The University of Texas at Austin - Civitas Institute

People

  • Justin Dyer, Dean of the School of Civic Leadership

    Justin Dyer was the founding director of the Civitas Institute and is the inaugural dean of UT Austin’s School of Civic Leadership. He also holds faculty appointments in the Department of Government and (by courtesy) the Department of Business, Government, and Society. Dyer writes and teaches in the fields of American political thought, jurisprudence and constitutionalism, with an emphasis on the perennial philosophical tradition of natural law. He is the author or editor of eight books and numerous articles, essays and book reviews. His most recent book, with Kody Cooper, is The Classical and Christian Origins of American Politics: Political Theology, Natural Law, and the American Founding, published in 2022 by Cambridge University Press. His previous books with Cambridge University Press include C.S. Lewis on Politics and the Natural Law (2016); Slavery, Abortion, and the Politics of Constitutional Meaning (2013); and Natural Law and the Antislavery Constitutional Tradition (2012). He also is co-editor of the two-volume constitutional law casebook American Constitutional Law (4th edition, West Academic), which has been adopted at leading universities across the country. Previously, he was professor of political science at the University of Missouri, where he served as the founding director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, a signature academic center for the study of American political thought and history. After attending the University of Oklahoma on a wrestling scholarship, he completed his M.A. and Ph.D. in Government at The University of Texas at Austin.

  • Ryan Streeter, Executive Director of the Civitas Institute

    Ryan Streeter is Executive Director of  the Civitas Institute. Previously, Streeter was the State Farm James Q. Wilson Scholar and director of domestic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he facilitated research in education, technology, housing, urban policy, poverty studies, workforce development, and public opinion. Before joining AEI, he was executive director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the University of Texas at Austin. Streeter has had a distinguished career in government service. He has served as a policy advisor to a U.S. president, a governor, and a mayor. Outside of government, he has served as a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute and a research fellow at the Hudson Institute. Streeter is the co-editor of The Future of Cities (AEI, 2023), author of Transforming Charity: Toward a Results-Oriented Social Sector (Hudson Institute, 2001), the editor of Religion and the Public Square in the 21st Century (Hudson Institute, 2001), the coauthor of The Soul of Civil Society: Voluntary Associations and the Public Value of Moral Habits (Lexington Books, 2002), and a contributor to Stephen Goldsmith’s book Putting Faith in Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work Through Grassroots Citizenship (Hudson Institute, 2002). In addition, he is the author, co-author, and editor of more than 150 articles and papers for outlets including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, USA Today, the Hill, City Journal, and National Review. Streeter has a PhD in political philosophy from Emory University.

  • Kitch, Sarah Beth photo

    Sarah Beth Kitch, Associate Director

    Sarah Beth V. Kitch is Associate Director for the Civitas Institute.  An award-winning teacher, she invites students to intentional opportunities to reflect on the task of being human.  Kitch’s teaching and research interests are in American political thought, African American political thought, political theology, and ethics.  She has written for the Journal of Church & State, American Journal of Political Science, Law & Liberty, and Starting Points.  In a recent contribution to Liberal Education in a Free Society (University of Missouri Press, 2023), she reflects on the kinds of ethical formation that prepare students to meet suffering in their own lives and in society.  In the last decade, Kitch taught at St. Agnes Academy (Houston), was Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri, Visiting Assistant Professor at Northern Illinois University, the Thomas W. Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate in Religion & Public Life at Princeton University, and Instructor of Political Science at Louisiana State University.  A Baton Rouge native, Kitch earned an MA and PhD in Political Theory at Louisiana State University.  She holds a BA in Mass Communication & Journalism from Southeastern Louisiana University.

  • Antonio Sosa

    Antonio Sosa, Associate Director

    Antonio Sosa is Associate Director for the Civitas Institute. In this capacity, he oversees the development of fellowships, conferences, and courses that invite students to reflect on the principles of a free society. Prior to joining the Institute Antonio was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught classes on classical political philosophy, the American Founding, modern European history, and the history of liberal arts education. He is primarily interested in the defense of liberal democracy that is found in the thought of Tocqueville, Ortega y Gasset, and Leo Strauss. He graduated with B.A.s in English and Film from Pennsylvania State University and earned his M.A. in International Relations from The New School. He is also a doctoral candidate in political philosophy at the University of Dallas. His dissertation focuses on Tocqueville’s solution to what he called “the fate of civilized man,” that is, that advances in equality and material well-being are necessarily accompanied by a loss of depth and vigor in the human soul. His writing has appeared in journals such as Interpretation and Perspectives on Political Science and in online magazines such as Public Discourse and Law and Liberty.

  • Allison Smythe, Sr. Project Manager

    Allison Smythe is the Sr. Project Manager for the Civitas Institute. In this capacity, she oversees academic and community events; branding, marketing, and communications; and alumni engagement. Prior to joining the Civitas Institute, Allison was Sr. Program Coordinator at the Kinder Institute at the University of Missouri where she developed strategic marketing campaigns for undergraduate and graduate student recruitment; designed an alumni engagement program; and promoted and coordinated academic and community events and conferences, locally and internationally. In addition, she continues to direct the award-winning boutique graphic design firm Ars Graphica on a limited basis. She graduated from Texas Tech with a BFA in Design Communication and studied creative writing as an MFA student at the University of Houston. Her essays and poetry have been published in the Southern Review, the Gettysburg Review, Relief Magazine, Verse Daily, and others.

  • Sydney Leary, Assistant Director for Research and Programs

    Sydney Leary is Assistant Director for Research and Programs at the Civitas Institute, where she manages operations for the Institute’s growing research programs. She joins Civitas from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she oversaw policy work on issues of education, technology, housing, agriculture, science, and poverty as the Program Manager for domestic policy studies. Sydney started her career in Washington, D.C. crafting and facilitating academic programs for undergraduate and graduate level students at AEI and the Hudson Institute. She is an alumna of the Danish Institute of Study Abroad European Politics Cohort and has completed fellowships with the Fund for American Studies, Hudson Institute Political Studies, and the Fulbright Program’s English Teaching Assistant program in the Czech Republic. Sydney is a graduate of Villanova University, where she received an honors bachelor of arts in politics, philosophy and humanities.

  • Bo Herlin, Director of Public Affairs

    Bo Herlin is Director of Public Affairs at the Civitas Institute. Previously, he was Director of Communications at a national not-for-profit leadership organization. Before that, he led marketing and communications at a venture-backed software company. He began his career at Accelus, a fast-growing medical technology startup, and later helped turn around a 90-year-old niche publishing company. He also worked as a research assistant on a small team led by David Brooks. Bo is originally from Hobe Sound, Florida and earned a B.A. from Davidson College. He spends his free time reading classic fiction and once crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a 41-foot sailboat.

