Home » News » TFAS Awards Young Journalists $135,000 in Fellowships During Gala Evening at National Press Club

TFAS Awards Young Journalists $135,000 in Fellowships During Gala Evening at National Press Club


The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2016 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship awards. Please see below to read the impressive biographies of these young journalists and to learn about their fellowship writing projects. Each fellow will devote the next year to a writing project on topics of American culture, democratic society and free enterprise.

The winners were announced during the 23rd Annual Robert Novak Journalism Award Ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on May 11, 2016. The evening also honored two distinguished journalists.

Andrew Ferguson, senior editor of The Weekly Standard, was awarded the annual Thomas L. Phillips Career Achievement Award in recognition of his distinguished career in journalism, and the Kenneth Y. Tomlinson Award for Outstanding Journalism was presented to Bret Baier, chief political anchor at Fox News Channel and anchor of “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

More than 250 prominent journalists and guests attended the event to celebrate the best in American journalism. Proceeds from the evening support the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program.

Congratulations to our award recipients! To learn more about the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Awards Program, visit www.TFAS.org/Novak.

2016 Fellowship Recipients

$25,000 Fellowships

elizabeth-coreyElizabeth Corey
Project: “Diversity and Individuality in the Modern University.”

Elizabeth is an associate professor of political science at Baylor University. She has received several awards for teaching excellence and has been awarded fellowships by the Earhart Foundation, Intercollegiate Studies Institute and Institute for Humane Studies. Her writing has appeared in First Things, American Political Thought and the Journal of Philosophy of Education, among others. She received a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and her master’s and doctorate degrees from Louisiana State University.


erin-mundahlErin Mundahl
Project: “Pipe Dreams: America’s Shifting Attitudes Towards Addiction.”

Erin is the co-founder of and a writer for WellVersed, an online subscription site for poetry aficionados. She is simultaneously an editorial assistant for The Weekly Standard. She previously interned for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal and the Hudson Institute’s Center for Political-Military Analysis, and was a Collegiate Network (Intercollegiate Studies Institute) Journalism Fellow for 2015-16. She also has been a contributing writer to Red Alert Politics. Erin earned double bachelor’s degrees in English and French from Hillsdale College.


stephanie-sladeStephanie Slade
Project: “The Politics of Religious Liberty: How the Left is Driving a Wedge Between Faith and Free Enterprise”

Stephanie is the deputy managing editor of Reason Magazine. Prior to that, she was a freelance writer-editor and a regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report. She was deputy research director at Freedom Partners in Arlington, Virginia, and a project director at the Winston Group in Washington. She served on the editorial staff of the Independent Florida Alligator, a University of Florida student publication. In 2013, she was a finalist for the Bastiat Prize for Journalism. Stephanie earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Florida and a master’s in political communication from the American University School of Public Affairs.


matthew-waltherMatthew Walther
Project:“They Couldn’t Have Done the Math!: What the Decline of the WASP Establishment and the Rise of Meritocracy Means for American Institutions.”

Matthew is an associate editor at The Washington Free Beacon. Previously, he was an assistant editor at The American Spectator. His freelance articles and essays have appeared in The Spectator of London, First Things, National Review, The Weekly Standard, The American Conservative, The Daily Beast, The Washington Times, Prospect and Touchstone. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Northern Michigan University.


jonathan-wilkenfeldJonathan “Yoni” Wilkenfeld
Project: “Long Gone: Civil Asset Forfeiture in the 21st Century.”

Jonathan is a researcher, writer, editor and marketer for Iambic Enterprises in Washington, D.C. He previously was an intern at Poland Today in Warsaw and also wrote freelance articles on Polish life and culture for PL Journal, The Forward and The Jewish News. He also interned at the New York Press, publishers of neighborhood newspapers in New York City. In college, he served as executive editor of The Kenyon Observer. Yoni graduated magna cum laude from Kenyon College with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

$10,000 Alumni Fund Fellowship

joshua-petersonJoshua Peterson
Project: “Will Robots Want to Vote? An Investigation into the Implications of Artificial Intelligence for Liberty and Democracy.”

Josh is a freelance writer who contributes frequently to Watchdog.org, a network of public interest news websites sponsored by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity that report on state and local governments. Previously, he was the national technology reporter for the Franklin Center and technology editor for The Daily Caller. He has contributed to the Washington Free Beacon, The Federalist and other periodicals and is a 2011 graduate of the Heritage Foundation’s Computer-Assisted Investigative Reporting Workshop. He received a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy from Hillsdale College.


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