How to Get Your Master’s Degree without the Leftist Slant
Ethan Madsen
May 5, 2022
How to Get Your Master’s Degree without the Leftist Slant
Your level of education often defines the opportunities available to you. The Monday after my graduation, I began working in an Amazon warehouse. During my initial training and orientation, senior management made it abundantly clear that the fast-track to promotion (a hot commodity considering the physical workload of the average employee) ran through the halls of higher education. Furthering your education while you balance an active professional life can be complicated when you're already well underway on your chosen career path. To further complicate things, you and I live in a world of political bias and rampant intolerance in academia. As a conservative, the idea of being constantly excluded on campus may be intimidating. The good news is, you have options when you're looking for that Master's degree. Today, I hope to help you overcome the limitations that an active work life and being a part of a philosophical minority can present as you look at graduate programs. Below, I will explore the opportunities provided by a few institutions known to be philosophically open, if not reliably conservative. 1. Hillsdale College School of Government Located in Washington, D.C., the Steve and Amy Van Andel School of Government is a graduate school run by Hillsdale College. The campus is within walking distance of the U.S. Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, and Union Station. The school's goal is to prepare its students to further the work of restoring constitutional self-government in the United States. The only program available is a Master of Arts (MA) in Government. Classes are offered in the evening, and Saturday seminars are provided to accommodate the working schedules of the attendees. The typical duration of the program is 2.5 to 3 years, and the average tuition and fees are $25,420. However, scholarships up to full tuition are readily available to accepted applicants.2. Liberty University Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University is a private evangelical university. It is known as a consistently conservative institution, with more than 87% of university employee's donations going to conservative candidates in the 2020 election, according to Leadership Institute's (LI) Campus Reform. The majority of the university's students attend virtually. As to the graduate programs offered, Liberty provides online tracks to obtain such degrees as: Juris Masters Master of Business Administration Master of Arts in: History Government Geography Military Operations The average tuition and fees for the graduate programs were $8,349 for the 2020-2021 academic year. For military service members, the price is reduced to $275-$300 per credit hour. 3. Purdue University Global Purdue Global is a public, non-profit university run by Purdue University. All courses are offered online, allowing for a personalized schedule. Purdue Global boasts of more than 25 areas of study, with degree options including the following: Master of Science in Legal Studies Master of Science in Management and Leadership Master of Science in Criminal Justice Master of Business AdministrationThe average cost of tuition and fees was $9,618 for in-state (Indiana) students and $10,674 for out-of-state students in the 2020-2021 academic year. For members of the military, Guard, Reserves, as well as veterans, tuition rates are cut by 14% to 30% per credit. Similarly, rates for military spouses are reduced by 10% per credit. 4. Texas Tech Texas Technical University is a public university in Lubbock, Texas. It is reliably conservative, with more than 58% of employee donations going to conservative candidates during the 2020 elections, according to Leadership Institute's Campus Reform. Texas Tech offers more than 100 master's degrees, 60 doctoral degrees, and 60 graduate certificate programs. Many options are available with in-person, online, and accelerated tracks to earn an MS, MA, MBA, PhD, or JD. For graduate programs, the average cost of in-state (Texas) tuition and fees was $9,350, or $17,530 for out-of-state. In comparison to the other universities on this list, Texas Tech provides more robust STEM training, as well as interdisciplinary degree options. 5. Baylor University Baylor University is a private Christian school located in Waco, Texas. It offers more than 100 post-graduate programs, with an average tuition of $36,936 during the 2020-2021 academic year. Apart from their in-person classes, Baylor offers a wide range of online programs. I've listed several here: MA in Journalism MSCS in Computer Science MBA in: General Cyber Security Executive Communication Global Trade and Supply Chain Management Marketing6. The Institute of World Politics The Institute of World Politics (IWP) is a graduate school located in Washington, D.C. It's focused on master's programs to equip leaders for national security, intelligence, and international affairs. The typical cost for a Master's degree is $67,600 for the full two year program, though IWP does grant scholarships and tuition discounts for military, military spouses, law enforcement, as well as federal government employees. Leadership Institute graduates can also get a $200 discount per credit hour. The Institute's mission shows a strong commitment to America's founding principles, reality-based foreign policy, and a solid sense of ethics. IWP offers several degrees, some in person in D.C. or VA, and others online. This includes a Master of Arts in: Statecraft and National Security Affairs Statecraft and International Affairs Strategic Intelligence StudiesNational Security Affairs Strategic and International Studies Statecraft and Strategy Are you interested in more university news? Visit Leadership Institute's Campus Reform website. If you'd like further help advancing your career, get advice and training with Leadership Institute's Career Team.
Meeting Moms for Liberty's Marie Rogerson, military brat, parent, and activist
Kirsten Holmberg
April 22, 2022
Meeting Moms for Liberty's Marie Rogerson, military brat, parent, and activist
"This story is being replicated in counties across the nation. Moms and dads are awake. They do not want to co-parent with the government, and they will not allow classroom doors to slam closed on their parental rights – and God bless them for it.” – Marie RogersonMeet Marie Rogerson, a Leadership Institute graduate, Campaign Management Consultant, and the Director of Development at Moms for Liberty. During my interview with Marie, we discussed her past involvement in non-profit organizations, her views on parental influence on local government, and experiences from her current role in Moms for Liberty. Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background?I'm a military brat. I've moved more than 30 times in my life. My father's military experience taught him to remain vigilant, and that extended into the arena of local politics. There were 6 of us kids, 4 boys, and 2 girls. My father paid extra attention to the goings-on at our school board. Even back in the mid-nineties, he realized education in America was going in the wrong direction and couldn't stand by without taking action. When I was about 13, he ran for school board. Mind you, we lived in basically the only blue county in the state of Kansas and my father was as conservative as they come. He knew he stood little chance, but he also understood that he could bring attention to key issues while exemplifying the importance of standing up for what you believe in. He didn't win, but I consider his run my first foray into politics. When I was 21, I served for 18 months as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, teaching the principles of Christ's liberty in the Spanish language. Serving in California, most of the individuals I taught were illegal immigrants. They told eye-opening stories about the corruption in their home countries and the lengths they went to cross the border. After my mission, I did a study abroad through Latin America and witnessed firsthand the places many of the people I taught came from. Both experiences deepened my appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy in America as well as the benefits of our free-market system. They also strengthened my empathy and gave me a human connection to an issue that I had previously only seen on the news as pundits speculated on the state of our border.Besides a brief stint as a Communications major, I mostly studied Political Science while at university. Unlike many professors today, mine were excellent at encouraging critical thinking rather than indoctrination. We discussed the political history of the world openly, and I walked away from the experience with a deep understanding of how entirely flawed systems like communism and socialism are.I finished my degree while pregnant with my first daughter. My husband Aaron and I have now been married for 15 years and have a total of 3 girls. Honestly, I owe most of who I am and what I've accomplished to him encouraging me to pursue my passions and continue to learn.You are the Director of Development at Moms for Liberty; what inspired you to get involved with this organization? Tina Descovich, one of the Co-Founders of Moms for Liberty is a close friend of mine. I helped manage her first campaign for school board. After we both lost our elections in 2020, we found ourselves with unexpected time on our hands and started a book club (for lack of a better word) to study the founding documents. We would dissect every word and phrase and discuss how the document applied to current events. It took us nearly six months, meeting twice a month, to read the Declaration of Independence. During that time Tina launched Moms for Liberty and asked me to help design a program around what we had been doing, which we now call Madison Meetups. Shortly after Moms for Liberty launched, one of the three founding members had to step back, and I was asked to take her place on the Executive Board. What was pitched to me as a “silent partner” position, has been anything but – which is good considering redheads aren't known for biting their tongues. After months of balancing our explosive growth, a demanding but adorable toddler, and my duties as Director of Operations for Foster Florida, I made the decision to resign from my paid job and cast my lot with moms in America, fighting for the survival of all we hold dear. While I had numerous attachments to the organization, there are two main things that tipped the scales for me in favor of Moms for Liberty. First, the grassroots focus. This isn't a national organization promising a magic 12-step program that will fix local schools. They understand that schools can only be fixed, with any lasting effect, by local people with the autonomy to take the fight in the direction they need. Our chapter leaders aren't paid activists, they already have skin in the game. The children they drop off at school every morning and pick up each afternoon are their motivation. Second, it isn't about merely drawing attention to the issue, it is about plugging parents in and helping them understand the system so they can fix it. There is plenty of conjecture and discussion about these issues; what we need are engagement and action. That is what Moms for Liberty brings to the table.Do you have any insightful stories about your work at Moms for Liberty? There is a mom whom I have known for several years. Since 2018, I've invited her to get involved in a number of ways without much success. When Moms for Liberty launched, she showed up at a chapter meeting. She then attended the next school board meeting. The following month, with trembling hands she addressed the school board for the first time. At each event I watched her come out of her shell as she found her people. She stood shoulder to shoulder with moms who also weren't exactly “political” people but were willing to learn together to preserve their parental rights. It is amazing to see these women don a navy shirt like armor and stand on the frontlines for their children. Almost a year later, this mom is boldly petitioning for what is right everywhere I look.This story is being replicated in counties across the nation. Moms and dads are awake. They do not want to co-parent with the government, and they will not allow classroom doors to slam closed on their parental rights – and God bless them for it.You are also a Campaign Consultant. How has Leadership Institute helped prepare you to ensure your candidates run successful campaigns? When the pandemic hit, like many people, my family began doing puzzles. It wasn't until we dumped out the first box and my daughter began attempting to put together random pieces that I realized no one had ever explained to her that you start with the edges then work your way in. She could have figured the puzzle out eventually, but she would have endured a lot of frustration in the process. Leadership Institute was like that for me. I had volunteered and worked on campaigns before, but until I sat through four full days of Campaign Management School, I was trying to solve a complicated puzzle by identifying patterns and putting random pieces together. Now I have the skills to organize effectively, mobilize, and win. We need more people capable of efficiently matching pieces to reveal beautiful images demonstrating how the principles of liberty can bless their communities.You were the Director of Operations for a non-profit serving the foster care community. What experience from that position has helped you in your current roles?My time with Foster Florida taught me about working on a board, the basics of running a non-profit, and most importantly the limit to parental rights. The goal when a child is first removed from their family and placed in care is reunification. That is not always the result, unfortunately. Even fundamental parental rights have limits. It has been a wonderful perspective enhancer to go from the world of foster care into the battle for parental rights. I have watched the anguish on a good mother's face as she was denied her parental rights temporarily due to poor choices as well as her joy when they were restored. I see the same anguish and joy on parents' faces now as the Director of Development for Moms for Liberty. The difference is that these parents did nothing to warrant the violation of their rights and were afforded much less due process.Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?Disillusionment is the feeling of disappointment from discovering something is not as good as it was believed to be. I do not believe you can be disillusioned with America. You can be disillusioned by its people and its leaders, but you cannot be disillusioned with it because it was literally founded on goodness – the idea that all men are created equal and deserve to live freely. What greater good could there be in a creation of man? America's leaders and its people may have made tragic mistakes along the way but that does not change the principle. If you find yourself disillusioned, you have likely lost sight of the mark. Focus less on the mistakes of man, and more on the divine principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Spend more time doing things that reinforce those principles and the light of hope will grow in your life. Manage your expectations, people have always been flawed. Find a principle that is not and hang on to it for dear life.Are you ready to take action and learn how the puzzle fits together, so you can make a difference? Check out the Campaign Management School Marie says gave her “the skills to organize effectively, mobilize, and win.” If you're looking for training you can take online on demand – including a free one on school boards – you can find a whole list of on-demand training here.
