Lauren Lee Mitchell is finishing her government degree at Patrick Henry College where she is a Presidential Leadership Scholar, former captain of the parliamentary debate team, and two-time student senator. Her senior thesis, "The Lost Virtue: Reclaiming Beneficence for 21st Century Policy-Making" has been selected for publication by the Patrick Henry College library. She is also global outreach coordinator for the Home School Legal Defense Association, editor of the Around the Globe e-newsletter, and a contributor to the Court Report Magazine.
Mitchell is an ISI Honors Scholar, Patrick Henry College Leadership Scholar, and a Harvard Summer Scholar. In various academic capacities, she has spoken to audiences across the United States, Canada, and at the European Union. Her philanthropic efforts include court advocacy for children through CASA, mentoring children with incarcerated parents, advocating for social issues through slam poetry, and raising awareness for children's health as an ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. She currently holds the title of Miss Cardinal 2017. Lauren's website is laurenleemitchell.com.
- How did you find out about ISI? What drew you to get involved in ISI's programming?
I found out about the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) through the experiences of several friends who were ISI chapter leaders. Hearing their stories of round table discussions, new friendships forged, and travels with colleagues compelled me to apply for the Honors program this year. It ended up being a remarkable time of reflection and growth—I highly recommend it to all undergraduates.
- If you had to choose one highlight of your undergraduate experience, what would it be?
Patrick Henry College is arguably the most successful speech and debate college in the country, with teams regularly placing at nationals in a variety of forensics: moot court, mock trial, and parliamentary debate. I had the honor of becoming captain of the debate team my sophomore year, and eventually represented my school in India at the world debate championships. This experience became a major highlight of my undergraduate years! While doing what I loved most (debate), I was privileged to experience an entirely new culture, broadening my knowledge of world events and global politics.
- What have you valued most about your ISI experience?
I value most the opportunity to learn alongside some of the brightest young academic minds I have ever encountered. These students are future professors, theorists, writers, and culture-changers. They are passionate, thoughtful, and hilarious. How quickly a conversation can move from the latest internet meme or YouTube prank video to a doctoral-level discussion on Hayek, Weaver, or Burke! They continue to inspire me in my journey toward rescuing and restoring the principles of conservatism in culture and in politics. I am honored to call them my colleagues.
- How have you spent your summers while in college?
I spent my summers in college preparing for my dream of law school: interning, networking with professionals, and making memories. I worked for the good folks at Liberty Institute in Texas protecting religious liberty, and spent several summers with Home School Legal Defense Association, fighting for parental rights. I even moved to Beverly Hills for a few months one year to prepare defamation suits with some of the best civil litigation attorneys in the country: Johnson & Johnson LLP.
- Whom do you admire most, and why?
Patrick Henry College connects me with many brilliant minds and I am blessed by personal relationships with almost all the professors I've studied under. However, a special mark on my undergraduate career is left by Dr. Roberta Bayer. Not only is she a remarkable political theorist, but a role model for all women in academia and a genuinely gracious mentor. Dr. Bayer sees students as multi-faceted people, not just grades or test scores. Her care for students' personal and spiritual growth is apparent. I take this opportunity to again thank her for her tremendous belief in me and constant encouragement to achieve.
- What advice would you give to other students who want to preserve the principles of liberty?
I encourage all students to join ISI, attend their conferences, and apply for their Honors program! This is a very practical way to find the support system you need to live out your principles of conservatism on campus. They will keep you well-read with discounts on books, encourage your spirit with testimonies and articles, and bring you along for life-changing trips and conferences. I'm a grateful, life-long supporter of ISI!
Books, Conferences, and Content for the Thinking College Conservative.
Sign up today to get the best of intellectual conservatism every Thursday, and to hear about upcoming events and conferences.