Home » News » Liberty + Leadership News: September 17, 2020

Liberty + Leadership News: September 17, 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 President Roger Ream Reflects on Constitution Day

Two hundred thirty-three years ago today, America’s Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution, solidifying an experiment in self-governance and setting in motion modern democracy in America.

Today, TFAS President Roger Ream ’76 writes in The Hill that as our country nears upcoming local, state and national elections this fall, it’s now as important as ever to remember the strength of this founding document.

“Recently, the Constitution has come into particular focus because many anticipate that our presidential election will be close and the results could be uncertain for days, or even longer, as states count mail-in ballots,” Ream writes in The Hill. “As such, Americans have an even greater obligation to dust off a copy of the Constitution and familiarize themselves with the workings of the Electoral College — and even the process in place should the race go to the House of Representatives to determine the outcome.”

He shares the uniqueness of the document’s text, citing lessons on the importance of separations of powers between both branches and levels of government from Constitutional scholars Randy Barnett and Walter Berns, who have taught for TFAS.

He continues: “The key to the longevity of this document is the separation of powers. While several amendments to the Constitution have eroded that separation… there are still important functions that remain exclusively, or primarily, with local and state governments. In recent months, we have witnessed this with controversies involving police powers, pandemic lockdowns and education. It is state and local governments who have the authority to oversee policies in these areas.”

Read more from Ream and why he says we should remember the importance of the Constitution in The Hill

TFAS Welcomes Fall 2020 Capital Semester Class to D.C. For Innovative Hybrid Program

TFAS welcomed a new class of bright young leaders to Washington, D.C. this August with a series of virtual welcome events and orientation meetings. The 10 students, hailing from top colleges and universities across the U.S. and the Netherlands, ended their D.C.-required two-week quarantine on Sept. 6 with a socially-distanced walking tour of Capitol Hill, followed by an outdoor picnic.

TFAS Fall Capital Semester students ended their two-week quarantine with a socially-distanced tour of Capitol Hill, followed by a picnic on Labor Day Weekend.

Though the Fall 2020 Capital Semester program looks different than previous years due to the coronavirus pandemic, several students still hold in-person internships on Capitol Hill and across the District, while full-time virtual interns have remote workspaces at the National Press Club’s telework offices. Students will also engage in a series of virtual and in-person events and take upper level political science, international affairs and economics coursework through George Mason University.

Director of U.S. Programs Joe Starrs encouraged students to embrace intellectual growth this fall, despite the challenges they may face while adjusting to the world’s “new normal.”

“While it’s certainly a tumultuous and challenging time to be in our nation’s capital, it’s still a very exciting time to be here,” Starrs shared during the virtual welcome ceremony. “Even though you are temporarily restricted from moving about because of quarantine, the moving begins today nonetheless. The movement that I’m speaking of is one of growth, change and expansion.”

Read more about the Fall 2020 Capital Semester at TFAS.org/FallCS2020.

TFAS High School Programing Division Executive Director Shares Remote Learning Expertise in New Op-Ed

This summer, TFAS high school economics programming division the Foundation for Teaching Economics shifted its programs to fully virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic and closures by university host partners, but these challenges didn’t hinder our faculty and staff from teaching the economic way of thinking to thousands of students and teachers around the globe. FTE Executive Director Ted Tucker wrote about his firsthand experience leading the remote learning programs and offered tips for what other educators can do in a recent op-ed for Education Post. 

Despite all the unexpected challenges that the pandemic has brought to education, our experience shows that COVID-19 has also created room for innovation and growth, by forcing us to rethink not only the importance of education itself, but also how it is delivered.” – Ted Tucker, Education Post.

“To serve our constituents and stay relevant during the pandemic, we rapidly pivoted to an online-only approach with a focus on maintaining our effective interactive pedagogy,” Tucker writes. “Instead of offering just an asynchronous course format, which may limit student engagement, FTE staff created highly interactive ‘live’ synchronous courses.

