Carolina Fellowship

Live oaks in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Carolina Fellowship

July 31 - August 5, 2022
Montage Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, S.C.


From July 31 – August 5, 2022, Common Sense Society convened the Carolina Fellowship—a six-day-long intensive series of seminars that explored the foundational principles of the United States in the context of Western civilization.

Intended for recent graduates, graduate students, and young professionals from North America who have demonstrated leadership potential, its purpose was to ground future leaders in the ideals of responsible liberty at an early stage of their academic and professional development.

Convened in beautiful Bluffton, South Carolina, the program served as a retreat where participants explored the interrelationships that exist between liberty, prosperity, and beauty while acquiring the necessary tools to further their education and become effective leaders in their respective communities and career fields.


During the program, fellows explored topics such as:

  • Civic Engagement and Volunteerism
  • First Principles of Liberty
  • Constitutionalism, Law, and Democracy
  • The Nature of Human Rights
  • Economics and Entrepreneurship
  • Foreign Policy and National Defense
  • Religion and Society
  • Architecture, Art, and Beauty
  • Leadership Virtues and Skills

2022 Faculty

Mr. Det Bowers is a principal at Wilson Kibler, South Carolina’s most accomplished independent full-service commercial real estate firm. Prior to joining Wilson Kibler, Mr. Bowers served as a licensed attorney practicing in federal, state, and municipal courts. Other business involvements have included real estate development, retail development and operations, agribusiness, forestry products, outdoor advertising, and insurance.

Dr. Tim Eriksen is an acclaimed musician who has transformed the American tradition with his interpretations of old ballads, love songs, shape-note gospel, and dance tunes from New England and Southern Appalachia. He combines vocals with inventive accompaniment on banjo, fiddle, guitar, and bajo sexto. Dr. Eriksen’s compositions have been featured in films and documentaries. He has extensively contributed to an Oscar-winning film and a Grammy-nominated album. His collaborations range from hardcore punk and Bosnian pop to symphony orchestra.

Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon is a senior fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization. The author of eight books, including The Utopian Conceit and the War on Freedom and Why America is Such a Hard Sell: Beyond Pride and Prejudice, she has published over two hundred articles and reviews and makes frequent appearances on radio and television. Over three decades, she has also taught at the National Defense University, George Washington University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the Institute of World Politics, and currently at American University.

Dr. Robert Jeffrey is professor of government at Wofford College. He received his Ph.D. in political philosophy and literature from the University of Dallas. He previously served as a political appointee in the Reagan Administration. He currently teaches classical and modern political philosophy, and the statesmanship of Churchill, Lincoln, Homer, and Shakespeare. He most recently taught courses on Tocqueville and Thomas Aquinas.

Mr. Catesby Leigh is a co-founder and research fellow at the National Civic Art Society. After graduating from Princeton, he spent most of the 1980s as a foreign correspondent for the Atlanta-based Cox Newspapers in South America. He grew increasingly interested in traditional architectural environments and was struck by their modernist counterparts’ failure to achieve comparable levels of physical or visual amenity. Leigh’s first architecture articles appeared in 1991, and since then he has contributed art and architecture criticism to a wide range of publications.

Dr. Joshua Mitchell is a senior fellow at Common Sense Society and a professor of political theory at Georgetown University. He has also been chairman of the government department and associate dean of faculty affairs at Georgetown University in Qatar. He has published several books including The Fragility of Freedom: Tocqueville on Religion, Democracy, and American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time.

Mr. Douglas Murray is associate editor of The Spectator and author of The War on the West: How to Prevail in the Age of Unreason. His previous publication, The Madness of Crowds, was a bestseller and a book of the year for The Times and The Sunday Times. His book, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, was published by Bloomsbury in May 2017. It spent almost twenty weeks on The Sunday Times bestseller list and was a number one bestseller in nonfiction.

The Hon. Jon Parrish Peede is a senior fellow at Common Sense Society, the visiting writer in residence at Mississippi Valley State University, a public HBCU institution, and the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. As chairman, he awarded more than $500 million to universities, museums, libraries, scholars, and cultural nonprofits nationwide. He is the co-editor of Inside the Church of Flannery O’Connor: Sacrament, Sacramental, and the Sacred in Her Fiction. He has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The New York Times, Stars & Stripes, Inside Higher Education, NPR, Bloomberg Radio, BBC, CSPAN, PBS, and other media outlets. He completed his B.S. at Vanderbilt University and M.A. at the University of Mississippi.

