A Serious Program for Serious Students

Ashbrook Scholar Program

Student Publications

All graduating Ashbrook Scholars are required to write a Statesmanship Thesis during their final year as a Scholar. The best of these theses are given the Charles Parton Award, named in honor of the former director of the Ashbrook Center who inspired the creation of the Statesmanship Thesis program. The following are recent past winners of this honor:


Answering the Irish Question: Winston Churchill and the Formation of the Irish Free State
by James Coyne

A Comparison of Scalia and the Founders on How to Interpret the Constitution
by Ivan Larson

The 1997 Thai Financial Crisis: Causes and Contentions
by Kelly Ranttila

The Christian Ultimatum: Self-Defense, Martyrdom, or Both?
by Amanda Sivik


Discerning Wisdom: A Study of the Wisdom and Faith of King Solomon
by Johnathan Case

Not a Killer, Soldier, or Subject: Frederick Douglass and American Citizenship
by Zachary Hoffman

Excellence and Envy: Plutarch on the Difficulties of Leading the People
by Jaclyn Horn

“A Portrait of Humanity”: Ballet, Beauty, and the American Regime
by September Long

A Union Worthy of Saving: An Interpretation of Statesmanship through the Lincoln-Douglas Debates
by Samuel Mariscal


“That That Nation Might Live”: Lincoln’s Biblical Allusions in the Gettysburg Address
by Joseph Griffith

Rumination Before Revolution: The New World’s Republican Experiments
by Johanna Mateo

The American Cincinnatus: The Unique Greatness and Republican Virtue of George Washington
by Christian Wilson

Milton, Paradise Lost, and the Question of Kingship
by Jarrod Brown

“True to a Single Object”: The Character of Tadeusz Kościuszko
by Lindsey Grudnicki

“The Pinnacle of Life’s Jubilation”: An Exploration of the Vitality for Human Greatness in the Poetry of Friedrich Nietzsche
by Sarah Spinner

The Great Generalization: The Theory of Evolution in American Political and Social Thought after the Civil War
by Erin Sutter

The Happy Empire: Aristotle, Publius, and the American Regime
by Dantan Wernecke

Boundless Vision: A Reading of Plato’s Symposium
by James Velasquez

A History of the Anglo-American Special Relationship
by Rebekah Brown

Noise Pollution: A Look at the Effects of Rock Music on a Liberal Education
by Alyssa Bornhorst

Similarly Situated?: The Evolution of Gender Equality Jurisprudence and the Role of Women in Combat
by Allison McGuire

“He Who Rules Over Men Must be Just”: The Life and Reign of King David
by Andrea Wiebe

The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun: An Argument Worth Refuting
by George Alecusan

The British Empire in India
by Ryan Brown

“Just as the Corybantes Seem to Hear the Flutes”: A Reading of Plato’s Crito
by Timothy Haglund

Rule in The Tempest: The Political Teachings of Shakespeare’s Last Play
by Lauren Arnold

Bletchley’s Secret War: British Code Breaking in the Battle of the Atlantic
by Colleen Carper

The Higher Law Background of the Constitution: Justice Clarence Thomas and Constitutional Interpretation
by Michael Sabo

Power and Pretext: The Status of Justice in Thucydides
by Caitlin Poling

The Morality of Killing in Self-Defense: A Christian Perspective
by Jonathan Spelman

Elena’s War: Russian Women in Combat
by Samantha Vajskop

Moral Beauty’s Divine Center: Jonathan Edwards and the Necessity of God in Ethics
by Adam Carrington

A Two Horse Race: An Explanation of The Virginian‘s Natural Equality Based on Man’s Faculty of Reason and Sentiment of Pity
by Clint Leibolt

Abraham Lincoln’s Understanding of the Nature of the Union: Secession, Slavery, and the Philosophical Cause
by Jason Stevens

“The Hands of a Healer”: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Understanding of Kingship
by Lauren Calco

“The Dictates of Conscience”: The Debate over Religious Liberty in Revolutionary Virginia
by Deborah O’Malley

Each semester, the Ashbrook Scholars may submit essays for consideration for the Taylor Excellence in Writing Award. The selection criteria for the Taylor Award are quality of thought, logic of argument, felicity of style, and mastery of grammar and diction. The authors of the selected essays each receive the Taylor Excellence in Writing Award with its cash award of $100-$400 for each essay. Each summer, the winning essays from the previous fall and spring semesters are published in Res Publica. Read essays from the most recent edition of Res Publica.