TFAS is pleased to welcome 20 talented young leaders to the third annual cohort of TFAS Leadership Scholars.
An initiative of the TFAS Liberty + Leadership 50th Anniversary Campaign, the Leadership Scholars Program provides the best and brightest students from around the country with the opportunity to participate in our comprehensive academic internship program as well as access to exclusive networking events, professional development, cohort building activities, guest lectures and more.
Hailing from 19 different colleges and 13 states across the U.S., this year’s scholars were awarded full-tuition scholarships to participate in the TFAS Virtual Summer Program which includes an internship placement and upper-level courses through George Mason University.
George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education and TFAS Academic Director Dr. Anne Bradley served as the scholars’ first exclusive guest lecturer with a presentation on how “Creativity Will Overcome COVID-19.”
She addressed the ways the human entrepreneurial spirit can provide creative solutions to everyday problems, including meeting needs during the current crisis. During her discussion, she provided examples of how Americans are stepping up and innovating to help those in need.
Raymond Horchos ’20, a rising senior at DeSales University, said the lecture reminded him of the importance of being aware of new opportunities and the ways they can best serve communities.
“Dr. Bradley gave an excellent discussion on the power of creative individuals in overcoming impediments of COVID-19,” he said. “The main thing I learned is to be aware… If you keep your eyes open and are humble enough to listen, the opportunities will be transparent.”
Outside of courses, lectures and internships, the scholars participate in online discussion boards, group texts and social video calls on a regular basis.
Malaney Papke ’20, a student at Saint Louis University, says this time to connect allows the scholars to form bonds, learn from one another and further expand their networks.
“Although the current environment inhibited us from being together in person, I appreciate we that we get to be a part of the program still,” she said. “It means a lot that TFAS was able to make this virtual and still connect us with amazing alumni, D.C. professionals and classmates.”
Papke, who is interning with the Business Council for International Understanding this summer, says she is amazed by her peer scholars and classmates who come from a variety of personal and academic backgrounds, allowing her to learn new perspectives and engage in important discussions.
“I’m getting so much out of my classes,” she said. “Being introduced to so many other students who are passionate about the same things – but think about things differently and bring new ideas – has been really impressive.”
An intern with the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, Horchos also expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to connect virtually with emerging peer leaders.
“Each and every individual I have met has provided a unique perspective and a diverse set of skills and talents that TFAS was wise to recognize,” he said. “In bringing these individuals together, TFAS created an environment where we may share ideas, learn from one another, and hopefully create lasting connections that will be of immense asset in the future.”
Later this summer, scholars will meet again for a “Deep Dive with Karith Foster” to further discuss the importance of civil discourse and continue the conversation from Foster’s welcome week presentation, and attend a lecture on “Women’s Economic Rights: History and Why It Matters” by Dr. Jayme Lemke, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Lemke’s lecture will explore how the historical context and enduring impact of restrictions on women’s property rights and job market opportunities shaped women’s lives in American history.
Although the program is only just beginning, Horchos says he has already seen the countless opportunities that TFAS provides and is grateful to the supporters who make the program possible.
“The experience itself produces an ineffability in the opportunities and possibilities it provides,” he said. “The impact itself is simultaneously pellucid and opaque, producing immediate opportunities and portending later avenues for success…my thank you is in providing the chance to utilize these opportunities and meet the expectations set up by myself and my colleagues, striving to be a successful, civic-minded, and productive member of society. TFAS most assuredly guides the way to that.”
Following the summer program, the scholars will continue to engage and learn thorough academic retreats, networking opportunities as well as live and on demand video lectures and leadership activities.
Learn more about the 2020 TFAS Leaders Scholars in their bios below.
MEET THE 2020 TFAS Leadership Scholars
Internship: The Charles Group
Hunter is a double major in political science and cyber-security law at Berry College, a private liberal arts school in Georgia. After college, Hunter hopes to attend law school, and eventually practice law in the technology field. Hunter interned last summer through the National Science Foundation’s REU program doing research into the possible uses of machine learning for cyber-security within self-driving cars. Hunter is the president of Berry’s honors student union. He is also involved in the Model UN team, the Forensics team, the Mock Trial team, and on his school’s Student Government Association, where he has been a class treasurer for the past two years. He also serves on the college’s Budget and Finance Committee, Enrollment Management Committee, Student Affairs Committee, and Planning Council. Hunter also works on campus as a research assistant for the Political Science department, and as the VIP Coordinator for the Office of Admission. Hunter loves to travel, and has been to more than forty countries, including Iceland, where he completed a study abroad. He is also interested in computer technologies and programming, and loves to work on his own side projects when he’s not hanging out with friends or playing his guitar.
