Patrick Henry College Alumni Build Political Consulting Firm

Matt Brownfield , Patrick Henry College Alumni (Government: Public Policy, ’05) has been working full-time in Texas politics since 2008. And he isn’t ready to quit anytime soon.

Brownfield arrived at Patrick Henry College in 2001 planning to be an attorney but graduated with the goal of working as a professor of politics and political theory. He entered the classically minded University of Dallas but changed his mind about his profession around the time he finished his coursework for a Ph.D.

During his time at Patrick Henry College, Brownfield worked on many campaigns, from Generation Joshua’s Student Action Teams to spending six weeks on a state senate race in Texas, to working for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

Three years into his graduate program, he began to feel anxious regarding his lack of engagement in politics. A chance encounter at the 2008 Texas Republican convention led him to connect with a candidate for state representative in North Texas who asked him to be her campaign manager. He and his classmate Ross Hunt agreed to work on the campaign and jumped in headfirst. At the end of the elections, the candidate lost the race, but Brownfield was back in politics, and he wanted more.

He and Hunt decided to try again. They began by creating a business, Nasica Consulting Services, to help local candidates in Dallas County, Initially, they offered candidates a limited set of services primarily grassroots and data work. They joined forces with a full-service consulting firm in late 2011, and when the firm reorganized a year later, Brownfield and Hunt joined with several partners to form a new brand—Murphy Nasica.

Since launching Murphy Nasica, Brownfield and his team have worked on campaigns in 11 states and have recently opened their first out-of-Texas office in Des Moines, Iowa. The company often handles 30-40 campaigns at one time, assisting Republican candidates up and down the ballot—from school board to U.S. Senate.

Brownfield has been joined by two other Patrick Henry College alumnae, now full-time employees at Murphy Nasica as well, Amanda Brock (Government: American Politics and Policy, ’12) and Stephanie Terek (Government: Public Policy, ’05). Brownfield frequently reaches out to Patrick Henry College students and alumni to bring them to his company for an internship or job. “It has been a real joy to get to work with so many Patrick Henry College grads,” Brownfield said. “It’s a rare office in Texas that has as many Sentinels as it does Longhorns and Aggies.”

Tony Cavicchi (Government, ’13) spent half a year working for Brownfield as the Social Media Strategist during his time in college.

“Matt thinks on a higher level philosophically, which sets him apart from people who are crass political operatives,” Cavicchi said. “Even in some situations, candidates having general life issues outside of their campaigns would call Matt just to talk because he had earned their trust. He is the kind of person they can speak to and listen to.”

Brownfield convinced Patrick Henry College classmate Stephanie Terek to move from D.C. to Texas to work at Murphy Nasica starting in early 2015.

Terek graduated from Patrick Henry College with a degree in Public Policy. After graduating, she interned in the White House for a summer, which led to a job with the Department of Labor for the Bush Administration for a little over three years.

Now Murphy Nasica’s Director of Grassroots, Terek comes with boatloads of expertise. After her job with the Department of Labor, she worked as the events coordinator for a consulting company, worked for the Florida Legislature, helped get the chairman of the Florida Republican Party elected, worked with national security issues for a non-profit, and most recently served as the National Field Director for Generation Opportunity. She’s run national grassroots programs, directed field activism for getting Out The Vote efforts, and is right at home developing the grassroots strategy at Murphy Nasica.

“I really enjoy the fact that we live in a free country where we can openly fight for the values we believe in,” she said. “I love helping people realize that they can make a difference and encouraging them to get involved so we don’t lose the freedoms we have.”

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Patrick Henry College Alumni Excel on Harvard Law Review

The Harvard Law Review is a prestigious legal journal that examines high profile legal cases, including many from the U.S. Supreme Court. In publication for 127 years, it adds 46 new members annually to its board of editors, selected through a painstaking writing and review process from among 200 of Harvard’s most talented rising “second years.” This renowned crop of high achievers writes, edits, and publishes the monthly, 300-to-400 page Review.

The Review also happens to feature a disproportionate number of Patrick Henry College grads: five PHC alumni have served on the board of editors, including past ACMA Moot Court Champion Matthew du Mée (’05) and Lindsay See (’07). This year three former students serve on the board of editors: Alex Harris (’12, also an ACMA Moot Court Champion), who joined in July 2013, and James Nelson (’13) and Evelyn Blacklock (’11), who both joined the Harvard Law Review in July 2014. The editors are among seven Patrick Henry College graduates currently enrolled at Harvard Law School–ten total since 2005–constituting a significant presence “that has not gone unnoticed here at Harvard,” says Harris.

Along with his twin brother Brett, Alex published the bestselling book Do Hard Things and launched the national Rebelution “movement against teenage apathy” as a high school student. Together the brothers won the 2011 ACMA Moot Court Championship, and today Alex serves as the Supreme Court Chair for the Review. Recently recognized in the Business Insider as one of “18 Incredibly Impressive Students at Harvard Law School,” Harris’s role as the Review’s Supreme Court Chair has him collaborating with constitutional scholars, including Professor John Manning, a leading conservative scholar on statutory and constitutional interpretation.

That so many Review editors hail from Patrick Henry College, says Harris, a school much smaller and lesser known than the alma maters of some other editors, speaks to the quality of a Patrick Henry College education.

“There are many, much larger schools that have fewer people make it on the [Harvard Law Review],” he said. “People have noticed that there are three editors from Patrick Henry College, despite its age and size. That didn’t just happen by accident.”More than halfway through Harvard Law, Harris has completed Supreme Court appellate litigation in D.C and has also secured a post-graduation clerkship with Judge Neil Gor such on the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver.

