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Liberty + Leadership News: May 23, 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.

TFAS Dinner Honors Legacy of Robert Novak and Kenneth Tomlinson

Tim Carney, Novak ’03, accepts the Kenneth Y. Tomlinson Award for Outstanding Journalism from TFAS Trustee Fred Barnes, supporter Diana Spencer and alumnus Will Tomlinson ’97, son of Ken Tomlinson.

It was an evening that connected “the past with the present for the sake of the future.” That’s how TFAS President Roger Ream ’76 aptly opened the 2019 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Alumni Dinner on Thursday, May 9, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Seventy-five journalists, supporters and friends gathered for the evening to honor the lives of late journalists Robert Novak and Ken Tomlinson, and recognize the Novak Fellows who are continuing their legacy through award-winning and groundbreaking reporting.

More than 25 years ago, longtime columnist, CNN broadcaster and Wall Street Journal reporter Robert D. Novak, provided the inspiration for a program that would nurture a new generation of responsible journalists. Today, the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program has awarded more than 140 fellowships to help rising journalists establish their careers and pursue enterprising writing projects.

We have never needed more the ethos that people like Bob Novak and Ken Tomlinson laid out of fierce independence.”– Tim Carney, Novak ’03

Sam Feist, Washington bureau chief at CNN and a mentee of Robert Novak, tells the crowd that Novak continues to be a North Star for journalism and that he gives all of his reporters a copy of Novak’s memoir.

The evening also honored the legacy of Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, former editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest and longtime board member and supporter of TFAS journalism programs. In Tomlinson’s memory, the evening awarded the Kenneth Y. Tomlinson Award for Outstanding Journalism to author and Washington Examiner commentary editor Tim Carney, Novak ’03, for his excellence in reporting and determination to tell the truth.

Read more about the dinner, including a testimonial from recent Novak Fellow Helen Andrews, Novak ’17, at TFAS.org/NovakAlumni19.

Public Policy Fellowship Concludes as Search for New Class Begins

The group of the 2018-19 Public Policy Fellowship Fellows gather behind a Civil War canon for a group photo.
The 2018-19 Public Policy Fellows tour a Civil War battlefield during their public policy retreat in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

After nine months of academic meetings and retreats examining the fundamentals of republican government, 18 young professionals completed their time as 2018-19 TFAS Public Policy Fellows on May 14.

Fellow Melanie Benit ’14, ’15, PPF ’18 – an activism manager at the Institute for Justice (IJ) – reflected on the Fellowship as a much-needed opportunity to pause and focus on the “bigger picture” while connecting with a fantastic group of passionate peers.

“Engaging in discussions like the ones the TFAS Public Policy Fellowship provides gives me time every month to put all of my responsibilities aside and let my brain really think about important issues – it’s freeing and enlightening,” Benit said.

I was able to meet a group of people with different backgrounds but equal passion to make the world a better, freer place.”  – Melanie Benit ’14, ’15, PPF ’18

Benit asks a question during a session on the Constitution and religious freedom led by Lori Windham ’00 of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

This year’s program focused on “The Experiment in Self Government” and discussed topics including virtuous citizenry, constitutionalism, security and foreign policy, deliberation and communication, and freedom of religion. View our 2018-19 Fellowship recap to see monthly highlights of the program and more testimonials about the continued impact of the TFAS Journey through the Public Policy Fellowship.

TFAS is currently accepting applications for its 2019-20 class of TFAS Public Policy Fellows. The networking and education program is open to young leaders with two to ten years’ professional experience and a shared commitment to improving public policy. To learn more and apply, please visit TFAS.org/PPF.

Video of the Week

Watch alumna Alexis Lenderman ’17 discuss how TFAS has helped her pursue educational opportunities and define what it means to be a leader during an interview with MLive – The Flint Journal.  Lenderman recently became one of three percent of foster youth to graduate from college. She will soon be participating in her second TFAS program in Hong Kong this summer.

Quick Links

Bhakti Patil ’17 was awarded a Smith Fellowship with the Atlas Network to spend a month in Washington, D.C. training with think tank professionals and scholars. Patil, a senior associate for development at the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) in India, met with TFAS Vice President Michelle Le ’95, ’96 while she was in town and discussed the work CCS is doing to advance the principles of freedom and free markets in India. “It’s always great to see alumni around the world taking their TFAS lessons into the world and promoting freedom!” said Le.

Robby Soave, Novak ’17, testified before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties during a hearing on white nationalism and hate crimes. In a tweet, Soave thanked “everyone involved for a nuanced discussion of how to tackle hate crimes without undermining civil liberties.” You can hear Soave speak at the TFAS Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., this June.

Via Metropolitan Magazine

Carrie Sheffield ’06, Novak ’06, was named Metropolitan Magazine’s Political Influencer. Sheffield is the founder of Bold, a digital television news network that aims to build a more perfect union. In the profile, Sheffield discusses her vision of harnessing the power of technology to bridge social divides and says, “I am unapologetically committed to preserving free enterprise, capitalism, and a robust private civil society.”

Oriana Pawlyk ’10 is the recipient of the 2019 American Legion Fourth Estate Award in the online news category.

Spendel, Kapinos and Neupane attend Reason Magazine’s Weekend in Phoenix with fellow TFAS alumnus Robby Soave, Novak ’17.

Jacek Spendel ’08, ’09 discusses ways to spread freedom internationally on The Freedom Files Podcast. Spendel is the founder and president of the Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation and Project Arizona, a classical liberalism education program that helps outstanding young leaders fight for liberty in their own countries. Two TFAS alumnae, Kaamala Neupane ’17 of Nepal and Mariya Kapinos ’18 of Ukraine, were selected for Project Arizona Class of 2019. You can read more about Spendel’s TFAS Journey and how the organization influenced his own programs at TFAS.org/JacekSpendel.

Tarini Parti ’10 joins The Wall Street Journal’s national political news team.

TFAS Senior Scholar Dr. Don Boudreaux writes about the power of economics and its ability to “explain features of reality that are otherwise inexplicable” in TribLive.

Via @TonyMecia

Tony Mecia ’92, ’93, Novak ’01, won a Society of American Business Editors and Writers Award for his Weekly Standard piece on telemarketers. Mecia also recently launched The Charlotte Ledger, an email newsletter that is sent out three times a week covering business news in and around the Charlotte area. You can read more about his innovative newsletter in Talking Biz News.

Jillian Key Melchior, Novak ’11, opines in The Wall Street Journal about the humanitarian crisis and immigration struggles in Yuma, Arizona.

Joseph Duggan ’75 says Jeane Kirkpatrick’s realism approach to foreign policy is still relevant 40 years later in a piece for American Greatness.

Curt Mills, Novak ’18, opines on the foreign policy divide amongst the Democratic Party’s presidential hopefuls in Spectator USA.


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