CCCG Congratulates Graduating Tocqueville Fellows

Author: Center for Citizenship & Constitutional Government

Graduation Celebration Photo of Class of 2023 Tocqueville Fellows

The Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Government (CCCG) congratulates 14 Menard Family Tocqueville Fellows on their graduation from the University of Notre Dame. The Menard Family Tocqueville Fellowship Program is a competitive undergraduate fellowship designed to provide students with opportunities to discuss fundamental questions about politics, culture, business, markets, philosophy, and religion. Fellows participate in colloquia, attend lectures hosted by the CCCG, and often have the opportunity to meet privately with guest speakers and prominent figures in politics and public life. 

The CCCG extends gratitude to these 14 graduating seniors who have actively contributed to the life of the center through the Tocqueville Fellowship. 

John Babbo has been a Tocqueville Fellow since the fall of his sophomore year. He graduated with a degree in the Program of Liberal Studies with minors in Constitutional Studies and Business Economics. Babbo will work for a private equity firm following graduation. He particularly loved the colloquiums hosted by the fellowship and the opportunities to speak with prominent figures in public life, like Senator Tim Scott. 

Emma Barrett graduated with a degree in the Program of Liberal Studies and minors in Constitutional Studies and Business Economics. She was a fellow for five semesters, and her favorite events were the lecture and breakfast with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. 

"The pursuit of dialogue on hard and controversial questions with people that I respect with differing opinions was a focus of the Tocqueville program and something that greatly shaped my time at Notre Dame," Barrett said.

Edward Brunicardi graduated with a major in Political Science and minors in Poverty Studies and the Hesburgh Program in Public Service. Following graduation, he will be a union organizer with the food service union Unite Here Local 100. His favorite Tocqueville colloquium focused on the theological and human elements of economics, and his favorite speaker was Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney in the fall of this academic year. 

"I learned about how the “order of things” can help us understand the types of arguments we can make about moral decisions and the extent such ideas should influence the actions of government," Brunicardi said. 

Corrinne Carlson graduated with a degree in the Program of Liberal Studies and minors in Constitutional Studies, Theology, and Medieval Studies. She has been a Tocqueville Fellow since the spring semester of her freshman year. 

"I witnessed the importance of humility and thoughtfulness in conversations on difficult topics, two values I will certainly hope to model in my life after graduation," Carlson said. 

Following graduation, she will participate in The Public Interest Fellowship in Washington, D.C., where she has been placed with Parents Defending Education to work in education policy. 

Luke Koenigsknecht graduated with a degree in computer engineering. He will be working for a patent law firm in Chicago after graduation and is especially interested in the intersection between technology and governance. 

Patrick Lee graduated with a major in the Program of Liberal Studies and minors in Theology, Constitutional Studies, and Business Economics. He served as Notre Dame's Student Body President during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Christian McKernan graduated with a degree in finance and a minor in European studies. He will work as an investment banking analyst at Greenhill & Co. Originally from Yardley, Pennsylvania, his favorite event as a fellow was the lecture delivered by Rep. Liz Cheney in the fall of 2022. 

Blake Perry graduated with a major in finance and a minor in Constitutional Studies. He will return to Notre Dame in the fall to attend the law school as a Murphy Fellow with the Program of Church, State, and Society. Perry loved visiting with Justice Clarence Thomas, and he credits his conversations with Thomas as the inspiration for his pursuit of a law degree.

"Integrating the public and private life is a fundamental duty of the citizen, and I’m grateful to have met individuals who exemplify this through Tocqueville," Perry said.

Thomas Richter graduated with a major in philosophy. A Tocqueville fellow since the fall of his sophomore year, Richter said that the fellowship taught him about the importance of civic education for a healthy democracy. Following graduation, he will move to Dallas, TX to work as a legal analyst for Goldman Sachs before applying to law school.

Luke Schafer graduated with majors in economics and global affairs and a minor in Constitutional Studies. Originally from Williamston, Michigan, Shafer will attend Harvard Law School in the fall. His favorite Tocqueville events were the lecture by Sen. Tim Scott and the Statesmanship Dinner.

"I have always had a love for America and a desire to defend her. Tocqueville, and the CCCG more generally, gave me the intellectual and spiritual formation to defend her by being a better citizen of both the city of man and the city of God," he said.

Chris Stokes graduated with a degree in political science and a minor in Constitutional Studies. His favorite events were the breakfast with Judge Kyle Duncan this spring and the lecture by Alexandra DeSanctis '18 in the fall. Following graduation, he will work as a paralegal for the New Civil Liberties Alliance. 

Grace Thilken graduated with a major in the Program of Liberal Studies and a minor in Constitutional Studies. A Tocqueville Fellow for three semesters, Grace loved meeting Justice Clarence Thomas and learning from him through his lecture and the private breakfast with Tocqueville Fellows. Following graduation, Grace is getting married and will be teaching English and religion at a Catholic school come fall. 

Charles Yockey graduated with a major in the Program of Liberal Studies as well as a minor in Constitutional Studies. Come October, Yockey will matriculate to Cambridge University to read for an M.Phil in Political Thought and Intellectual History.

“I tremendously respect the entire Tocqueville cohort and have enjoyed getting to know such an ideologically diverse group of people. It’s made me a much better scholar and meaningfully grounded my education," Yockey said.

Blake Ziegler graduated with majors in Political Science and Philosophy. Following graduation, he plans to return home to New Orleans to teach high school social studies at the Delores Taylor Arthur School.