Join our mailing list today!

* indicates required

The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use MailChimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to MailChimp for processing. Learn more about MailChimp's privacy practices here.

Home » Programs » Robert Novak Journalism Fellowships » Fellowship Recipients

Fellowship Recipients


2020 Fellowship Recipients


Project: “Coronavirus and Leviathan”
City: Washington, D.C.

Christian Britschgi graduated from Portland State University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. After college, he moved into a career in public relations, while also writing freelance news articles for The College Fix and The Lens.

Since 2017, he’s worked as an editor at Reason, where he writes about housing, transportation, regulation and plastic straw bans. In his free time, Christian enjoys reading science fiction novels and listening to heavy metal music. He lives in Washington, D.C.




Project: “Miniature Gods: Why We Cannot Create Ourselves (and Why We Keep Trying, Anyway)”
City: New York, New York

Tara Isabella Burton is the author of “Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World,” and the novel “Social Creature,” published in 2018. She has written on religion and culture for The New York Times, National Geographic, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Her fiction has appeared in Granta, Volume 1 Brooklyn, The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts,, and PANK, among other places. She received a doctorate in theology from Trinity College, Oxford, where she was a Clarendon Scholar in 2017. She was previously the staff religion writer at


Project: “The Grand Coalition? Russia and China against the United States”
City: Washington, D.C.

Dimitri Alexander Simes is a freelance journalist whose writing on international affairs has appeared in The Daily Caller, Nikkei Asian Review, The National Interest, CNSNews and The Spectator. Dimitri’s work has also been republished or cited by The Financial Times, Yahoo News, Forbes, RealClearWorld and Fox News.

As part of his reporting, Dimitri has interviewed policymakers, leading experts, businesspeople, and ordinary citizens from the United States, Russia, China, India, Turkey, Ukraine, and Belarus. Dimitri graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2019.


Project: “As Many As I Want: Restoring Individual Preferences to Population Policymaking”
City: Montreal, Quebec

Lyman Stone is a researcher focused on family, childbearing and how social and economic changes impact population. He is a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and chief information officer of the population consulting firm, Demographic Intelligence. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, South China Morning Post, The Federalist, National Review, Vox, Salon, the Daily Caller, First Things and Christianity Today.

Lyman also worked as an international economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and as an economist for the Tax Foundation. He, his wife, and their daughter previously worked as missionaries in Hong Kong, but are now based in Montreal, Quebec, as Lyman pursues a doctorate of demography at McGill University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky and a master’s degree in international trade and investment from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


Project: “The New Normlessness: Scandal in a Time of Uncertainty”
City: New York, New York

Julia Yost is senior editor of First Things, to which she also contributes literary and cultural criticism. She grew up in Pennsylvania and holds degrees in English and creative writing from Penn State University, Yale University, and Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons.

John Farley Memorial Alumni Fund Fellow

Charles McElwee

Project: “Pennsylvania: A Microcosm of America’s Political Realignment”
City: Hershey, Pennsylvania

Charles F. McElwee is managing editor at the Commonwealth Foundation, a free-market think tank in Pennsylvania. McElwee was previously assistant editor of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. A lifelong Pennsylvanian, McElwee has worked in the government affairs and communications sectors in Harrisburg, and the economic-development sector in Hazleton, where he spearheaded revitalization and historic preservation projects.

In addition to City Journal, McElwee is a regular contributor to RealClearPolitics and The American Conservative, and his work has been featured in The Atlantic and The Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications. McElwee edits RealClear’s Public Affairs page on Pennsylvania, and he appears on television and podcast programs. He graduated summa cum laude from Lebanon Valley College with a bachelor’s degree in history and he earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pennsylvania. McElwee currently lives in Hershey, Pennsylvania.