“I feel incredibly blessed and grateful,” he says. For their part, Nelson and Blacklock spend large portions of the second year writing and editing articles for the November Review, fighting crushing deadlines, drafting lengthy analyses of new legislation, and penning comprehensive legal essays called “notes.”

“It’s a huge investment of time and it’s an emotional investment too,” said Black lock, who will clerk this summer with Judge Brett Kava naught on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. “It’s great to be part of an institution that helps shape the ideas that come out of the legal academy.” She says her Patrick Henry College rhetoric, logic, philosophy, and constitutional law classes were a “tremendous asset,” teaching her how to think and write well.

By any measure, editing the Harvard Law Review carries a singular prestige, affording students priceless networking and career advantages while forging them into world-class legal writers and scholars. Yet other top law schools have also seen many Patrick Henry College graduates serve as law review editors, a clerk with esteemed judges, and begin their ascent at elite law firms.

“Others have been as, or more, successful,” observed Harris, mentioning, among many others, friends Nicole Frazer (’12), near the top of her class at the University of Virginia School of Law, editing the Virginia Law Review, a 2014 John Marshall Fellow and clerking for Judge Jeffrey Sutton in the Sixth Circuit, and Tyler Stockton (’13), excelling at the University of Montana School of Law.

The numbers of Patrick Henry College graduates who have seen success in law school and now serve as attorneys, judges, and high-level counselors for myriad organizations and ministries, are too numerous to mention here. The following is a brief, far from the exhaustive, overview of some of the many deserving attention for how God is blessing their efforts:

Aidan Grano (’10), graduated from Columbia Law in 2013, served on the Columbia Law Review, was a James Kent Scholar and moot court champion, clerked with Judge Wesley of the Second Circuit, and is currently an attorney with Simpson, Thacher, and Bartlett, LLP, in New York City.

Kyle Pousson (’05), a 2008 graduate of Duke Law School, is presently the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.

James Barta (’10), a 2013 graduate of Georgetown Law School, clerked with Judge Stephen Murphy of the Eastern District of Michigan and Raymond Keth-ledge of the Sixth Circuit and was a 2013 John Marshall Fellow.

Galen Thorp (’04), graduated from George town Law in 2007, published an article in the Journal of Supreme Court History and is today an attorney for the Department of Justice, Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch.

Lindsay See (’07), a 2011 graduate of Harvard Law School and editor of the Harvard Law Review, served with the International Justice Mission and Department of Justice, clerked with Thomas Griffith in the D.C. Circuit, and is an attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in D.C.

Matthew du Mée (’05), graduated from Harvard Law School in 2010, served as an editor with the Harvard Law Review, clerked with Judge Andrew Hurwitz of the Arizona Supreme Court, and is now an attorney with Perkins Cole in Phoenix, Ariz.

Eric Lansing (’10), graduated from Regent University School of Law in 2013, served as managing editor of Regent University Law Review and as law school chaplain, worked for the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) and for the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, and is today a Virginia Magistrate

in Petersburg, Va. Rachel Baer (’06), a 2009 graduate of the Regent University School of Law, served as Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and today heads the Law Office of Rachel Baer in Alexandria, Va.

 Aaron Thomas Noble (’05), a 2009 graduate of Texas A&M Law School, serves as an attorney with the Air Force JAGS Corps.

Justin Jenkins (’09), who plans to graduate from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2014, clerked with Judge Roy Moore in the Alabama Supreme Court and wrote a successful oral argument in the Eleventh Circuit.

The Goodness of God By Dr. Steven Hake

Last May my wife has diagnosed with stage four cancer. We were in deep anguish, but the entire Patrick Henry College community surrounded us with love and prayers. Recently, a full-body scan revealed no cancer left in her body. God is good!

I have seen His goodness in many ways. As a professor at Patrick Henry College since its 2000 founding, I’m sometimes asked how the College has changed. What most encourages me are the ways it has not changed. The qualities that I so enjoyed in those first students 14 years ago still characterize my students today. They’re bright, energetic and godly—they care. As professors, we’ve all taught in other places, and there are always at least a few students who care and who really want what you have to give. We teach those students. But at Patrick Henry College virtually all the students care deeply, not just a few. It’s like cooking for people with a ravenous, rather than an anemic, appetite. Because I see how much it means to my students, because they so appreciate all that I bring to each class, I’m very motivated as a professor to keep growing.

I recently turned 60 and now strongly sense that I must focus on the things that matter most, the contributions that God has uniquely called me to make. I have designed a biblical studies course called, “The Christian Life,” and am working on a four-year discipleship plan through which I hope to pour my life into a small group of young men at Patrick Henry College. I’ve also designed two “Christian Renaissance Camps” and a Christian Renaissance Conference for high school-aged young people, in the hope that many of them will end up at Patrick Henry College. Finally, I am also beginning to reach out to home school and classical Christian school journals and magazines. Today, I am more excited about my work than I have ever been to before. God is good!

I share the writer’s sentiment in 111 John 4, that “I have no greater joy than to hear that my [former students] are walking in the truth.” Some are active in missions, in Italy, Hungary, Tunisia, China, and India. Some are in graduate programs, in English, Classics, and other fields. Some are serving churches, and many are teachers. One young couple in the area is raising a five-year-old who speaks in “full, carefully punctuated sentences.” I still honestly believe that given time and the blessing of God, these young people will write the big books that turn our culture around, that spark the Christian Renaissance for which I have prayed for many years. God is indeed very good.

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