Lewis & Clark College
Internship: US-Taiwan Business Council
Mikah just completed his junior year. He is interested in work relating to foreign policy, human rights and humanitarian aid. In the spring of 2019, he traveled to Siena, Italy as part of a language-intensive program. When not in an IA class, Mikah can be found at one of his many other on-campus activities including being a supervisor at the campus bookstore, an intern at the student activities office, or the student organizations coordinator in the student government.
New York University
Internship: The Syrian American Medical Society
Noelle is a recent graduate of New York University, having just completed a bachelor of arts in anthropology and a minor in global public health. During her undergraduate experience, Noelle completed two study abroad experiences: NYU’s Summer in Paris, as well as a semester abroad during the fall of her senior year at NYU Accra, and believes that these experiences highly influenced her decision to ultimately pursue international affairs, public health policy, foreign service work, and diplomacy. Noelle has successfully completed two internships, working closely with the pastoral staff at C3 NYC, her church home in New York, as well as the University of Ghana Hospital’s Diet Therapy Unit in Accra. She has been involved in a number of organizations including the African Students Union, Academic Achievement Program, Organization of Black Women, SPARK Emerging Leaders program, and the NYU Israel Experience. She is also active in Christian fellowships including: Cru, CIFC (the Christian Interfellowship Council), and Rooted – a group that she co-founded with her peers in order to better accommodate Black voices in the campus Christian space.
Internship: Energy Innovation Reform Project
Joshua just graduated from Emory University, with degrees in international studies & environmental sciences. He is passionate about the intersection of these two fields manifested in environmental action to promote sustainable development and peace. Recently, Joshua interned with ‘innovation: Africa’ which was just granted special consultative status to the United Nation’s ECOSOC. There, he worked on utilizing solar technologies to help pump water and power schools/hospitals in remote African villages. He has also previously held a two-year editing role for ‘The Organization for World Peace’ where he wrote and summarized key international news reports for the Research and Reporting Division. Last year, Joshua completed an international exchange at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. On campus, Joshua was the captain of the club soccer team, president of the cultural group ‘Emory Students for Israel’, and a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha national political science honor society.
Internship: The Market Project
Harrison is transitioning into his senior year at Whittier College with a double major that will hopefully provide him with the tools necessary to become an agent of positive change in foreign affairs (specifically, international development). Harrison’s primary focus is humanitarian assistance, specifically in the areas of reducing poverty, reducing violence against women, and youth in development. Harrison’s goal is to provide the education, healthcare, immigration resources, and other sustainable development necessary for communities across the globe to become self-sufficient, productive, and most of all, violence-free. In the past, Harrison has conducted field research in Tanzania, Africa related to community-driven sustainable development and has also completed a funded international study program in Liverpool, United Kingdom with an emphasis on international diplomacy.
University of Georgia
Internship: Solar Household Energy Group
Fernando just completed his junior year and is interested in global sustainable development and believes that along with globalization comes the pressing problem of finding solutions to unequal development. Fernando sees this as a potential focus for his future within international relations and hopes that this program can further his knowledge on the subject and allow him to grow alongside professionals and fellow students. He’s not quite sure of what he wants to do with his undergraduate degree yet but sees himself either going to law school, pursuing a master’s degree, or seeking work abroad after undergrad. He has experience abroad in countries such as Italy, Uganda, and Cuba. He spent his previous summer studying European Union legislation and political psychology in Verona, Italy and served on a mission trip in Kampala, Uganda. Aside from academics, Fernando likes to stay active through exercise and sports such as soccer and basketball.
Internship: Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies
Raymond just completed his junior year. After returning home from a semester abroad in Rome, Raymond reengaged with his extracurricular activities and assumed more responsibilities. As Model UN president, he facilitated the 28th Annual DeSales University Model UN Conference with help from the Model UN board. Raymond also returned to his role as a PACE Advisor (Per Advising Counseling and Educating) wherein he provided counseling to students who seek it. He also prepared and produced an informative program for PACE called A Guide to Healthy Political Conversation for Dummies. He also has been a part of DeSales’ student government organization for three years. For his senior year, Raymond was elected to the position vice president for mission, whose duty it is to organize elections each year and communicate with the his schools vice president of mission regarding permeation of Catholic social teaching across campus. Raymond interned for three months at the Republican Committee of Chester County wherein he conducted constituent communication, event organization, among other duties.
