The University of US is a volunteer educational program for high school students established to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution as it was originally envisioned by the Founders.


The program features speakers on The Federalist Papers, Articles of the Constitution, Amendments to the Constitution, Supreme Court Justices and Landmark Cases, The U.S. Court System, and American Heritage and Founders.


Each class includes presentations by prominent local, state, and/or nationally-recognized lecturers, enhanced by interactive activities to engage students in the subject matter. The University of US is the gateway to students' participation in the USCSF Scholarship competition.


Howard Pines, USCSF Board Secretary, is responsible for management oversight of the University of US. A graduate of Seton Hall Law School, Howard has over 30 years of experience as CEO, Chairman and founder of a premier executive coaching firm, BeamPines, Inc. and previous leadership as vice president of Standard Brands, Inc., a Fortune 100 company.  Howard is the author of The Case for Wasting Time and Other Management Heresies, and writes Coaches Corner, a biweekly column for The Fernandina Beach NewsLeader.

Sharyl Wood, Director of Operations for the University of US, graduated with a B.S. from Florida State University and earned an M.Ed. from the University of North Florida.  An educator from a family of educators, Sharyl’s career spanned 41 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and district administrator.  She retired from the position of Executive Director of Administrative Services for the Nassau County School District in December 2015.  Sharyl is engaged in several local non-profit organizations including 8 Flags Playscapes (founding member and Treasurer), Youth Leadership Nassau (founding member), Interfaith Dinner Network (Coordinator), and is active in service at Memorial United Methodist Church.

Dr John Baker - The Federalist Papers
• B.A. Magna Cum Laude, University of Dallas
• Juris Doctor with honors, University of Michigan Law School
• Ph.D. in Political Thought, University of London
• Visiting Professor, Georgetown Law School
• Dale Bennett Professor of Law, Louisiana St University of Law
• Visiting Professor, Peking University School of Transition Law
• Visiting Fellow, The University of Oxford
• Published on, Washington Times and the Wall St. Journal
• Argued before the Federal Court, including two oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court
• Instructor for the Federalist Society on Separation of Powers with late Supreme Court

  Justice Anton Scalia, and taught a Supreme Court seminar in China with Justice Samuel


Judge Adrian Soud - Our American Heritage and Founders
• Bachelor of Arts, University of Florida
• Juris Doctor Cum Laude, Stetson University College of Law
• Attorney, Holland & Knight LLP
• Judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida since 2009
• 2017 Appointed by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court as State Courts

  Systems representative on Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation
• Presently, presides over Division CV-E of the Circuit Court sitting in Duval County, where

  he hears civil cases and appeals from Duval County Court.

Professor David Ardia - The Most Important Supreme Court Justices
• M.S. Environmental Science, SUNY College of Environmental science
• Juris Doctor, Syracuse University, Summa Cum Laude
• LL.M -Harvard University
• Associate Professor of Law, UNC School of Law, serving as Faculty Co-Director of UNC

  Center for Medical Law and Policy
• Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
• Assistant Council at Washington Post
• Attorney, Williams & Connolly in Washington D.C. handling cases in intellectual property
• Law Clerk for Judge Conrad Cyr on US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Judge

  Thomas McAvoy of US District Court for the Northern District of New York
• Member of the Online News Association's Legal Advisory Board and the Amendment and

  Media Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association

Karin Agness Lips - The U.S. Constitution Articles
• Juris Doctor, University of Virginia School of Law
• Resident Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics
• Founder and President of the Network of enlightened Women (NeW) now on 48 college

• Attorney, Wiley Rein LLP, Washington D.C.
• Editorials published in the Washington Post, Time Ideas, The Washington Examiner,

  Politico, National Review Online Fox News, The Atlantic, and the Boston Herald and a

  regular guest on Fox and Friends, Hannity, New Day and Cavuto
• Fortune's 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter in 2014
• Republican National Committee's Rising Stars Program in 2013

• Forbes 30 Under 30 list

Dr. Sharon Foster - Supreme Court and Most Important Cases
• M.S., Political Science, University of Florida
• Ph.D., Political Science, University of Florida
• Juris Doctor, University of Florida
• Career Law Clerk for Judge James Hill on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
• Attorney, Rogers, Towers, Bailey, Jones and Gay
• Professor, Illinois Wesleyan University

Representative Cord Byrd - The Amendments
• Bachelor of Arts, University of North Florida
• Juris Doctor, St Thomas University School of Law
• Sole practitioner since 2007

• A Constitutionalist and 2nd Amendment advocate
• Elected in 2016, serves the 11th District in the Florida House of Representatives


Other Contributing Lecturers:
Governor Ron DeSantis - Our Heritage and Founders




Attorney Tyler Stubbs - The Amendments

3a2 Univ of US Faculty   Karin Agness ph
Desantis TH.png
Sharon Foster_0571 CROP.jpg


Class Schedule

4-University of US classroom2.jpg

September 19


September 23

Our Heritage and Founders with Judge Adrian Soud

October 28

The Articles with Karin Agness Lips

November 25

The Amendments with Representative Cord Byrd

January 27

The Federalist Papers with Dr. John Baker

February 24

Important Supreme Court Justices with Professor David Ardia

March 23

The Supreme Court and Final Exam with Dr. Sharon Foster

April 27

Graduation Ceremony and Scholarship Awards

Free transportation provided to/from FSCJ Red Bean Center by Nassau Transit



Eligibility Requirements

Be a high school student

Must be a resident of Nassau County, FL, or attending a Nassau County, FL, high school with school district permission

Be available to attend all sessions of the program with no more than one absence

Submit a completed application and the ATTENDANCE COMMITMENT and PROGRAM AGREEMENTS


Note: For information purposes, to be eligible to apply for a USCSF Scholarship, a student must meet these additional criteria:

Be in the 11th or 12th grade

Carry an unweighted GPA of 3.00 or higher

Complete the University of US program with a passing score on the final exam and no more than one absence

Write a qualifying essay on the assigned topic

- Join Us -


Thanks for submitting!

  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle