Published on October 11, 2022 by Morgan Black
For the third year in a row, a Samford University student has been selected for the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Young Scholar Awards Program. Bill Mouchette, a senior economics and finance double major from Gallatin, Tennessee, was chosen as one of six undergraduate students in the country to participate in this prestigious program.
The program, administered by AEI’s Initiative on Faith & Public Life, fosters high-quality academic research and writing by awarding scholarships based on the student’s demonstration of promise in their field of research. The student scholar must also show a commitment to AEI’s mission of defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world.
Under the guidance of a faculty adviser at their school, and with the support of AEI scholars and staff, selected students conduct year-long academic research projects on a topic of public policy, economics, law or political philosophy.
Mouchette, who serves as secretary of the Bulldog Investment Fund, will analyze the effects of career and technical education (CTE) on factors affecting male high school graduates and their communities. He will measure factors such as the male labor force participation rate, male health outcomes, gross domestic product (GDP), and volunteer activity to hopefully identify whether CTE education can help reinvigorate young men from falling out of the labor force or into deaths of despair. The analysis between CTE education and volunteer activity will help identify whether increased CTE education can help rebuild inner cities and small towns alike.
He said, “Through this year-long project I hope to help provide data and conclusions that will help people understand how schools should fashion educational policy in the future to best benefit America’s young men and rebuild our communities.”
Upon submitting his final project at the end of the academic year, he will have the chance to travel to AEI headquarters in Washington, D.C., to present and defend his work before a panel of experts.
Mouchette is the third Samford student in a row to be selected for the program. In 2020-2021, Hannah Florence completed her research on the declining levels of social capital among Baby Boomers. In 2021-2022, Sydney Rennich completed research examining the relationship between social capital, institutions and geographic mobility in the United States to determine the forces preventing geographic mobility between socioeconomic groups.
Samford Professor of Economics Art Carden will serve as Mouchette’s research adviser. He said, “Bill has answered AEI’s call to excellence, and I look forward to seeing how his project develops. It’s especially exciting to have students selected for the Young Scholars Program for three consecutive years, and I have no doubt Bill’s project will make an important contribution to how we understand free and prosperous societies.”
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.