ISI’s Honors Program 2024

August 04-10, 2024
ISI's Linda L. Bean Center, Wilmington, Delaware

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute Honors Program

Join other exceptional students and leading conservative intellectuals from all academic disciplines for ISI’s premier, all-expenses-paid, weeklong summer program.

The ISI Honors Program introduces students to Russell Kirk’s masterpiece, The Roots of American Order, a masterful account of the cities and traditions that gave life to Western Civilization. Honors Scholars embark on a journey from Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and to Philadelphia—the five cities Kirk identifies that shape the American order—to explore the principles that hold America together and the forces that can tear it apart.

Graduates of the ISI Honors Program will join an exclusive fellowship of conservative leaders who are equipped and empowered to remedy what ails American institutions today. We aim to cultivate more than influential policymakers; ISI shapes prudent, principled statesmen and women who bring a clear-eyed historical sensibility to their decision-making. Our Honors Fellows go on to shape culture through virtuous leadership in the wide variety of careers they pursue.

The ISI Honors Program is not merely an informational presentation; it is an introduction into a lifelong community of like-minded people. Our top-tier faculty members and speakers join students for the entire week, passing on knowledge and guidance through lectures and discussion groups, and serving as mentors to help to further students’ academic and professional careers.

But the Honors experience does not end after the week. Honors scholars will also be invited to attend additional lectures by leading conservative intellectuals throughout the 2023-2024 academic year. Each Honors scholar also has the opportunity to attend ISI’s annual Homecoming weekend as a capstone to the year-long experience and embarks on a lifetime of access to ISI’s many connections and resources.

If you are a hardworking, dedicated, undergraduate conservative leader as of Spring 2024, you are encouraged to apply to the 2024 ISI Honors Program.

To apply, you will need:

  • Contact information of two professional or academic references. References may be a mentor at school/other academic institutions, supervisors at internships or summer jobs, or anyone else who is a non-relative who can speak to your virtues. We welcome references from your supervisor at a landscaping business you work for in the summer, for example.
  • Two 500-word essays
  • A one-page CV/Resume

Applications are due by February 11, 2024. We look forward to reviewing your application!

Faculty (More to be annouced soon!)

Dr. Patrick Deneen

Patrick J. Deneen holds a B.A. in English literature and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University.  From 1995-1997 he was Speechwriter and Special Advisor to the Director of the United States Information Agency.  From 1997-2005 he was Assistant Professor of Government at Princeton University.  From 2005-2012 he was Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University, before joining the faculty of Notre Dame in Fall 2012.  He is the author and editor of several books and numerous articles and reviews and has delivered invited lectures around the world.

Deneen was awarded the A.P.S.A.’s Leo Strauss Award for Best Dissertation in Political Theory in 1995, and an honorable mention for the A.P.S.A.’s Best First Book Award in 2000.  He has been awarded research fellowships from Princeton University, Earhart Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Virginia.

His teaching and writing interests focus on the history of political thought, American political thought, liberalism, conservatism, and constitutionalism.   

Dr. Khalil Habib

Dr. Khalil M Habib is Associate Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he teaches political philosophy and American political thought. Dr. Habib has co-edited two books, The Soul of Statesmanship: Shakespeare on Nature, Virtue, and Political Wisdom, and Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Globalization: Citizens Without States.

Dr. Susan Hanssen

Susan Hanssen is an Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Dallas. She received her graduate degree in history from Rice University in Houston, TX. She received her undergraduate degree in history from Boston University (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). During the summer of 2008 she was adjunct professor for the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation at Georgetown University. She was the 2010-2011 Garwood Fellow at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.

Dr. Enrique Pallares

Enrique Pallares is a political theorist who specializes in the history of ideas, modernity, liberalism, continental philosophy, ideology and totalitarianism, and the relationship between transcendence and the symbolic articulations of order in history. He holds a B.A. in Literature and Philosophy from The New School University in New York and a Ph.D. in Political Theory from The Catholic University of America, where he has taught in the Politics Department and in the School of Philosophy. Dr. Pallares is finishing a book manuscript on the concept of the person in modernity, with a particular focus on the work of Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, and is working on a book project on the political philosophy of the Spanish liberal tradition. He is a Fellow at the Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture at Washington College and a Research Associate at The Catholic University of America. He is originally from Ecuador, has lived in Argentina and Spain, and is the co-founder of Casa Carmen—a farm, winery, and vermouth producer in the Brandywine Valley of Pennsylvania, where he lives with his family.

Dr. Joseph Prud'homme

Joseph Prud’homme is the Burton Family Chair in Religion, Politics, and Culture and Associate Professor of Political Science and Affiliated Faculty member in Religious Studies. Professor Prud’homme is the founding Director of the Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture at Washington College. He received his doctorate from Princeton University, where he studied in the Interdepartmental Program in Political Philosophy, with additional specialization in constitutional law and religious studies. He was awarded a Fellowship at Harvard University, where he studied at the Harvard Law School and served as a member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He has also held a Visiting Fellowship at the University of Oxford.

Professor Prud’homme works in the areas of political philosophy, legal theory, intellectual history and religious studies. He has published numerous works in these fields, including the books Religion and Politics in America from the Colonial Period to the Civil War; Curriculum and the Culture Wars: Debating the Bible’s Place in Public Schools (with Melissa Deckman of Washington College); State Religious Education and the State of Religious Life (with Liam Gearon of the University of Oxford); the chapter on Religion and Education for the Palgrave Handbook on Religion and the State; and numerous peer-reviewed articles.