Meet Nicole Neily: Founder and President of Parents Defending Education
Kirsten Holmberg
March 25, 2022
Meet Nicole Neily: Founder and President of Parents Defending Education
Meet Nicole Neily, a successful conservative organizational entrepreneur who saw a problem on a college campus and took action to be the solution. In our recent interview, Nicole and I discussed her experience founding two conservative non-profits – Parents Defending Education and Speech First.Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background?I'm originally from the Chicago suburbs and went to graduate school at Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy, where I read Milton Friedman and realized that the free market was a more effective way to help people with dignity. After moving from California to DC, I worked at a series of advocacy organizations including the Cato Institute, the Independent Women's Forum, and the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. In 2017, I launched Speech First, a campus free speech organization that defends students' First Amendment rights primarily through litigation – and in March 2021, I launched Parents Defending Education!As the founder and president of Parents Defending Education, what inspired you to start your organization?While running Speech First, it struck me that a lot of the problems on campus seemed to start a lot earlier – for example, students arriving on campus didn't really understand the First Amendment because they hadn't received a proper civics education in high school. At the start of the pandemic, a number of my friends who are parents reached out from across the country to express their frustration with school closures, and I was really struck by how disenfranchised parents were – and how little they knew about how to effect change. From there, the thing that really flipped the switch for me was reading a July 2020 Wall Street Journal interview with the superintendent of a district in the Chicago suburbs – near where I grew up – who said he would allow “black and brown” students to return for in-person education before white students in the name of “anti-racism.” I told a friend that I wanted to start Speech First for K-12 schools and to sue the district, because such a practice would be unconstitutional! He was supportive of the idea but countered “unfortunately most people don't know that's unconstitutional – you might need to start from a different place.” So, we started building things out from a slightly different place – to tell people what their rights are, so they know where the red lines are. That way if (or more likely, when) those lines are crossed, they know that something has to be done – and then we walk them through options on how to engage constructively!Do you have any insightful stories about leading Parents Defending Education?I'm a firm believer in the saying “sunshine is the best disinfectant,” which is why we've seen outlets like Leadership Institute's Campus Reform make such an impact! We have a tip line and receive 100-200 tips each week from across the country, which is absolutely astonishing. Nearly every single person who sends us information wants to be anonymous, because they fear retaliation not only against themselves, but also against their children. We vet and fact-check everything and tell their stories – that way WE get the hate mail, not them! An interesting trend that we've noticed is that after we expose an incident at a school and it's publicized, we often have other people from that community reach out to us and let us know that there are other problems too – which is how we ended up compiling enough evidence about a district in Massachusetts that we filed a federal lawsuit, which was settled in early February. Unfortunately, many administrators are used to getting away with murder behind closed doors. We want to change that equation. By exposing what's really going on, we are able to hold those individuals accountable for their decisions – and change the risk calculus for others who might want to get away with similar hijinks in the future.You have worked at many limited government-focused organizations. How has the Leadership Institute (LI) helped prepare you for your important roles in public policy organizations? Without a doubt, I could not have been successful at Speech First without the Leadership Institute's help! The regional coordinators' knowledge of the landscape at each university was invaluable – they knew the heads of every student organization and each leader's strengths and weaknesses, and were able to make introductions and suggestions as issues developed. I think of LI as being the early warning system thanks to their on-the-ground knowledge – and of course, we cited LI's Campus Reform articles in Speech First's lawsuits repeatedly! Over the years, I've worked with a number of people who have participated in LI trainings and workshops, and I so appreciate how the Leadership Institute has helped to professionalize early-career staffers to make them more effective advocates!You were the president of Speech First, what experience did you gain from that position?Speech First was the opportunity of a lifetime. I was able to be an entrepreneur for freedom and build a 501(c)3 from scratch – what could be better? I'm married to a constitutional litigator, so I'm definitely a fan of leveraging the courts to protect our freedoms – but also to fight these battles in the court of public opinion as well. I got to be a jack of all trades – raising money, speaking to students, working with phenomenal appellate attorneys, and going on TV & radio to raise awareness about the problems plaguing our country's colleges & universities.Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?Many conservatives have focused so exclusively on the federal level that they've neglected state and local politics – but as the past two years of the pandemic has shown us, your state and city have a huge amount of power over your day-to-day life! Dick Armey used to say “politics goes to he who shows up,” and it's time for everyone to show up and get involved. That being said, “being involved” means different things to different people – and that's ok. Even doing something as minor as keeping an eye on what's happening in your local school district and passing on an anonymous tip to us helps to improve accountability and oversight in our schools – which will lead to better outcomes for ALL children.If you, like Nicole, see the problems our nation faces and you want to make a difference, take a look at the Leadership Institute's new training How and Why To Start Your Own Conservative Organization. This intense, one-day training will be hosted in Arlington, VA on April 20th, and is designed to equip you to take your idea for an organization from your imagination to successful implementation.
Steven Sutton: Navy, Campaign, Hill, Non-Profit - Advice from 30+ Years of Experience
Kirsten Holmberg
January 28, 2022
Steven Sutton: Navy, Campaign, Hill, Non-Profit - Advice from 30+ Years of Experience
“Democracy is not a spectator sport to be watched from the sidelines. It is participatory and a civic obligation to be involved at some level. We have ceded the battlefield to the left for too long. It is time to take it back.” - Steven SuttonMeet Steven Sutton, Senior Vice President of the Leadership Institute.In my recent interview, Steven and I discussed his 30+ years of political experience, on both conservative campaigns and non-profits. He gives his advice on everything from fundraising to campaign leadership and offers stern words for conservatives who aren't involved in the political process.What motivated you to get involved in conservative politics?As a junior officer in the Navy stationed at the Pentagon in the mid-1980s, I began to research different investment opportunities, for example, real estate and stocks. Almost universally, professionals I spoke with or read about cautioned that whatever might seem like a good investment could be turned into a bad investment by politicians who might change the laws, sometimes retroactively, governing various types of investments.That concerned me and led me to learn more about politics. The more I learned, the more I concluded that electing conservatives to public office was important.You currently serve as the Senior Vice President at the Leadership Institute (LI). Can you tell me more about your work? What would you like readers to know about the Leadership Institute?As Senior Vice President, my focus is to use my 30+ years of political, campaign, Capitol Hill, and conservative non-profit management and leadership experience to train and mentor future conservative leaders. Whether it's one-on-one or as part of an organization, I'm available to help anyone who is interested...just contact me at 703-647-3340.Regarding the Leadership Institute, there is no finer organization which exists to help conservatives advance their personal and professional goals. LI is truly the human resources department of the conservative movement.When you were the Vice President for Development, revenue rose from $7 million per year (2010) to $24 million (2020). What was the key to that success?Learning and implementing best practices and creating a culture of respect for LI's donors. Any organization with a record of successful programs can have similar success in fundraising if they do the same.Having managed numerous political campaigns from city council to U.S. Congress, what would you tell a first-time campaign manager?It is almost certain that a first-time campaign manager will not be taken as seriously as someone with more experience. That will lead to much frustration as your recommendations may not be followed by the candidate. Try to make allies on the campaign's steering committee and finance committee and work closely with them to implement your ideas. If you can't convince someone close to the candidate that your ideas have merit, you will be unlikely to convince the candidate on your own. Have the senior-level ally who is close to the candidate advocate for your ideas.Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?If smart, capable, conservative people refuse to get involved, they will be governed by stupid, inept, liberal people...and deserve to be.Democracy is not a spectator sport to be watched from the sidelines. It is participatory and a civic obligation to be involved at some level. We have ceded the battlefield to the left for too long. It is time to take it back.If you're interested in learning more about campaigns, fundraising, or leadership, go to LeadershipInstitute.org/Training and take your next step to get involved in the political process.
LI Grad Interview: From LI intern to Heritage Foundation VP, Andrew McIndoe Furthers Faith and Freedom
Kirsten Holmberg and Mark Madsen
December 22, 2021
LI Grad Interview: From LI intern to Heritage Foundation VP, Andrew McIndoe Furthers Faith and Freedom
Meet Andrew McIndoe, a former Leadership Institute (LI) intern, current LI faculty, and the highly successful Vice President of Development at The Heritage Foundation.In my recent interview with Andrew McIndoe, we discussed his experience working for Morton Blackwell and how Andrew sees the trajectory of conservative politics. Andrew left me reenergized to further the principles of faith and freedom, not just in my professional life but in all that I do.Can you tell me a bit about yourself?I was born and raised in Oak Ridge, North Carolina. I spent 18 years there before making my way to Grove City College in western Pennsylvania. Then I moved to DC right after graduation, and after doing a few internships I landed at The Heritage Foundation where I have worked for almost ten years. As a former LI intern and now Vice President at one of the leading conservative think tanks, when did you become interested in the world of policy and politics?My earliest political memory is doing “kids' voting” with my dad. We went into a little kids' booth that's much shorter than a regular booth. And I just thought it was so cool that we could go and have a say. It was neat because you felt like you were able to contribute. Even at a young age, I could feel the weight of fulfilling one of the most important civic duties.I don't remember a ton of political conversations around the dining room table. Though we must have had some, because I ended up working on a congressional campaign in high school. I attribute that to the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School (YLS).I took a YLS binder from the Leadership Institute and basically ripped it off and presented it to this candidate and said, “You need to have a youth campaign.” Working on a campaign plus doing a lot of speech and debate is how I entered electoral politics.I remember finding Heritage Foundation research and reading it over and saying, “Wow I agree with a lot of this stuff. This is cool.” It quickly became my go-to source for evidence in the speech and debate world and later in my studies. I never dreamed or thought about working at Heritage someday.What important skills were you able to develop through your Leadership Institute internship?During my time at the Leadership Institute, I was fortunate to be Morton Blackwell's intern. Morton is an exemplar of good character in the conservative movement, and through him I learned the importance of having integrity in all that you do.This experience working for Morton showed me that I could have a career advancing freedom, liberty, and the principles that make this country great. If it wasn't for that realization, I'd probably be out selling widgets and figuring out how to make a certain product faster or better. But instead, I found that there is great fulfillment and opportunity in supporting the free market and limited government and winning new audiences over to our side.And then the actual vocation and the actual work too. To realize that you could get paid to advance the cause of freedom was a remarkable lightbulb moment. I'm a lot more fulfilled working in the conservative space than I would have been if I had started in the private sector like a lot of my classmates.What were the most useful LI trainings for you? Getting to go to every single training that LI offered during that summer was a great perk of the internship, and I did my best to take as many as I could. Certainly, the Comprehensive Fundraising Training was an important one. I wasn't thinking about development as a full-time profession at that point, but looking back, that is one that I think is great even if you don't think fundraising is in your future. I learned what good donor relations looks like. Again, I think about Morton's rule: You can't save the world if you can't pay the rent.As a leader within the conservative movement, who are some of the people who helped you most to get where you are today? I'll just praise Morton Blackwell. He lives out his laws of the public policy process. What he says about "expanding the leadership” and “giving them a title and getting them involved” is great. I believe that he exhibited that advice well with me as an intern. While getting to work on special projects for him, he would share his wisdom and advice. He played an instrumental role in guiding me into the conservative movement and taught me some of those early lessons that have made all the difference in my career. I'm particularly grateful to Morton for that.As the Vice President of Development for The Heritage Foundation, what has your position taught you about the conservative movement?It wouldn't be a surprise for you to hear me say that the best ideas and solutions don't come from inside of DC – they don't come from the swamp – they come from outside the beltway. They come from people who have met payroll before, who have invented something, who made something of themselves. We need to bring more of those ideas and more of those people into the solutions here in DC.I think that too often our movement is focused on what happens inside of the beltway. And so, with 500,000 Heritage members across the country, a couple thousand in every congressional district, you need to speak into what's going on in the policy-making process and get them a channel or vehicle to do that. Are there changes we should be on guard for as a movement looking forward? First, I think the movement is about a lot more than just one person. It's about policies, and we need to winsomely articulate what those policies mean and tell really great stories about what it means for people on an individual basis.We've got a huge opportunity in a post-Covid education space, and if we don't take advantage of that we will have missed a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the conversation about education. That's something I'm concerned about. So, if we can't present an alternative that's compelling and empowers parents to make good decisions for their own kids, I think we've done a disservice to the moment that exists right now.Second is a tendency to preach to the choir. I think the Leadership Institute does a great job of training people to not do this. We need to go out to non-traditional audiences, people who aren't in the pews already, and bring them into the fold. And we've got an opportunity with the wide variety of issues to do that. We need to speak to people about what's happening in their local communities. A lot of apolitical people are fired up right now, and we should look for more opportunities to highlight the contrast between the bankrupt policies of the left and the policies on the right that advance freedom and prosperity.What is an underutilized resource that we have as conservatives? I think that conservatives should be proud to put bumper stickers on their cars and yard signs in their front yards and not be ashamed of those things. We need to just embrace who we are and be willing to step out and say, “No, conservatives are not three-headed monsters. Just because I believe in school choice and believe in lower taxes doesn't make me a crazy person.” But too often I think we feel self-conscious because of the way that the mainstream media portrays issues, the way we are taught in our schools, the way that conservatives are portrayed in Hollywood. It's easy for us to feel like we are a silent minority. But we are really just a more silent majority.The Leadership Institute believes that all politics are local. And LI, before anyone else, understood the importance of school board elections and city council races, mayoral races, state senate races, etc. More of these battles are happening at the local level, and so the Leadership Institute's focus on training local leaders to step up and to serve in more of these important races is a massive comparative advantage and is of huge strategic importance to the conservative movement. Those are reasons that I am a donor to the Leadership Institute as well.What would you say to the people who feel apathetic about politics?I think it's easy to look around and be discouraged. You look at inflation and prices soaring, and it hurts people at the gas pump and grocery stores. It especially hurts the people who are having a hard time making ends meet. You look at a botched withdrawal in Afghanistan that was completely avoidable. You look at all the legislation being passed that contains hundreds of billions in wasteful spending, at critical race theory and transgender ideology permeating culture in schools and it's understandable for people to feel discouraged. But then, on the other hand, you look at what happened in the Virginia gubernatorial race. One candidate said that parents should have a say in their children's education, that you shouldn't have to wait for hours in line at the DMV, and that decisions shouldn't be made solely in Richmond.This candidate won dramatically in a state that has not been trending in the right direction. So, I think there's great reason to be encouraged by the fact that Americans are waking up. They don't believe in critical race theory. They believe that America is an exceptional nation and that our founders should be appreciated and revered.We should expect great things in 2022, and I think at this point it's ours to lose. And so, I hope that for those who have felt apathetic or discouraged in the past you can look at some of these things that have happened lately and get a bit more pep in your step and be encouraged because there are great reasons to be. If Andrew's words encouraged you to get involved in your local elections next year to send America back in the right direction, sign up for a Leadership Institute 2022 training. You'll learn how you and your conservative community can make a difference.
Disney Fan and California Girl, Madison Marks-Noble helps college students have a voice on campus
Alyssa Jones
December 1, 2021
Disney Fan and California Girl, Madison Marks-Noble helps college students have a voice on campus
Meet California girl Madison Marks-Noble. A Disney lover and fervent conservative activist, Madison loves to encourage college students and give them the resources and network to find their voices on campus. Madison is from Fresno, California. She graduated from San Diego State University. Madison is the Leadership Institute (LI) Regional Field Coordinator for California and Hawaii. She shows selflessness in her work and wants students to become humble leaders. How does your job fulfill you?I get to make an impact in my community and my state. Many see California as a lost cause, but there are young people fighting for conservative principles every day on campus. Traveling around this beautiful state is also a great perk! Outside of the Leadership Institute, what are some things that you enjoy?A few things I enjoy are true crime podcasts and anything Disney. Everyone is so drawn to true crime, and I have hopped on the bandwagon! It passes the time on my long drives to various parts of the state. Disneyland is special to me because some of my best memories are from childhood family trips to Disneyland. My dad and I had always loved the park's history and how magical a place it is. I have been an annual pass holder since 2017, and it is a great escape from stress!As a Leadership Institute Regional Field Coordinator (RFC), you work with students daily who are where you were just a few years ago. How do you use your position not just to give resources, but to inspire them as young conservatives? It's great for students to host speakers and fun activism events, but honestly, the most important things I can do as an RFC are empower them and give them confidence. A lot of conservative students in college feel alone. When they bring up their politics on campus, it can result in rejection. Without visible conservative peers, some students start to censor themselves. I want students in LI's network to leave college knowing they have a voice and that they matter to the conservative movement. They should move into their career - in whatever field they choose - empowered with leadership abilities they learned working with their campus groups.How has the Leadership Institute impacted your life?The Leadership Institute gave me my first job after college - as a field representative and now as an RFC helping college students. I had zero political connections or experience, and LI gave me the chance to work hard and work my way up. Working here has also taught me how important it is to be movement-minded. In politics, it's very easy to get caught up in what "you" do and "your" accomplishments, but LI is not here to self-promote. As Morton says, "build a movement, not an empire." I keep that in mind constantly. Do you think what you have learned at the Leadership Institute will help you in other areas of life?I've learned that you can apply almost any skill regarding grassroots organizing to anything you do. Recruitment and being a people person are valuable skills for any job or position in life. Problem-solving is useful. When students consult with me about an issue in their club or with the school administration, my mind is trained to think outside the box to find solutions to a multitude of problems. Public speaking is also very useful, and while I've had tons of public speaking experience throughout my life, I can never practice too much.So, absolutely. I've gained many invaluable skills. Are you a college student in California or Hawaii? Contact Madison for help. You can find more information about getting help on your campus at LeadershipInstitute.org/Campus.
LI Grad Interview: Dog Owner, Political Activist, Florida Senate Staffer
Kirsten Holmberg
November 23, 2021
LI Grad Interview: Dog Owner, Political Activist, Florida Senate Staffer
"Learn about what is happening in your community and get to know your neighbors. National politics attracts the most attention, but big decisions are being made in your backyard by city and county leaders."Meet Natalie Brown, a Leadership Institute (LI) graduate and Legislative Assistant for Florida State Senator Danny Burgess. I recently interviewed Natalie and heard about her experience as a Legislative Assistant, her advice for conservative activists, and how the Leadership Institute's internship and training helped her become the political activist she is today. Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background? I became interested in politics in high school while participating in a program called Youth in Government. In 2016, I graduated from Florida State University with a degree in economics and moved to Arlington, VA, where I participated in the Koch Associate Program and worked in communications for Concerned Veterans for America.After surviving two blizzards, I returned to Florida. I've been with the Florida Senate as a Legislative Assistant since 2018. I live in Lakeland, Florida, with my husband Ethan and our dog Spock. You currently work as a legislative assistant for Florida State Senator Danny Burgess. How did your work with the Leadership Institute (LI) help prepare you for that job?This year will be my sixth Legislative Session and my second with Senator Danny Burgess. Since my time at the Leadership Institute, I have seen all 45 Laws of the Public Policy Process in action. One of my favorites is Rule 33: "Governing is campaigning by different means." Everything we do at the state level is scrutinized by other elected officials, the media, and most importantly, our constituents. As an LI intern, I was able to attend a variety of Leadership Institute schools and workshops. I use lessons from LI's Public Relations School every day. I even have the sample press release from PR School to show my interns every year. Do you have any insightful stories about working in the Florida Senate? As one Senator often says, the Florida House is an Army with a few leaders and a large infantry, but the Senate is 40 warlords forced to work together to accomplish anything.It is the truth. With only 40 members, the Senate is a small, collegial body. Some of the smaller committees have five members, so every vote matters. Every Senator has to work with their colleagues, and it's a very collaborative environment. Unfortunately, most Floridians don't know that and expect Democrats and Republicans to be at each other's throats on the Senate floor. You used to work as a Digital Communications and External Affairs Intern for the Leadership Institute. What experience did you gain from that position? My time at the Leadership Institute taught me so much about public service, but being the Digital Communications and External Affairs intern gave me the chance to develop specific skills. I learned graphic design, public relations, and social media management. I also wrote blog posts and email copy for the different training divisions. In my current role, I use much of that experience. I regularly write and send newsletters and press releases. I manage my Senator's social media accounts and write speeches and talking points. Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?I encourage everyone to log off of social media and get involved at the local level. Learn about what is happening in your community and get to know your neighbors. National politics attracts the most attention, but big decisions are being made in your backyard by city and county leaders. Use your voice to improve your community and develop relationships with other community leaders through civic and service organizations. Make it personal. Share your experience. Why do you care about this issue? If you are sharing your opinion with your state legislators or your congressman, do a little research. Do they sit on a committee where the bill will be heard? Have they already voted on the issue? If so, did they share why they voted for or against legislation? (You'd be surprised how many calls we get asking us to tell a senator to vote against their own bill.) Share how the proposed legislation affects your livelihood or your family. Sending a form letter via email is a drop in the bucket, but a personal email detailing your experiences or concerns will get attention, sometimes even a phone call. This interview is from the Leadership Institute's Political and Fundraising Monthly Newsletter. When you sign up for this newsletter, you get articles on the latest in politics, interviews like this one, and you'll be the first to know about LI's political and fundraising training opportunities. Don't miss out! Sign up here.
Campus Leader turned Campus Resource, Michigander Monika Konrad shows college students how to make their mark
Alyssa Jones
November 15, 2021
Campus Leader turned Campus Resource, Michigander Monika Konrad shows college students how to make their mark
Meet Michigander Monika Konrad. She thrifts, campaigns, prays, and shows college students how to make their mark. Monika is a Leadership Institute (LI) Regional Field Coordinator who helps college students in Michigan and Wisconsin. Monika is from Chesterfield, Michigan and earned degrees in political science and international relations from the University of Michigan upon her graduation in 2019.Monika believes in saying yes to opportunity. She teaches Leadership Institute students how to find those opportunities throughout the conservative movement. In her answers, Monika shows that she cares about building up the next generation of young conservatives. What first drew your interest to the conservative movement? I was fairly apolitical throughout high school. The summer of 2016, after my first year of college, I was offered the opportunity to intern on a congressional campaign in my home district for a conservative state senator. Throughout that summer, I was exposed to conservative ideas and discussion that resonated with me. I realized that my beliefs and values aligned best with the conservative movement. After that, I invested my time in conservative groups on campus and in the community. I went on to intern for various conservative leaders, organizations, and campaigns, and then worked full-time in the movement following graduation.What is your favorite event that you have helped students put together, and why? My favorite event so far has been working with Turning Point USA at Lake Superior State University to host the Michigan Abolitionist Project for a speaker event on preventing human trafficking. Through this event, I think that more students have also developed a heart to bring awareness of this issue to their campus. Students are eager to learn how they can make a positive impact on their community and what they can do to make a difference on their campus. How has the Leadership Institute impacted your life? Over the years, the Leadership Institute has been an integral part of my conservative career. In college, my LI Regional Field Coordinator (RFC) guided me through the process to start a chapter of Network of Enlightened Women, which helped me make my mark on my campus. During my time as field staff for one of our partner organizations, the LI staff members I collaborated with were always so kind and helpful. After my time managing a political campaign, I was looking to move to the Washington, D.C. area. A job offer from the Leadership Institute allowed me to follow my dreams of moving to D.C. The people I have met since working for LI have become lifelong friends. I have been able to network with D.C. locals that I would not have met had I not come to work at the Leadership Institute.Outside of work, what are some things that you enjoy?I love adventuring around the DC area, thrifting, attending DC networking and educational events, spending time outdoors, and traveling. One of the best parts about being a Regional Field Coordinator (RFC) is that there is a lot of opportunity to travel around the country, whether for one of our Student Activism Conferences or to work a table at a partner organization's conference.What is your advice to students who hope for a career in DC or the conservative movement?Apply for the job, network, and get involved. I interned in DC in 2017, graduated in 2019, and moved to DC in 2021. I interned in DC in 2017 and it was the best decision I could have made. Due to COVID, my initial move to DC was slightly delayed, but when I finally moved, I had a feeling of relief and realization that this is where I was meant to be. I had been praying and praying for an opportunity to move to DC during uncertain times, and LI was the biggest blessing.My advice is simple. Pray about it. If you feel called to make the move, take the risk. The conservative movement has so many different opportunities and there are numerous pathways you can take to be successful in whatever field you want to pursue. If you need an internship, apply for the program at the Leadership Institute!Are you a college student in Michigan or Wisconsin? Contact Monica for help. You can find more information about getting an internship or job at the Leadership Institute at LeadershipInstitute.org/Jobs.
Avid Fisherman and North Carolinian, Ryan Glennon Helps College Students Make a Difference
Alyssa Jones
November 8, 2021
Avid Fisherman and North Carolinian, Ryan Glennon Helps College Students Make a Difference
Meet Ryan Glennon, Leadership Institute (LI) Regional Field Coordinator. Ryan helps college students in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Ryan is from North Carolina and holds two Bachelor's degrees and a Master's degree from North Carolina State University. Ryan first got involved with the Leadership Institute when he attended an LI Youth Leadership School. Ryan felt empowered by LI's training and began his career at the Leadership Institute as a Summer 2020 intern. Upon the completion of his internship, Ryan was hired to be an LI Regional Field Coordinator. I recently interviewed Ryan to discuss favorite aspects of his career and learn about how the Leadership Institute continues to build the conservative movement on college campuses across the nation. In his answers, Ryan shows that he truly enjoys his career and genuinely cares about the success of his students and their campus movements.Outside of the Leadership Institute, what are some things you enjoy?I have loved to fish since I was a little kid. It was something that my Dad and I have always enjoyed together, and it is still something that brings me immense joy. I fished tournaments with the bass fishing team in college. It's a very challenging sport that teaches you adversity and patience, but it can also be a relaxing activity with friends and family.How does your job fulfil you?The biggest thing is just seeing the groups I have helped make a difference.Starting groups has given a lot of people a sense of direction in college along with community and friendship. That is so important, and it goes beyond politics.What is your favorite event that you have helped students put together, and why?The Cabot Philips speech at Liberty University (October 2021) and the Andres Guilarte speech at Virginia Tech (February 2021) were both pretty great. Both events attracted more than 100 attendees and were the two of the best speeches I have ever heard. There was a lot of enthusiasm. It generated a lot of support for what groups were doing on campus. Students gained confidence in what they were doing and their abilities, and it created a lot more conversation on campus.There is nothing like a solid speaker event to really drive up the enthusiasm, get people involved, and stay involved. These events create excitement.As a Regional Field Coordinator, you work with students daily who are where you were just a few years ago. How do you use your position to inspire them as young conservatives? I try to figure out what they want to accomplish. From that moment forward, I come up with a plan to help them start and build a club. I help them realize I am there to be a resource. I am invested in their efforts and success.I am there to help and guide them, give them advice and opportunities, and motivate them.I've seen a lot of people just appreciate the fact that someone came along and helped. When I was a chapter leader, any kind of help I got was exciting. It goes a long way when I say “Hey, I'm Ryan. I'm here to help your club. What can I do?”How did the Leadership Institute change your life?Nothing helped me more than attending a Leadership Institute training and learning how to be effective. It has helped me in my job and has helped me guide and instruct others to make a huge impact on campuses.Training yourself and investing in your own knowledge and competence leads directly to helping others and improving their effectiveness.That's the beauty of LI trainings. You take what you know and spread it to others, who spread it to other leaders, and the process continues. It creates a well-trained movement.Do you think that what you have learned at the Leadership Institute will help you in other areas of life?Absolutely. Working at the Leadership Institute and being able to network and communicate with dozens of student leaders, guide events, and speak at trainings personally has helped me build my confidence as a leader, mentor, trainer, and public speaker.This job has helped me learn to work independently to achieve my goals and see work pay off. It has helped me build meaningful relationships.Are you a college student in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, or Delaware? Contact Ryan for help. You can find more information about getting a job at the Leadership Institute at LeadershipInstitute.org/Jobs.
Campus Reform’s Correspondent Director, Kate Hirzel is Leadership Institute’s Employee of the Quarter
Carol Wehe Cocks
October 28, 2021
Campus Reform’s Correspondent Director, Kate Hirzel is Leadership Institute’s Employee of the Quarter
On October 26, 2021, Morton Blackwell announced Kate Hirzel as Leadership Institute's Employee of the Quarter.Speaking to a room full of Leadership Institute (LI) staff in LI's Stephen P.J. Wood Building in Arlington, VA, Morton said:“Since joining LI in March 2021, Kate has grown the Campus Reform Correspondent Program from fewer than 50 to 159 correspondents, representing 37 states plus D.C. and 114 colleges and universities.“Not only has Kate set a record for the number of correspondents, but she has also improved the quality of experience for correspondents, facilitating quality training and networking opportunities with notable Campus Reform alumni.“Thank you, Kate, and congratulations.”Join Morton and the rest of Leadership Institute staff congratulating Kate on a job well done.If you're interested in working with Kate to become a Campus Correspondent for Leadership Institute's Campus Reform, you can apply here. The Leadership Institute's Campus Reform Campus Correspondent Program recruits, cultivates, and pays conservative student journalists all across the country to investigate and report liberal abuses and bias on college campuses throughout their state.These student contributors, working as investigative reporters, will work hand-in-hand with Campus Reform's team of professional journalists to develop their writing and reporting skills, build a professional network, and get published in national media outlets.
LI Grad Interview: Homeschooled Farm Kid, City Councilman, Generation Joshua Mentor
Kirsten Holmberg
October 21, 2021
LI Grad Interview: Homeschooled Farm Kid, City Councilman, Generation Joshua Mentor
“My town was in desperate need of honest, careful, and principled leadership. So, I put my hat in the ring, ran the race as a local political unknown, and — by God's grace and a lot of hard work — won a seat on the council.” Meet Joel Grewe, Leadership Institute (LI) graduate and faculty, and Executive Director at Home School Legal Defense Association Action.I recently interviewed Joel to learn about his background, what drove him to get involved in local politics in Purcellville, Virginia, and his work as Executive Director at Home School Legal Defense Association Action. Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background?I am just a farm kid who doesn't like farming, has a strong justice streak, and cares about people who are hurting. I grew up in Spokane, Washington, got married in 2004, and now my wife and I have three amazing, rambunctious boys. I worked in demographic research and got interested in politics back during Newt Gingrich's Contract with America. My dad is a local lawyer, and my grandpa was connected with local politics, so I had a ring-side seat to the work of unseating House Speaker Foley. I've been involved in the conservative political movement ever since. Is it true that in the 6th grade you convinced your mother to homeschool you? Could you tell me a little bit about that?Absolutely! My mom is an awesome lady, though she was a bit intimidated at the idea of homeschooling me. At the end of 6th grade, I was bored in school, and I asked my mom to homeschool me. She said she thought she wasn't up to the task. I responded that I would homeschool myself if needed, but I desperately needed to be let out of that school building. We struck a deal, and I never went back. Homeschooling was an incredible advantage for me growing up. You're currently the Executive Director at Home School Legal Defense Association Action; tell me a little about that organization and why you decided to get involved.Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is the national legal defense and advocacy organization for homeschoolers—they help make homeschooling possible. HSLDA Action is the sister organization of HSLDA: we handle the federal advocacy, political work, two Political Action Committees, and Generation Joshua, our youth civics education and engagement program. As a homeschool graduate, I feel privileged to help ensure homeschooling is free and possible for future generations. What inspired you to run for city council in Purcellville? It was actually one of my Generation Joshua students, who, as I recall, is also a recipient of Leadership Institute training. My wonderful little town of Purcellville, VA, went through a cascade of scandals back in 2016, all the way through 2018. Purcellville ended up on the front page of the Washington Post—twice—and not for good reasons. As the scandals mounted and the problems facing the town grew, that student—now my friend—asked to chat with me. He came to my house with the copy of the Washington Post and asked me a question. He said, “Joel, you talk a lot about how important it is that good people be involved in government, and how if they don't, bad things happen.” I responded: “Yes I do.” He continued, “Well, considering the situation that Purcellville is in, is that just something you say, or do you actually believe it?” It was a blunt challenge, and it wasn't like I hadn't put my time in. I'd helped train more than 25,000 students and coordinated political efforts to reach more than eight million voters. But he was right: my town was in desperate need of honest, careful, and principled leadership. So I put my hat in the ring, ran the race as a local political unknown, and—by God's grace and a lot of hard work—won a seat on the council. How did the Leadership Institute (LI) training you received help you in running for public office?The first LI class I ever took was the Future Candidate School, back in 2008. The class was the crucial step I needed to think about what my life would need to look like in running for office: it gave me the perspective to understand what the commitment of campaigning for office requires. That was a crucial part of both assembling my team for office (with other LI graduates) and communicating what taking this on would mean for my wife and boys. I couldn't have done this without their support — and without a clear view of what it would take, we couldn't have been ready to weather the challenges we faced. I regularly quote lessons from my LI training to my interns, my policy staff, and myself. I have taken a host of LI classes, and although it does not make me, as the candidate, the expert in every part of my campaign, I understand what each part does, why it is important, and how to prioritize it and discuss every issue with understanding. Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?I would first tell them that freedom is messy, that we don't get it right all the time, that we often don't get it right the first time, but that we never get it right if people don't engage. I know it seems like engaging our civic—well, I would say “discourse,” but that is too polite a word, so let's call it our civic “arena” — feels like it's fraught with peril. And that's not always a wrong assessment. It's messy and dangerous and rather vicious as of late. But in times like these we must engage – because these moments in history are when freedom needs its defenders the most. If you are ever going to get involved, get involved when the fighting is hot, and the need is dire. People who work for freedom only during smooth seas and fair winds are, at best, fair-weather friends of freedom. We need people committed to the virtue of freedom — the idea that it is better to be free than unfree, always — and who are willing to stand in support of it. Our country and our future deserve nothing less.This interview is from the Leadership Institute's Political and Fundraising Monthly Newsletter. When you sign up for this newsletter, you get articles on the latest in politics, interviews like this one, and you'll be the first to know about LI's political and fundraising training opportunities. Don't miss out! Sign up here.
How to be a Better Manager, a Conversation with Ben Woodward
Caleb Pascoe
October 19, 2021
How to be a Better Manager, a Conversation with Ben Woodward
I recently sat down with Ben Woodward at the Leadership Institute (LI) to discuss best management practices. Originally from the United Kingdom, Ben's track record of success at the Leadership Institute started when he joined LI as an intern during the summer of 2015.In Ben's five years at LI, he was promoted from intern, to Career Services Coordinator, to Deputy Director of Career Services, to his present role as Director of Communications Trainings. In his last few weeks at LI before starting a new position at Deloitte Insights & Solutions, Ben gave some important advice on how to be a great manager.Making the move from internship to management is a long track, but what are the biggest take-aways from your time as an intern, a career services coordinator, and a manager?You always learn how to be a manager even when you're not a manager.You observe bosses you have that are good and bosses that are bad. I learned some key things from different bosses that I had.When I was an intern, my supervisor had a real commitment to excellence. She taught me to pay attention to those small details that matter, and the importance of following the standards set by the organization.As a manager, one of the key things I learned was to set an example for your staff. If you're showing up late to work, your staff will start showing up late to work. If you start leaving early your staff will start leaving early. So, you've got to set the standards, because people will look to you for how they should behave.As I supervised more interns, I gradually learned a lot. Setting expectations early on is key. Also, learning what the author Kim Scott calls radical candor, which is being very honest in the feedback you give. You have to be kind, but honest. Being able to say, ‘here's what I liked about your project, here is what you should do differently.' Or, if there is time in an ideal world, you tell them what they should do differently, and you let them go away and fix those things for themselves.What recommendations do you have for people to overcome the fear of overseeing other people for the first time?Good managers do their subordinates no favors if they fail to be honest. You're their boss and their mentor, and your job is to get them up to the standards that the company expects of them.First time managers -- change your mindset about the nature of the work you are doing.As a manager, your job goes away from being the doer, and you now get things done through the people who work for you. Of course, there's a lot of work you still must do yourself, but where possible your mindset is now that you are accomplishing things through other people, and that's how you will be judged.How do you become a conductor and leader of the team you are managing so a project goes well?That's a big question. Let me tell you a few key things to start you on the right path.Identify what your team is good at and what your team is bad at. Be open minded about ideas, and the new innovative things that employees bring in, especially when they are new employees. They come in with fresh eyes, and they come up with their own ideas, where a manager may not see the possibilities.So, pivoting a little bit, what have you found in day-to-day life that has taught you do be a better manager? Observing my dad, for certain, was a big factor. He was self-employed and had a small business.He had two to three people working for him at any given time. I would get to observe him when I was younger, especially when I would go into his office and study, which I did frequently. I really enjoyed that, and I got to see how he worked as a manager.He was just brilliant because he was so calm even when I knew he was stressed. He was the epitome of a duck on water, calm and gliding on the top, even though he was franticly kicking underneath. That calming energy was instilled into his team, even when the going got rough. They knew that panicking was never going to be a productive activity.My dad was a calm, solutions-oriented person, and I really respect him for that.When you have an employee who has just flubbed the project, and maybe not even apologetic about it, how do you deal with a situation where you're trying to communicate that they have done something wrong and need to correct themselves?Number one, just as your staff should never surprise you, you should never surprise your staff. They should know the standards expected of them at all times.They should also know the strategic direction of the department you are running, and their role in it. Which means that they will know when they've flubbed it. If the employees don't know they have really messed up or that the standards haven't been met, then you really haven't done a good job setting the standards.I have always worked on the philosophy that you praise in public, and you criticize in private; and you should praise a lot more than you should criticize.If you are criticizing too much, you're a bad manager because your staff clearly can't do their jobs. Praise in public means that when someone does something good, you're sending all staff emails, and you're including the department head or the CEO.Praising in public is a big thing.There is absolutely no reason to criticize in public. I would suggest that when something goes wrong you bring it up right away. Don't wait. Explain what the problem is and why it's important. You want to be calm and in control of your emotions at all times. If there is a problem, you'll deal with it calmly and in a way that's professional. So, when things are going wrong, bring it up right away.Your first instinct should be performance improvement. Your staff are not disposable commodities; they're an investment, and the investment needs care.Just one more point; a good manager will plan for succession. Your staff should be so well trained and so effective that they should be able to function largely without you breathing down their neck. Most people, when they get promoted, are likely doing their bosses job in some way already. Too many managers let their egos get in the way, and they get defensive about the big juicy, high profile projects.A good manager will praise their staff constantly and will do so to leadership without seeking to take all the credit themselves. They'll look good because their staff looks good.Well on that note, Ben, thank you very much for taking the time today, and congratulations on moving on to a new position at Deloitte!Thank you! Very excited about the new challenge but will miss LI terribly. It's been a fantastic five years.If you would like to learn more about becoming a better manager, attend the Leadership Institute's online Management 101 training and sign up for more careers training at LeadershipInstitute.org/Training.
LI Grad Interview: Californian, International Communicator, Presidential Campaign Spokesman
Kirsten Holmberg
September 22, 2021
LI Grad Interview: Californian, International Communicator, Presidential Campaign Spokesman
“The world is run by those who show up…. America has plenty of critics. What the country needs are conservative men and women in the arena.”Meet Ron Nehring, Leadership Institute (LI) graduate, faculty, and Director of International Programs. I recently interviewed Ron to hear about his experiences running for office and his time as Spokesman for Ted Cruz for President. Last year in the 2020 general elections, Ron won local office in his hometown in California.Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background?Shortly after I became the President of my College Republican club at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, I learned of the Leadership Institute and Morton Blackwell. After attending seven LI trainings, I used those skills to become Chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County, Chairman of the California Republican Party, Republican nominee for Lt Governor of California, Senator Ted Cruz's presidential campaign spokesman, and a local office holder. You were the national spokesman at Ted Cruz for President. What motivated you to get involved in the campaign?As 2016 approached, I wanted to be involved in the presidential election. Senator Cruz was a solid conservative and first-time presidential candidate. While more established candidates like Jeb Bush had large organizations already around them, there were greater opportunities with a candidate who was building his national organization, and I was motivated by his clear and unapologetic conservatism. Do you have any insightful stories from your time on the campaign or as a candidate? In politics, you get to define what victory means. If victory only meant winning the office, no one would run for any office where the odds are against him. But, the movement needs candidates who will step up for a battle that's uphill. When I ran for Lt Governor, the odds against me were overwhelming. And yet, the campaign further raised my profile and was helpful in my becoming Senator Cruz' California chairman, and later his spokesman. The benefits of stepping up for a campaign may not be immediately apparent. Yet a solid effort can open important doors in the future. How has the Leadership Institute helped you during your time in public service? I hold a Political Science degree, yet most of what I learned about winning a campaign came from LI — both as a student, and later as a faculty member. If you really want to master a topic, try teaching it. It forces you to delve much deeper into the subject and understand its relationship to other areas. When I ran for local office in 2020, the campaign was designed exactly to match what we teach at LI. The strategy was developed from the same methods we teach, and implemented using the same tactics. While victory can never be guaranteed, I'm grateful to the voters for the overwhelming support I earned through this effective campaign. You are the Director of International Programs at the Leadership Institute. Tell us a bit about your position.Leadership Institute brings literally world-class quality training in organizing and communicating to conservative leaders, parties, and groups around the world. Many of the leaders and potential leaders LI has trained have gone on to successfully win public office, and from there put conservative ideas of free markets and individual liberty into action. I work diligently to take proven techniques and adapt them to different countries, cultures, and political systems. Center-right organizations worldwide know when they need high quality training to improve their effectiveness, to call on the Leadership Institute. Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?The world is run by those who show up. We are blessed to live in a country which welcomes political involvement. Americans of any background can be involved in shaping our government, and advancing ideas to improve the human condition. As Morton Blackwell has observed, being right in the sense of having the best ideas is not enough to win. America needs leaders who want to do something, not just be someone, to maximize their effectiveness with the skills necessary to win. Teddy Roosevelt put it this way: "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."America has plenty of critics. What the country needs are conservative men and women in the arena. This interview is from the Leadership Institute's Political and Fundraising Monthly Newsletter. When you sign up for this newsletter, you get articles on the latest in politics, interviews like this one, and you'll be the first to know about LI's political and fundraising training opportunities. Don't miss out! Sign up here.
LI Grad Interview: Arizonan, Conservative, School Board Member
Kirsten Holmberg
August 26, 2021
LI Grad Interview: Arizonan, Conservative, School Board Member
“If we're going to maintain our republic, we must get involved in the political process and school boards are key to preventing the wholesale takeover of our country.” - Chris King, School Board Member in Vail, Arizona.Meet Chris King, Leadership Institute graduate. I recently interviewed Chris to hear about his election to school board. Last year in the 2020 general elections, Chris earned his seat on the Vail Unified School District Governing Board in Arizona. Can you tell me a little about yourself?I am a combat veteran and alumni of the University of Arizona with a Bachelors in Government and Public Service and a Masters in International Security. I attended LI's boot camp and Field Representative training while working on my master's degree and a campaign. You currently are a member of the Vail Unified School District Governing Board in Arizona. What inspired you to get involved with your local school board? As a conservative, I recognized years ago that if we're going to maintain our republic, we must get involved in the political process and school boards are key to preventing the wholesale takeover of our country. Prior to filing to run, I reached out to the board members who were up for reelection to see if they were running. I researched the other candidate who had filed and determined that he wasn't who we would want to represent our district and made the decision to run.What is one challenge you have faced during your time on the School District Governing Board and how did you overcome it?The largest challenge we have faced during my time on the school board has definitely been Covid and the subsequent issues surrounding it. Since before assuming my position on the board, I made my position clear in not supporting mandatory mask-wearing as I believe it should be an individual choice. I agree with former Justice Scalia in that it is not the government's duty to protect us. There have been many other challenges which have presented since my election, but most of them have stemmed from Covid.How has the Leadership Institute helped you during your time in public service? Leadership Institute was key in preparing me for several aspects of serving. Morton Blackwell's Laws of the Public Policy Process hangs in my living room and is referred to often. The ability to talk to others regarding sensitive issues was something LI helped me with. During LI's Field Representative training, I was assigned to gather signatures on a pro-life petition. This was by far one of my weakest skills. Since then, I have become more educated on this issue in addition to more vocal in my support for pro-life issues.Another area LI has helped me is the area of Social Media. The law of not arguing on social media has kept me from being pulled into the mud puddle of local politics.Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?More than 90% of politicians/public servants self-select and are not recruited by a political party. When people say the party did this or that, I let them know that they ARE the party and they can make a difference if they get involved. Politics is a game with very confusing rules that seem to be designed to keep the average person out. Find a mentor, work with them to become knowledgeable, and donate one of the 3Ts: Time, Treasure, or Talent. That is how we can really make a difference. The grassroots folks who get involved, can and will eventually rise to the positions where they can make decisions on the direction of the parties.This interview is from the Leadership Institute's Political and Fundraising Monthly Newsletter. When you sign up for this newsletter, you get articles on the latest in politics, interviews like this one, and you'll be the first to know about LI's political and fundraising training opportunities. Don't miss out! Sign up here.
Leadership Institute Grad, Intern, University of Oklahoma Senior – Published in National Review
By Morton C. Blackwell
July 27, 2021
Leadership Institute Grad, Intern, University of Oklahoma Senior – Published in National Review
Your Leadership Institute's summer interns still have one month left in their program, but many of them already put their training to use.One intern, Kiara Kincaid, used her experience in LI's Political and Fundraising Training department to write an article for National Review's website.Kiara is a senior at the University of Oklahoma. In her piece, she exposes the censorship tactics used by leftist professors on her campus. As Kiara explains, many of the faculty at the university undergo training on how to shut down speech they disagree with in the classroom.Kiara's piece reveals that even at relatively conservative universities like hers, liberal bias undermines students' freedom of speech.You can read Kiara's National Review article here: https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/07/classroom-censorship-comes-to-the-university-of-oklahoma/Young conservatives like Kiara give me great hope for the future.Thanks to Leadership Institute donors' generous support, Kiara was able to expose leftist bias for a national audience and inspire other young conservatives to stand up for their principles.The Leadership Institute's donors truly invest in the next generation of conservative leaders and make a tremendous difference for America.
LI Grad Interview: Texan, Fire Department Volunteer, City Councilwoman
Kirsten Holmberg
July 20, 2021
LI Grad Interview: Texan, Fire Department Volunteer, City Councilwoman
Meet Mackenzie Kelly, Leadership Institute graduate. I recently interviewed Mackenzie to learn about her background as a fire department volunteer, her drive to get involved, and how the Leadership Institute's training helped prepare Mackenzie to become a member of the Austin City Council in Texas.Can you tell me a little about yourself?Before being elected to City Council, I served at the Round Rock Fire Department Training Division, Williamson County Emergency Management and with the City of Austin Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). In 2019, I was elected president of the 100th class of Austin Police Department's Citizen Police Academy. My close working relationship with the Austin Police Department gives me a rare perspective on local law enforcement and why it must be passionately supported and fully funded. I volunteered with the Jollyville Fire Department from 2005-2013, where I gained a profound respect for those who protect life and property in our capital city. While there, I completed a year-long fellowship through the Disaster Science Academy.Serving Austin's elderly population is another passion of mine, having worked in home health care for several years. I have also served as an appointee by then-Governor Rick Perry to the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities. I am an advocate of good geographic representation, having run in the first city council election under the 10-1 plan in 2014. As for my greatest accomplishment, I am a mother of an inquisitive daughter, Rebekah, a student in the Round Rock ISD. I am happily married and am a 2005 graduate of Westwood High School (Go Warriors!).You currently are a member of the Austin City Council in Texas. How did you get involved with the City Council and what does your position involve?I have always had a love for public service. Before becoming elected, I was a volunteer firefighter for 8 years with the Jollyville Fire Department. After that, I was appointed to the Committee for People with Disabilities by former Texas Governor Rick Perry. I was then appointed by former Austin City Councilmen Don Zimmerman to the Women's Commission. I would also attend council meetings and speak during citizen testimony on pieces of legislation that resonated with my core values. What is one challenge you have faced during your time as a City Council member and how did you overcome it?One of the biggest challenges I've faced is being in a non-partisan role. The Austin City council is a 10-1 system or, 10 council members and 1 mayor. With 10 other Democrats on the dais and me being the only Republican, people may think that I'm isolated. What I've done in my role on council is open communication and collaboration with the other members so that I could find common goals to work on together. How has the Leadership Institute helped you during your time in public service?The Leadership Institute has prepared me with educational materials, mentorship, and resources to help prepare and equip me to be the best I can be in my role as an Austin City Councilwoman. Additionally, LI's Campaign Candidate School gave me the framework and confidence to run an effective grassroots campaign. This was not only vital to my success but the tools I have now allow me to keep a pulse on my constituency. Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?I've learned in my role that it only takes one voice to make meaningful change. The best way to see change made in your community is by getting involved in any way you can, no matter how small it may seem. I started out by testifying before the council. As I got more and more involved, the more change I saw. Now, I'm in a role that will allow me to have a direct impact on the community.This interview is from the Leadership Institute's Political and Fundraising Monthly Newsletter. You can be the first to know about LI's political and fundraising training opportunities with an email delivered straight to your mailbox. Don't miss out! Sign up today.
Four Travel Tips for the New Traveler
Lee Jackson
July 12, 2021
Four Travel Tips for the New Traveler
My favorite part about my job at the Leadership Institute is traveling the country and working with young people who want to improve their communities. Growing up, my family frequently traveled by car, but jumping on a plane to your next destination is a very different experience. The first few times can be scary and overwhelming.I reached out to a few of my coworkers who travel and delved into my own experience to share with you four tips to plan a successful trip.1. Understand Your Flight and Travel DetailsOne lesson I always share with my students is that prior planning prevents poor performance. This alliteration is true for the classroom, on the campaign trail, and when you're traveling. Before you head to the airport, you should have your trip's logistics planned out.Get to the airport on time. The rule of thumb says to arrive at the airport two hours before your flight takes off. Most people do not realize they have to wait in multiple lines before they fly. Unless you're pre-enrolled in various programs, you'll have to wait in line to check your bags, to get to TSA, and then go through TSA.Plan by your flight boarding time, not takeoff. The time on your ticket is the time your flight leaves. Your flight probably boards 30-45 minutes prior. That means you must be at your gate and ready to go when your flight is boarding. Do not be the person who misses their flight because they thought they had an extra 20 minutes to kill at the airport Applebee's.Set up your airline app. I do my best to always fly with American Airlines (more about that later). The American Airlines app is incredibly helpful. The app has a copy of my tickets, tells me when it's time to check-in, tells me where I can pick up my checked bags, and much more.Have your hotel information handy. I always put my hotel information (address, phone number) in my phone's calendar. Having the hotel address handy will prevent you from having to dig through emails. There is also a small chance a bag gets delayed, and your airline will ask for your hotel's address to deliver your bag when it arrives. I also share the information with family in case someone has to get a hold of me.Figure out how you are getting to your hotel. I Uber multiple times a week for work. I love it. If you plan on using Uber, you should set up the app ahead of time. Uber's availability varies by city and the time of day. Your hotel may have a free shuttle that will pick you up.2. Pack Smart (and light) Make a list- check it twice. Packing for a weekend trip is an art and a science. Yes, you want clothes for every occasion, but traveling with extra bags is a pain, more expensive, and exhausting. I make a list of things I should pack (X number of undershirts, my apple watch charger, etc.). I have found it helpful to go through my schedule and make sure I have the right clothes for each part of the day. After I have a list that's way too long, I figure out what I can remove. I used to bring two suits for a two-day conference. I now bring one suit and two very different dress shirts, ties.Bring a steamer. Nine times out of 9 ½, a $25 steamer will perform better than a hotel iron. Honestly, sometimes a hotel iron does more harm than good. If you forget your steamer, you can hang your clothes in the bathroom while you shower.3. Pick an Airline (and do your best to stick with it)Like many companies, airlines reward loyal customers. Airline loyalty programs usually include free miles, upgrades, free checked bags, and more. If you plan to travel more than ten times a year, it could be worth it to book with one airline and start earning perks.Usually, the best airline for you is a combination of personal preference and which companies fly to your local airport. I picked American Airlines because they can get me to most cities around the United States and have a quick, direct flight to my home airport in Maine.4. Stay CalmThere's a chance something could go wrong. You could miss a connecting flight (always get a direct flight if possible), a storm could cancel your flight, etc. Remember, these things happen.The best thing to do is stay calm and work directly with your airline to solve the problem.If you have to reschedule a flight for any reason, remember your airline will have multiple ways you can contact them. If I'm at the airport waiting in a long line to speak to an agent, I'll also call the national customer service number, and direct message the company on Twitter.Doing this has allowed me to get the last seat on the next flight home when the people in line ahead of me are bumped to a much later flight.Bonus: One of my coworkers, Stephen Rowe, always watches YouTube videos about cities he and I are heading to before traveling. Because of this, Stephen is the go-to guy. He knows where to get pizza in Chicago and the best ribs in Memphis. Take a trick out of his book, and you'll not only enjoy your destinations more, your travel companions will too.Use some of your newfound travel skills at one of the Leadership Institute's trainings. You can travel the country and learn to win for your conservative principles. Click here to find some great training options.
LI Grad Interview: Mother of four, Politico, Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Board Chairman
Kirsten Holmberg
June 24, 2021
LI Grad Interview: Mother of four, Politico, Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Board Chairman
Meet distinguished Leadership Institute graduate Anna Clark.I recently interviewed Anna to learn how she got interested in Parks and Recreation, how her Leadership Institute training helps her serve in public office, and her take on the current state of politics.Can you tell us a little about yourself?My name is Anna Clark. I reside in Oro Valley, AZ, and have been a Republican my entire life. I have been married for almost 18 years and am the mother of four sons, ages 15, 12, 10, and 8.I am the Chairman of the Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Board, the 2nd Vice Chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, and the 3rd Vice-Chairman of Arizona's 11th Legislative District Republican Party. As of 3 weeks ago, I am managing a Congressional Campaign for a candidate running in AZ's 1st Congressional District. You currently are a member of the Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. How did you get involved with Parks and Recreation, and what does your position involve?I have lived in Oro Valley on and off since I was 16 and have been a permanent resident for six years. While I was in high school, I worked for the Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Department as part of their Summer and Spring Break Camps. I loved working with the kids and learned that good Parks and Recreation programs are necessary for a thriving community. Fast forward 20-something years, and after being very involved in getting our mayor elected in 2018, I sought ways to get involved in my community. I chose the Parks Board because of my unique perspective.Not only did I grow up in Oro Valley and work for the parks department, but I have four sons who use the Oro Valley Parks systems and programs regularly. So, I know our community needs, and I wanted to bring my ideas to help create a robust parks and recreation plan that includes youth, retirees, and everyone in between that live in Oro Valley.I have been on the Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Board (PRAB) since January 2019. In February 2021, I was elected as the Chairman of the Board. The most important responsibility we have as members of the Oro Valley PRAB is to advise the Town Council in matters pertaining to parks and recreation, parks design, open space, trail use, and recreation programs.What is one challenge you have faced during your time as a Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member, and how did you overcome it?Being the Chairman of any board can present a myriad of challenges. This last year, our board was tasked with building and passing a 10-year parks master plan for the Town of Oro Valley. As you can imagine, this plan was full of some great ideas and some not-so-great ideas that had to be removed.The biggest challenge I faced was dealing with how to fund these parks projects. I believe that we should not raise taxes to pay for parks. It was challenging to get some of the other board members to vote for a master plan without any new taxes. With the team building and collaboration skills I learned from LI, we passed the Parks Master Plan last month with a 7-0 vote, a unanimous vote. This victory included recommending to the town council that we do not raise taxes to pay for the plan.How has the Leadership Institute helped you during your time in public service? You know that saying, "Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten"? Well, everything that I needed to know to be a successful candidate, campaign manager, and leader within the Republican Party and in my community, I learned from the Leadership Institute! I have taken so many classes through LI that have been invaluable to me. Many people seem disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?In December 2020, I was elected the 2nd Vice-Chairman of the Pima County Republican Party here in Arizona. As part of my new post, I hear Republicans complain quite a bit about not only the state of our nation but the state of things here in VERY liberal Pima County.The best advice I give them, whether they are complaining about the Democrats in control or elected Republicans they disagree with, is to get involved with the party. Complaining about things on social media or to your friends does nothing to help your cause. The first step is to become a precinct committeeman and get involved with the grassroots in your community. Unhappy with how things are going in your city or town? Run for office and be the change! Don't like what the Republican Party is doing in your county or legislative district? Get elected to a leadership position and be the change that you want to see within the party. The bottom line is the time for inaction is over. We must get involved and fight for the very soul of our nation! We see this across the state of Arizona. Since my taking office, our Precinct Committeeman numbers in Pima county alone have grown from 347 to 615 and counting. There are some months that we are outpacing the Democrats in Precinct Committeeman and voter registration! This interview is from the Leadership Institute's Political and Fundraising Monthly Newsletter. When you sign up for this newsletter, you get articles on the latest in politics, interviews like this one, and you'll be the first to know about LI's political and fundraising training opportunities.
LI Grad Interview: ‘It’s up to us,’ says new father, Southern Illinoisan
Kirsten Holmberg
May 28, 2021
LI Grad Interview: ‘It’s up to us,’ says new father, Southern Illinoisan
“You and I may face hardships in this country, and our political system may be broken, but we come from a long line of fighters willing to put it all on the line to stand up for what we believe in.” – David Blair, Executive Director of the Conservative Leadership PACMeet Leadership Institute (LI) faculty member and distinguished graduate, David Blair. I recently interviewed David to learn how he got interested in politics, his advice to young people, and his take on the current state of politics. He even announced a new little arrival on the way soon!Q: Can you tell me a little about yourself?I am originally from Southern Illinois, where my family has lived for more than a hundred years. I moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Leadership Institute in 2015 and am now the Executive Director of the Conservative Leadership PAC and the President of my consulting firm, the Blair Group. I live in Sterling, Virginia, with my wife Hannah (whom I met at LI). We are about to welcome our first born into the world in June and are very excited to be first-time parents. Q: What motivated you to enter the political world?My motivations to enter politics really stem from my sense of right and wrong. When something seems like it's not right or unfair, I find myself feeling a great deal of moral indignation about the situation. Seeing how our government operates and the total failure of many of our elected officials, I almost couldn't help gravitating towards politics. I can't see something being done poorly, recklessly, or hypocritically and keep my mouth shut. Sometimes this gets me into trouble, but it is what drove me into politics and what drives me to work for the good guys every day. Can you tell me a little more about the work you do as the Executive Director of the Conservative Leadership PAC and as President of the Blair Group, LLC?As Executive Director of CLPAC, I find talented, principled, and driven young people to act as Youth Coordinators on hotly contested election campaigns all over the country. Often in a very close race, a few thousand votes can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Candidates who employ our system of mass-based youth organizing (first pioneered by Morton Blackwell) find that they have a winning edge when it comes to the close races when compared to their colleagues who do not run serious youth efforts. In short, it is my job to find talent and make sure our coordinators win for the candidates we support. As President of the Blair Group, I act as a strategic consultant for candidates, non-profits, and for-profit companies who are interested in grassroots solutions for their causes. It is my firm belief that there is no better source of value in a campaign than a good grassroots movement. I work with my clients to earn media, contact voters, hold events, and gain support through true ground-up grassroots campaigns. I also am an active speaker on the virtues of grassroots organizing and mass-based youth organizing as a faculty member at the Leadership Institute. Your work focuses on mobilizing young people. What advice to you have for those who are just starting out in political work and campaigns?I have more advice for young people than I have space to write here. However, if I were to stress one thing to someone just starting out in politics, it would be to focus on the success of your principles. Don't let your ego, your vanity, or your pride get in the way of the greater mission. We are all working, or at least we should be, toward a cause greater than ourselves. Credit, fame, money, and all the things many young people see as “success” in politics amount to nothing if you aren't working tirelessly to make the world a better place than you found it. So don't get caught up in the number of twitter followers that you have; social media fame has its place, and we have some warriors out there, but you have to find where you add value to the movement and work at that with all of your heart. If it's hard, good. It should be. How has the Leadership Institute helped you prepare for the work you are currently doing? First as a student and now as a faculty member at LI, I've had such a fantastic opportunity to meet the next generation of conservative leaders in this country and abroad. When I speak to a class at LI or club on campus, I know I am speaking to a room full of tomorrow's leaders. My network has grown with solid, work-centered, movement conservatives whom I can call on to get the job done. When I need someone in a particular state for a tough job or for a Youth Coordinator on a campaign, I know I can look to the contacts I have made through LI to find the right connection. Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?As Americans, we have the unique ability to profoundly affect our government in every election held at the Federal, State, and local levels. Today the cost of political involvement is historically cheap when compared to our nation's forefathers. The Declaration of Independence was essentially a signed death warrant for the Founding Fathers. Yet, motivated by their love of liberty and love for this nation, they willingly lined up to sign. You and I may face hardships in this country and our political system may be broken, but we come from a long line of fighters willing to put it all on the line to stand up for what we believe in. Americans must not abandon the legacy of freedom and the sacrifices of so many who came before us because we find ourselves in difficult times. America was founded in difficult times, forged in them, and will continue to persevere despite them as long as there are good people willing to work hard and stay in the fight. Voting, volunteering, activism, and old-fashioned hard work are what will cure our current political woes. With COVID coming to an end and the overreaches of Liberal politicians on full display, conservatives have a profound opportunity to make massive gains in 2022. You and I can take this opportunity by the horns and show the American people once again that conservatism is the way to go, or we can allow the opportunity to pass and allow the hard-won gains of our ancestors to fall by the wayside. It's up to us.This interview is from the Leadership Institute's Political and Fundraising Monthly Newsletter. When you sign up for this newsletter, you get articles on the latest in politics, interviews like this one, and you'll be the first to know about LI's political and fundraising training opportunities.
I had to talk to him
Morton C Blackwell
March 31, 2021
I had to talk to him
It's not often that a young person impresses me so much that I have to pick up the phone and call: but I had to talk to Ben Zeisloft.Ben studies Finance and Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. He's also my Leadership Institute's top Campus Correspondent -- among the 134 student journalists who expose liberal bias and abuse on college campuses.Ben is amazingly productive. Since he started writing for LI's Campus Reform website almost one year ago, he has published more than 300 articles on CRO!Ben's work so impressed me that I called to let him know how grateful I am for his dedication and powerful productivity.Ben was surprised to hear from me, as you might imagine. But he happily shared how writing for LI's Campus Reform benefits him. Campus Correspondents earn a modest sum for each article they publish. Would you believe Ben has earned so much by exposing liberal abuses that he's putting himself through college? Please check out some of Ben's articles on CampusReform.org. I think you'll be just as impressed as I was.In his most recent report, Ben exposed Cornell University for considering partnering with a Chinese university to offer a dual degree program. Even worse, Cornell officials claim this “partnership” would have no influence on academic freedom! Sure.You can read how Ben exposed the Cornell/China connection here: https://www.campusreform.org/article?id=17026.If like me you can't get enough of Ben's reporting, you can access the rest of his 300-and-counting articles here. Thanks to the generous support of LI donors, students like Ben share thousands of shocking stories with a national audience. They report what's really happening on college campuses. By exposing the truth, you and I score clear victories for freedom. Last year alone, Campus Reform reporting led to 36 victories over leftist bias and abuse. That's harmful policies changed, abusive professors and administrators punished or fired, and free speech upheld. As you can see, students like Ben drive real change on campus, thanks to the generous support of Leadership Institute's donors.
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