left Me Ireland,” a meditation on family and fatherhood that doubles as a lesson in modern Irish history and what it means to be a nation.

Kat Timpf, Novak ’12, applauds the First Step Act for reducing the sentences of more than 1,000 federal prisoners in new National Review video.

Haley Britzky ’16 reports for Task & Purpose on the last surviving medic from “Band of Brothers” Easy Company being laid to rest on June 15.

Cheryl K. Chumley, Novak ’08, says the American flag should be protected, but not by regulations, in a piece for The Washington Times.

National Review interviews Colleen Campbell, Novak ’00, about her new book, “The Heart of Perfection: How the Saints Taught Me to Trade My Dream of Perfect for God’s.”


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