Dr. Roger Pilon is the founding director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, the inaugural holder of the B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies, the founding publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review, and vice president for legal affairs at the Cato Institute. Prior to joining Cato, Pilon held five senior posts in the Reagan administration.

Dr. Jay Richards is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, and the executive editor of The Stream. Richards is author or editor of more than a dozen books and is also executive producer of several documentaries. His articles and essays have been published in Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, and The Federalist, among other outlets.

Dr. David Rose is a senior fellow at Common Sense Society and professor of economics at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. His primary areas of research interest are behavioral economics, political economy, and organization theory. In 2008, he received the St. Louis Business Journal’s Economic Educator of the year award. His book, The Moral Foundation of Economic Behavior was selected as one of CHOICE’s outstanding titles of 2012 and was nominated for the Hayek Book Prize. He frequently contributes to policy debates through radio and television interviews as well as in op-eds in outlets such as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Word on Business, The School Choice Advocate, Forbes, The Washington Times, and The Christian Science Monitor. He received his Ph.D. in economics in 1987 from the University of Virginia and his B.S. from Southwest Missouri State University.

Mr. Justin Shubow is president of the National Civic Art Society and former chairman of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. He is the author of a variety of architectural commentaries, has taught courses on the topics of public art and architecture, and has overseen restoration projects. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation and the Board of Academic Advisors of the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization.

Dr. Christopher Tollefsen is a distinguished professor and chair of philosophy at the University of South Carolina. He is a leading scholar of natural law and natural rights, who has expertise on the classical, medieval, and modern traditions of thought. He has made important contributions to philosophical scholarship in the areas of bioethics, the ethics of inquiry, and the role of intention in shaping the meaning of human action. He is currently working on projects related to human rights as a follow up to his recent work with the U.S. State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights. 

2022 Carolina Fellows

Ms. Maria Bello is a Venezuelan-born conservative activist who has actively denounced Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro’s human rights violations. She fled her country at seventeen after experiencing democratic socialism’s destructive effects. In the United States, Maria has continued to be active in the fight against socialism and communism. She was the coalition director for Young Americans Against Socialism, has been featured in PragerU’s videos, and has now started a non-profit called ”America’s Momentum” that is dedicated to giving a voice to those who have lived through human rights violations.

Mr. Jacob Bruggeman received his B.A. and M.A. at Miami University and his M.Phil. at Cambridge University. He is currently a third-year Ph.D. student in history at Johns Hopkins University, where he studies political economy, technology, and intellectual history in the modern U.S. Jacob is the editor-in-chief of the Cleveland Review of Books.

Mr. Robert Cathcart is starting his third year at the University of South Carolina School of Law. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Honors College. He currently works at McCabe, Trotter, & Beverly in the field of community association law and is also a senior public affairs account manager at Heritage Brands. Robert is a member of the City of Cayce’s Elections Commission and Events Committee.

Ms. Margaret Clay is the editor and associate publisher for Columbia Metropolitan Magazine in Columbia, SC, her family’s business. She was Phi Beta Kappa at Wake Forest University, where she received a B.A. in English. She serves on the boards for the Central Carolina Community Foundation and Hammond School. Margaret owns a small art business, MGC Art, where she paints watercolor portraits.

Mr. Joao Paulo Cruz is a B.A. student born and raised in Rio de Janeiro. After completing his economics degree, he’ll be pursuing an M.A. at Università Luigi Bocconi in Milan. He is interested in philosophy, history, and literature, and hopes to found an education startup after graduate school.

Mrs. Sarah Anderson Curry graduated from Clemson with a B.A. in marketing and from the College of Charleston with an M.A. in communication. She’s spent the last thirteen years in marketing and communication roles in various industries, most recently in the “social good” technology space at Blackbaud. She is a graduate of the Leadership Hartsville Class of 2013 and was the South Carolina Public Relations Society’s Rookie of the Year in 2012.

