Nicholas Bartulovic is a graduating senior of Ashland University. He studies history and political science with minors in music composition and philosophy. Originally from Hudson, Ohio, Nicholas is primarily interested in political philosophy and aesthetics. He was a 2016 Honors Scholar and hopes to become a writer or attend graduate school to further his study of political philosophy.
- How did you find out about ISI? What drew you to get involved in ISI's programming?
I found out about ISI the spring of my sophomore year. I had already found an internship for the summer but knew that it would mainly be focused on public policy research. Not wanting to let my studies regress, I began looking into academic conferences and stumbled onto ISI’s Principles of Liberty Seminar. What I found attractive about it was that it was distinctly conservative and comprehensive in scope. I realized almost instantly that this was a program that would allow me to come away with an understanding of why I believed what I did.
- If you had to choose one highlight of your undergraduate experience, what would it be?
The greatest highlight of my undergraduate experience would have to be studying under the late Peter W. Schramm. He introduced me to what was true, good, and beautiful about this world and for that I will forever be thankful. More specifically however, the greatest highlight of studying with him was taking his Shakespeare and politics class. I had never liked Shakespeare in high school, but this class showed me that not just Shakespeare but all cultural matters could be viewed through the lens of philosophy. Learning this opened up a world of inquiry that would take more than one lifetime to complete.
- What have you valued most about your ISI experience?
What I value most about my experience at ISI was the comradery that we all shared in pursuing the truth. When I got my itinerary for the Principles of Liberty summer conference, it said that there would be “hospitality” in the evenings. I thought to myself, “How antiquated and charming, this might be interesting.” These evening sessions of hospitality soon became my favorite aspect of the program, and when I was accepted to the Honor’s Program I looked forward for months to those long summer evenings where we would explore the worlds and ideas of the great minds of Western Civilization, trying to figure out where we fit in it all.
- How have you spent your summers while in college?
I spent my summers doing a mix of practical and theoretical politics. Two of my summers I worked on a local campaign and at The Buckeye Institute in Columbus, Ohio, where I assisted in research and analysis of the recently passed Ohio budget. Last summer however, I spent working for the Ashbrook Center in their Masters of American History & Government Program. It is a program designed to be an alternative to traditional teacher programs, and it is meant to address the lack of proper history and civic education in our schools by providing teachers with a deep and broad understanding of the subjects they teach, focusing on the use of original historical documents in the classroom.
- Whom do you admire most, and why?
Of those great minds who have come before us I most admire the great St. Thomas Aquinas. He taught me was that it is actually possible through human reason to discover immutable principles about God’s nature that could be applied to not only our daily lives but also to the political communities that we are a part of. Of those still living however, I most admire Ben Sasse. His articulate defense of American conservatism is a breath of fresh air to the movement. What Senator Sasse is attempting to do is what great statesmen before have done: pursue the good in light of the particulars. I believe that in time he will achieve that good.
- What advice would you give to other students who want to preserve the principles of liberty?
What students need to preserve the principles of liberty is to be able to read, write, and think in a persuasive manner. With these skills you can go into any field and have an influence on the culture. What I have found most helpful is being able to understand what you believe and why you believe it. I have been afforded the great opportunity of going to a liberal arts college where they emphasize the study of the true, good, and beautiful; but, if you do not attend such a school, then read good books, listen to great music, and engage the tradition that has built Western Civilization over the last 2,000 years.