Howard D. Polsky '73 Endowment for the Advancement of American Democracy and Law

May 3, 2021

Thanks to the generosity of Howard D. Polsky (see below for biographical information), all Political Science majors at Lehigh University were invited to submit essays on the theme of making American democracy more effective. The faculty members and staff in the Department of Political Science are pleased to announce the following award recipients:

Charlie Aronson: "A Recipe for an Improved American Democracy: 3 Parts Locke, 2 Parts Jefferson" (1st place award)

Charlie (Class of '23) is from Orlando, Florida and is a double major (Political Science and History). He is the sixth member of his family and third generation to attend Lehigh. He is an avid sports fan, especially supportive of the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, New York Knicks, and New York Rangers. He volunteers at the Lehigh athletic department and is a reporter for the Brown and White.


Tanya Andino: "A More Perfect Union, For All" (2nd place award)

Tanya is a Honduran-American sophomore from Morristown, New Jersey. She is a Political Science major with two minors (Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Health, Medicine, and Society). As a first-generation college student, she is dedicated to serving the communities that have shaped her back home, on campus, and as a member of the Latin Student Alliance and as Vice President of Chapter Wellness for Alpha Gamma Delta. Tanya plans on attending law school after graduating with the hope of practicing constitutional or civil rights law.


Steven Escobar-Mendez: "In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union" (3rd place award)

Steven is a Guatemalan-Mexican from Washington, D.C., who was raised in a predominantly immigrant community in Maryland. He is currently a junior majoring in Political Science and Global Studies with minors in Real Estate, Anthropology, and Sociology as well as a certificate in Global Citizenship. He plans to go to law school after graduating from Lehigh to study international law.

Congratulations to all of our students!


Howard Polsky served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of K12 Inc. from 2004-2018, when he retired. K12 ( now Stride, Inc.) is a publicly-traded company and America's largest provider of online education for students in grades K-12.

Prior to K12, Howard was Vice President and General Counsel of Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications, an international satellite and information technology services company.  Before being acquired by Lockheed Martin, he was employed by COMSAT Corporation for nine years, where he held both legal and government relations positions. As COMSAT’s Vice President of Federal Policy and Regulation, he developed corporate policy initiatives and advocated extensively before the FCC, Executive Branch, Congress, and within intergovernmental organizations. From 1983-1992, he was a partner at Wiley, Rein & Fielding where he  represented clients in administrative and judicial proceedings. He began his legal career at the FCC and was an associate at Kirkland & Ellis.

Howard received his Juris Doctor degree from Indiana University in 1976 and was an editor of the Indiana Law Review. He was an adjunct professor of law teaching telecommunications regulation for several years at the Delaware Law School.  Howard graduated from Lehigh in 1973, where he was a government major and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  From 2012-2018, he served on the  Advisory Board to the Lehigh College of Arts and Science, and currently is a member of the Advisory Board to the Lehigh College of Education.

Howard resides in Vienna, VA. He attributes his experience at Lehigh (from the rigorous academics and outstanding professors, serving on the student government Forum, the Marching 97, fraternity president, and transition to a co-ed institution) as providing the strong foundation for his legal career and personal growth. By this endowment to the Department of Political Science, Howard wishes to enable Lehigh students to gain a deeper appreciation of American democracy and law, and to become the nation's future leaders and custodians in preserving those values as citizens and in their professions.