During a recent trip to Washington, D.C., on March 23 and 24, Waynesburg University’s Stover Scholars met with several influential legal, political and journalist leaders including: U.S. Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA), United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Judge Kara Stoll, Georgetown University Law Center Professor Randy Barnett, former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioner Jeffrey Merrifield, Fox News talk show host Tucker Carlson, National Archives Historian Jessica Kratz, Economist Stephen Moore, and U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Victor J. Wolski.
The twenty Stover Scholars started their whirlwind tour on the Capitol steps with Representative Tim Murphy who discussed the future of healthcare and the healthcare reform bill. Following their conversation, Sophomore Scholar Christine Dawson noted, “As a nursing major currently taking a health care policy course, I found our conversation with Rep. Tim Murphy about the pending AHCA vote to be a wonderful real-time supplement to what I am learning in the classroom. Hearing from a legislator with a medical background who has sponsored a recently passed mental health bill inspired me to make my passion for quality patient care and adequate healthcare access heard in the public square.”
Next, the scholars visited Georgetown University Law Center and met with author and professor Randy Barnett to review constitutional law and his recent book, “Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People.” Sophomore Tyler McCoy commented, “As an undergraduate student interested in law school, having the opportunity to meet with Professor Barnett at Georgetown Law Center was an invaluable experience. It was especially valuable to see how he, a renowned legal theorist, interprets and analyzes our Constitution."
At the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Judge Kara Stoll discussed the excitement of being appointed to the court by President Obama and her background in engineering and law.
Jeffrey Merrifield, former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioner met with the students at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. Reflecting on their meeting, Senior Stover Scholar John Wicker said, “Mr. Merrifield had such a keen insight on solutions to further implement nuclear energy in our nation's energy portfolio. His fascinating nomination by President Bill Clinton as a Republican to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission opened several doors for him to make a significant impact for the future of energy in America."
Ending their first day in D.C., the Stover Scholars visited the Fox News headquarters and watched the live filming of the Tucker Carlson Tonight show. "It was a very surreal experience to sit no more than 20 feet from Tucker Carlson on his set as he debated on his late night show. Perhaps even more humbling was getting to talk with him briefly to realize the transparency of the individual; showing the same charisma and enthusiasm while interacting with us in person as he displays on live TV,” said junior scholar Vincent Morrow.
The following day, the scholars had an exclusive tour of the National Archives given by the historian Jessie Kratz. During the private session, the students were able to get an up close encounter with the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution and learn more about the extensive documents that the Archives is responsible for organizing. Addie Pazzynski, a senior Stover Scholar noted about the tour, “By remembering our past, and facing it in the form of documents and artifacts, we experience again and again the words and images that inspired and challenged our predecessors. This experience pushes me to reimagine, reinterpret, and relive what does and can make America a place of peace and equity.”
Finally, the group met with Economist Stephen Moore at The Heritage Foundation who detailed his experience working as a senior advisor to President Trump during the 2016 campaign and the current state of the economy.
Reflecting on the trip, senior scholar Paige Carter said, “The Stover Scholars are privileged to experience a D.C. not exemplified by the news, but one full of civic leaders who are driven by morality, tradition and a greater sense of purpose.”
Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, Director of the Stover Center and Assistant Professor of Ethics and Constitutional Law, commented, “The Stover Scholars gained profound insights about American legal, economic and energy policy from major political and constitutional players who openly shared their D.C. experiences with the scholars. Moreover, the students viewed the U.S. Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights in their own private viewing session, a truly remarkable moment.”
The Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership is a unique Waynesburg University program dedicated to transforming the political sphere in the context of Christian Ethics and American constitutionalism.
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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or firstname.lastname@example.org