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Liberty + Leadership News: November 12, 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 make headlines. Read news, analysis and updates by visiting this week’s “Quick Links.”

Capital Semester Students Study Political Leadership and Reagan’s Revolution

Devine shared this photo of the Reagans waving to the country from a hospital window.

Former Head of the Office of Personnel Management under President Reagan, Dr. Donald Devine knows firsthand the importance of honorable leadership in our world. The TFAS Grewcock Senior Scholar shared important insights on his experience working in the Ronald Reagan administration with Capital Semester students during election week 2020.

During the virtual lecture, Devine shared memories of President Reagan and his time in the administration. As a libertarian-leaning academic with little political background, many might have said Devine was not the obvious choice for the position as the head of personnel in 1981, but he accepted the position with an open mind and created lasting change for administrations to come.

Devine shared the historical evolution of societies and the various leaders that emerged over time as a part of his Constitutional Leadership seminar for TFAS students. He discussed the rise of political leaders in times of crisis and described the transition from nomadism to where we are today as the “Great Adventure.”

Read more about Devine’s lecture at TFAS.org/DevineFall20.

TFAS Offers Exclusive Networking Opportunities Through Hybrid Capital Semester Program

Each semester, TFAS provides its students a plethora of professional development resources, in addition to economic education and leadership training, to set them up for future success. One of the most significant of these resources is access to a network of more than 18,000 alumni in a variety of industries across the globe who can offer valuable career advice and connections. The 2021 Fall Capital Semester cohort had the opportunity to hear from local D.C. TFAS alumni during a virtual alumni networking event in October.

TFAS alumna Sarah Markley ’16 shared the importance of gaining experience through internships and volunteer programs to land that dream job down the road.

Each semester, TFAS students meet with alumni in a variety of fields to build their professional network and hear career advice.

“Do the job you want before you have it as much as possible,” Markley advised the students. “Showing that you have a demonstrated interest in a specific area is really helpful to have those talking points in an interview and show that you can contribute to an office in a specific way.”

TFAS alumni Jean Schindler ’06, John Foulkes ’17, Sean Heravi ’10, PPF ’15, and TFAS Vice President of International and Alumni Programs Michelle Le ’95, ’96 also joined the panel discussion to share their personal experiences and insights with students.

Michelle Le ’95, ’96 said she is grateful to the alumni volunteers who give back and support TFAS students in this way.

“We are thankful for these exceptional alumni who share their time and advice with TFAS students year after year,” Le said. “Their indispensable advice helps TFAS students take the next steps in their careers, connecting them with leaders who were once in their shoes.”

Following the introductory session, the alumni met individually with groups of two to three students in Zoom breakout rooms for exclusive Q&A discussions.

Learn more about the Fall Capital Semester hybrid program at TFAS.org/FallCS2020.

Economics Lesson of The Week: Transaction Costs and Currency – 1808 Road Trip

TFAS provides resources to help teachers and parents continue the important task of educating our nation’s future leaders. Our “Economics Lesson of The Week” series features new lessons from our high school programming division – the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE) – each week.

This week’s lesson is “Transaction Costs and Currency – 1808 Road Trip.” In this activity, students are given a “purse” containing one of four types of bank notes and are sent off on an imaginary 1808 journey from Richmond to Boston. As they stop in several cities along the way, students realize that businesses in some states accept only the notes issued by a local, well-known bank. Through a series of rounds, students are given the option to exchange notes with a notebroker or trade in their money for the notes of the Bank of the United States. As they experience the frustration of trying to obtain the notes needed for their purchases, students explore ways to reduce or eliminate this “transaction cost,” a commonly overlooked concept when studying markets.

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.

Post of the Week

TFAS alumnus Dan McConchie ’93, ’95 is the recipient of the Illinois Chamber Champion of Freedom Award. Last week, McConchie was elected as Leader-Elect by the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus. Read more about McConchie’s contributions to TFAS in our “Alumni Spotlight” post.


TFAS wishes our president, Roger Ream ’76, a happy birthday today. Learn more about Roger in POLITICO’s “Birthday of the Day.”

Laura Vanderkam, ’99, Novak ’06, shares tips on strengthening friendships in her advice column for Forge.

Kimberly Wethal ’16 discusses new initiatives in Dane County, WI to prioritize the mental health needs of students for Unified News Group.

Graham Kilmer ’15 reports for Urban Milwaukee on increases in long-term unemployment numbers.

TFAS Academic Director Dr. Anne Bradley opines for The American Spectator on the economic impact of the bureaucratic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

TFAS campus speaker Andrés Guilarte was interviewed by the Daily Signal to share insights on the threat of socialism in America.

Naomi Schaefer Riley, Novak ’01, discusses cultural relativism and child abuse in a piece for City Journal.

Cheryl Chumley, Novak ’08, interviews 2020-21 Rago Fellow Alessandra Bocchi about her internship with the opinion section of the Wall Street Journal in an episode of “Bold & Blunt.”

TFAS Law Fellowship Board of Visitors member Josh Holdenreid, PPF ’18, shares the conservative case for voting to change the Mississippi state flag in a piece for Townhall.

Gracy Olmstead, Novak ’15, talks about her forthcoming book “Uprooted” on Philanthropy Daily’s podcast, “Givers, Doers, & Thinkers.”

Dan McConchie ’93, ’95 will be the next Senate Republican Leader for the Illinois State Senate.

Melanie Benit ’14, ’15, PPF ’18, is working on a project for the Institute for Justice to help protect farmers in Minnesota from government overreach.

Curt Mills, Novak ’18, moderated a section on “The China Problem” in The American Conservative’s 7th annual foreign policy conference.

Melanie Benit ’14 ’15 PPF ’18 is chosen as one of Tri Delta’s “33 Under 33,” which highlights young women who are making a difference in their chosen fields.

Austin Sheehy ’15 is now an associate for Latham & Watkins LLP.

Avery Phillips ’17 is interviewed for being the Deputy Campaign Manager of the all-women team for Nancy Mace for Congress.

TFAS Law Fellowship Board of Visitors member Lori Windham ’00 discusses the Supreme Court’s latest religious liberty case in a panel discussion hosted by Ryan Anderson, Novak ’07, for The Heritage Foundation.

Connect with @TFASorg on social media!



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