The Constitutional Fellows Program
Offered by the The American Conservative and the Center for the Study of Statesmanship (CSS) at Catholic University.
A three month course of study designed for Congressional staffers, journalists, and other professionals.
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.
Offered at a time when America’s constitutional order may seem to be crumbling, the Constitutional Fellows Program illuminates the meaning of the Constitution and the prospects for its reinvigoration.
Each session will have a seminar format and will be conducted by two or three leading experts. Students will prepare for each session by studying carefully chosen and manageable readings. Faculty members include Claes Ryn (CUA), William Smith (CUA), Jonathan Askonas (CUA), Justin Litke (CUA), Joseph Baldacchino (CUA), Gil Barndollar (CUA), Justin Logan (CUA), James Antle (TAC), John Burtka (TAC), Rod Dreher (TAC), Dan McCarthy (The Fund for American Studies), Andrew Abela* (CUA), James Wallner* (American U.), Richard Gamble* (Hillsdale College), Michael Federici* (Middle Tennessee State U.) Brad Birzer* (Hillsdale College) and Luke Sheahan* (Duquesne U.)
The topics of the six sessions will be:
The Moral and Cultural Context of American Constitutionalism
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
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.
Spring 2020 class of the Constitutional Fellows Program
Clare Basil is a fellow at the R Street Institute’s Civil Society, Education and Work program. She is also a fellow with the Public Interest Fellowship and an aluma of the Hudson Political Studies Program, The Tertio Millenio Seminar and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. She holds a BA in political philosophy from the University of Dallas, where she graduated magna cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She originally hails from Annapolis, MD.
Robert Bellafiore is a Policy Advisor at the Joint Economic Committee. There, he contributes to the Committee’s Social Capital Project, which studies how public policy can strengthen America’s associational life. Previously, he worked as a Policy Analyst at the Tax Foundation, focusing on federal tax policy. In 2018, Robert participated in the Hertog Foundation’s Political Studies Program. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he studied economics and philosophy, and his writing has appeared in The American Conservative and The Wall Street Journal. Originally from Albany, New York, Robert enjoys playing jazz and classical piano.
Jean-Joseph Boni studies Politics and Policy and Data Network Security at Liberty University.
Shane Devine is a research assistant at the Capital Research Center, a conservative investigative think tank. He manages their website Influence Watch, a database on the non-profit world which tracks the flow of money in politics. He is a former fact check reporter for The Daily Caller and graduated from The New School in 2018.
Caroline G. Douglas is a law author, university instructor, media host and guest. She writes and speaks about the American Justice System and its evolutionary expansion of political power over the last half-century. Former host of the political talk show Right for New Hampshire, Douglas obtained her J.D. from McGeorge School of Law and is pursuing on a Ph.D. in Media and Forensic Psychology.
Isaac Easton is a Research Assistant for Senator Mike Lee, for whom he works on energy, natural resources, commerce, science, and transportation issues. Previously he was an intern at the American Enterprise Institute where he worked for Christina Hoff Sommers. Easton graduated from the University of Chicago with an A.B. in Classics and Fundamentals: Issues and Texts.
Tyler Fagan currently serves as Legislative Correspondent for Representative Jason Smith (MO-08). He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2018 with a BA in International Relations and Business-Economics from Wheaton College, where he also played Football. Before his work for Rep. Smith, Tyler worked as Regional Field Director for the Republican National Committee in the 14th Congressional District of Illinois during the 2018 midterm elections and interned in the Office of Republican Whip Steve Scalise. Tyler was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He currently resides in Alexandria, VA.
Nicholas Grandpre currently works as a staff assistant in the office of U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT). He previously worked as a clerk at the BGR Group. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2019 with a BA in Political Science. At Notre Dame, he was president of the school’s John Quincy Adams Society chapter. He has been published in The National Interest.
Dan Grazier, a former Marine Corps captain, served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan during the War on Terror. His various assignments in uniform included tours with 2nd Tank Battalion in Camp Lejeune, NC, and 1st Tank Battalion in Twentynine Palms, CA. He has written extensively and lectured on matters of military reform and Manœuvre Warfare. His work has appeared in the Marine Corps Gazette, Fires Bulletin, and Small Wars Journal. He is a 2000 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, a 2012 graduate of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School, and 2019 graduate of Norwich University with a Master of Arts in Military History.
Amalia C. Halikias works as the Communications Director of the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill. She worked previously as Chief of Staff to J.D. Vance and as Policy Director on the Josh Hawley for U.S. Senate campaign. A rare D.C. native, Amalia graduated from Yale University in 2015.
