The TFAS Alumni Network gained nearly 350 new members on July 29 during the U.S. Summer Programs Closing Ceremony at George Washington University.
TFAS alumnus and former speaker of the Florida House, Will Weatherford ’02, offered keynote remarks. As someone who sat in the same seat as the students just 14 years ago, Weatherford shared his wisdom and success story with the TFAS class.
“The Fund for American Studies changed the trajectory of my life,” said Weatherford. “When I came here in the summer of 2002 and what I thought I wanted to do with my life going forward, it was altered. It was changed, and it was changed in a very positive way.”
After completing the TFAS program, Weatherford began a career in public service and at the age of 32, was selected as speaker of the Florida House, making him the youngest speaker in America. Drawing from his own life experiences, he urged the new graduates to follow four life lessons: “Never give up; Do not live a life in fear; Give back by serving others; and Do not wait to go after your dreams.”
“The greatness of America is not endowed by our creator, nor is it guaranteed,” he said. “Each generation in America has a responsibility to earn and achieve that greatness. You see it’s the idea of America that is exceptional, but collectively we have to live up to that idea.”
The summer of 2016 in Washington provided a broad landscape of education and excitement for the TFAS class. Students were exposed to new ideas through guest lectures, professional development workshops, site briefings and courses taught at TFAS partner school George Mason University.
During the closing ceremony, students representing each of the six TFAS undergraduate programs gave reflective remarks on their TFAS experience by focusing on categories from the TFAS summer motto: “Live. Learn. Intern. and Serve.”
- Megan Maxey (IPJ 16) of California State University, Fullerton represented the Institute on Political Journalism (IPJ)
- Daniel Boddie (ICPES 16) of Berry College represented the Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems (ICPES)
- Jordan Lopez (IEIA 16) of DePaul Universit represented the Institute on Economics and International Affairs (IEIA)
- Blake Broadnax (IBGA 16) of Loyola University Chicago represented the Institute on Business and Government Affairs (IBGA)
- Telyse Masaoay (LTAP 16) of Vanderbilt University represented the inaugural Leadership and The American Presidency program (LTAP)
- Cynthia Silva (IPVS 16) of Muhlenberg College represented the Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service (IPVS)
To watch the student testimonial speeches and hear Weatherford’s full remarks, watch the TFAS Closing Ceremony below.
To view photos from the U.S. Programs Closing Ceremony and the students’ summer in Washington, visit TFAS.org/photos.
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2016 STUDENT AWARD WINNERS!
Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems (ICPES)
- Outstanding Student Award: Brady Gartman (ICPES 16), United States Airforce Academy
- Dr. George Viksnins Economic Award (Economic Problems and Public Policies): Abigail Nugent (ICPES 16), University of South Carolina
Institute on Economics and International Affairs (IEIA)
- Academic Excellence in Economics Award: Nkemdirim Nwogu (IEIA 16), Emporia State University
- Academic Excellence in U.S. Foreign Policy Award: Wilson Alexander (IEIA 16), Taylor University
- Academic Excellence Award in American Political Thought: Rachel Brocklehurst (ICPES 16)New York University
- Outstanding Student Award: Yanelle Cruz (IEIA 16), Broward College
Institute on Political Journalism (IPJ)
- Director’s Award: Elijah Baker (IPJ 16), Wayne State University
- John Chamberlin Award for Excellence in Journalism (Print): Hasan Abdul-Karim (IPJ 16), Wright State University
- Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism: Sara Otto (IPJ 16), University of Michigan
Institute on Business and Government Affairs (IBGA)
- George Peabody Outstanding Student Award: Rosemond Ho (IBGA 16), Stanford University
- Academic Excellence in Ethics and Leadership Award: Aminata Soko (IBGA 16), Duquesne University
- Academic Excellence in Economics Award (Economics of Regulation): Jonathan Lee (IBGA 16), Chapman University
Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service (IPVS)
- Outstanding Student Award: Cynthia Silva (IPVS 16), Muhlenberg College
- Academic Excellence in Economics Award: Brendon Bouphachay (IPVS 16), Yale University; Angela Triola (IPVS 16), Blinn College
Leadership and The American Presidency (LTAP)
- Eureka Award for Academic Excellence : Kylie Lan Tumiatti (LTAP 16), Seton Hall University
- Presidential Award for Outstanding Student: Sarah Spardy (LTAP 16), University of Florida
- Gipper Award (for embodying the spirit of President Reagan): Gordon Adolphson (LTAP 16), Metropolitan Community College-Longview