2020 Shea Scholars:

Tys SweeneyTys is a rising senior from Lake Placid, NY studying political science and economics. Tys fell in love with political theory as a first year in Professor Devigne’s “Western Political Thought II” course, and he is lucky enough to study under him for his senior thesis. As a Shea Scholar he will be working on his thesis, a study of the rise, fall and resurgence of Hegelian thought and progressivism in the Democratic Party from the Twentieth Century to the present and its implications for national integrity, unity, and security.

“I’m extremely grateful … to be a Shea Scholar this summer, and am honored to be able to study political theory and pursue my thesis in a program which helps preserve Matt’s memory and legacy. I’m a rising senior and will be studying this summer under Professor Devigne for my thesis on the rise and fall of Hegelian thought in the Democratic Party.
– Ty Sweeney

Max Miller – Max is a rising junior from Lawrenceville, NJ, studying Political Science and Economics. As a Shea Scholar, he will be working on comparing Hobbes’ and Rousseau’s depictions of the state of nature to the archaeological record. In addition to being a Shea Scholar, Max is a TWO leader and is active in Tufts’ jazz ensembles. Max will be studying at the University of Oxford during his junior year.

2019 Shea Scholars

Grace Fabrycky – Grace is a rising senior studying Political Science and Sociology. She is a member of the Women’s Varsity Crew Team, a FOCUS leader, and she does Big Brothers Big Sisters at a local elementary school. Grace is excited to continue her study of Montesquieu’s work. She is especially interested in his envisioned ideal relationship between religion and politics.

James Himberger – James is a rising junior at Tufts from Boiceville, NY. A political science major, he is primarily interested in Anglo-American political theory, and is assisting Professor Evrigenis in editing the English translation of Jean Bodin’s Six Books of the Commonwealth.

Carlos Irisarri – Carlos is a rising Junior studying Political Science, Philosophy, History and Religious Studies at Tufts University. His freshman year he took Western Political Thought 1 with Professor Evrigenis and developed a passion for political philosophy that trumped any subject area he had studied before. Notably, his TA for this class was Alexander Trubowitz, the first recipient of the Shea Scholarship. Other than his work in this field, Carlos is Secretary General of the Tuft Model UN conference, an executive board member of the Latin American Committee and a member of the Tufts Debate Society. Carlos will use this scholarship to pursue his work in creating an open-source translation of book 11 of Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws, and is extremely grateful for this opportunity.

Jacob Rubel – Jacob is a junior from Brooklyn, NY majoring in political science with a concentration in political theory. In addition to being a Shea Scholar, Jacob is a co-president of Tufts International Development and is conducting independent research on participation in local politics as a Laidlaw Scholar. He will be studying at the University of Oxford for the 2019-2020 year. 

Kai Smith – Kai is a junior studying political theory at Tufts University and has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work on the Bodin project alongside two other Shea scholars under the guidance of Professor Ioannis Evrigenis. Over the summer of 2019, Kai will be investigating the accuracy of Hobbes’ depiction of the state of nature and exploring the ramifications of a philosophy which redirects the ultimate end of civil society from the pursuit of the highest good to the avoidance of the worst evil (violent death). In his free time, he enjoys singing, running, and spending time with his cats.

INAUGURAL RECIPIENT – Alexander Trubowitz  – 2017


“And to receive this award in honor of another Tufts student who shared my interests and passions for political science, I’m humbled and grateful.”

UPDATE 2018: Alexander Trubowitz is attending Yale as a PhD student in Political Theory.

UPDATE 2017: Alexander Trubowitz, A17, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Matthew Howard Shea, A11 Research Fund in Political Science, in recognition of his work with Ioannis Evrigenis, professor of political theory, on the Bodin Project, an effort to digitize the English and Latin translations and original French publication of 16th-century philosopher Jean Bodin’s work, “Les six livres de la republique.” The goal is for viewers to be able to read all three texts side by side. In Istanbul for a semester abroad, Alexander has been able to continue his research and translating work, all while watching his studies come to life in Technicolor. Every day, he passes mosques and markets thousands of years old. He’s visited the Bosphorus, the world’s narrowest strait that connects Asia and Europe. He’s explored the heart of the ancient world and been transformed by it. “Deciding to study abroad was a difficult decision,” says Alexander, who’s double-majoring in Political Science and Classics, “because it meant missing out on Tufts courses. A single class can change your world view”—and political thinking. “Every government is founded on ideas formed centuries ago,” he says. “Even 17th century thinkers studied the classics as case studies; to get the references, I need to know my history.” The more he studies the writings of history’s greatest political minds, the more informed he feels, especially as he considers graduate school and a future in political theory. As for his work with Professor Evrigenis and the Bodin Project, “one might see this as an arcane task,” Alexander says. “But Bodin’s ideas have been picked up by more widely-known figures who followed him. Moreover, because our society continues to face the perennial political challenges about which Bodin wrote, his work may well impact the future.” “I’m really lucky to have come to Tufts. There are a lot of people who’ve been willing to push and prod me, to redirect my thought and support my intellectual development. It’s been an extremely supportive environment,” he says. “And to receive this award in honor of another Tufts student who shared my interests and passions for political science, I’m humbled and grateful.”