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Liberty + Leadership News: September 10


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!

A Match Made at TFAS: Alumni Say “I Do”

TFAS offers life-changing programs for young leaders. In addition to leadership skills, a better understanding of economics and a network of valuable connections, many TFAS alumni finish programs with new lifelong friends by their side. Some alumni take it a step further and find their partners for life!

I think some of the best wisdom I got while I was in the program was from the guest speaker series: go into your future with realistic expectations and the understanding that it’s about the long game.” – Juan Mejia ’14

Juan and Ali Mejia provide one such example. The pair met in 2014 when they traveled to Washington, D.C., for the Fall Capital Semester program. They formed a connection and became friends quickly, spending much of their time together that semester. They began dating in 2015, got engaged in 2019, and celebrated their wedding in April 2021.

Juan Mejia ’14 and Ali Swee ’14 met during their TFAS Capital Semester program seven years ago. They celebrated their wedding on April 10, 2021.

The semester-long program set the stage for Juan’s and Ali’s lives together. Even seven years later, the pair distinctly remembers the lessons TFAS taught them and how Capital Semester prepared them for the future. Some of the most important takeaways were career-related, such as having patience, understanding that things don’t happen overnight, and managing your time wisely. Juan shared other insights he gained about transitioning from college and part-time jobs to adulthood and a steady career.

“Since you go into TFAS and you’re still in school, they really emphasize starting your career off on the right foot, having the right attitude about things, and understanding that your first job is not going to be your permanent job,” he said. “I think some of the best wisdom I got while I was in the program was from the guest speaker series: go into your future with realistic expectations and the understanding that it’s about the long game.”

To read more about Juan and Ali, visit TFAS.org/Mejia.

“Conceived in Liberty” – Interview with Bradley Prize Winner TFAS President Roger Ream

TFAS President Roger Ream will receive a 2021 Bradley Prize on Monday, Sept. 13, for his enduring commitment to liberty and freedom. Rick Graber, president of the Bradley Foundation, interviewed the 2021 Bradley Prize winners to make sense of current events and learn more about each individual’s passion for freedom.

In episode 3 of the “Conceived in Liberty” video series, Graber asked Ream to share his observations on a variety of topics, including modern economic systems, free market ideals, alternative educational systems, advancing freedom, his upbringing, and the positive impact of a free society.

Ream is being honored by the Bradley Foundation for his commitment to educating future world leaders on the principles of liberty.

Ream discussed the recent cultural shift in attitudes on capitalism and socialism, explaining young people’s increased proclivity for socialism. However, he believes “they’re in love with a concept they don’t really understand.” Ream then explained how the values that have sustained the U.S. for centuries like self-reliance and personal responsibility have diminished in recent years, contributing to socialism’s growing popularity.

Ream discussed the freedom movement as well, tracing it throughout history to explain TFAS’s commitment to the ideas of freedom and how these themes have evolved over the years. He believes it is time for renewed intellectual discussion to get America back on track and remains committed to doing that with TFAS.

Watch the full video interview on the Bradley Foundation’s website.

Post of the Week

Claire Alfree ’21 served as a student representative at the 2021 U.S. Summer Programs Closing Ceremony. See highlights from her remarks at TFAS.org/StudentRemarks21.


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A post shared by Claire Alfree (@clairealfree)


The College Fix shares news of the partnership between TFAS, American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) and Braver Angels in 2021 to teach students how to engage in civic discourse.

Sarah Westwood, Novak ’15, explains the consequences of last year’s calls to defund the police in a piece for the Washington Examiner.

Andrew Bond ’02 is now a partner in the capital markets group at Sheppard Mullin LLP.

Clara (Jace) Piano ’16 has started as an assistant professor of introductory data analytics at Samford University.

TFAS trustee M. Peter McPherson proposes a solution for helping college students complete their education despite financial barriers in an article for Forbes.

TFAS regent emeritus Lee Edwards draws attention to the harsh realities of communist rule, using Xi Jinping’s China as a microcosm for the larger issue in an article for The Federalist.

Tiffany Owens, Novak ’13, poses three questions to help young adults create meaningful work in an article for Patch.

In an article for the Orlando Sentinel, Elise Amez-Droz, PPF ’19, warns senators about the potentially devastating effects of the multi-trillion dollar Medicare expansion legislation working its way through Congress.

Tiffanie Oduber ’20 began her graduate studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS and an internship in the office of Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Anna Broughel ’07, PPF ’17, shared her excitement to resume teaching in person as an adjunct professor of energy economics at Johns Hopkins SAIS and at the University of Maryland.

Braver Angels featured Doug Sprei, Director of Campus Partnerships at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, as their colleague of the week, giving special mention to the partnership between TFAS, Braver Angels and ACTA this year.

TFAS is an endorsing partner of The Heritage Foundation’s new publication, “The Essential Constitution.”

James Strickland ’11, ’13 is a professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University.

Ben Nuelle ’14, PPF ’20, shares projections on increasing agricultural income and expenses in a piece for Agri-Pulse.

Naomi Schaefer Riley, Novak ’01, opines for Deseret News on how students seem to be running college campuses nowadays.

Connect with @TFASorg on social media!


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