  • LIndsay Everhardt

    Lindsay Eberhardt, Executive Editor

    Lindsay Eberhardt is the executive editor for the Civitas Institute. Formerly, she was senior editor at Common Sense Society; managing editor for Dissident.com, The American Mind, and the Claremont Review of Books Digital; and an assistant editor at the Claremont Review of Books. She has taught politics and political philosophy at the U.S. Naval Academy, George Mason University, and CSUSB and her writings have been published in The Journal of Woman, Politics, and Policy and Political Research Quarterly. She holds a Ph.D. in political science and an M.A. in American government from Claremont Graduate University and a B.A. in political science from the University of Alaska.

  • Aurora Muñoz, HR and Finance Manager

    Aurora Muñoz is the HR and Finance Manager for the Civitas Institute. Aurora has a rich history at the University, starting in 2001. Prior to joining the Civitas Institute, Aurora was the administrative services officer, overseeing human resources and business operations at the Vice President for Student Affairs office. Aurora is originally from Milwaukee, WI and moved to in Texas 1988.

  • Eva Lopez-Trujillo, Sr. Administrative Associate

    Eva Lopez-Trujillo is the Sr. Administrative Associate for the Civitas Institute. She is a native born and raised Austinite. Prior to joining the Civitas Institute, Lopez-Trujillo was in the department of Student Accounts Receivable as an accountant. She graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a B.S. in Kinesiology. Eva assists the Civitas Institute’s staff and clients with travel planning and cost accounting.

  • Melissa Pardue headshot

    Melissa Pardue, Events Coordinator

    Melissa Pardue is a consultant with the Civitas Institute, helping with writing and events. She has a background in policymaking in Washington DC, having served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Service Policy in the US Department of Health and Human Services as well as Associate Director in the White House Domestic Policy Council. Melissa also served as a Capitol Hill staffer for several years and as a Policy Analyst for social welfare policy at the Heritage Foundation. In that capacity, she published numerous op-eds and appeared regularly on radio and TV interviews. Originally from Dallas, she has worked as an independent policy consultant for over a decade in Austin. Melissa completed her MS in Policy from Columbia University and holds a BA in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma.

  • Author Brooks photo

    Arthur C. Brooks

    Arthur C. Brooks is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Public and Nonprofit Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School, where he teaches courses on leadership, happiness, and social entrepreneurship. He is also a columnist at The Atlantic, where he writes the popular “How toBuild a Life” column. Brooks is the author of 13 books, including the 2022 #1 New York Timesbestseller From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life and the forthcoming Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier with co-author Oprah Winfrey available September 2023. He speaks to audiences all around the world about human happiness, and works to raise well-being within private companies, universities, public agencies, and community organizations.

    Brooks began his career as a classical French hornist, leaving college at 19, touring and recording in the United States and Spain. In his late twenties, while still performing, he returned to school, earning a BA through distance learning. At 31, he left music and earned an MPhil andPhD in public policy analysis from the Rand Graduate School, during which time he worked as an analyst for the Rand Corporation’s Project Air Force, performing military operations research analysis. Brooks then spent the next 10 years as a university professor, primarily at Syracuse University, where he taught economics and nonprofit management, and published 60 peer-reviewed articles and several books, including the textbook “Social Entrepreneurship”(2008). In 2009, Brooks became the president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, DC, one of the world’s most influential think tanks. Over the following decade, he was selected as one of Fortune Magazine’s “50 World’s Greatest Leaders” and was awarded seven honorary doctorates.

  • Paul Carrese

    Paul Carrese

    Paul Carrese is Distinguished Fellow of the Civitas Institute and is the founding director of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University. For nearly two decades he was a professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he co-founded a new honors program blending liberal arts education and leadership education. His teaching and research interests are in political theory, constitutionalism, and civic education. His most recent book is Democracy in Moderation: Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Sustainable Liberalism. He also is author of The Cloaking of Power: Montesquieu, Blackstone, and the Rise of Judicial Activism, and co-editor of three other books – on George Washington, constitutionalism, and American grand strategy. He has held fellowships at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar; Harvard University; the University of Delhi (as a Fulbright fellow); and the James Madison Program, Politics Department, Princeton University. He co-led a national study funded by the NEH and US Department of Education, Educating for American Democracy, on improving American history and civics education in K-12 schools with partners from Harvard and Tufts Universities and iCivics (released in 2021). He completed his PhD. In Political Science at Boston College.

  • Chiyuma Elliott

    Chiyuma Elliott

    Chiyuma Elliott is Distinguished Fellow of the Civitas Institute and Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where she directs the African American Intellectual Traditions Initiative, a project that explores religious and classical influences on African American intellectual life. Her scholarly work and teaching focus on poetry and poetics, African American literature, intellectual history from the 1920s to the present, and Black Geography/Cultural Geography. Prof. Elliott is the author of four books of poems: Blue in Green (2021), At Most (2020), Vigil (2017), and California Winter League (2015). She is the co-host of Old-School, a podcast about Black Studies and the classics, and is currently at work on a poem cycle about technology and migration and a scholarly monograph about rural life and art in the 1920s tentatively titled The Rural Harlem Renaissance. She completed her Ph.D. in American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.

  • Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde

    Jesús Fernández-Villaverde

    Jesús Fernández-Villaverde is Distinguished Fellow of the Civitas Institute and the Howard Marks Presidential Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Penn Initiative for the Study of Markets. He has also been a National Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a Kenen Fellow in International Economy at Princeton University. Prof. Fernández-Villaverde’s research and teaching focus on macroeconomics and econometrics, and he has also developed a popular series of undergraduate courses on the relationship between markets and human flourishing. He has made the lecture notes for those courses available at his personal website. He is a Research Associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and Penn’s Population Studies Center, and a Research Affiliate for the Centre for Economic Policy Research. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.

  • Vincent Phillip Muñoz

    Vincent Phillip Muñoz

    Vincent Phillip Muñoz is Distinguished Fellow of the Civitas Institute and the Tocqueville Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, where he is the founding director of the Center for Citizenship & Constitutional Government. Prof. Muñoz writes and teaches across the fields of constitutional law, American politics, and political philosophy with a focus on religious liberty and the American Founding. He won a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to support his most recent book, Religious Liberty and the American Founding: Natural Rights and the Original Meanings of the First Amendment Religion Clauses (University of Chicago Press, 2022). The author of numerous articles in leading political science journals and law reviews, Prof. Muñoz’ first book, God and the Founders: Madison, Washington, and Jefferson (Cambridge University Press, 2009), won the Hubert Morken Award from the American Political Science Association for the best publication on religion and politics in 2009 and 2010. He completed his Ph.D. at Claremont Graduate School.

Senior Research Fellows

  • Richard Burkhauser

    In 2017 Richard V. Burkhauser became Emeritus Sarah Gibson Blanding Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. Previously Burkhauser held tenured Professor positions in the Economic Department at Vanderbilt University and Syracuse University. Between September 2017 and May 2019, he was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President. His professional career has focused on how public policies affect the employment and well-being of vulnerable populations. In 2010 he was the President of the Association for Public Policy and Management. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago.

  • Rowena He photo

    Rowena He

    Rowena He is Senior Research Fellow of the Civitas Institute and Associate Professor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Her first book, Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China was named Top Five Books 2014 by the Asia Society’s China File. Her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the National Humanities Center. For teaching, she received the Harvard University Certificate of Teaching Excellence for three consecutive years and was awarded twice the Faculty of Arts Outstanding Teaching Award at CUHK. Professor He speaks widely within and beyond the academy. She has been a keynote speaker for the Canada Human Rights National Symposium, testified at a U.S. Congressional hearing, and delivered lectures for the U.S. State Department and the Canada International Council. Her op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post, The Nation, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, and The Wall Street Journal. Her scholarly opinions are regularly sought by international media, and she was designated among the Top 100 Chinese Public Intellectuals of 2016. Born and raised in China, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Reach her at Rowena.He@austin.utexas.edu

  • William Simpson

    William M. R. Simpson is Research Fellow at the Civitas Institute, where he works on the foundations of human freedom in physics and philosophy. He is also a Visiting Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Durham, a Research Associate of the University of Cambridge, and an Honorary Fellow of the University of St. Andrews. Previously, he was a Junior Research Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He holds a doctorate in physics from St. Andrews, for which he was awarded the Springer thesis prize, and a doctorate in philosophy from Cambridge, for which he received the Expanded Reason Award. In 2021, he was awarded the Cardinal Mercier Prize in Philosophy. He is the author of Hylomorphisim (Cambridge, 2023); co-editor, with Robert Koons and Nicholas Teh, of Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives in Contemporary Science (Routledge 2017); and co-editor, with Robert Koons and James Orr, of Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics and the Theology of Nature (Routledge 2021).

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    Ben Storey

    Benjamin Storey is a Civitas Research Fellow and a senior fellow in Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He is concurrently a Tocqueville scholar at Furman University, where he previously served as a research professor, Jane Gage Hipp Professor of Politics and International Affairs, and director of the Tocqueville Program. He focuses on political philosophy, civil society, and higher education, and he is the co-organizer of a conference series on the future of the American university. Dr. Storey is the coauthor, with his wife, Jenna Silber Storey, of Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment (Princeton University Press, 2021). Together, the Storeys are working on a book titled, The Art of Choosing: How Liberal Education Should Prepare You for Life. He has a PhD and MA from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Jenna-Silber-Storey photo

    Jenna Storey

    Jenna Silber Storey is a Civitas Research Fellow and a senior fellow in the Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies department at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Dr. Storey concentrates on political philosophy, civil society, classical schools, and higher education. She is also the co-organizer of a conference series on the future of the American university. Dr. Storey is concurrently a Tocqueville scholar at Furman University, where she was previously research professor, assistant professor in politics and international affairs, and the executive director of the Tocqueville Program. Dr. Storey is the coauthor, with her husband, Benjamin Storey, of Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment (Princeton University Press, 2021). Together, the Storeys are working on a book titled The Art of Choosing: How Liberal Education Should Prepare You for Life. Dr. Storey has a PhD from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought and a BA from the University Professors Program at Boston University. She spent time in Germany as a visiting student at the University of Tübingen and as an exchange student at Dresden University.

  • Constantine Vassiliou

    Constantine Vassiliou is Research Fellow at the Civitas Institute. He is a political theorist and historian of ideas specializing in Enlightenment political thought. His book Moderate Liberalism and the Scottish Enlightenment (Edinburgh University Press, August 2023) examines how Montesquieu, Hume, Smith, and Ferguson’s foundational liberal theories responded to the moral and civic challenges of early capitalism. Vassiliou also co-edited and contributed chapters to The Spirit of Montesquieu’s Persian Letters (Lexington Press, 2023) and Liberal Education and Citizenship in a Free Society (University of Missouri Press, 2023).

  • Charity Joy Acchiardo

    Charity-Joy Acchiardo

    Charity-Joy Acchiardo is Associate Professor of Instruction in the Department of Economics. She is the faculty lead for UT’s OnRamps microeconomics course for high school students and is director of the Financial Responsibility and Economic Education program, both joint projects of the Civitas Institute and the Department of Economics. She is an Economic Educator Fellow at the Fraser Institute, Canada’s top-ranked think tank, and has served as the Executive Director of the Journal of Economics Teaching. Her websites econkahoots.com and econshark.com are dedicated to making the economics classroom more engaging. Professor Acchiardo’s passion is sharing her joy about economics with others, and she is a frequent speaker, both domestically and internationally, at workshops for educators and students. She completed her Ph.D. in Economics at George Mason University.

  • Daniel Bonevac

    Daniel Bonevac

    Daniel Bonevac is Professor of Philosophy and Human Dimensions of Organizations in the College of Liberal Arts, where he teaches and does research in logic and ethics, especially organizational ethics. His book Reduction in the Abstract Sciences received the Johnsonian Prize from The Journal of Philosophy. His other books include Deduction (Blackwell), Simple Logic (Oxford), Worldly Wisdom (Mayfield), and Historical Dictionary of Ethics (Rowman and Littlefield). Among his edited volumes are Today’s Moral Issues (McGraw-Hill, seven editions) and World Philosophy (Oxford, with Stephen Phillips). Professor Bonevac’s articles have appeared in such journals as Philosophical ReviewMindNoûsThe Journal of PhilosophyPhilosophy and Phenomenological ResearchSyntheseJournal of Philosophical LogicEthicsPhilosophical Studies, and Erkenntnis. He was Chairman of the Department of Philosophy from 1991 to 2001. He earned his PhD at the University of Pittsburgh.

  • Budziszewski, J. photo

    J. Budziszewski

    J. Budziszewski is Professor of Government and Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts, where he also teaches courses in the law school and the religious studies department.  He specializes in political philosophy, ethical philosophy, legal philosophy, and the interaction of religion with philosophy. Among his research interests are classical natural law, virtue ethics, conscience and moral self deception, human happiness or fulfillment, the institution of the family in relation to political and social order, religion in public life, and the problem of toleration. Professor Budziszewski is the author of nineteen books, including his recent four-part commentary on the works of Thomas Aquinas: Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law (Cambridge University Press, 2014), its free online partner volume, Companion to the Commentary (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Virtue Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2017), Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Happiness and Ultimate Purpose (Cambridge University Press, 2020), and Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Divine Law (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

  • Scott Carrell photo

    Scott Carrell

    Scott Carrell is Professor of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts.  At Civitas, he leads a new undergraduate program on leadership and research.  Carrell writes and teaches in the fields of Public and Labor Economics.  He is the author of 27 peer-reviewed journal articles. Carrell’s early work focused on ways to improve military retention through local labor market forces, while most of his more recent work specializes in the economics of education.  Specifically, his research examines policies and practices to improve educational outcomes at the primary, secondary and post-secondary levels taking into account both costs and benefits. Carrell previously served twenty years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2015.  His previous academic appointments include the U.S. Air Force Academy, Dartmouth College, and the University of California, Davis.  In 2004, Carrell served as the Senior Economist for Public Finance and Labor Economics on the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President.  Additionally, Carrell is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Research Fellow at Institute for the Study of Labor, and a Co-Faculty Director of the California Education Lab.  From 2015-2022, he co-edited the Journal of Human Resources.

  • Carlos Carvalho

    Carlos Carvalho

    Carlos M. Carvalho is the La Quinta Centennial Professor of Business in the McCombs School of Business. He is also Executive Director of the Salem Center for Policy, a research center that draws from multiple disciplines and empirical methods to help navigate the trade-offs of public policy decisions in pursuit of human flourishing and the preservation of a free society. Originally from Brazil, Professor Carvalho received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Duke University in 2006 and was assistant professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business before joining UT in 2010. His research, which focuses on Bayesian statistics in complex, high-dimensional problems with applications ranging from economics to genetics, has been published widely in top journals including Bayesian Analysis and Annals of Applied Statistics.

  • Patricio Fernandez headshot

    Patricio A. Fernandez

    Patricio A. Fernandez is Associate Professor of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy and Economics from Harvard University. Before joining UT-Austin, he taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2022-23, he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and he previously held a Humboldt research fellowship at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He has published in ancient philosophy, action theory, ethics, and the economic analysis of law. His research focuses on ancient and contemporary approaches to practical reasoning, human action, and the normative standards that apply to them.

  • Sheena Greitens

    Sheena Chestnut Greitens

    Sheena Chestnut Greitens is Associate Professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She also directs UT’s Asia Policy Program, a joint initiative of the Clements Center for National Security and the Strauss Center for International Security and Law, and in 2022, is concurrently a Jeane Kirkpatrick Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).  Prof. Greitens’ teaching and research focus on American national security, East Asia, and the politics of democracy and dictatorship.  She is the author of Dictators and their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence (Cambridge University Press, 2016), which won several academic awards. Her current book projects focus on authoritarianism and diaspora politics in North Korea, and on internal security as a driver of Chinese grand strategy. She completed her Ph.D. in Government at Harvard University.

  • Kishore Gawande

    Kishore Gawande

    Kishore Gawande is Century Club Professor and Chair of the Business, Government and Society Department in the McCombs School of Business. Professor Gawande was previously Professor of International Economics and Development at Texas A&M University. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank and has been a Visiting Associate Professor at the Stigler Center, University of Chicago. Professor Gawande’s areas of research include international trade policy, international political economy, conflict and development. His research has been published across disciplines in Economics, Political Science and Management. He holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and a PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles.

  • Adam Klein

    Adam Klein

    Adam Klein is Director of the Robert Strauss Center on International Security and Law at The University of Texas at Austin.  He also serves as Senior Lecturer at the University of Texas School of Law, where he teaches courses on national security, intelligence, and counterterrorism. Before joining the Strauss Center, Adam served as Chairman of the United States Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, the independent, bipartisan federal agency responsible for overseeing counterterrorism programs at the NSA, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, and other federal agencies. Previously, Adam practiced law at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, LLP and served as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He received his BA from Northwestern University and his JD from Columbia Law School.

  • Rob Koons

    Rob Koons

    Rob Koons is Professor of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts, where he has taught for 35 years. He is the author or co-author of five books, including: Realism Regained (Oxford University Press, 2000) and The Atlas of Reality: A Comprehensive Guide to Metaphysics, with Timothy H. Pickavance (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017). He is the co-editor (with George Bealer) of The Waning of Materialism (Oxford University Press, 2010), (with Nicholas Teh and William Simpson) of Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science (Routledge, 2018), and (with William Simpson and James Orr) of Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Nature (Routledge, 2021). He has been working recently on an Aristotelian interpretation of quantum theory, on defending and articulating Thomism in contemporary terms, and on arguments for classical theism. His forthcoming books include: Is Thomas Aquinas’s Philosophy of Nature Obsolete? (St. Augustine Press) and Classical Theism (Routledge), co-edited with Jonathan Fuqua. He completed his M.A. at Oxford University and his Ph.D. at the University of California at Los Angeles.

  • David Leal

    David L. Leal is Professor of Government and Professor (by courtesy) of Mexican American Studies and Religious Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. Since 2018, he also has been a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Professor Leal is a scholar of Latino politics, and his work explores the political and policy implications of demographic change. He has published over fifty journal articles and edited or co-edited a dozen scholarly books and journal symposia. His recent classes include Latino Politics, Immigration Politics, Politics and Religion, and British Politics. He has been an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Japan, and an Associate Member of Nuffield College at Oxford University.  In 2021, he was recognized with the Distinguished Career Award from the Latina/o Caucus of the Midwest Political Science Association. He completed his Ph.D. in Government at Harvard University.

  • Dirk Mateer

    Dirk Mateer

    Dirk Mateer is Professor of Instruction in the Department of Economics. He helps to develop UT’s OnRamps microeconomics course for high school students and is Senior Teaching Fellow in the Financial Responsibility and Economic Education (FREE) program, both joint projects of the Civitas Institute and the Department of Economics. Prior to coming to UT, he received Penn State University’s highest teaching award and was voted the best overall teacher in the Smeal College of Business. While at the University of Arizona, Dirk received the University’s Koffler Teaching Prize, a quadrennial award for his contributions in economic education. While at UT-Austin, he received the Kenneth G. Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Award from the Southern Economic Association. He is the author of Economics in the Movies, Essentials of Economics and Principles of Economics. His most recent publication is “ChatGPT has Aced the Test of Understanding in College Economics: Now What?”

  • Brian Roberts

    Brian Roberts

    Brian Roberts is Professor of Government in the College of Liberal Arts, and Professor of Business, Government and Society (by courtesy) in the McCombs School of Business. Professor Roberts’ teaching and research are in the fields of American political institutions, interest groups, and positive political economy, with a focus on politics and financial markets, corporate political participation, and distributive politics. His scholarship has contributed to the literature in political science, economics, and finance, and has served in the past as Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and UT’s Vice President of Information Technology. He is the co-author, with Daron Shaw and Mijeong Baek, of The Appearance of Corruption: Testing the Supreme Court’s Assumptions About Campaign Finance Reform (Oxford University Press, 2021).

  • Dima Shamoun Photo

    Dima Shamoun

    Dima Shamoun is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Finance and a Scholar with the Salem Center in the McCombs School of Business, where she teaches economics in the MBA and BBA programs. Dima has been with UT Austin since she joined the Department of Economics as a Lecturer and the Center for Politics & Governance as the Associate Director of Research in May of 2016. She has been teaching both graduate and undergraduate students in introductory and advanced courses since spring 2011. She also serves on the MBA Programs Committee, the Wealth Management Student Recruiting and Placement Committee, and the Behavioral Lab Committee.

    Dima was born in Damascus, Syria, and earned her BA in mathematics and economics, and her Ph.D. in economics, from George Mason University (GMU) in Virginia. She was a Research Fellow with the Mercatus Center at GMU where she studied risk science to better assess regulatory policy, and published journal articles, public comments, and syndicated op-eds. Her interdisciplinary research draws on political science, law, and philosophy, and has been published in the Journal of Public Choice, Environmental Pollution, the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, Health Physics, and the Journal of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology.

  • Dr. Daron Shaw.

    Daron Shaw

    Daron Shaw is the Frank Erwin Centennial Chair in the Department of Government. His research and teaching interests include campaigns and elections, political parties, public opinion, and voting behavior. Professor Shaw is the author of The Appearance of Corruption (Oxford University Press, 2021) The Turnout Myth (Oxford University Press, 2020), Unconventional Wisdom: Facts and Myths about American Voters (Oxford University Press, 2008), The Race to 270 (University of Chicago Press, 2006) and numerous articles in leading political science including American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and British Journal of Political Science. He is co-director of the Fox News Poll, co-director of the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, director of the Texas Lyceum Poll, and associate Principal Investigator for the 2020 and 2024 American National Election Studies. He completed his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California at Los Angeles.

  • Dana Stauffer

    Dana Stauffer is Associate Professor of Instruction and Research Fellow in the Government Department at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also the Undergraduate Honors Director for the Government Department. An award-winning teacher, Professor Stauffer has taught courses in classical and modern political thought, politics and literature, women in political thought, and American Government. Her research interests include classical political thought, Shakespeare’s political thought, and the thought of Alexis de Tocqueville, especially Democracy in America. Her work has appeared in Political Research Quarterly, Journal of Politics, Review of Politics, American Political Science Review, and Interpretation. She is currently at work on a book manuscript, A World Altogether New: Tocqueville on the Modern Moral Situation. She earned her undergraduate degree from Boston College and her PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto.

  • Devin Stauffer

    Devin Stauffer is Professor of Government. He specializes in classical and early modern political philosophy. Prior to coming to The University of Texas in 2004, Professor Stauffer taught at Kenyon College and St. John’s College in Annapolis. During his time at Kenyon College, he received two awards for teaching excellence, and he has since received two more teaching awards at UT. Professor Stauffer’s books include Plato’s Introduction to the Question of Justice (SUNY, 2001), The Unity of Plato’s Gorgias (Cambridge, 2006), and Hobbes’s Kingdom of Light (Chicago, 2018). His articles have also appeared in some of the top journals in the field, including Review of PoliticsJournal of Politics, and American Political Science Review.

Visiting Fellows

  • Kody Cooper

    Kody W. Cooper is UC Foundation Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he teaches courses in political thought, public law, and American politics.  He is the coauthor of The Classical and Christian Origins of American Politics: Political Theology, Natural Law, and the American Founding (Cambridge University Press, 2022) and author of Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law (University of Notre Dame Press, 2018).  He lives with his wife and eight children in a 150-year-old house in Chattanooga, TN.

  • Haykel, Bernard photo

    Bernard Haykel

    Bernard Haykel is a scholar of the Arabian Peninsula, focusing on the politics, economics and history of the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) and Yemen. He is professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. His interests relate to how religious movements and ideologies as well as how heavy dependence on oil rents affect politics and societies in the Middle East. The persistence of authoritarian rule and its repressive practices are a particular feature of this region, and explaining this is an animating feature of Haykel’s scholarship. Professor Haykel is the author of “Revival and Reform in Islam” and editor of “Saudi Arabia in Transition,” both published by Cambridge University Press. At Civitas, Haykel will be completing a book on the modern political history of Saudi Arabia that is titled “Saving the Family Business: the Transformation of Saudi Arabia under MBS.” Haykel is considered an authority on Islamist political movements and Islamic law and is the author of articles on the politics of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Salafism, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. He has supervised over 10 PhD dissertations that deal with Arabian politics and history and has received several prominent awards, such as the Prize Fellowship at Magdalen College, University of Oxford, the Carnegie Corporation and Guggenheim fellowships and the Old Dominion Professorship at Princeton. Professor Haykel appears frequently in print and broadcast media. These include interviews in and articles for PBS, NPR, the New York Times, Project Syndicate, Al Arabia, Al Jazeera, and the BBC among others. He earned his doctorate from the University of Oxford.

Texas Fellows

  • Alexander Duff

    Alexander S. Duff is Associate Professor in the School of Civic Leadership at the University of Texas, Austin. He writes widely in the history of political philosophy, and his publications on classical, modern, and contemporary political philosophy have appeared in both scholarly and popular publications. He has held fellowships from the Civitas Institute, the Tocqueville Program for Inquiry into Religion and American Public Life at the University of Notre Dame and from the Program for the Study of the Western Heritage at Boston College. He is the author of Heidegger and Politics: The Ontology of Radical Discontent. He is a co-founder of the Association for the History of Political Thought, an academic organization devoted to the study of the History of Political Thought.

  • Kleinerman, Benjamin photo

    Benjamin Kleinerman

    Benjamin A. Kleinerman is the R.W. Morrison Professor of Political Science at Baylor University where he teaches classes on political thought and political institutions. He also is on the Board of Directors of the Jack Miller Center. Kleinerman is the Chair of the American Political Thought section of the American Political Science Association (APSA), and he has published articles in Perspectives on Politics (APSA), American Political Science Review, Texas Law Review, and several edited volumes including Nomos and The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. He has also been invited to give talks at Yale University, the University of Notre Dame, Xavier University, Kenyon College, and the University of Cincinnati. Kleinerman’s first book, The Discretionary President: The Promise and Peril of Executive Power, has been reviewed in The New Republic and Political Science Quarterly. He has also published on other subjects including literature and politics and American political history.

  • Menchaca-Bagnulo, Ashleen photo

    Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo

    Ashley Menchaca-Bagnulo is Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas State University and received her PhD from the University of Notre Dame in 2013. She has held postdoctoral positions at Princeton University, the United States Naval Academy and Furman University. She received the 2021-22 Presidential Distinction Award in the College of Liberal Arts and the 2018-2019 College of Liberal Arts Award for Excellence in Teaching at TXST. She is the co-editor of Augustine in a Time of Crisis: Politics and Religion Contested, and she has contributed to multiple anthologies and journals, including the European Journal of Political Theory, Perspectives on Political Science, and European Legacy.