He teaches political theory, constitutional law, and Western religious traditions. He earned two bachelor’s degrees with three majors and a minor at Texas A&M University, where he graduated magna cum laude and with an honors certificate. He directs a partnership between Washington College and the University of Oxford. He is also a frequent guest lecturer.

Dr. Miles Smith
Dr. Smith is a trained historian who attended the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina for his undergraduate degree and later received his Ph.D. from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. His research primarily focuses on the U.S. South and the Atlantic world, with a particular interest in intellectual history, including ideas, religion, slavery, and freedom. He also occasionally delves into political history and has an interest in Europe and Latin America. Dr. Smith is an editor of nineteenth-century works of historical theology and is currently revising a religious biography of Andrew Jackson. He also contributes to popular outlets such as Mere Orthodoxy, The Gospel Coalition, Public Discourse, The Federalist, and The University Bookman.
Dr. Smith’s professional journey has taken him from TCU, where he taught as a graduate assistant, to Hillsdale College, where he taught for two years, to Regent University in Virginia Beach, and now back to Hillsdale.
Originally from Salisbury, North Carolina, which is about 45 minutes north of Charlotte, he considers Charlotte his adult hometown as his parents and brother currently reside there. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, writing, and playing tennis. He has a deep appreciation for essays, novels, and poetry, but also enjoys sports and pro wrestling, which is a nod to his upbringing in the small-town South.
Dr. Don Westblade

Born and raised in Colorado, Dr. Westblade reached Michigan by way of an educational path through Massachusetts, California, and Connecticut, plus a two-year sojourn in Germany and France for language study. He met his South Dakota wife, Joni, in Denver and they married in 1983. They have three married children and two grandchildren, who live in Illinois, Virginia, and Minnesota. Dr. Westblade has taught courses in Early Christianity and Bible at Hillsdale since 1988. He was ordained in the Baptist General Conference (now Converge) in 2005. Outside oh his professional, academic life he is invested in the ministries of Young Life, InterVarsity, and College Baptist Church. He plays racquetball at least twice every week and loves to ski and travel. Turkey and Uganda stand out among his most beautiful and frequent international destinations.

Dr. Benedict Whalen

Dr. Benedict Whalen is Associate Professor of English at Hillsdale College. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Dallas, and went on to study at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he received his master’s degree and his Ph.D. Dr. Whalen taught at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, before coming to Hillsdale College in 2014.

While a true generalist at heart, Dr. Whalen specializes in Renaissance British Literature, including the works of Shakespeare, Milton, and the lyric poetry of the period. He has published several articles on the works of Shakespeare, Donne, and Renaissance drama and has edited a volume of the poetry of the English martyrs titled Lyra Martyrum. He has served as the Book Review Editor for the Ben Jonson Journal since 2008. He was honored as Hillsdale College Professor of the Year in 2020.

Dr. Whalen lives in Hillsdale with his wife Lisa and their six children.

Dr. Andrew Willard Jones

Andrew Willard Jones holds a PhD in Medieval History from Saint Louis University with a focus on the Church of the High Middle Ages. Jones’s work is primarily concerned with historical political theology and with the reconciliation of the post-modern with the pre-modern. Methodologically, his work treats history as a theological discipline and not as a secular archaeology. Jones is the author of Before Church and State: A Study of Social Order in St. Louis IX’s Sacramental Kingdom and the one-volume history of the Catholic Church The Two Cities: A History of Christian Politics. He is also working on an overview of the Church’s social teaching.

Fr. John Strickland

Father John Strickland is a priest of the Orthodox Church of America and the rector of Saint Elizabeth parish in Poulsbo, Washington. He holds a Ph.D. in European history and has taught at several universities over the course of a quarter-century. His specialization is Russia, and his first book is entitled The Making of Holy Russia: The Orthodox Church and Russian Nationalism before the Revolution. Long interested in the influence of Christianity on the West, he recently completed a four-volume history entitled Paradise and Utopia: The Rise and Fall of What the West Once Was. This series tells the story—from Pentecost to the present—of “Christendom,” which Fr. John defines not as the Church as such but as “a civilization with a supporting culture that directs its members toward the heavenly transformation of the world.” The work’s goal was to tell the story of the West from the perspective of the Christian East, a perspective almost totally unknown in America’s conventional scholarship and media.

In addition to his pastoral and scholarly work, Fr. John enjoys woodworking and writing fiction, with a current project set in post-Communist Saint Petersburg influenced by Dostoevsky and (less conventionally) Arthurian legend. He lives in rural western Puget Sound with his wife Yelena (who works as a psychotherapist) and five children.

Michael Knowles

Michael Knowles is the celebrated host of “The Michael Knowles Show” at the Daily Wire and “The Book Club” at PragerU. He is also the author of the best-selling book “Speechless.”

Auron MacIntyre

Auron MacIntyre is a columnist, lecturer, and author focusing on the application of political theory. He is the host of the Auron MacIntyre Show and podcast on The Blaze. MacIntyre lives with his wife and son in Florida.

Meir Soloveichik

Meir Soloveichik is Rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel- New York’s Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States, and is the founder and director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University.  He graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva University and received his Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University.  His podcasts include Bible365, a daily study of the Hebrew Bible that completes all of Jewish scripture in a year, and Jerusalem365, which tells the 4,000-year history of Jerusalem.  These podcasts, his articles, and his lectures can be found at   Rabbi Soloveichik has testified before the US Congress on the subject of the free exercise of religion and, in 2018, was awarded the Canterbury Medal by the Becket Fund.

Request your application today!