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Liberty + Leadership News: March 26, 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 for our newsletter to receive weekly updates.

TFAS alumni, staff and faculty continue to provide coverage of COVID-19.  Read their analysis, information and tips by visiting this week’s “Quick Links.”

Economic Growth and Scarcity: High School Economics Lesson of the Week

As the spread of COVID-19 causes high schools across the country to close their doors, TFAS is providing resources to help our teachers and parents continue the important task of educating our nation’s future leaders. Each week, we’ll feature a different lesson from our high school programming division – the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE)

Download lesson plans and slides on our High School Programming website – FTE.org.

This week’s lesson is “Economic Growth and Scarcity.” In this lesson, students are introduced to the concept of economic growth through the story of human progress and changing standards of living over time. Video clips, historical examples and a mini-activity engage students in the discovery of the institutions that foster economic growth.

At the end of this lesson students will be able to: explain the relationship between scarcity and choice, define economic growth, and identify institutions that foster economic growth.

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.

TFAS Public Policy Fellows Debate: “Will America Ban Hate Speech?”

TFAS Public Policy Fellows enjoy dinner and a discussion on free speech trends in the US.

University speech codes, Big Tech censoring political content, and the shouting down of speakers on college campuses have made headlines in recent years as ways modern American society is undermining freedom of speech. But, will the freest country in the world place an outright ban on speech deemed disagreeable, including ‘hate speech?’

Arthur Milikh, associate director and research fellow for the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics in the Institute for Constitutional Government at The Heritage Foundation, posed this question and more at the TFAS Public Policy Fellows monthly academic dinner on March 10.

Arthur Milikh facilitated provocative discussion that left me feeling equally challenged in my approach to identity politics, resolved in my commitment to free speech, and hopeful about how this group of Fellows can use our ideas and words to be effective leaders in public policy.”– Kylee Zempel, ’17, PPF ’19

Read more about their discussion at TFAS.org/PPFMarch20. Applications for the 2020-21 Fellowship are now open. Public policy professionals living and working in the Washington, D.C. area with two to ten years’ experience are encouraged to learn more and apply at TFAS.org/PPF.

TFAS Alumna Says TFAS Paved Way to Success

Charisma Hunter ’18, ’19 shares remarks with TFAS alumni, supporters and friends at the 2020 Founders’ Day event.

When Charisma Hunter ’18, ’19 was finishing up her final year at Virginia Tech, the first-generation college graduate was unsure of what she would do next. Would she attend law school? Would she pursue a career in politics? As she considered her options, she received her acceptance email from The Fund for American Studies (TFAS), offering her a full scholarship to participate in the summer 2019 TFAS Leadership Scholars Program in Washington, D.C. It was then that Hunter made the decision to jump-start her career with an internship in the nation’s capital.

I thank this reputable and distinguished organization for equipping me to be able to do what I love, and go beyond what was ever expected of a young, first-generation college graduate, from Southwest Virginia.” – Charisma Hunter ’18, ’19

Read how TFAS helped paved Hunter’s path to success at TFAS.org/CharismaH. We are currently seeking outstanding applicants like Hunter for our 2020 DC Summer Programs. To learn more, nominate students and apply, visit DCinternships.org.

Remembering Jon Utley (1934–2020)

TFAS President Roger Ream ’76 shared a remembrance of his dear friend and freedom fighter Mr. Jon Basil Utley, who passed away last weekend at the age of 86.

Jon was always such a pleasure to be around, with a quick smile or clever comment to lighten a discussion at the many TFAS events he attended – he was a light in every room.” – TFAS President Roger Ream

Jon Utley at the Great Wall during our TFAS trip to China in 2015.

Jon was a long-time supporter and friend of our TFAS International programs. At a very young age, he fled to the United States with his mother, Freda, a famous Soviet exile and anti-Communist intellectual from Russia, after his father was executed by the Soviets ahead of WWII. Following his upbringing in an anti-Communist home, Jon spent his lifetime opposing tyranny and became a fierce anti-war advocate.

You can read more about Utley’s extraordinary life and the legacy he leaves behind at TFAS.org/JonUtley.

Video of the Week

Venezuelan asylum seeker and TFAS campus speaker Andrés Guilarte shared his eyewitness account of the socialist destruction of his home country in a three-part interview series with Capital Research Center (CRC). You can read the series on their website and watch a video presentation of his warning below.

TFAS Alumni Cover COVID-19 Concerns

Kaitlin Durbin ’11 writes for the Toledo Blade about a local Ohio neighborhood’s efforts to spread positivity through window artwork displays during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

John Lettieri ’03, PPF ’08, shares his expert opinion on how the government can help support small businesses through the impending “startup depression” in an interview with Business Insider.

Tom Bossert ’97 shares his thoughts on what the future holds in regards to recent coronavirus developments for ABC News.

Rym Momtaz ’05, ’07 has co-authored a piece for Politico on voter turnout for France’s elections amid coronavirus outbreak.

Sienna Kossman ’13 writes for The Balance on decreased credit card APRs due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

Robby Soave, Novak ’17, opines for Reason on private-sector efforts to create coronavirus testing.

Kenneth Rosen, Novak ’18, shares his personal experience fleeing quarantine in Europe and returning to chaos in the U.S. amid the coronavirus outbreak in a piece for Newsweek.

TFAS Regent Emeritus Lee Edwards opines for the National Interest on Americans’ ability to effectively respond in times of crisis.

Michael Brendan Dougherty, Novak ’09, opines for the National Review on what the coronavirus response says about government decentralization in crises.

Peter Suderman, Novak ’10, sat down with George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen to discuss his thoughts on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in an interview for Reason.

Tim Alberta, Novak ’18, writes for Politico on proposals to send Americans federal financial aid during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Ryan Lovelace, Novak ’17, reports for the Washington Times on a Senate proposal to stop Google advertisements for medical face masks during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Matthew Walther, Novak ’16, opines for The Week on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted Bernie Sanders’ candidacy.

TFAS Trustee Emeritus Mitch Daniels discusses the realities of the coronavirus outbreak in an opinion piece for The Washington Post.

Graham Kilmer ’15 reports for Urban Milwaukee on how first responders are managing supply shortages in Milwaukee County.


Laura Vanderkam ’99, Novak ’06, shares advice on dealing with altered routines in an episode of the “Best of Both Worlds” podcast.

Jean Schindler ’06 shares advice for successful women working in Washington, D.C. in a piece for District Fray magazine.

Haley Britzky ’16 writes for Task & Purpose on recognition of the 30th Infantry Division’s heroism during WWII with the Presidential Unit Citation.

Oriana Pawlyk ’10 reports for Military.com on Air Force servicewoman’s steps toward becoming the first female Special Tactics officer.

Anthony Elghossain ’07 shares next steps for Lebanese leaders to consider to repair the nation’s broken economy, government and society in an article for the Middle East Institute.


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