  • Randall Smith

    Randall B. Smith is Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.  His most recent books include: Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide (Emmaus, 2016); Aquinas, Bonaventure and the Scholastic Culture of Medieval Paris (Cambridge, 2021); and From Here to Eternity: Reflections on Death, Immortality, and the Resurrection of the Body (Emmaus, 2022).  His book Mapping Bonaventure’s Journey Into God is under review with Cambridge University Press, and he is finishing a book on the moral theology of Thomas Aquinas for Emmaus Press.  His wife Tamara Nicholl-Smith is an accomplished, published poet.

  • David Upham

    David R. Upham is Associate Professor of Politics and Director of Legal Studies at the University of Dallas.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Dallas, and a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.  At the University of Dallas he regularly teaches in the fields of political theory, American political thought, American constitutional law and history.  His research and publications have focused on the meaning and history of the Fourteenth Amendment.  During the fellowship year, he will complete the manuscript of a book tentatively entitled Taking American Citizenship Seriously and the Recovery of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Joey Barretta

    Joey Barretta is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Civitas Institute. Prior to joining Civitas, he received his Ph.D. and M.A. in American politics and political philosophy from Hillsdale College and his B.A. in Political Science and History from Ashland University. Barretta’s scholarship focuses on the political thought of Frederick Douglass. His research aims to show that Douglass’s political project after the end of slavery deserves greater treatment than it has received. His scholarly work on Douglass’s constitutional thought has been published in New North Star: A Journal of the Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, a peer-reviewed journal housed at the IUPUI Institute for American Thought.

  • Reid Comstock

    Reid Comstock is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Civitas Institute. He specializes in ancient philosophy, ethics, and the philosophy of law. He is interested in the nature of human flourishing, and the social, political, and legal institutions which make it possible. He has co-authored a paper on the Socratic Elenchus (Rev. Archai, 2023), and he has written several papers on Aristotle’s activity as a teacher of ethics. He received his PhD at Notre Dame, writing a dissertation on some issues in Aristotle’s ethics and moral psychology under the direction of Sean Kelsey.

  • Abby Staysa

    Abby Staysa is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Civitas Institute. Her area of teaching and research is the history of political philosophy, with a particular focus on the thinkers of ancient Hellas. Her current research is a book-length study of Aristotle’s intricate treatment of pleasure and pain in his philosophy of moral and philosophic education. Before coming to the Civitas Institute, Abby was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Politics and in the James Madison Program at Princeton University. She earned her B.A. from Hiram College (2015) and her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame (2023).  Contact Abby at abigail.staysa@austin.utexas.edu

  • Tyler Thomas

    Tyler Thomas approaches the study of politics as fundamentally a philosophical enterprise—a thorough examination of the nature, limits, and purpose of political organization. His primary research interest concerns the intersection of science and politics, particularly the relationship of scientific expertise and political authority. His current project investigates the contributions of the philosopher René Descartes to the emergence of a scientific culture in the West.

    He comes to the Civitas Institute from Emory University, where he taught for the past two years after having completed his graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts (2014) from Hiram College and a PhD (2021) from the University of Notre Dame.

Predoctoral Fellows

  • Alexander Batson

    Alexander Batson an intellectual historian of early modern Europe who is currently finishing his PhD at Yale University. Batson’s current projects address European imperial ideology, maritime law, the emergence of historical scholarship in the Renaissance, and the political and legal thought of the Protestant Reformer Philip Melanchthon.

    He focuses on the early modern period (16th-17th centuries) because it is an age of beginnings. So many important concepts – globalism, capitalism, international law, sovereignty, to name a few – find their origins in this period. It’s also a great period to teach to undergraduates, since we find so many of our own problems mirrored there. Want to talk about plague? The sixteenth century has plenty. Polarization and toleration? Let’s dive into the Reformation and the Thirty Years War.

  • Maura Cowan photo

    Maura Cowan

    Maura Cowan is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at Tulane University, specializing in the history of political philosophy. Her interests include the intersection of politics, literature, and philosophy, with a focus on the ancient Greeks. She completed her undergraduate degree at St. John’s College in Annapolis, and has taught classics of political philosophy and literature at both the secondary and university level. Before joining the Civitas Institute, Maura was a fellow at the Murphy Institute. She is currently writing a dissertation on the “ancient quarrel” between poetry and philosophy presented in Plato’s Republic.

  • John Petrakis Headshot

    John Petrakis

    John Petrakis is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. Previously, he obtained degrees in law and political science from McGill University (M.A., J.D., B.C.L., B.A.) and clerked at the Federal Court of Canada. John studies pressing issues of constitutional law and theory in comparative perspective, focusing on how different constitutional systems meet the challenges of federalism and human rights protection. He is writing a dissertation examining the origins and development of euthanasia and medically assisted suicide regimes across the world from an empirical and normative perspective.

Dissertation Fellows

  • Stella Fillmore-Patrick

    Stella Fillmore-Patrick is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, whose research interests encompass the history and philosophy of science, philosophy of statistics, and formal epistemology. Her previous work has explored topics such as action at a distance, Rudolf Carnap’s contributions to semantic information and inductive logic, and interpretations of probability. Stella’s current research centers on the meaning and logical foundations of statistical inference, the differences between Bayesian and frequentist methodologies in statistics, and the history of the development of hypothesis testing.

    Stella’s academic credentials include a Master of Science degree in Statistics and a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin and Central European University, respectively. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s College, an institution known for its ‘great books’ curriculum.

  • David Futscher Pereira

    David Futscher Pereira is a PhD candidate in political theory at the University of Texas at Austin. He is writing a dissertation on natural sociality, comparing the iterations of the early modern doctrine of the state of nature with each other and with Aristotle’s Politics. Before coming to UT, David Futscher got a Master of Arts in security and diplomacy at the Tel Aviv University, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and law at the Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University.

  • Terman, Candace photo

    Candace Terman

    Candace Terman is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Government Department. Her research focuses on legal and political theory, with a particular emphasis on the natural-law tradition. She has been cultivating this research interest since her early days at Hillsdale College and continued to do so in her time as a law student at William & Mary Law School. She is particularly interested in how natural law has influenced Western jurisprudence throughout history and is currently writing a dissertation addressing that subject. Her other writing has focused on Shari‘a law as well as Locke’s and Montesquieu’s theories of religious toleration.

