Washington’s interns were exposed to new ideas this summer thanks to the 2015 Capitol Hill Lecture Series: Free Markets, Individual Liberty and Civil Society.
This free, four-part summer series led more than 450 students to hear from from Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute; Peter Schiff, CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc.; Matt Welch, editor-in-chief of Reason Magazine; and David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute.
The series is made possible through a partnership with the Office of Sen. Rand Paul and generous support from the Einhorn Family Foundation. Several years ago TFAS and Sen. Paul launched the program to offer lectures that expose student interns to the ideas of free-market economies and limited government.
The audience at the lecture series was made up primarily of interns working on Capitol Hill, such as Austin Sheehy (ICPES 15), a rising junior at the University of Central Oklahoma studying political science. This summer he interned at the office of Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma. Sheehy enjoyed his time as a TFAS student and was thankful for opportunities like the Capitol Hill Lecture Series.
“I think it’s great that both Sen. Rand Paul’s office and TFAS have recognized it’s important to teach us young leaders that it is important to stand up for freedom and liberty,” Sheehy said. “It’s not something we get taught much back home, and it’s cool to see that there are leaders fighting for these values that we love so dearly.”
Sheehy says that this speaker series and other TFAS events helped him further his career goals.
“It inspired me to do what these people do,” Sheehy said. “The people who are coming to speak to us are really at the top of their field fighting for these values and free markets… so it’s really cool to hear from those people who are already doing it. We all have dreams to be leaders when we grow up; what’s cool is to see the people who are paving the way for us to be the next generation of leaders, and it’s great to hear from them on how we can contribute to the cause.”
Sen. Paul welcomed students and introduced each guest of the series. Following each speaker’s formal remarks, students participated in a Q & A with the speaker.
Former speakers in the Capitol Hill Lecture Series have included John Allison, president of the Cato Institute; Dr. Walter Williams, John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University; Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox News; and Congressman Ron Paul.
The speakers helped inform students like Annie Sheck (ICPES 15), who is a senior economics major at The Ohio State University and interned with CRC Public Relations this summer. She says she learned something new each day of her TFAS experience and programs like the Capitol Hill Lecture Series strengthened her own opinions and educated her to have a voice for those even better than before.
Sheck says the Capitol Hill Lecture Series was important for interns because it provided more than what students can learn on the job or in the classroom.
“The internship provides a hands on approach and you get real work experience, but I think it takes learning from those who are already successful leaders to really look up to and try to emulate for your future goals,” Sheck said. “It opens doors to meet new people and to network. They teach you how to network and grow so you can be more successful.”
Sheehy says his time with TFAS was an incredible experience, and he appreciated everything he learned through the Capitol Hill Lecture Series.
“It has by far exceeded my expectations in terms of the speakers we’ve heard, the sites we’ve seen and the things we’ve learned,” Sheehy said. “I think it’s safe to say I’m going to leave this summer very well prepared to go out into the world and fight for these values I believe our country was founded on.”