He continues: “As our summer student courses finish, I am pleased to report that we overcame the concerns that online education cannot meet the challenge of maintaining student engagement. One proxy for student engagement is the level of attrition and no-shows. While many school districts reported significant no-shows this past spring, our attrition rate was less than 1%. Of the 601 students enrolled in our virtual summer economics courses, only two dropped out.”

Read more insights from Tucker in Education Post.

Economics Lesson of The Week: Foreign Currency and Foreign Exchange

TFAS continues to provide resources to help teachers and parents continue the important task of educating our nation’s future leaders. We are continuing our “Economics Lesson of The Week” series to feature another new lesson from our high school programming division – the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE).

This week’s lesson is “Foreign Currency and Foreign Exchange.” In this simulation, students are given copies of Saudi Arabian Riyals, and must find a way to convert them into “Classroom Bucks” in order to purchase candy. Through this activity, students learn that in a foreign exchange market, importers often must obtain the currency of the exporter’s country to purchase the goods to be imported.

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 Fall 2020 Capital Semester student Sydney Rockwell ’20 shares a photo of her TFAS pocket-sized U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence in a post to her Instagram.


Rym Momtaz ’05, ’07 has an exclusive interview for Politico with French President Emmanuel Macron on their flight to Beirut. 

Oriana Pawlyk ’10 reports for Business Insider on plans by the U.S. Air Force to create a “supersonic” aircraft for Air Force One. 

Ashely McGuire, Novak ’11, shares ways parents can reduce their kids’ screen time in a blog post for the Institute for Family Studies

Ryan Lovelace, Novak ’17, reports for The Washington Times on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on holiday travel and the hotel industry. 

Caitlin Ryan ’08 is featured on “Kev’s Best” list of Top 5 Divorce Attorneys in Charlotte for her passion for serving others and the community through her client-focused approach.

Keesha Warmsby, Law ’09, is now a vice president and assistant general counsel for JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Katherine Mangu-Ward, Novak ’05, shares proposals for police reform in the U.S. in a piece for Reason

TFAS Regent Chris Ullman shares why taking a “Gel Year” before college is important during this time in a piece for The Federalist.

Toby Stock ’98 is the chief strategy officer of the National Constitution Center

Robert Hutton ’12, PPF ’16, is now a senior analyst for digital marketing at UPS in Atlanta.

Joy Pullman ’13 opines for The Federalist on Joe Biden’s reopening plan for U.S. schools.

Naomi Schaefer Riley, Novak ’01, shares ways adults can spot child abuse and neglect during remote learning in a blog post for the Institute for Family Studies

Mollie Hemingway, Novak ’04, opines for The Federalist on how the media portrays the 2020 election.

TFAS alumnus Fred Lucas ’98 has a new book out titled “Abuse of Power: Inside The Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump.”

Kari Travis ’12, Novak ’18, shares feelings of North Carolinians after the cancellation of the annual North Carolina state fair due to the state’s battle with coronavirus in the Carolina Journal.

Megan McCormick ’14, ’15, is the special assistant to the associate administrator for relief, response, and resilience at USAID. 

Matthew Walther, Novak ’16, opines for National Review on the political polarization of the coronavirus pandemic.

TFAS Academic Director and George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education, Dr. Anne Bradley opines for The Stream on how people should stop arguing with God’s will. 

Keti Bochorishvili ’02 was interviewed by Forbes Woman about being a female entrepreneur. 

2020-21 TFAS Joseph Rago Memorial Fellow for Excellence in Journalism, Alessandra Bocchi, discusses her passion for journalism in an interview with the Daily Signal’s “Problematic Women” podcast:

Brent Skorup, Law ’10, PPF ’13, gave testimony before the Pennsylvania State Senate’s Communications & Technology Committee on prioritizing fast and accurate diagnostic testing in the short term.

TFAS Santiago alumnus from Ecuador, Ugo Stornaiolo ’20, recently had his first piece in English published on IM-1776, looking at the death and rebirth of fusionism. 

Connect with @TFASorg on social media!



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