The summer 2021 TFAS students moved into their dorms on Friday, June 4, and have already had an exciting schedule of living, learning and interning in the nation’s capital. Two hundred sixty students are in Washington for an in-person experience in our D.C. Academic Internship Programs, and 30 students are participating in the online track.
Kenlee Foskey ’21, a rising senior at Mercer University who is participating in this summer’s Business + Government Relations track, says she is looking forward to getting a more in depth look at politics and policy this summer. She says she is grateful for the TFAS supporters who give the financial resources to make the programs possible so she and other students can have the experience of a lifetime.
“The support of the TFAS donors impacts this program and all of us who get to experience it that otherwise would not be able to,” Foskey said. “This support provides an awesome opportunity for us to really experience all of the things we care about and are interested in studying.”
The support of the TFAS donors impacts this program and all of us who get to experience it that otherwise would not be able to.” – Kenlee Foskey ’21
Last week, students began courses and internships during their first week in Washington. TFAS staff and faculty introduced students to TFAS with a formal Welcome Ceremony, and award-winning speaker Karith Foster shared her wisdom on keeping an open mind and embracing new ideas.
On June 15 and 16, students attended events with professionals working in their program track fields during the first in-person evening guest lectures of the summer. This week’s speakers included Greg Lukianoff, CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education; alumnus Stephen Oldfield ’85 who spoke about his documentary, “Rush to Judgement: The Media vs. Covington Catholic High School;” Cato Institute Senior Fellow Doug Bandow; and Brian Donohue of the American Cancer Society, who spoke on “The ABCs of Lobbying.”
This week students also heard from two TFAS alumni congressmen in an exclusive online congressional briefing. Representatives David Rouzer ’93, ’94 of North Carolina and David Kustoff ’89 of Tennessee spoke about the impact that attending a TFAS program had on their lives today. Rouzer shared how it was the ideas he learned at TFAS that initially sparked his interest and motivation in preserving freedom and going into politics. Both pointed to TFAS as the key ingredient to their success in Congress.
“Had I not been introduced to The Fund for American Studies, I probably would not be in the U.S. Congress today,” Congressman Rouzer said.
Kustoff agreed and said the combination of TFAS guests speakers, courses and the overall experience reinforced his beliefs as a young college student.
“I’ll always treasure that time I had here participating in The Fund for American Studies, and I’m happy to give back in any way,” he said to the class. “You will find your experience invaluable.”
These lectures and events give students the chance to make vital career connections, open their minds to new ideas and explore a variety of interesting topics. Each week for the remainder of the summer, TFAS students will continue to hear from more impressive speakers, including top economists, journalists, policymakers, scholars and industry experts.
In addition to the special lectures, students have also met their mentors, participated in small group discussions, and attended a Professional Development Seminar on networking with TFAS alumni Amanda Munger ’10, PPF ’17, Jean Schindler ’06 and other experts.
Kellie McSween ’21, a University of Oregon student and TFAS International Affairs track participant, says she has most enjoyed meeting these industry leaders and professionals who are making a difference in their careers.
“The best part about the summer so far with TFAS has been the small group meetings with career professionals,” McSween said. “I was able to meet a Foreign Service officer, and that was really informative. I think it’s really going to help my career in the future to have these connections and also understand what that career could be like.”
To learn more and see up to the moment program updates, please follow @TFASorg on social media.