New Faculty for 2014 Challenge of Liberty Student Seminars

Every year, the Independent Institute’s Challenge of Liberty Student Seminars become a forum for students to learn the foundations of a free and prosperous society. These seminars are inspiring, challenging, and fun—in large part because the speakers we invite are exceptionally devoted to teaching and mentoring students.

In 2014, three new speakers will join our already excellent faculty list.

  • Christopher Coyne is professor of economics at George Mason University and co-editor of The Independent Review. Chris planned a career in finance before he took an economics class that inspired him to become an academic. His research interests are humanitarian aid, economic development, and Austrian economics.
  • Michael Thomas teaches at Utah State University, where he specializes in economic history and public choice. He studies the unintended consequences of government regulations and how they affect consumer choices in the marketplace. John Stossel once interviewed Michael on the subject of “sin taxes,” a topic he examined in a paper co-authored with Adam Hoffer and Independent Institute Research Director Bill Shughart.
  • Abigail Hall is completing her Ph.D. in economics at George Mason University, where she is also a research fellow at the Mercatus Center. Abby’s research interests focus on foreign aid and national defense. She is co-author with Chris Coyne of an important article on the militarization of U.S. domestic policing, which ran in the Spring 2013 issue of The Independent Review.

The deadline to apply to the Independent Institute’s 2014 Challenge of Liberty Student Seminars is March 31.


  • Catalyst
  • Beyond Homeless