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Liberty + Leadership News: September 10, 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.”

TFAS Alumni Share Advice with Students During Virtual Alumni Roundtable

The transformative TFAS summer programs provide a plethora of resources for bright young leaders across the country each year, and this summer’s virtual program was no exception. Through exclusive online site briefings and weekly professional development seminars, participants expanded their networks and made lasting connections with professionals in a variety of fields.

Held annually as an in-person Alumni Roundtable and Networking Dinner, this summer’s discussion was converted to a TFAS Student-Alumni Virtual Networking Event, hosted via Zoom.

One of the most impactful events each summer is the Alumni Roundtable. The top-rated annual event allows TFAS students to hear career advice and networking tips from successful program alumni. This summer, the program was converted into a virtual event, allowing students to meet directly with alumni and gain valuable advice during small group Zoom meetings. The 2020 TFAS Student-Alumni Virtual Networking Event featured opening remarks from 35 of alumni professionals in business, government, international affairs and journalism. Following introductions, students joined breakout rooms with alumni for an interactive discussion session on career growth and professional development.

Abby Nugent ’16 offered insight on how her TFAS experience led her to a career in fundraising. As a senior associate in foundation fundraising at the American Enterprise Institute, Nugent encouraged students to view the challenges they faced this summer as a valuable opportunity.

“I know it’s certainly a hard time for all of you having to transition to a virtual space but it’s definitely something that you can use to market yourself in the future,” Nugent said. “You can talk about how you turned this adversity into an experience this summer that was really valuable.”

Read more about the 2020 TFAS Student-Alumni Virtual Networking Event at TFAS.org/VirtualSummerNetworking.

University of Dallas Student Shares Transformative TFAS Virtual Summer Experience

BeLynn Hollers ’20 was finishing up her third year at the University of Dallas (UD) when she decided to pursue an academic internship in Washington, D.C. The political science major was ecstatic to learn that as a Sumners Scholar at UD, she would receive a fully-funded scholarship to participate in the 2020 TFAS D.C. Summer Program in the nation’s capital. Despite a transition to virtual programming due to closures by partner universities amid the coronavirus pandemic, TFAS programs staff worked hard to bring the best of D.C. directly into the homes of students around the country.

Click here to read the full feature story on TFAS Virtual Summer student BeLynn Hollers ’20.

Hollers participated in online coursework through George Mason University in addition to virtual site briefings, networking events and professional development seminars. Hollers also maintained a remote internship with Mil Mujeres Legal Services, a nonprofit organization that offers immigration legal services to the low-income Latino community. Though Hollers was disappointed that her internship could not physically take place in D.C., she soon realized that the virtual nature of the program enhanced her TFAS experience in ways she never expected.

“This summer has been very pivotal because I’ve gotten to meet a lot of people, and I’ve gotten to connect with a lot of TFAS alumni and ask them how they got a job in D.C., how they went from entry level to where they’re at now, what education it took to get there…” Hollers told the University of Dallas News.

Read more about BeLynn’s TFAS Journey in this feature by the University of Dallas.

Economics Lesson of The Week: A Pollution Solution

The fall semester is in full swing for most students around the US, and TFAS continues to provide resources to help teachers and parents work toward the important task of educating our nation’s future leaders. Each week we are featuring practical lessons from our high school programming division – the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE).

This week’s lesson is “A Pollution Solution,” a game that can be modified for remote learning using breakout rooms on video meeting platforms. In this activity, students acting as owners of companies emitting proscribed substances engage in a market for tradable pollution credits. So-called “cap-and-trade” programs have been used successfully to meet pollution standards while incorporating incentives to find least-cost solutions. After a federal mandate cuts allowable emissions in half, the challenge for each company is to clean up their pollution at a lower cost than was budgeted, while keeping their emissions under the new limit. Each company is given a varying amount of clean-up costs, credits and emission levels. The goal of the activity is for each company to become “better off” after clean up. Students will learn the importance of property rights, trade, transaction costs and open markets. A teacher guide and video explain the layout of the game.

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 Global Political Economy Seminar participant S. Ayush Rao shares what he learned from this summer’s lectures and discussion sessions in a post on LinkedIn.


TFAS trustee Peter McPherson writes for Forbes on the 130th anniversary of the Morrill Act, giving Black students greater accessibility to higher education.

Wes Parnell ’17, ’18 co-authors a piece on the increased violence in New York City in the New York Daily News.

Will Weatherford ’02 discusses the economy, the election and the Super Bowl in an interview with Yahoo Finance.

Stephanie Slade, Novak ’16, opines for The New York Times on a shift in the relationship between the GOP and libertarians.

Eric Tanenblatt ’87, a member of the TFAS Board of Trustees, was named Legal Innovator of the Year by Law.com.

Pat Contreras ’03 is featured in the Kansas City Business Journal for his work in the business and political communities.

Abby Oliver ’17 is the new deputy political director for the Kent County GOP in Michigan.

TFAS Regent Emeritus Lee Edwards shares lessons for the GOP from late Sen. Bob Taft in a piece for The American Spectator.

Naomi Schaefer Riley, Novak ’01, opines for National Review on why it’s not the role of philanthropy to save democracy.

Matthew Ellias ’18 is now an intern at the U.S. State Department in the Office of Western European Affairs.

Jakub Janda ’13 co-authors an open letter for Politico on U.S. foreign policy toward Russia.

Nishant Khanal ’19 is featured in World Bank Blogs for his contributions toward the development of an e-learning portal to share updates and information on COVID-19 in Nepal.

Rym Momtaz ’05, ’07 reports for Politico on French President Emmanuel Macron’s return visit to Beirut.

Melanie Benit ’14, ’15, PPF ’18, co-authors a piece for the Prince George Journal about advances in economic freedom for Prince George County, Virginia food vendors.

Eric Cohen, ’96, ’97, Novak ’00, opines for Mosaic on the future of Jewish education amid America’s current “cultural crisis.”

Kristin Tate, Novak ’19, writes for The Hill on collapse of New York City’s economic and political stability.

Tony Mecia ’92, ’93, Novak ’01, interviews a University of North Carolina student who was isolated for COVID-19 in a campus dorm for WFAE.

Matthew Walther, Novak ’10, opines for The Week on factors that may determine the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Kari Travis ’12, Novak ’18, shares that bars may be left out of North Carolina’s next reopening phase in an article for Carolina Coast Online.

Laura Vanderkam ’99, Novak ’06, celebrates the third year anniversary of her Best of Both Worlds podcast.


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