The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) congratulates Marina Cascini as the recipient of the Third Annual James Piereson Fellowship.  She comes to AHI with most impressive credentials.

In addition to maintaining a 4.0 grade point average at Notre Dame High School in nearby Utica, New York, she has been a member of the school’s Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps since 2019 and has won ten NJROTC awards and commendations. She is currently the Notre Dame unit’s commanding officer.

Having just completed her junior year, Marina is also adding to her education at AHI courtesy of the James Piereson award. She meets with resident fellows, including Dr. David Frisk, for weekly tutorials as she reads The Federalist. In addition, she will begin the supervised reading of William McClay’s acclaimed textbook Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story (2020).

Deeply involved in campus life and extracurriculars, she is a member of Notre Dame’s student council, a member of its mock trial team, a participant in the campus ministry, and an algebra tutor. She volunteers for a variety of community service work.  She has been a member of the school’s Blue and Gold Players Theater and its praise and worship band since 2017. She is a pianist and choir member at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Utica. Her main academic interests center on political science and government.

This week, Marina is at the Empire Girls State program in Syracuse, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, whose purpose is to develop “a working knowledge of the structure of government” and to show participants that their government is “what they make it.”

Acting as citizens of a fictional state, selected high school students elect and serve as county officeholders, legislators, and state-level officials. They organize into parties, “introduce and debate bills, and carry out the duties of the office to which they are elected or appointed.” Candidates for Girls State are chosen with the help of teachers and counselors, who evaluate their leadership potential.

“Marina is an exceptional young talent,” observed AHI President Robert Paquette.  “The track record speaks volumes. I came away from her interview that this young woman is a natural for the Piereson Fellowship. What stood out for me she has the self-discipline and the maturing sense of corporate responsibility too often lacking in her peers.  We are delighted to have her.”

AHI established the James Piereson Fellowship in recognition of outstanding service to this country.  A Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute and trustee of the William E. Simon Foundation,  Dr. Piereson serves on numerous boards including The Pinkerton Foundation, the Thomas W. Smith Foundation, The Center for Individual Rights, the Foundation for Cultural Review, the American Spectator Foundation, Donors Trust, the William F. Buckley, Jr., Program at Yale University, and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He has published dozens of articles in leading journals and newspapers and is the author of Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism (2007); The Inequality Hoax (2014); Why Redistribution Fails (2015) and Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America’s Postwar Political Order (2015). He received his Ph.D. in political science from Michigan State University in 1973.