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
Internship: The Advocacy Project
This past spring, Ezozhon (Ezoza) finished her junior year as a second-year resident advisor (RA), and first-year RA section leader. During her time being an RA, she received the Mid-Atlantic Association of College and University Housing Offices Academic Excellence Award. Her other involvements include historian of the History and International Affairs Club and panther relations co-chair of the student alumni association. Most recently, she was part of the student planning committee for the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s 2020 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony. When not at school, Ezoza has utilized her past summers and breaks to intern at Duvall Rueter and Pruyne Law Firm, to job shadow the house representative for the 110th district, and to serve as a judge at previous National Speech and Debate Tournament and tournament qualifiers.
Colorado Christian University
Internship: United Macedonian Diaspora
Jordan just completed his junior year and has been interested in politics from a young age, even following the 2008 general election closely as an elementary school student. Since then, he continued to follow his passion of politics as the student body president and student trustee at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo California. Jordan was the first president or student trustee to ever be reelected to his position. He enjoys advocating for people and standing for what is right, while leading people to enact change in his surroundings. Jordan has served on the executive council for the American Enterprise Institute on his campus since January. In addition, Jordan is a huge fan of soccer, and has played since he was five years old. He also enjoys volunteering his time with American Youth Soccer Organization, instructing, refereeing and coaching the youth game. Fun fact about Jordan is that he is a big airline/airplane nerd and it often doesn’t take long for him to bring up a random fact about travel in conversation.
Wisconsin Lutheran College
Internship: The Well News
Ella has one remaining semester at Wisconsin Lutheran College as she is graduating early. In the past, she has interned in her hometown city in the finance department and the city clerk’s office. In connection with the City, she sat on her hometown’s historic preservation commission. She also teaches Sunday school and directs the children’s choir at her church. On campus she works in the admissions office as a shift lead peer admissions counselor and she serves as president of “Sisters in Service”, a founder and vice president of “Students For Political and Civic Engagement”, treasurer for the pre-law society, co-chair of the civil liberties committee, and a warrior orientation weekend and welcome leader. She has also sung in the Wisconsin Lutheran college choir and has competed on the mock trial team.
West Virginia University
Internship: American Financial Services Association Education Foundation
Josh just completed his junior year at West Virginia University where he discovered a passion for studying public economic policy. He is engaged with research at the university, including the compilation of an economic outlook for a region of West Virginia this spring. Last summer, he left the country for the first time to visit India and Nepal on an 11-day study abroad trip. He has enjoyed working as a calculus teaching assistant for the past five semesters, and he is an officer in the Student Investment Club as well as the college’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter.
Leif Le Mahieu
Internship: The Washington Examiner
Having just completed his junior year of college, Leif brings a unique international perspective to his studies. Prior to entering college, he lived in the Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea for nine years. This experience opened up his eyes to the challenges facing developing countries. He brought this international perspective to his school newspaper where he writes a regular column on international news. Other journalism experience includes attending WORLD magazine’s journalism program in the summer of 2019 and participating in King’s College semester in journalism New York City program for spring 2020. While in New York City, Leif worked as an editorial intern for First Things, a religious publication. He also wrote articles for King’s College’s newspaper and the news outlet, Religion Unplugged.
Internship: The Charles Group
Eliza interned at JTS Health Partners in Norcross, Georgia the summer after her freshman year after returning from a Mercer on Mission. The Mercer on Mission program that Eliza participated in was to Laberinto, Perú, where she served as a translator for the education team, translating classes from English to Spanish. She just finished her junior year. This past year on campus, Eliza served as chancellor of her chapter of Delta Sigma Pi and she was a member of the admissions team for the third year. She is also in the university honors program on the international track and has presented research on gender disparity in education in sub-Saharan Africa.
Clark Atlanta University
Internship: LBJ Women’s Campaign School
Kennedy is a passionate advocate for the advancement of all people. She is an International Baccalaureate Program diploma recipient, a member of her university’s honors and scholars program, as well as a Provost Academic Excellence Scholar. She has served as secretary for her university’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success and serves as co-secretary of her undergraduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Inc. Kennedy has traveled to over 10 countries and usually splits her time between Texas, Georgia, and California. She is number four of five children and loves to spend her free time volunteering and traveling to learn about different types of people and cultures.
