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Liberty + Leadership News: May 14, 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 provide coverage of COVID-19. Read their analysis, information and tips by visiting this week’s “Quick Links.”

President Roger Ream: After the coronavirus is gone, the national debt explosion will remain

TFAS President Roger Ream underwent a knee replacement operation on March 10. When he came out of the anesthesia and the recovery fog, it was as though he was no longer living in the same country. The national debt had jumped to $25 trillion, bringing the debt per taxpayer to more than $200,000. Ream wrote about the drastic spending response to COVID-19 in a piece for the Washington Examiner.

“While physical therapy has worked its wonders on my ability to resume normal activity, the changes wrought by the leaders of our government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will cripple the economy for years to come,” he said.

While the lockdown of the economy will be debated for many years, Ream says Americans should be able to agree that the fastest path to a revitalized economy that creates jobs and prosperity for all is to return to a minimal level of government spending and interference in the private sector. “Markets have time and again proven to be nimbler and more resilient than politicians in allocating resources and growing the economy.” You can read Ream’s full piece in the Washington Examiner.

TFAS Students Complete Capital Semester Program, Overcome Challenges Amid COVID-19

One by one, the smiling faces popped on the screen as nine students from across the U.S. and Australia logged in to their virtual TFAS Capital Semester Closing Ceremony on Monday, May 4. Sixty minutes later, they left as TFAS alumni with a semester-worth of lessons, experiences and connections that will carry them into their careers as our next generation of responsible leaders.

zoom graduation
TFAS staff and faculty welcomed students to the TFAS Alumni Network during a virtual closing ceremony.

As they joined the global alumni network, the students reflected on “a semester like no other” that had them spending half of their TFAS experience in Washington, D.C. and the second half online as COVID-19 shut down the city.

“I was excited to learn we’d still be having a lot of our planned events virtually, because even if we come back to D.C. another time on our own we still wouldn’t be able to participate in a lot of these events and seminars that we have access to through TFAS,” said Capital Semester student Shannon McSkimming. “The fact that we can do them virtually has been really cool because we haven’t really missed out on much at all by going online. It’s also been great to get to see all of my classmates in the program too.”

Learn about their experience and the virtual ceremony that brought well-wishes from faculty, internship sites and alumni at TFAS.org/CSSpring20Grad.

Two-time TFAS alumna Elin Johnson ’17, ’19 completed virtual internships during her summers with TFAS.

Remote TFAS Internships Prepare Students and Employers for Success

Here at TFAS, we refuse to let COVID-19 kill the D.C. summer internship. Through TFAS Virtual Summer, we’re working with students and D.C.-based institutions to bring the value and experience of the coveted capital city internship right to students’ homes.

TFAS does a great job of matching students with organizations. It’s almost personality matching. Elin was personally recommended to us, and my mentee was from my home state. They take care to match on factors beyond major and industry.”– Christina Paulos, Managing Director, The Well News 

See how TFAS works to match students and employers and hear testimonies from TFAS alumni and internship site hosts on the benefits of a virtual internship: TFAS.org/VirtualInternBenefits.

Would you or any of your contacts benefit from hosting a TFAS student for a virtual internship this summer? We are looking for virtual positions that involve research, writing and other projects that students can work on for 10+ hours a week. If interested, please fill out our intern request form here or email Joe Starrs at jstarrs@TFAS.org.

Economics Lesson of the Week: Setting the Rules – Costs and Benefits of Government Action

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 feature a different lesson from our high school programming division – the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE).

This week’s lesson is “Setting the Rules: Costs and Benefits of Government Action.” This lesson gives students the opportunity to apply the economic way of thinking to the political arena. After exploring differences between private and public choice they will apply public choice theory to understand why “bad economics” often makes for “good politics.”

Downloadable lesson guides and slides provide instructions. 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 Alumni + Friends Cover COVID-19 Concerns

Cheryl Chumley ’08 interviews TFAS Venezuelan speaker Jorge Galicia on her podcast “The Bold and Blunt” to discuss how socialism can seep into a culture and warp minds – and how we can stop it from happening, post-COVID-19.

TFAS Grewcock Senior Scholar Dr. Don Devine opines for The American Spectator on how the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of big government.

Ken Rosen, Novak ’18, discusses Italian prime minister’s plans for reopening the country this summer in this Newsweek article.

Andrew Powaleny ’08, PPF ’11, shares lessons from his mother, a mental health advocate, in a piece on building mental health awareness in the age of COVID-19.

Kat Timpf, Novak ’12, says celebrities shouldn’t preach for an end to consumerism once the coronavirus pandemic ends in a piece for Fox News.

Christopher White, Novak ’13, shares funding concerns of Catholic humanitarian aid workers in Central America amid COVID-19 pandemic in a piece for Crux.

TFAS trustee Peter McPherson has co-authored an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on how public universities are assisting in the fight against the coronavirus.

Sienna Kossman ’13 shares how the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a decrease in credit card APRs in an article for The Balance.

Matthew Continetti, Novak ’08, discusses the “new normal” of life after the coronavirus outbreak in the Washington Free Beacon.

Haley Britzky ’16 writes for Task & Purpose on misconceptions that citizens with a past diagnosis of COVID-19 can’t join the military.

Nicholas Ballasy ’07 interviews Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) about COVID-19 and the national debt for Just the News.

Sarah Westwood, Novak ’15, reports for CNN Politics on the challenges of overrun hog farms due to processing plant closures.

Sona Muzikarova ’07 shares how the coronavirus crisis has highlighted the need to diversify funding for European businesses in an article for the Atlantic Council.

Eric Tanenblatt ’87 has co-authored a piece in Roll Call on how a national commitment to service can help alleviate strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Moroney ’08, PPF ’12, shares how consumer trends provide hope for economic recovery in the hospitality industry in a piece for Fleishman Hillard.

Jennifer Kabbany, Novak ’02, discusses the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on university enrollment this fall in a piece for the College Fix.



Oriana Pawlyk ’11 interviews the newest members of the U.S. Space Force for Military.com, including fellow TFAS alumnus Jonathan Novak ’19.

Matthew Walther, Novak ’10, analyzes the electability of Joe Biden’s potential running mates in a piece for The Week.

Rebecca Sears Holdrenreid, PPF ’18, is the new outreach coordinator for DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs. Read about her new position in Politico Playbook.

Ranjani Venkatakrishnan ’19 has received the ASU Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate Award, representing the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Ximena Bustillo ’19 shares how scholarship funding has contributed to her academic and extracurricular pursuits in a student profile for Boise State University.

Robby Soave, Novak ’17, shares how free speech activist and TFAS professor John Samples will contribute to the new Facebook Oversight Board in a piece for Reason.

TFAS alumna Yasmin Kayali ’01 has been recognized as a 2020 Voice of Courage Award recipient by the Women’s Refugee Commission for her advocacy work with Syrian refugees.

Rachel Greenland ’19 has been selected as a member of the 2020 Dow Jones News Fund Business Reporting Class. Paul Glader ’99, ’00 is the residency director of the program.

Brenda Hafera, director for TFAS international and continuing education programs, opines in The Federalist that coverage of Tara Reade’s accusations against Joe Biden shows that feminism on a whole is not about true equality.

Mount Marty College professor Jamison Rounds ’91 shares his perspective on “virtue ethics” in the secular world.

Celi Khanyile-Lynch ’12, is featured as one of the Best & Brightest 2020 MBA students for her studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.


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