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Constitutional Fellows Program

Offered by the The American Conservative and the Center for the Study of Statesmanship (CSS) at Catholic University.

**Applications are now closed.  Please check back mid-summer 2022 for Fall application deadlines.

The U.S. Constitution is everywhere cited, but how many really know what they are talking about? The Constitution assumes an entire view of human nature, society, and politics and has moral and cultural preconditions. Without people who respect and embody the spirit of the Constitution, the Constitution cannot be sustained. Truly to understand the text of the Constitution it is necessary to be familiar with its historical sources and the view of life that it implies.

The Constitutional Fellows Program is a three month course of study designed for Congressional staffers, journalists, and other policy professionals. Offered at a time when America’s constitutional order may seem to be crumbling, the program illuminates the meaning of the Constitution and the prospects for its reinvigoration.

Fellows participate in six rigorous sessions over the course of a semester, examining various aspects of the Constitution and its relationship to current politics and policy:

  • What is the Constitution, Really?
  • Ancient and Christian Origins of American Constitutionalism
  • Radical Democracy, Socialism, and Other Domestic Challenges
  • The Constitution and Foreign Policy
  • Constitutionalism and Economics
  • Contemporary Challenges for American Constitutionalism

This program has been featured in both the RealClearPublicAffairs American Civics Portal and New Oxford Review as an exemplary civic education program.

Each session will have a seminar format and will be conducted by one or two discussants drawn from conservative institutions or academia. Students will prepare for each session by studying carefully chosen and manageable readings.

Please note, sessions are held on Friday afternoons in downtown Washington, D.C. at the offices of The American Conservative. Those admitted will be expected to attend all sessions in-person.

Past faculty members have included: Claes Ryn (Catholic University), William Smith (Center for the Study of Statesmanship), Rod Dreher (The American Conservative), Sohrab Ahmari (The American Conservative), Joshua Mitchell (Georgetown University), Patrick Deneen (University of Notre Dame), Oren Cass (American Compass), Wells King (American Compass), Daniel McCarthy (Intercollegiate Studies Institute), John Burtka (Intercollegiate Studies Institute), Michael Anton (Hillsdale College), Bradley J. Birzer (Hillsdale College), Andrew Abela (Catholic University), Jonathan Askonas (Catholic University), Justin Litke (Catholic University), Matthew Cantirino (Center for the Study of Statesmanship), Chris Owen (Northeastern State University), Matthew Mehan (Hillsdale College), C.C. Pecknold (Catholic University), Emily Finley (Stanford University), Michael Federici (Middle Tennessee State University), Bruce Frohnen (Ohio Northern University), and more.

Students who attend at least five of the six sessions will be certified as graduates of the Constitutional Fellows Program. Students who show particular commitment and distinguish themselves in discussion will be designated Honors Graduates.

Only a limited number of students can be admitted into this highly competitive program. To be considered, applicants must submit a packet during the application period.

The application packet should contain:
(1) a resume
(2) a 500-word personal statement indicating the reason for interest in the program
(3) a letter of recommendation from a person who can speak to the applicant’s suitability for the Program, typically a professional supervisor or professor

Packets should be emailed to fellows@theamericanconservative.com.

Students who are admitted will pay a $25.00 enrollment fee.

Spring 2022 Fellows

Elise Amez-Droz is the Program Manager of the healthcare policy program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. She is also a Senior Contributor with Young Voices and frequently comments on health policy in outlets such as the American Conservative, The Hill, and the Washington Examiner.  Prior to entering the field of public policy, she worked at a startup in the pharmaceutical industry. She graduated from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.

Michael Turchetti is a senior director of public policy at Eli Lilly and Company. At Eli Lilly, Michael leads policy analysis and development efforts on a range of federal and state policy issues. Michael has nearly a decade of health policy experience across industry, associations, and consulting. He holds an M.P.P. in public policy from George Mason University and a B.A. in psychology from American University.

Lily Mullen is the Donor Relations Specialist for the Institute for Humane Studies. Lily graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Belmont Abbey College. As a student, she was highly involved in her school’s Great Books program, founded an Intercollegiate Studies Institute chapter, and worked for several local, economic development organizations. Lily originally hails from the great state of New Jersey.

David Paschane is the Health Science Administrator and National Data Coordinator for the Division of Behavioral Health for the U.S. Indian Health Service.  Previously, he held leadership roles in private and public sector science and technology operations applied to public policy. He holds a Ph.D. in Human Geography from University of Washington, a MS in Behavioral-Organizational Research from University of Alaska Anchorage, and a B.A. in Psychology from George Fox University.

Natalee Allenbaugh is a clerk for Judge M. Miller Baker on the United States Court of International Trade. Natalee completed a fellowship at the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, and previously clerked for Judge Gregory E. Maggs on the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. She also previously participated in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions’ Moral Foundations of Law Seminar.  She earned her B.A. from Pepperdine University in History, Sociology, and Political Science and her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School. She is originally from Valparaiso, Indiana.

Ian Banks is a research assistant for Science, Energy, and Environment Policy at the American Enterprise Institute where he reads and writes about the intersection of science, politics, and philosophy. Previously he served as a staffer on Capitol Hill in the House of Representatives. He holds a  Bachelor’s degree in chemistry with minors in mathematics and philosophy from Covenant College.  His other interests include backpacking, calligraphy, and chemistry.