Summer Research Fellows

  • Sara Boljevic

    Sara Boljevic is a PhD student in the Philosophy Department at UT Austin, preparing to defend her thesis prospectus next year. Her research primarily focuses on the History of Philosophy, particularly Early Modern and Medieval Philosophy. Sara’s current projects explore the work of later Cartesians, especially Nicolas Malebranche, and the Cambridge Platonists, with a special interest in John Norris. In addition to her research, she serves as a Research Assistant for Professor Tara Smith, working on topics in Ethics and the Philosophy of Law. Sara holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, and an MA in Philosophy from the Central European University, Austria.

  • Olgahan Cat

    Olgahan Cat is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. His current research focuses on public attitudes towards migrants and forcibly displaced people. Using survey experiments in the United States and Turkey, he introduces the concept of “Projected Patriotism” at the core of his dissertation to understand how public attitudes towards conflict migrants are shaped. He also published on how foreign aid impacts conflict intensity in sub-Saharan Africa using observational data, and the effect of messaging on vaccine hesitancy in the United States, South Africa, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, and Taiwan via field experiments through Facebook ads. He received his M.A. from Sabanci University, Turkey, and B.A. from Bogazici University, Turkey, both in Economics.

  • Neco Donohue

    Neco Donohue is a Ph.D. student in the Government Department at the University of Texas at Austin. His current research concerns the promises and perils, as well as the philosophic grounding, of liberalism. Through Montaigne and Montesquieu, Neco hopes to articulate an account of liberalism’s grounding and its merits that does not depend on modern natural rights. Prior to moving to Texas in 2022, Neco worked for two years as the Program Manager of the Hertog Foundation after receiving his B.A. from American University in 2020.

  • Sean Neagle

    Sean Neagle is a Ph.D. student in philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. He specializes in ancient philosophy, particularly Aristotle’s ethical theory. He is interested in Aristotle’s conception of well-being and its role in ethics. Additionally, he investigates how Aristotle’s political works can provide a better understanding of his ethical theory. Sean received his BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his MA from the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Germany.

  • Beckett Rueda

    Beckett Rueda is a PhD student in Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He researches the conflict between divine revelation and secular authority in the foundation of liberalism with a focus on the work of John Locke. His current project treats the relationship between divine and civil authority in Locke’s English Tract (1660). It is the first part of a larger investigation into the way that Locke’s theological and epistemological writings illuminate and influence his political theory.

  • Tom Samuels

    Tom Samuels is Assistant Parliamentarian for the Texas House of Representatives and a PhD student in the Government Department at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on the intersection of strategy, law, and the foundations of a flourishing civil society. He has a JD from Texas Law and a bachelor’s from St. John’s College, Santa Fe.

  • Benjamin Schwabe

    Benjamin Schwabe is a Ph.D. student in political theory at the University of Texas at Austin. His research explores the relationship between necessity and liberty in the political philosophy of Niccolò Machiavelli. He earned his B.A. from Michigan State University and his M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. His other research interests include classical and early modern republicanism, the relationship between modern scientific and political thought, and political psychology.

Society of Fellows

  • Gabriel Babineaux photo

    Gabriel Babineaux

    Gabriel Babineaux is a rising sophomore studying government. He is a devotee of the Jefferson Scholars Program, an editor for an undergraduate research journal, and a friend to many institutes of political and philosophical study. Upon graduating, he hopes to find his place in academia. Gabriel spent his early years in College Station, TX.

  • Sydney Baker photo

    Sydney Baker

    Sydney Baker is a second-year student from New Braunfels, Texas, majoring in political communication with a minor in Core Texts and Ideas. Outside of class, Sydney is an active member of the Jefferson Scholar’s Program. She also conducts university research as an undergraduate assistant and serves as treasurer for the International Association of Business Communications. Furthermore, she worked as a legislative aide in the Texas Senate for the 88th session, where she was able to strengthen her understanding of the legislative process and public policy. Through the Society of Fellows, she looks forward to engaging in collaborative discourse to further her perspective on various areas of policy and sharpen her debate skills for her future career in law.

  • Nathan Comeaux photo

    Nathan Comeaux

    Nathan Comeaux is a sophomore from Dallas studying Business Honors, Plan II Honors, and finance. His interest in the ideas of Western philosophers in the context of modern issues ignited during a political theory seminar he took in high school. This past year, he was the Senior Legislative Intern for State-Representative Terri Leo-Wilson at the Texas State Capitol. In his free time, Nathan enjoys reading about current events, politics and American history, watching 1950’s movies and Succession, and rooting for the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys. After graduating, Nathan hopes to work as an investment banker in New York.

  • Emma Hamilton photo

    Emma Hamilton

    Emma is a second-year student from Houston, Texas majoring in Plan II and government. Her passion lies at the intersection of public policy and environmental sustainability, and her goal after graduation is to become a foreign service officer. Being an avid reader, she is especially excited about the book clubs and discussions that the Civitas Institute will host. In a time of growing political polarization, she is eager to engage in conversations across the ideological spectrum. At UT and Civitas, she seeks to broaden her perspective and become a more informed student, citizen, and future leader.

  • Holloway, Anna Grace photo

    Anna Grace Holloway

    Anna Grace is from Fort Collins, Colorado. She recently finished her first year at UT, where she is studying government and philosophy in the Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is spending her summer interning for the congressional office of Representative Ken Buck and working for the Local Government Project of the Independence Institute, a Colorado-based think tank. In her free time, she likes to read novels and plays from the comfort of her hammock.

  • Lilly Svea Jarlsjo photo

    Lilly Jarlsjo

    Lilly is a sophomore majoring in Plan II Honors and economics with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. She is an active member of the Texas Equity Group and volunteers to read to elementary students with the Reading Aces. Her passions include baking unnecessarily difficult recipes and learning obscure historical facts.

  • Zachary Lacy

    Zach Lacy is a sophomore from Southlake, Texas, studying government and philosophy, with a focus on classical liberal thought, liberal education, Christian theology, Rousseauian romanticism, and American foundational principles. Additionally, Zach is an active member of the Jefferson Scholar’s Program, the president of UT’s Thomistic Institute chapter, and a contributor to the Christian academic journal Terrain. Outside of academic work, you may find Zach spending time outdoors, engaging in various discourses, or reading literature and watching films. He hopes to pursue a career in academia.

  • Diego Lopez photo

    Diego Lopez

    Diego Lopez is a junior majoring in government and Plan II Honors. Diego is a staff writer for several undergraduate student journals which cover politics and the law. He was a Legislative Aide to the Minority Leader of the Texas House of Representatives in the most recent 88th legislative session.

  • Sarah Moffitt

    Sarah Moffitt is a junior from Round Rock, Texas, majoring in statistics and data science with a computer science certificate. She is passionate about math, but also loves America and enjoys learning about the principles that enable Western society to flourish. This summer, she interned at Civitas as part of the All Saints Presbyterian Fellows program. During the school year, Sarah is busy serving as her sorority’s finance director, playing intramural sports, and waitressing. After graduation, she hopes to use her data science degree by working with companies that share her love for America.