James Haynes is a research assistant in the Brookings Institution’s China Center and an alumnus of Princeton University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 2018 with a degree in Classics and a certificate in Chinese. While at Princeton, James studied ancient history, journalism, and Mandarin, as well as political science. His senior thesis focused on Christianity in the Roman Empire and in modern-day China. James comes to Brookings from Saffron Ventures in Arlington, VA, where he spent over a year working on international education initiatives in China and the US.
Anthony Hennen is managing editor at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, a higher education think tank based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and managing editor at expatalachians, a journalism project focused on the Appalachian region. He holds a bachelor of science degree in journalism from Ohio University and a master’s degree in politics/philosophy/economics from the Cevro Institute in Prague, Czech Republic. Previously, he worked at the Center for College Affordability and Productivity and Red Alert Politics.
Rebecca Sears Holdenried currently serves as external relations director for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a public interest law firm dedicated to defending religious liberty and freedom of conscience. Prior to joining ADF, Holdenried worked as an assistant for the 4% Growth Project at the George W. Bush Institute, where she also supported the economic director, Amity Shlaes, in her roles within the economic history departments at NYU and The King’s College. A native of Arizona, Holdenried received her B.A. in politics, philosophy, and economics at The King’s College in New York City. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Joshua Holdenried.
Wells King is a policy advisor to Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) on the Joint Economic Committee, leading research projects on labor, welfare, and tax policy for the Social Capital Project. Prior to the Senate, he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. He is a 2018-20 Public Interest Fellow, a 2018 Claremont Institute Publius Fellow, and a 2016 Hertog Foundation Political Studies Fellow. Wells holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Davidson College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Christopher Krepich serves as communications director for Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner. Previously, he has held a variety of roles in the offices of former Congressmen Keith Rothfus and Sean Duffy. Krepich holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Pepperdine University and originally hails from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Sarah Lee is the Communications Director and External and Media Relations Manager at the Capital Research Center in Washington, DC. She hails from Atlanta, Georgia and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Georgia. She is a former reporter at a daily news paper and former public relations account manager who still contributes under her own byline at TownHall, The Hill, Washington Examiner, American Spectator, and others. She is a former communications director at the Center for Competitive Politics (now the Institute for Free Speech) and works on health care policy for The Heartland Institute. She has also worked on communications and policy for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, The Republican National Lawyers Association, and the American Conservative Union, among others.
Michael Lucchese is a digital media assistant in the office of Senator Ben Sasse. He holds a B.A. in American studies from Hillsdale College.
James Mazol is Policy Director for the Aviation and Space and Security Subcommittees on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. In this capacity, he manages teams of professional staff members charged with executing Chairman Roger Wicker’s (R-MS) legislative and oversight agendas for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, the Coast Guard, the Maritime Administration, and other federal agencies. Prior to joining the Commerce Committee, he served as Senator Wicker’s National Security Advisor handling the office’s national security and foreign affairs portfolios. Before coming to the Senate, he worked as Legislative Director for then-Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) managing his legislative staff and executing his legislative priorities. He previously worked on the House Armed Services Committee and in the private sector for a major defense contractor. Mr. Mazol is a graduate of the University of Richmond and George Washington University.
Scott Reber is the Legislative Assistant for Sen James E. Risch (ID) who handles health care, immigration, tech, telecom, science, space, labor, postal and second amendment issues. He also works on the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. Previously, he was with Rep Mia Love (UT), Rep Raul Labrador (ID), Sen Mike Crapo (ID) and Rep Cynthia Lummis (WY). In Congress, Scott has worked on personal control of electronic health records, hydrogen fueled vehicles, international cherry trade dumping, drone traffic management, dietary supplement regulations, net neutrality, over-the-counter contraceptives and the USPS right hand drive vehicle shortage.
Carlos Roa is the senior editor at the National Interest. Previously, he served as associate editor of Horizons: Journal of International Relations and Sustainable Development. He holds a BSFS from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.
John Shelton works as a legislative assistant in the United States Congress and also writes on theology, ethics, and politics for various publications. An alumnus of Duke University (M.Div., summa cum laude) and the University of Virginia (B.A.), he has presented at national conferences such as the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature.
Amber Todoroff is a policy associate at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, where she researches and writes about federal environmental policy issues, designs Congressional briefings, and serves as editor of EESI’s biweekly newsletter. She is particularly interested in coastal development, conservation, and land-use issues. Amber received a master’s degree from the University of Oxford on a Frost Scholarship, where she studied marine renewable energy innovation and governance in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. She has dual bachelor’s degrees in English and geography from the University of Florida.