newsId: 89643B7A-0922-3369-06B719D64B1BED5F
Title: When AU Comes to Natstown
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Subtitle:
Abstract: American University had a sparkling night at Nationals Park. 
Topic: In the Community
Publication Date: 08/25/2014
Content:

Pregame Hoopla

Baseball is often thought of as an intellectual's game. Historians and literary figures get misty-eyed when talking about the hypnotic power of America's pastime. Statheads devour copies of The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract in their spare time. So AU Night at Nationals Park is a natural draw for the cerebral and passionate individuals who comprise the American University community. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff turned out in force on Friday, August 22 to watch the hometown Washington Nationals take on the San Francisco Giants.

This is the third season of the successful partnership between AU and the Washington Nationals. The AU WONK campaign is represented in signage on scoreboards throughout the stadium during home games. WONK trivia challenges appear during the season and tap into the expertise of AU faculty. Launched in 2010, the WONK campaign celebrates those same smart, focused, and engaged Eagles in attendance on Friday.

View photos from AU Nats Night 2014

Plenty of AU students were at the game, and close to 400 tickets were set aside at a special discount rate for freshmen. Tickets were offered at three recent Welcome Week functions, and at one event, 180 tickets were sold in just an hour.

On Friday, students started off with a Nats-themed barbeque on campus, filled with popcorn and hot dogs. At the park beforehand, there was the highly anticipated special alumni picnic—sold out for the third year in a row. The first 25,000 fans at the stadium got free AU-Nats t-shirts. Accompanied by Nationals manager Matt Williams, AU President Neil Kerwin took part in the lineup card exchange with the umpire and the visiting Giants.

Sports journalist David Aldridge, an AU alumnus and Washington native, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. "My only goal was for it to be better than 50 Cent. I think I did that," he joked, in reference to the rapper's awful sideways pitch at a Mets game.

Aldridge (SOC /BA '87) felt gratitude towards his alma mater. "I'm so thrilled AU asked me to do this. It was a lot of fun," he said.

Treble in Paradise

Singing the national anthem at a sporting event is extremely difficult. We've witnessed Grammy-winning artists completely bungle the song. But all-female, all-AU student a cappella group Treble in Paradise was up for the challenge. "We're like sisters in the group, and so it gets really comfortable. And we usually can just laugh through any of the nerves," said Hayley Travers, a senior musical theatre major. "I think a lot of the time what trips the person up is the lyrics. And for us, since we're all singing together, the chance that we're all going to mess up is narrowed."

They certainly didn't mess up, as their beautiful rendition brought about rapturous applause from AU and non-AU spectators alike.

Hannah Johnson, a junior psychology major and the singing group's president, had her entire family come down for the game. "Without AU, we would never have had this chance," she said.

Play Ball

Throughout the game, AU's presence was everywhere. Just before the third inning, a WONK trivia challenge featured Anita McBride, executive-in-residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies in the School of Public Affairs. Amidst the baseball, we could learn that President Abraham Lincoln was partial to the poetry of Walt Whitman.

On Twitter, students were encouraged to use #AUNatsNight throughout the evening to share their experiences and show their AU spirit. Clawed Z. Eagle energized the crowd, with first-year students flocking to get their pictures taken with the beloved AU mascot. And as anyone who's ever been to a Nats game can attest, the Presidents' Race is the moment of truth. Clawed was holding the finish line while George Washington was victorious.

Jennifer Vinciguerra, who just earned her master's degree in organization development, marveled at seeing the AU signs in sparkling colors on the scoreboards. "It's awesome. When we came in and it said AU everywhere, on all of the screens, it was very cool," she says. "And it's nice to come back and see other alums. It's good to realize, 'Oh, there's a community here."

Welcome Week Ends With a Bang

Much to the chagrin of the hometown crowd, Giants rookie Joe Panik had a monster game, going 4-for-5 and hitting his first major league home run. But it was an all-around banner night for other freshmen. First-year students said Night at Nationals Park instilled a sense of AU pride, while integrating them into their new city.

"Sports are a big part of any city. So now, after finally moving to D.C., this adds more attachment to being here," said Benjamin Zook, a freshman CLEG major in the School of Public Affairs.

And it's fun to watch a little baseball. Zook is from nearby Loudoun County, Virginia and he was already a Nats fan. There's a time-honored tradition of baseball facilitating father-son relationships, and you can set your DVR to Field of Dreams and The Natural for fictional inspirations of this. Zook and his father also bonded over the game. "Every time I come to a baseball game without him, he always watches on TV," he said.

Rebecca Malone is a freshman in the School of International Service and she's part of the three-year Global Scholars Program. "After Welcome Week, we thought this was kind of a good way to settle into the city," she says.

Katie Low happens to be a huge San Francisco Giants fan, but she relished live baseball in Washington. "Baseball is something I watch at home with my family. It's really cool that I'm watching it here with all of these AU kids. So it's like a second family over here," she said. "Tonight is awesome. And it really makes me feel like this is kind of my home now." Low hails from San Joaquin County, California and she's also a freshman in the CLEG program.