  • Rodriguez, Mia Li photo

    Mia Li Rodriguez

    Mia is a junior working towards a B.A. in music and Plan II Honors, which she will supplement with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. She is a member of the Jefferson Scholars Program and is an active participant in the Hill House Christian Study Center. Additionally, she volunteers at Antioch Austin Church. Community development holds a special place in her heart, and she hopes to work overseas after graduation. She grew up in Dallas, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic, but considers Brownsville, Texas her hometown.

  • Hudson Thomas photo

    Hudson Thomas

    Hudson was born in Seattle, Washington and is a triple major student pursuing Plan II / Government / History. He is a Jefferson Scholar and University Honors student with a passion for history. In addition, he was a legislative aide for the State of Texas during his freshman year, and was selected as a 20 Under 20 Global Young Leader by the DFW World Affairs Council. He also served as his high school’s student body president.

  • Ethan Xu

    Ethan Xu is a sophomore from Flower Mound, TX. He is studying economics with a minor in PPE. He is the editor in chief for The Texas Horn, UT’s conservative campus publication. During the previous school year, he served as a policy intern for the Texas Public Policy Foundation and over the summer, he served as the assistant editor for RETURN, Blaze Media’s tech publication. Ethan is passionate about conservative public policy, Protestant political thought, and Reformed theology.

Summer Honors Symposium Fellows

  • Gabriel Babineaux photo

    Gabriel Babineaux

    Gabriel Babineaux is a rising sophomore studying government. He is a devotee of the Jefferson Scholars Program, an editor for an undergraduate research journal, and a friend to many institutes of political and philosophical study. Upon graduating, he hopes to find his place in academia. Gabriel spent his early years in College Station, TX.

  • Tanisha Chaudhuri

    Tanisha Chaudhuri is a junior pursuing a double major in economics and plan II honors, with a minor in business. Her career interests are in research and ethical and sustainable economic policy. She is the president of the Global Macro Team, UT’s student-run think tank, and she recently interned with the Library of Congress. In her free time, you can catch Tanisha baking cupcakes, reading Jane Austen novels, and watching Turkish dramas.

  • Dean Federico

    Dean Federico is a senior from Dallas studying government with minors in English and Italian, as well as a certificate in core texts and ideas. This semester he will be a research intern with Dr. Maurizio Viroli, assisting him in research on Niccolò Machiavelli. In his free time, Dean enjoys singing with his student organization, Longhorn Singers, as well as reading, playing guitar, and photography. After graduating, Dean hopes to attend graduate school in pursuit of becoming a professor.

  • Holloway, Anna Grace photo

    Anna Grace Holloway

    Anna Grace is from Fort Collins, Colorado. She recently finished her first year at UT, where she is studying government and philosophy in the Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is spending her summer interning for the congressional office of Representative Ken Buck and working for the Local Government Project of the Independence Institute, a Colorado-based think tank. In her free time, she likes to read novels and plays from the comfort of her hammock.

  • Katarina Jakimier

    Katarina Jakimier is a junior on the pre-M.D./Ph.D. track, double majoring in psychology and religious studies. She plans to incorporate both her majors and her philosophy minor into a career in pediatric epigenetic research and psychopathology treatment. Katarina is an active leader in Jewish student life, the lead undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Harden’s psychology lab, and vice president of the student-run Texas Ballet organization. She will return to Rome in spring 2025 to help UT’s Dr. Theriault research and write his next book on the Papacy. In her free time, you can find Katarina at her sorority house reading Kant or the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

  • Zachary Lacy

    Zach Lacy is a sophomore from Southlake, Texas, studying government and philosophy, with a focus on classical liberal thought, liberal education, Christian theology, Rousseauian romanticism, and American foundational principles. Additionally, Zach is an active member of the Jefferson Scholar’s Program, the president of UT’s Thomistic Institute chapter, and a contributor to the Christian academic journal Terrain. Outside of academic work, you may find Zach spending time outdoors, engaging in various discourses, or reading literature and watching films. He hopes to pursue a career in academia.

  • Diego Lopez photo

    Diego Lopez

    Diego Lopez is a junior majoring in government and Plan II Honors. Diego is a staff writer for several undergraduate student journals which cover politics and the law. He was a Legislative Aide to the Minority Leader of the Texas House of Representatives in the most recent 88th legislative session.

  • Noel Martinez

    Noel Martinez is a student at the McCombs School of Business. An avid reader, he enjoys the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, finding depth and insight in the Russian novelist’s exploration of the human condition. He also has a keen appreciation for the vibrant, expressive art of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Outside of intellectual interests, Noel is passionate about playing soccer and running. His time at UT has been enriched by meeting people with various perspectives, and he eagerly anticipates continuing to expand his horizons through these connections.

  • Sahith Mocharla

    Sahith Mocharla is a sophomore from Dallas studying business, international relations & global studies, core texts & ideas, and sociology. His interest is in political discourse viewed through the lens of sociological and societal interaction juxtaposed against historical perspectives and philosophy. This past year he was an intern at the Travis County District Attorney’s office, working in victim services and helping build a safer community. In his free time, you can find Sahith reading anything from politics to comics, binge watching tv shows, and cooking (and eating) as much as time allows. After graduating, he plans to attend law school before working as a corporate lawyer and subsequently transitioning to advocacy work in the global south.

  • Mariia Shoshina

    Mariia Shoshina is a senior majoring in international relations and global studies. Her passion for international relations was ignited at a young age during a holiday reception at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Moscow. This summer, she further enriched her academic and professional development through the IES Abroad Freiburg Summer Program in Germany, focusing on European political and economic affairs, European decision-making processes, and their global effect. Mariia enjoys studying languages and is fluent in Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and English. In her free time, she writes scripts and draws characters for gaming projects. Looking ahead, Mariia aspires to a diplomatic career in the foreign service or with a major international organization.

  • Springer, William Zack photo

    William Zackary Springer

    Zach is a senior majoring in philosophy and classical languages. He is the president of UT’s Thomistic Institute chapter as well as a contributor to the university newspaper The Horn. He also assists the University Catholic Center. In his free time, he enjoys rock-climbing with his father. Upon graduation, he hopes to attend graduate school as he prepares to teach at the university level. His hometown is Lubbock, Texas.

  • Noah Thomason

    Noah Thomason is a sophomore at the University of Texas, studying Plan II Honors and Biomedical Engineering. He is also a member of the Jefferson Scholars Program and is involved in Hill House Christian Study Center and Ignite Texas. He is interested in classical philosophy and its role in modern society. As such, he is excited for the discussions hosted by the Civitas Institute. In his free time, he enjoys watching completely random and inconsequential YouTube videos. He is unsure of his plans after graduation, but they will probably involve graduate school of some kind.