Dr. Alex E. Hindman is an assistant professor of political science at the College of the Holy Cross, where he teaches courses in American ideas and institutions, focusing primarily on the U.S. Constitution. He earned a B.A. from Saint Vincent College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American government and political philosophy from Claremont Graduate University. Additionally, he is the author of Gerald Ford and the Separation of Powers, arguing that the Constitution politically preserves presidents in perilous times.

Dr. Michael Hoffpauir is associate director of the Lyceum Program and clinical assistant professor of political science at Clemson University. He teaches courses in political philosophy, American politics, and statesmanship, and he is the author of Between Socrates and the Many: A Study of Plato’s Crito. He received a B.A. from Louisiana State University, an M.A. from Boston College, and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University.

Mr. Thomas Hydrick is the assistant deputy solicitor general for the state of South Carolina. He previously worked as an associate attorney at Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough, LLP and also served as a law clerk to The Honorable A. Marvin Quattlebaum, Jr., Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, the University of Cambridge, and Furman University.

Dr. Joel Iliff is an assistant professor of history at Regent University, where he also teaches great books in the Honors College. He received a B.A. from the University of South Carolina before earning an M.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. from Baylor. His scholarship focuses on the religious origins of putatively secular phenomena, such as the modern university and antinatalism.

Mr. Baher Iskander is an incoming McCain Defense Fellow with the Department of Defense. He previously worked as a Senate staffer on the Armed Services Committee, a China analyst for a senior senator, and a Christian campus minister. Baher has a B.A. from Yale College and an M.A. from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.

Mr. Deion A. Kathawa clerks for Justice Brian K. Zahra of the Michigan Supreme Court. He will next clerk for Judge William C. Griesbach of the United States District for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He holds a B.A. in philosophy and political science from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School. For two years, he served on the executive board of the Notre Dame Law School Federalist Society. As a second year law student, his essay, “Ambition Can Still Be Made to Counteract Ambition—Just Not in the Way Madison Envisioned,” won first place in the Federalist Society’s second annual Article I Initiative Writing Contest. Kathawa’s writing has been featured at RealClearPoliticsRealClearEducationAmerican GreatnessPublic DiscourseThe Josias, and others.

Mr. Alex Pack is a Washington, D.C. native and graduate of the College of Charleston, where he received a B.A. in English. He has worked for the Prague Security Studies Institute, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, and the Cato Institute. He was an ISI Honors Scholar and worked on the 2020 documentary Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words

Ms. Gwendolyn Rappuhn is a homeschool graduate and a fifth generation farmer from central North Dakota. For the past six years, she has been involved with the local Republican Party and has been elected as a delegate to the state convention four times. She serves as the Northeast chair of the North Dakota Young Republicans and has also has worked with local and statewide pro-life groups to bring in speakers who advocate for unborn children to her community.

Mr. Zachary Rogers is a graduate of Hillsdale College and the John Jay Institute Fellowship and is a member of the Steamboat Institute’s Emerging Leadership Council. He works as a program manager for a non-profit focused on higher education policy.

Mr. Austin Stone is the managing partner of Beck & Stone, a brand consultancy connecting America’s institutions to its culture, and Knight Takes Rook, a consultancy for disruptive engagement. Currently, he serves as interim C.O.O. of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), an organization which works to heal distressed communities through conservative policy. He has been published in NewsweekThe American Spectator, Law & LibertyThe Federalist, American Greatness, and the Daily Caller.

Mrs. Anne Tew earned her B.A. in classics from the University of Virginia and her M.A. in theology from the University of Notre Dame. After several years of teaching Latin and English, Anne is now an editor and writer at Classical Academic Press, adjunct faculty at Regent University, and curriculum consultant in classical education with an emphasis on Latin.

Mr. Jonathan Valadez is a board member of several organizations in Greenville, SC and works with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. During his time at Bob Jones University, he started and revitalized several organizations.

Ms. Nicole Williams is a graduate of Tulane University and the University of Glasgow. She has worked as a staffer in the U.K. Parliament, with the Richmond, VA city council, and as a staff member at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Nicole is currently a second year history Ph.D. student at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

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