Fred Bills is a 2005 graduate of Ashland University and the Ashbrook Scholar Program. Since graduating, Fred has received his law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. He is now an Assistant County Prosecutor in the Juvenile Gang Unit for Franklin County, Ohio.
HOW HAS YOUR EDUCATION IN THE ASHBROOK SCHOLAR PROGRAM IMPACTED YOUR CAREER?
“My work as a prosecuting attorney comes with a significant amount of authority and discretion. The Ashbrook Scholar Program allowed me to think seriously about power, the rule of law, and justice. I believe those principles guide my decision-making in my current work. Additionally, as a trial litigator, my work requires clear and effective communication, as well as the ability to think quickly on my feet. I was well-prepared for this due to countless nights spent debating other Ashbrook Scholars over Lincoln or Shakespeare.”
HOW DOES YOUR EDUCATION IN THE ASHBROOK SCHOLAR PROGRAM SET YOU APART FROM YOUR PEERS?
“Perhaps the most striking difference between myself and colleagues who were not similarly educated is their unfamiliarity with so many of the great thinkers, such as Cicero, Locke, or Burke, that have such a significant effect on what we do as attorneys.”
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE YOU WERE IN THE SCHOLAR PROGRAM?
“My favorite class was Human Being and Citizen. We read Invisible Man and Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison. Dr. Schramm taught the class in the style of an open forum, and every page of the book, or so it seemed, was broken down by Dr. Schramm and the students. The material went to the heart of questions concerning human nature and what it means to be an American, and the open-forum style led to great conversations that would often last after the class hours were finished. The combination of Dr. Schramm and the seriousness of other Ashbrook Scholars in the class created a great learning environment.”
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THE ASHBROOK SCHOLAR PROGRAM TO OTHERS?
“Absolutely. The Ashbrook Scholar experience creates a devotion to education that extends beyond college. To this day, some of my favorite experiences include reading and reflecting on Plato, Shakespeare, and Lincoln, or speaking with other Ashbrooks and sharing their thoughts on current events.”z