Undergraduate students Michigan native Benjamin DeHaan, a junior studying business management, and Maria Landron, a junior public relations major from Royal Palm Beach, have been selected as Freidheim Fellows for The LeMieux Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
DeHaan’s research topic is “NATO Revisited: Analysis of U.S. Foreign Policy.” He has completed several business internships and is active on campus in student government. He will be mentored by Dr. James Todd, assistant professor of politics and chair of the politics department at Palm Beach Atlantic.
Landron will be mentored by Dr. Francisco Plaza, professor of politics. She is an international trustee with Circle K (CKI) International, having participated in the Kiwanis International Service Leadership Program. Her topic is “Beyond the Wall: Mexico and Central America.”
The fellows receive a stipend to cover the cost of an independent study course as well as expenses, such as travel, incurred during the course up to $2,500. Additionally, they receive ongoing guidance for their research project from former U.S. Senator George LeMieux. The application process included submission of a research proposal, résumé and a letter of support for the research from a faculty mentor. Selection of the fellows was based on the application and an interview.
The fellows program is named for donors Marguerite “Mitzi” Freidheim and her husband of 56 years, Cyrus. Mitzi Freidheim serves as a member of the LeMieux Center advisory board and is a committed volunteer for numerous charitable organizations, primarily in Chicago and in France. As a former elementary school teacher, her volunteer focus has been on education and helping disadvantaged children. Presently, she is a life trustee of Children’s Home & Aid, life trustee of the Music Institute of Chicago, trustee of the Lost Tree Foundation and the Stephen Cyrus Freidheim Foundation. She received the Millennium Award of the Music Institute, the Lifetime Achievement Award of Children’s Home & Aid and was invested as a Dame in the Order of Malta.
Cyrus Freidheim is the former vice chair of Booz Allen, CEO of Chiquita Brands International, and CEO and publisher of the Sun Times Media Group. He has been actively involved on over 30 commercial and not-for-profit boards. The Freidheims are residents of North Palm Beach. They have three children and nine grandchildren.
“On behalf of the LeMieux Center and Palm Beach Atlantic, I thank Mitzi and Cy for their generous support these students who are our nation’s future leaders,” said Senator LeMieux. “Fellows program graduates have gone on to prestigious graduate schools and positions of great responsibility in Washington. The Fellows program produces a great return on the investment that benefits the students as well as our country.”
The research fellowship program, previously known as LeMieux Fellows, supports two students who pursue an independent study of current or emerging public policy issues concerning individual freedoms, values, rights, religious liberties and institutions in the United States.
Photo: Maria Landron, Dr. Francisco Plaza, former U.S. Senator George LeMieux, Benjamin DeHaan and Dr. James Todd at the announcement of the 2020 Freidheim Fellows for The LeMieux Center for Public Policy.