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Profiles in Liberty: Kelly Hastings

by Dan Barrett / /

NTUF picks the best and brightest young professionals to intern in our Alexandria, Virginia Headquarters. Many of our research interns have served as research assistants to either a professor or a department at their undergraduate schools; both of our communications interns have had experience in public speaking, either in front of large crowds or through radio; and our creative content intern has made several online educational tools. At NTUF, they are able to develop the skills to get taxpayers the most relevant information on government spending.

NTUF Research Intern Kelly Hastings

Kelly Hastings is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee who recently graduated from Berry College in Georgia. She has a BS in Economics, and participated in a research study with one of her professors, which resulted in her presenting a paper at the Southern Economic Association’s 83rd Annual Conference. Her interest in writing this paper was sparked by a summer spent interning as an economic analyst at the Tennessee Valley Authority. She has devoted some of her time at school to working as a research assistant for professors and as a Journal Reviewer for the Campbell School of Business’ Undergraduate Business and Economics Research Journal.

What have you enjoyed most about living in the DC area?

KH: Getting to see the national monuments and war memorials. I had never visited Washington, D.C. until this past summer, so I had only read about the monuments and memorials in textbooks. I was especially excited to see the Lincoln Memorial. I also love working in Old Town Alexandria because of its quaint, laid-back feel.

When you’re not at the office, what do you like to do for fun?

KH: I love exploring the cities in the area. It’s easy to get to Arlington, Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, and there are so many fun and interesting things to do. I’m also an avid reader- I’ve been through John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces and John Steinbeck’s East of Eden so far this summer.

How did you become interested in politics?

KH: My interest in politics came after my interest in economics. As an economics major, I was particularly influenced by the philosophical ideas of the economist Adam Smith. I see politics as an avenue to promote these ideas.

What are you hoping to learn while researching for NTUF this summer?

KH: I’m hoping to get a better grasp of how our political system works, but I’m especially interested in how legislation is drafted and how it moves through Congress. I feel that this will be very beneficial to me, as I’m considering a career in law. I’m also hoping to gain an understanding for how non-profit organizations work.

On that note, what have you learned so far at NTUF which has most interested you?

KH: I have learned about Steve Forbes’ monetary policy ideas. I had the fortune of hearing Forbes speak at Berry College during my Freshman year, but I didn’t realize that he was on the Board of Directors for NTU. Forbes’ discussion was on how a fiat monetary system leads to a debased currency, which erodes trust between lenders and borrowers. He pointed out that this eventually leads to a debased society.

What does a standard day at NTUF look like for you?

KH:  I research bills and make calls to congressional offices. I’m also in charge of taking the pictures for NTUF’s Instagram account, and sometimes I have the chance to write.

What is the most interesting bill you’ve researched?

KH: I researched a bill which places certain reporting requirements on the utility industry in order to ensure that the infrastructure is secure in the event of a security threat. This was particularly interesting to me since I spent a summer at the TVA. Though, in this bill, the TVA and the Bonneville Power Administration were exempted.

Be sure to read our previous interview with JR Ridley, and keep checking Government Bytes daily, as we’ll be interviewing Alex Eblan next week.

How can you help? NTU Foundation appreciates every contribution we receive. Your donations are tax-deductible and help further NTUF research and taxpayer education.

Thanks to Catherine Fitzhugh for developing the Profiles in Liberty series and interviewing our interns.