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An important part of the work of the Acton Institute is promoting the scholarship of tomorrow. Aside from offering conferences, seminars, and publication, the Acton Institute promotes scholarship monetarily. The Calihan Academic Fellowships, Research Fellowships, and Travel Grants provide monetary assistance to students of special potential, encouraging them to explore the intersection of religious principles with human dignity, the importance of the rule of law, limited government, and religious and economic liberty.

Following are some examples of our Calihan recipients and their work:

Rachel Patterson – an Australian lawyer and a master's student at Columbia Law School spent the summer of 2006 writing a textbook on Australian family law to be published by Cambridge University Press. Ms. Patterson is a TFAVS alumna and received honorable mention in the 2005 Acton Essay contest.

Marek Tracz-Tryniecki – a doctoral student in legal and political thought at the University of Maria Curie-Sktodowska will be writing his doctoral dissertation on the thought of Tocqueville in light of Catholic social teaching. Mr. Tracz-Tryniecki was a finalist in the Acton Essay contest.

Matthew Wright – a doctoral student in public law and political theory at the University of Texas at Austin will be working with Professor Robert George at Princeton as a student research collaborator. His research topic will be “the new natural law.” Mr. Wright was a participant in the 2006 Acton University and received an honorable mention in the 2001 Acton Essay contest.

By helping young scholars from around the world pursue their academic vocations, the Acton Institute multiplies its own work and ensures the pursuit of freedom and virtue in academia for years to come.

Kris Alan Mauren
Executive Director


Kris Mauren is co-founder and executive director of Acton Institute. Kris is a Seattle native and the youngest of 8 children.  After graduating with an economics and international relations degree from Johns Hopkins University, Kris settled in Grand Rapids to help found Acton Institute.  In his role as executive director, Kris has traveled the world, lecturing and consulting in dozens of countries.  He is widely recognized as a leader in non-profit management and consults regularly on best practices in governance, management, measurement and evaluation, and fundraising in the not for profit sector.