Benjamin Crocker hails from Australia and is an inaugural Ramsay Centre (Sydney) for Western Civilisation Scholar in Washington DC, where he is examining the foundations of the United States’ constitutional order. He has written on US Politics and Australian Conservatism for The Spectator Australia, and currently studies in the Graduate Institute at St John’s College, Annapolis. He is also an established conductor and classical musician, having recorded for radio with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and lectured in music at the University of Sydney.  He holds a B.A. in music from Griffith University and a Master of Music in Conducting from the University of Sydney.

Alex Vershinin is a retired US Army officer with twenty years of service. He has four combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan in jobs ranging from tank company commander to managing CERP reconstruction fund for northern Afghanistan. Alex has a B.A. in History and Political Science from Miami University and a Master’s degree in Modeling and Simulations from University of Central Florida. He is a husband and a father of three amazing children.

Samuel Lucas currently serves as an aide in the U.S. Supreme Court. He gained an interest in the Constitution after working for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and participating in a public policy fellowship with The Fund for American Studies. He holds a B.A. in pre-professional studies and anthropology from the University of Notre Dame. He originally hails from outside of Peoria, Illinois.

Cayden Connally is a Legislative Correspondent for Senator Ron Johnson. Previously he was a staff assistant and legislative correspondent in the office of Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-08).  He holds a B.A. in government with a minor in philosophy of law from the University of Texas at Austin.  Outside of his studies, Cayden volunteered in Texas politics and was also an active member and officer in the Young Conservatives of Texas. He is originally from the West Texas town of Midland.

Past Fellows

Ethan Ashley, Legislative Aide for Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN)

Lauren Baldwin, Legislative Correspondent for Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)

Christopher Bedford, Senior Editor at The Federalist and Chief Communications Officer of RightForge

José Sáenz Crespo, Leadership and Development Consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank

August Desch, Constituent Services Representative in the Office of Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY)

James Diddams, Research Associate for Politics and Theology at the Institute on Religion and Democracy

Patrick Ferrell, Legislative Correspondent for Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL)

Connor McAlister, Legislative Correspondent for Senator Steve Daines (R-MT)

Ryan Neuhaus, Legislative Assistant for Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

Emma Posey, Coalitions Manager of American Moment

Kristina Wong, Pentagon Reporter for Breitbart News

Louis A. Bertolotti, conservative political operative, most recently Targeted Engagement Manager for the Republican National Committee

Casey J. Chalk, Contributing Editor at the New Oxford Review and senior contributor at The Federalist

Mikael Good, Editorial and Policy Assistant at the Center for Urban Renewal and Education

Wes Hodges, founding Coalition Director for American Compass

Babs Hough, Legislative Assistant for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)

Ana Marina Krauss Ingham, staffer in the United States Senate

Jimmy Lewis, Graduate Liaison Specialist at the Institute for Humane Studies

Christopher N. Malagisi, Executive Director of Outreach for Hillsdale College’s Washington, D.C. campus

Chris Medrano, Strategic Research Analyst at Stand Together

Gabriela N. Rodriguez, Research Assistant with the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBC)

Zachary Rogers, nonprofit staffer focusing on higher education policy

Megan Rohn, Security Administrator at the US Department of State

Andrew Schmitz, Consultant for Deloitte’s federal practice

Heidi Thom, Legislative Correspondent for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)

Charles “Jonah” Wendt, Legislative Correspondant for Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX)

Chandler Averette, National Republican Senatorial Committee

John Connolly, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Suanne Edmiston, Legislative Director for Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

Jorge Gonzalez-Gallarza Hernández, Senior Researcher at Fundación Civismo

Paul David Harshman, System Vulnerability Analyst at the Department of Defense

Robert Hasler, ministry associate with Ministry to State

Jessica Kramer, freelance video host for Media Research Center

Michael Marn, Policy Assistant at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Quinn Marschik, Policy Advisor in the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs at the Department of Labor

Dustin Messer, Priest at All Saints Dallas

Julie Mitchell, Outreach Assistant and Intern Coordinator at Media Research Center

Sam Mulopulos, Legislative Assistant for Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

Michael Rafferty, US Army (ret.)

Jacob Stubbs, Legislative Assistant in the U.S. Senate.

Daniel “Sully” Sullivan, Foundation Ambassador of the Shafik Gabr Foundation

Sydney Thomas, Communications Director in the U.S. Congress

Karen Testerman, US Marine Embassy Guard Unit

Clare Basil, Legislative Correspondent for Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)

Robert Bellafiore, Policy Advisor at the Joint Economic Committee

Shane Devine, research assistant at the Capital Research Center

Caroline G. Douglas, law author, university instructor, media host and guest

Isaac Easton, Research Assistant for Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

Tyler Fagan, Legislative Correspondent for Representative Jason Smith (R-MO)

Nicholas Grandpre, Staff Assistant for Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)

Dan Grazier, former Marine Corps captain, writer, and lecturer

Amalia C. Halikias, Communications Director of the Joint Economic Committee

James Haynes, Research Assistant in the Brookings Institution’s China Center

Anthony Hennen, Managing Editor at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal

Rebecca Sears Holdenried, External Relations Director for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)

Wells King, Policy Advisor to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) on the Joint Economic Committee

Christopher Krepich, Communications Director for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)

Sarah Lee, Communications Director and External and Media Relations Manager at the Capital Research Center

Michael Lucchese, Digital Media Assistant in the office of Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE)

James Mazol, Policy Director for the Aviation and Space and Security Subcommittees on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Scott Reber, Legislative Assistant for Sen. James E. Risch (R-ID)

Carlos Roa, Senior Editor at the National Interest

John Shelton, Legislative Assistant in the United States Congress

Amber Todoroff, Policy Associate at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute