A Bryan College sophomore will spend part of his summer in Washington, D.C., participating in the Summer Institute of the American Enterprise Institute studying foreign policy and economics.
Jacob Hawkins, a history and politics and government double major, is one of 25 students chosen in a national competition to participate in the program. “We had to submit an essay, a resume, and a letter of recommendation, and they made their selections from that,” he said.
Mr. Hawkins, who is working toward a career as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, said the institute’s emphasis on foreign policy and economics should prove helpful in the years to come. “I want to take what I learn and apply it to my career,” he said. “A lot of how the military works is interrelated with foreign policy. And I’d like to learn how to make the military operate more efficiently and effectively. That’s going to be important in the years to come.”
Students attending the institute will stay at George Washington University in Washington and will attend lectures by AEI staff and invited guests. A special opportunity will be for the group to travel to the Gettysburg battlefield in June, shortly before the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle there, for a guided tour.
Speakers scheduled for the institute include Arthur Brooks, AEI president; Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary; John Kyl, former U.S. senator from Arizona; William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard; and Paul Wolfowitz, former president of the World Bank and deputy secretary of defense.
History Professor Dr. Travis Ricketts, who suggested Mr. Hawkins apply for the program, said the Summer Institute is an initiative of AEI to engage students from Christian colleges on the confluence of faith and economics.
“I first went to an AEI conference about four years ago,” he said. “They have always been a conservative think tank, but their new president, Arthur Brooks, at the time wanted to bring a new emphasis into their discussions. A believer, Mr. Brooks in his recent book The Road to Freedom argues, ‘It doesn’t matter how much empirical data we have; We are going to lose the debate unless we couch it in moral terms.’ Now, about 20 [college professors] serve on a faculty advisory committee to assist AEI in planning creative ways to engage college students on issues of faith, economics and public policy."