This Summer, TFAS welcomed almost 500 new members into the TFAS alumni community. From D.C. to Prague and Hong Kong, students visited some of the most renowned cultural sites in the world, took classes from award-winning faculty and heard remarks from leaders in the business, journalism, economic, political and philanthropy sectors. TFAS thoroughly planned every event and class in order to expose these future leaders to the ideas of freedom and free markets.
Find out more about the experiences of students at each respective program below:
U.S. Summer Programs in Washington, D.C.
More than 325 students graduated from six TFAS programs hosted in D.C. this summer, including the Institute on Economics and International Affairs (IEIA), the Institute on Political Journalism (IPJ), the Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems (ICPES), the Institute on Business and Government Affairs (IBGA), the Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service (IPVS) and the Legal Studies Institute (LSI). True to the TFAS motto of “Live. Learn. Intern.”, students spent a fast-paced summer immersed in a wide range of programs.
Student Kendrick Lewis (IPVS 14) said that TFAS is unique because it allowed her to see many sides of D.C., from attending briefings at the U.S. Department of State, to learning about nonprofit management, to taking upper level classes on government and economics.
“I go to a small liberal arts college and it is a holistic education, but TFAS has been my first exposure to economics, especially free-market economics,” Lewis said. “I learned a lot about economics and it was really refreshing.”
TFAS Alumna and national correspondent for Hearst Television Nicole Killion (IPJ 97) delivered keynote remarks at the graduation held on the George Washington University campus.
Killion told students not to be afraid of defeat and to believe in their dreams. She led the recent graduates in a chant of “I believe that I will win,” playing off of the popular cheer for the U.S. Men’s National Team that competed in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. “Don’t be afraid of defeat. Don’t be afraid of messing up or making a mistake because in the end, you will come out a winner. Hold onto your dreams, don’t let go, and most importantly, believe,” Killion said.
One week prior to undergraduate graduation, Legal Studies Institute students ended a successful summer with a reception at TFAS Headquarters. TFAS President Roger Ream (ICPES 76) talked to the future lawyers about the importance of looking at the world from many perspectives. “One thing we try to do through our programs around the world is offer different perspectives to people,” Ream said. “Perhaps it was in the courses you took with our professors, the readings you did, things you learned at your internship, or maybe interactions you had with each other. I hope you encountered different perspectives, thought about them with an open mind and that they helped form your understanding of the world.”
American Institute on Political and Economic Systems (AIPES) in Prague
Eighty-six students spent three weeks in Prague this summer learning about history, economics and international affairs in the historical central European city. Students took an interdisciplinary academic course that explores fundamental issues related to political philosophy, political economy and conflict management.
At graduation on Aug. 4, TFAS awarded Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Republic of Macedonia, with the 2014 AIPES Freedom Award. Ivanov’s address made this the 20th consecutive year that a European leader has addressed the new AIPES graduates. TFAS selected Dr. Ivanov as the recipient for his accomplishments in promoting economic reform, reducing tax rates and unemployment and improving education.
During his acceptance remarks, President Ivanov spoke to the students about his commitment to promoting the ideas of freedom, democracy and prosperity and how these ideas benefit not only the well-being of young people, but the entire continent and world. “This award is not just personal, but an award for the Republic of Macedonia, since it recognizes all reforms, efforts towards making the country a successful economy,” said Ivanov. “The award shows that Macedonia is a positive model in the region regarding reforms in the economic field, resulting in the well-being and more jobs for young people, a problem that concerns the entire continent.”
TFAS also hosted an international alumni reunion from August 1-4. Alumni toured the beautiful sights of Prague and networked with old and new friends throughout the weekend.
Asia Institute on Political Economy (AIPE) in Hong Kong
Fifty-eight students representing 17 countries spent three weeks immersed in the culture and commerce of bustling Hong Kong in July. Students took an academic course in political economy and government accredited by George Mason University and taught by Will Ruger of Texas State and Nikolai Wenzel of Florida Gulf Coast University.
Economic, media and business leaders delivered remarks to students on topics such as the economic history of Hong Kong, journalism and civic identity and business and government. Speakers included Mr. Andrew Work, CEO and publisher of Harbour Times; Mr. Jim Thompson, CEO of Crown Worldwide; Mr. Walter McCormick (ICPES 75), president and CEO of the United States Telecom Association; Mr. David Feith, editorial page writer of The Wall Street Journal; and Dr. Y.F. Luk, director of the School of Political Economy and Finance at HKU.
Students also visited renowned cultural sights such as Lantau Island and Hong Kong’s South Side.
Student Jarrod Odom (AIPE 14) said that in the three short weeks of the AIPE program, he gained a wealth of knowledge and friendships that will aid him throughout the rest of his life.
“AIPE gave me the opportunity to exercise my mind and meet amazing new people. Being able to do this in Hong Kong, the economic powerhouse of the world was the icing on the cake,” Odom said.