Saint Louis University
Internship: Business Council for International Understanding
In the fall of 2016, Malaney served communities in China and Southeast Asia while completing independent research on the sex trade in these countries as part of a gap year program. The following spring, she interned for a faith-based non-profit, Convoy of Hope International, in Brussels, Belgium. These formative experiences lead her to pursue a double major in international business and data analytics as a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar. Attending a Jesuit university has also offered ample opportunities for her to continue her passion in engaging with the local St. Louis community and “pursuing truth for the greater glory of God and service to humanity.” Malaney has enjoyed service opportunities through her sorority’s local philanthropy program, Girls Inc. St. Louis, as well as engaging with St. Louis’s diverse immigrant population. She has served in student leadership in multiple capacities and organizations as president of her business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, and as the vice president of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board for the Chaifetz School of Business to name several examples. Malaney also studied abroad in Mumbai, India at St. Xavier’s College for the fall semester of 2018.
Internship: Mercatus Center
Luke just completed his junior year and is heavily involved on campus. He is a member of the school’s division one lacrosse team, as well as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Additionally, Luke is on the executive board for SAAC, a committee that serves as a liaison between Mercer student-athletes and the school’s academic staff. He is also a member of student-led organizations Traffick Jam and MU Miracle. Traffick Jam works to prevent sex trafficking in Middle Georgia, while MU Miracle raises money for the local children’s hospital in Macon. Last Summer, Luke was a marketing intern for Omnimax International, a manufacturer of building and transportation products. In the summer of 2018, Luke interned for Protocol Entertainment, a radio promotion and consulting company in the music industry. Outside of professional internships, Luke also has a passion for teaching. He has volunteered as a reading tutor for elementary school students as well as a peer facilitator for special needs students. He has also coached both high school and youth lacrosse players in the metro Atlanta area for the past seven years.
Boise State University
Internship: Competitive Enterprise Institute
David is a rising senior interested in global development and the economics of public institutions. This arose from his experience in creating and running a prison education program dedicated to training volunteers from various universities and medical schools, which lead to conducting research on future incarceration and general urban development issues including technology and economic policies for the city of Boise and the state republican party. As a part of this endeavor, he has met with current White House council of economic advisers and other prominent scholars. David’s future plans include obtaining a joint law and economics degree and becoming a public servant well-versed in both fields.
Internship: The SETA Foundation
Maya has just completed her sophomore year at Boston College. She is a political science and economics major with a minor in history. She is passionate about world politics, US foreign affairs, and hopes to help restore justice to the American political system. Maya has extensive research experience, having been an RA on three research teams: The Project on National Movements and Political Violence at Boston College, Shi’ism and Global Affairs at Harvard University, and The Harvard National Security Council Project at Harvard University. Additionally, Maya has worked in refugee camps in Lebanon and volunteered tutoring refugee children. Maya spent her last summer interning at an international law firm in Beirut, Lebanon. Maya’s family is of Lebanese origin and she was able to live in Lebanon for 14 years. As a result, Maya is fluent in English, Arabic and French. At Boston College, Maya is an op-ed writer for The Gavel and previously for The Heights. Maya is the president of Boston College’s Arab Student Association. Maya is also an active member of Boston College’s Muslim Student Association where she has been able to reconnect with her faith and learn more intellectually about Islam. Maya, inspired by Boston College’s Jesuit identity, values community service and thus is an active participant in the ELL program, in which students are paired with a Boston College dining hall staff member to tutor them in English.
Washington University in St. Louis
Internship: US Global Change Research Project
Kathleen just completed her junior year, having spent last semester studying public economics and inclusive growth & sustainability through Vrije University (Amsterdam). Last summer, Kathleen worked for Washington University in St. Louis’s department of alumni & development learning about higher education and the field of nonprofit development. Additionally, she spent two weeks traveling around Israel-Palestine learning about the region’s cultures and geopolitics. On campus, Kathleen has served as a research assistant at the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, as an executive member of her campus chapter of Sigma Iota Roh, and as a senior editor for her university’s independent newspaper, Student Life.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Internship: Women In Government
Emily Whitehead just completed her first year at the University of North Carolina where she had the opportunity to travel to Antigua, Guatemala to build houses through a student-led organization called From Houses to Homes over spring break. She also began her own student organization at UNC called United Sound through which she will teach adults with physical and intellectual disabilities how to play musical instruments this fall. She is also part of Carolina Women in Business, where this year she and others raised over $2,000 for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. Emily interned with the marketing staff of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance last winter, where she aided in announcing their next season to the public. Emily is very excited to be accepted to this summer internship program and is thrilled to explore her passion in politics.