Former AHI Undergraduate Fellow Joe Simonson

The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) congratulates Joe Simonson, co-leader of the AHI’s Undergraduate Fellows Program and previous Editor-in-Chief of Enquiry, on his new position as the Editorial Page Assistant at the New York Post.  Founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton, the New York Post is one of the most widely circulated newspapers in the country and home to a variety of influential writers and syndicated columnists.  Joe will be working under the leadership of Mark Cunningham.  On top of managing the Letter- to-the-Editor section of the paper and assisting in various administrative roles, Joe will participate in the daily editorial process and have opportunities to pen his own pieces.

“The Post’s editorial board certainly helps set the tone in conversation for not just New York City, but nationwide as well,” said Joe. “Those who know me know that the Post is a perfect fit for my personality.”

A transfer student from the University of Arizona, Joe graduated in 2015 with a degree in history from Hamilton College and spent much of his college career working in campus media and participating in programming by the Alexander Hamilton Institute.  Previously, he worked as an assistant production intern at TheBlaze where he wrote for a daily radio show.  Joe thanked the Alexander Hamilton Institute for helping him mature intellectually throughout his time at Hamilton College. “The AHI provides so many opportunities for students to hone in on their talents.  I cannot thank the AHI enough for providing me with all the support I’ve needed to make my time at Hamilton the best it could be.  On top of helping me intellectually flourish through its various enrichment programs and the mentoring by the various professors and scholars who work with the AHI, I’ve made a number of friends for life.  I truly do not believe I would have this fantastic opportunity at the Post if it were not for the AHI.”

“Joe has a quick mind, wide curiosity, and feistiness, which are among the most important qualities in professional journalism,” said AHI Resident Fellow David Frisk, who led several “Great Books” reading clusters that included Joe. “These qualities were developed partly by his strong performance editing and writing for ‘Enquiry,’ which involved not only reliable productivity but imagination in writing about issues—and, too, the ability to stand firm under pressure that reflected the campus orthodoxy.  In addition, his knowledge of today’s political world is already what one would hope for in a young person who has worked successfully in the field. Equally significant is that Joe has strong, well-expressed beliefs about public affairs, something that’s helpful in both opinion journalism and reporting. I will follow his career with much interest.”

AHI Charter Fellow Robert Paquette taught Joe Simonson in several courses and supervised his senior thesis, a study that centered on the founding generation’s evolving attitude toward the French Revolution. “Joe Simonson will bring to The New York Post intelligence, high-energy, tenacity, and impressive courage.  Let me provide you with one example.  During the fall semester, Joe published a piece critical of a campus ‘Die-In’ in response to the Eric Garner and Michael Brown deaths.  Officials at Hamilton College covered up the disruptions, the fact that state police were called out, and that a minority student went on a rant at the terminus of the march in the campus library by denouncing the country, capitalism, police ‘pigs,’ and ‘white plutocrats.’  Joe was vilified not only by activist students but also by one left-wing professorial zealot on campus. As if a vitriolic private email was not enough, this ‘educator’ followed up denouncing him in a published a piece in the campus newspaper.  Joe’s knees not only did not buckle, he stood tall to meet his accusers head on.  This country would be a far better place if more young people had the fortitude, combativeness, and principles of Joe Simonson.  The AHI will miss him greatly.”