Additional Opportunities

West Point Student Conference on U.S. Affairs

Since 2001, the McConnell Center has partnered with West Point Academy to send McConnell Scholars to an annual Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA). SCUSA delegates attend panel discussions with national leaders on economic development, technology, global security, political radicalism, ethno-religious conflicts and democratization.

Delegates offer policy recommendations for the current U.S. administration, and the top policy recommendation memo produced from the conference is published in a top undergraduate academic journal.

Past Attendees:

  • 2023: Yelena Bagdasaryan
  • 2022: Bryson Sebastian
  • 2021: Mallory Slucher
  • 2019: Isabella Martin, Bella Beilman
  • 2018: Claire Gothard, Laura Hinkle
  • 2017: Eric Bush, Celia Cusick
  • 2016: Christian Bush, Frank Bencomo
  • 2015: Jeremy Ball, Chloe Zoeller
  • 2014: Joel Ben Thomas, Benjamin Whitlock
  • 2007: Justin Tooley
  • 2006: GlyptusAnn Grider, Brittany Todd
  • 2005: Bill Brammell, Greg Virgin
  • 2004: Casey Rickard
  • 2002: John Daniel
  • 2001: Shae Bryant

Harvard University's Institute of Politics: National Campaign

The McConnell Center is one of 25 member institutions participating in Harvard University’s Institute of Politics’ National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement. This consortium works to promote voting and civic engagement on college campuses throughout the U.S.

Each fall, the National Campaign hosts a conference on Harvard’s campus, bringing student representatives to attend skills workshops, share the work they have done in the past year to promote civic engagement at their schools and brainstorm ways to encourage students all over the country to become more politically and civically engaged.

Two McConnell Scholars are selected, based on program performance, to become National Campaign Ambassadors each academic year. These students are selected because of their outstanding dedication to their communities and commitment to fostering a civically minded campus. Responsibilities for National Campaign Ambassadors include collaborating with other school Ambassadors on shared project or awareness campaigns, participating in the annual conference, contributing to the IOP blog and participating in consortium-wide virtual events.

Past McConnell Scholar National Campaign Ambassadors have included:

  • 2021-2022, Yelena Bagdasaryan, Mary Catherine Medley
  • 2020-2021, Abigail Cheek
  • 2019-2020, Molly Baldock & Ben Barberie
  • 2018-2019, Nicole Fielder & Jasper Noble (Fall 2018) and Austin Dillon & Celia Cusick (Spring 2019)
  • 2017-2018, Evan Clark & Erica Gaither
  • 2016-2017, Robert Gassman & Frank Bencomo, "Bridging the Divide: Ending Partisan Polarization in America"
  • 2015-2016, Anna Cecile Pepper & Ronica Hutchison
  • 2014-2015, Victoria Allen & Kevin Grout, "Bipartisan Advocacy: Finding Common Ground"
  • 2013-2014, Arsh Haque & Meghan Waters, “Change Agents: Tools for Effective Advocacy
  • 2012-2013, Sean Southard & Danielle Robinette, “Mobilization 2012: Strategies and Skills for Encouraging your Campus to Vote
  • 2011-2012, Cathrine Mountain, “Bridging the Public Service/Community Service Divide
  • 2010-2011, Justin Brandt & Mary Rose Kennedy, “Emerging Leaders

U.S. Naval Academy Leadership Conference

conference logoThe U.S. Naval Academy hosts an annual leadership conference that includes more than 400 participants from over 45 military and civilian colleges. The conference addresses leadership topics relevant to government, business and academia, as well as the military.

The McConnell Center has sponsored the following McConnell Scholar delegates at the conference:

  • 2022: Caleb Aridano, Lauren Reuss
  • 2021: n/a (canceled due to COVID pandemic)
  • 2020: Laura Hinkle, Will Randolph
  • 2019: Isaac Feinn, Eli Graft
  • 2018: Christian Bush, Claire Gothard 

U.S. Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference

Established in 1960, the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference brings together more than 150 undergraduate students from the United States and over a dozen foreign countries for three days of critical discussions, lectures, informal exchanges, and social events.

The mission of the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference is to bring together the best undergraduate minds from around the world to discuss complex modern issues in foreign policy. This experience also serves to develop lasting civil-military relationships among future leaders in the armed forces, government, and private sector.

Past Attendees:

  • 2023: Shelby Disney, Megan Crowley, Riley Maddox

U.S. Air Force Academy Assembly

Since 1959, this annual conference—sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Academy and Columbia University’s American Assembly—has provided an opportunity for 150 qualified undergraduates to discuss topics of contemporary significance. Prominent academics, business leaders, government officials and non-governmental organizational members serve as speakers and small group workshop leaders.

Past Attendees:

  • 2023: Mallory Slucher, Robel Schwarz, Bryson Sebastian
  • 2022: Camryn McPherson, Dyllan Tipton

West Point Conference on Ethics in America

Designed to create a forum for service academy cadets, midshipmen, college ROTC, and civilian students to discuss the ethical challenges of applying practical judgment across professional industries and lines of service. Featuring a combination of small group discussions, guest speakers, panels, group work, and social events, this event will develop participants' moral judgment to enable acts of moral courage within their professions.

Past Attendees:

  • 2023: Jack Moseley, Sawyer Depp
  • 2022: Caleb Aridano, Megan Crowley