The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization(AHI) offers summer internships to worthy undergraduates interested in participating in AHI’s intellectual life and in performing a wide variety of tasks requested by the fellows. This summer’s resident intern is Andrew Juchno, from Paxton Massachusetts, an active member of the AHI’s Undergraduate Fellows Program.
A rising junior at Hamilton College, Andrew has been spending his first weeks on the job at AHI headquarters helping fellows Mary Grabar and David Frisk and executive director Robert Paquette in conducting research for various book projects. Fellows also tailor a reading list for him that will advance his academic aspirations. Under Paquette’s supervision, he is currently reading, cover-to-cover, Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic Democracy in America. At the recent annual summer conference with Baylor University’s Department of Political Science, Andrew served as Paquette’s assistant in preparing for the event. Directed by University of Virginia Professor of Political Science James Ceaser, it focused on The Federalist, “the best commentary on the principles of government,” said Thomas Jefferson, “which ever was written.” Andrew prepared by reading all eighty-five essays in the volume.
“This year’s summer conference,” he observed, “the first that I have attended, was particularly enlightening as it exposed me to another possible avenue toward an academic career. Professor Ceaser guided the panelists through an insightful discussion of The Federalist and set an example of how to skillfully facilitate a rewarding conversation. In addition to the rewarding analysis of a great book, the conference provided me with an invaluable opportunity to engage with professors and graduate students from different colleges and universities and to learn about their experiences in higher education. Of the experiences had during my summer internship, this conference stands out as the strongest illustration of the AHI’s commitment to education and informed debate.”
Andrew will spend two months at AHI headquarters before heading off to work as boating director at Camp Foskett, a YMCA camp in Charlton, Massachusetts. His passion for the politics and history of the colonial United States will take him during the 2017-2018 academic year to the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. There he will matriculate as an undergraduate exchange student in the Collegiate Program in Early American History, Material Culture, and Museum Studies. This highly competitive program, sponsored jointly by the College of William & Mary and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, “provides an interdisciplinary approach to early America, material culture, and the purpose and operation of museums.” At William & Mary, Andrew will not only attend courses in American history, but work as a researcher in museums. He has been eagerly waiting for such an opportunity to immerse himself in colonial history since the fourth grade, when his interest was sparked by a course called “History to Hollywood.”
A government major and member of the College Republicans, Andrew has attained the Dean’s List during all four semesters at Hamilton College and has served on the Academic Honor Court since the fall semester, 2016. After studying French for eight years, he became fluent in the language and is attempting to add Italian to his repertoire.. During the 2016/2017 academic year, he served as associate editor for the AHI-sponsored student newsletter, Enquiry. He is a member of the Hamilton College cycling team and volunteers at the Bike Co-op, where he fixes bikes for members of the Hamilton Community. An avid runner, cyclist, and swimmer, he enjoys competing in endurance events. Last summer, when he lived in Wells, Maine, he worked as a member of the Wells Ocean Rescue team as a lifeguard and while on the job, picked up an interest in surfing. While attending Wachusett Regional High School, he ran track and cross-country, was a Boy Scout, and spent the winters skiing with his family in the Berkshires. Every summer, he taught swimming lessons and was the boating director at Camp Foskett youth camp run by the YMCA.
In his senior year Andrew was awarded the St. Thomas University Book Award for Academic Excellence and the Paxton Lions Club Academic Scholarship. Most of his free time was spent hiking in the White Mountains or reading. “These two interests drew me to Hamilton,” he says; “it seemed to be a school where I could simultaneously pursue my love for the outdoors and continue growing academically.”
It was during his freshman year at a College Republican meeting that Andrew learned about the AHI from Liz Barry, one of AHI’s outstanding student leaders and editor of Enquiry, who graduated this year. Andrew then attended an AHI open house and participated in Executive Director Robert Paquette’s reading group on Edward Corwin’s Higher Law Background of American Constitutional Law. During the fall, 2016, he joined an AHI reading cluster that spent the academic year exploring Friedrich Hayek’s magnum opus, The Constitution of Liberty (1960).
“I am already indebted to the AHI,” Andrew observed, “for exposing me, through both the reading group held by Professor Paquette and Dr. Frisk and the guest speakers we bring to campus, to a wide range of political and economic theory that I would not know otherwise. I am convinced that my experience at Hamilton would be seriously lacking without the continued rigorous academic engagement provided by the AHI.” He “absolutely” encourages all Hamilton College students to become involved with the AHI. “I believe the AHI, through its primary purpose of fostering academic inclusion and fostering informed debate, creates a dynamic community of like-minded, though not like opinioned, individuals. The brilliance of the AHI rests in the strong bond between the undergraduate fellows and scholars. As members of the same institution working in close proximity, a mutual respect grows so that opinions can be openly shared and discussed rationally.”
“We like serious young people, concerned about their education, concerned about their country,” said Paquette. “In Andrew Juchno, the AHI has an ascending talent with an indefatigable will to learn. At the AHI, he will find ample viands to satisfy his appetite.”
By Mary Grabar, AHI Resident Fellow