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Liberty + Leadership News: May 6


We hope you enjoy these news stories about TFAS activities, alumni and events this week. Sign up to receive TFAS updates, and visit us on social media for additional up-to-the-moment TFAS news!

The End of the Semester is Just the Beginning: 12 Students Join TFAS Alumni Network

The Capital Semester Spring 2022 experience has come to a close. After an enriching four months in the nation’s capital, the 12 new TFAS alumni will take the lessons, advice and friendships they gained into the next stage of their lives. Classes, internships, mentorship, professional development and networking all contributed to an exciting and educational semester.

Ella Beutner ’22 was selected as the student speaker for the Closing Ceremony on April 28. She shared highlights of the semester and her greatest takeaways.

TFAS celebrated the accomplishments of these students at the Closing Ceremony on April 28. Ella Beutner ’22, the class speaker, delivered a testimony of the program’s impact on her life. She described the semester as “jam-packed and fulfilling.” She surveyed her classmates in preparation for her speech to discover what the highlights of the program were for each of them. She shared how those answers perfectly encapsulated the diversity of their semester experiences.

“What I couldn’t have known then, but am so happy to know now, is how life-changing a semester at The Fund for American Studies would truly be, both personally and professionally,” Beutner said. “This sharing of experiences is, for me, what is at the heart of the whole TFAS Journey.”

Learn more about the Capital Semester Spring 2022 experience at TFAS.org/CSS22Recap.

Courageous Leader Carine Hajjar Speaks Up on Campus

Carine Hajjar, Rago ’22, found it difficult to share her opinions honestly on Harvard’s campus. Yet during her final semester of college, she made the courageous decision to speak up by becoming a columnist for the Harvard Crimson. 

She wrote six columns under the heading “Always at Odds.” Her words reflected her views while promoting freedom of speech and journalistic transparency. The articles touched on conformity, patriotism, the state of democracy in the U.S., and Harvard’s fallacy of free speech and problems promoting intellectual diversity. 

This type of courageous leadership is exactly what the world’s journalists need today. It is also part of the reason Hajjar was selected as the 2022-23 Joseph Rago Memorial Fellow for Excellence in Journalism. She shares a perspective grounded in fact, a balanced approach to contentious topics, a true desire to learn, and a persistent pursuit of truth.  

Learn more about Hajjar’s Harvard experience in the feature story published by The College Fix.

TFAS Alumni Reconvene in Washington, D.C.

More than 60 TFAS alumni gathered in Washington, D.C., this April to reconnect with friends old and new. Beautiful weather and great company made for the perfect spring evening to celebrate the companionship and support of the TFAS Alumni Network.

The evening featured toasts, reunions and reconnecting over shared TFAS experiences. It took place on the rooftop at Tiki TNT overlooking the waterfront on The Wharf.

TFAS mentor and alumnus Zach Pagovski ’10, PPF ’12, was one of the many alumni in attendance. A longtime volunteer for TFAS D.C. Summer Programs, Pagovski shared what TFAS means to him: “a great network of people, friendship, intellectual curiosity and knowledge.”

Find more details on the networking event at and see photos TFAS.org/AlumniHH.

Post of the Week

Two TFAS alumni were featured on the same page of The Wall Street Journal this week! Jillian Melchior, Novak ’11, has a story on the Belarusians who are fighting against Russia in Ukraine, and Elizabeth Corey, Novak ’16, is featured as WSJ’s Notable & Quotable.


Katherine Mangu-Ward, Novak ’05, has two recent Reason articles: “Why a Wealth Tax is a Bad Idea” and “Labor Econ Versus the World.”

Carrie Sheffield ’06, Novak ’06, speaks on behalf of Independent Women’s Forum about the importance of school choice at a Herzog Foundation rally to empower parents.

Renato Diniz ’20 is starting a new position as a software developer at Rebase.

Martin Rodriguez ’15, PPF ’15, offers an alternative to Mexico’s resource nationalism in this article for the Yale Journal of International Affairs.

Ximena Bustillo ’19 joined NPR’s Washington Desk as a reporter. Her alma mater Boise State recently profiled her, highlighting her new nonprofit to help increase the number of Latino journalists in Idaho through paid internships.

Jillian Melchior, Novak ’11, writes for The Wall Street Journal on the Belarusians who are fighting against Russia in Ukraine.

Jeremy Harrell ’07, PPF ’10, testified on the need for U.S energy independence before the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Watch his testimony on YouTube.

Front Page Africa features Prince Murray ’15, an inspiring TFAS alumnus who grew up in the middle of the Liberian Civil War, demonstrated extreme persistence in his schooling in the U.S., and defied all odds to attend TFAS and intern on the Hill in 2015.

Andrew DeJoy ’17 has a forthcoming book titled “Behind the Swap: The Broken Infrastructure of Risk Management and a Framework for a Better Approach.” Check it out on his website!

Elizabeth Corey, Novak ’16, is featured as The Wall Street Journal’s Notable & Quotable for her essay on “The Perils of Public Writing,” which was first published in the spring 2022 edition of National Affairs.

Paul Crespo, Novak ’03, writes about China’s extreme financial crisis for The Republican Standard.

Hunter Berry ’20 will be working as a research assistant for Vanderbilt University Vice Provost Tracey George this summer.

Quin Hillyer, a friend of TFAS, writes about the perils of weak-on-crime policies for the Washington Examiner.

John Clune ’94 became the head of the Department of Humanities at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy last spring after a teaching career at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Zach Barnes ’14, PPF ’17, is now a legislative assistant for Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05).

Stephanie Slade, Novak ’16, has an opinion piece in the New York Times sharing her concerns about conservatives moving away from championing free markets and limited government.

Joseph Forcherio ’19 has a new role as a foreign affairs officer at the U.S. Department of State.

Volodymyr Valkov ’07, ’08 writes in New Eastern Europe that the security of Ukraine and Europe can only be guaranteed if Ukraine has a decisive victory against Russia.

Vogue covers journalist Audrina Bigos ’09 and her public conversation about her “natural hair journey” and struggles with alopecia.

Katie Barlow ’10, chief legal correspondent for Fox News, is anchoring a new legal show, “In the Courts.” The 30-minute weekly program premiered on May 1 on Fox Television Stations’ WTTG Washington.

David Rouzer ’93, ’94 answers questions about his policy ideas in this voter’s guide in The Fayetteville Observer.

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