Freshman Samantha White, a political science major, is originally from the Cleveland metropolitan area. She's an Indians fan, but she's also adopted the Nats. "I definitely love baseball. And I'm really excited that being at American University we can get these discounted tickets," she said. "I'll probably be here all the time."

The Giants won 10-3, putting a halt to the Nationals remarkable 10-game winning streak. But AU kept its own streak alive. For the third straight year, AU celebrated its intelligent, jovial, tight-knit community through baseball. New, current, and former students had a good time. And the school may be recruiting a few future stars. While Clawed was heading towards the field before the game, a young boy in a Nationals jersey recognized the mascot. "That's American University!" he blurted out.

Tags: Alumni,Giving,Media Relations,New Students,Office of Campus Life,President,School of Communication,School of International Service,School of Public Affairs
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 8CF592E6-BEC0-E11D-2F9E304EAEBC5C2C
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 8D621895-F922-4FDC-F4779B3D0709D10E
Title: A Home Away From Home
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Subtitle:
Abstract: First-year students flock to living-learning programs.
Topic: Student Life
Publication Date: 08/20/2014
Content:

A Growing Trend

They're moving to a new city. They're living on their own. They're entering a world of academic rigor. In a nutshell, each student is embarking on a brand new life. As incoming freshmen gear up for the college experience, it's hard to overstate the life changes in store for them.

Yet American University has fostered special environments where like-minded, high-achieving students can live and learn together. An increasing number of AU students are enrolling in living-learning communities, such as the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program (FDDS), the newly revamped AU Honors Program, and the Three-Year Scholars bachelor's degree programs.

About one-third of all undergraduate applicants showed interest in these three programs, and many students submitted between eight to 14 essays as part of the process. While students have historically been invited to join the Honors Program, the number of applicants now dwarfs the number of available spaces. Some 2,400 students applied for FDDS, tripling the number from last year.

The university subsequently launched two new programs: AU Scholars and the Community-Based Research Scholars (CRBS). Now almost 70 percent of AU's class of 2018 will have the chance to participate in a living-learning program.

Opportunities Abound

Shyheim Snead is an incoming freshman in FDDS. Just before Welcome Week, he explained the appeal of this prestigious program: "One thing that stood out to me was the success rate of the students." The program has enabled scholars to visit with a number of dignitaries, such as Colin Powell. "You meet all types of people, icons in the country, to help you connect with your goals," Snead says. AU covers full tuition, room, board, fees, and books for FDDS students, as long as they maintain a minimum 3.2 grade point average.

AU Scholars is a program for first-year students. Scholars will take an Honors seminar and intellectually engaging supplementary modules. Those modules encourage scholars to collaborate with each other while pursuing controversial, historical, and societal questions. "These courses are based on what you are interested in, and that's why this was compelling to me," says new AU Scholar Luke Theuma.

The nascent Community-Based Research Scholars program is aimed at first-year students committed to forging partnerships with community agencies and organizations, in order to make research-informed contributions. Students in this program took part in this year's Freshman Service Experience (FSE).

A Range of Emotions

First-year AU students appear eager and enthusiastic about starting anew. "I feel like there are just so many new opportunities that I'll be able to have," says Meenal Goyal, who is in the Community-Based Research Scholars program. "I'm almost pressing the reset button on my life and getting to start all over."

But there is a process of acclimation and a fear of the unknown. Students describe a range of emotions as they descend on the nation's capital. "I think I can speak for a lot of students when I say that we are all nervous and excited, and we're simultaneously terrified and thrilled," says Theuma.

Yet many AU programs, such as living-leaning communities, help ease the transition for apprehensive students. "I think just coming into American as a Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholar, you have that kind of community feeling and you're automatically entering a family," says Snead.

"I'm really excited to have roommates who have similar interests," says KT Buckler, part of Community-Based Research Scholars. "We can have really intellectual conversations about what we're learning, and get other people's perspectives," adds incoming AU Scholar Abi VanPelt.

Unique Backstories

While living-learning programs can be cohesive, they also draw from a diverse talent pool. Students obviously possess their own unique backstories. And even at a young age, many of them have already demonstrated a commitment to public service.

Theuma was born on the island nation of Malta, lived in places like New Orleans and Minneapolis, and eventually settled in Des Moines, Iowa. His international experience has had an impact on his college plans: He's hoping to major in international studies, with potential minors in either Russian or Mandarin Chinese languages.

Buckler is from Marin County, California, and she was immersed in community service in high school. She got involved in an organization that raised money for a girls' boarding school in Afghanistan. "I have a huge passion for girls' education and human rights in general," says Buckler, who will major in international studies.

Goyal, a psychology major, comes from Hudson, New Hampshire. While in high school, she volunteered at a nursing home and played card games with some of the residents.

Snead was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The FDDS mission—supporting students dedicated to assisting underserved communities—is one Snead has fully embraced. In high school, he worked with the anti-poverty organization buildOn. He's tutored young students and helped out at food pantries and community gardens.

Both of VanPelt's parents served in the Coast Guard, and her father was involved in the cleanup of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. She's an international studies major now, and she's contemplating a future of service in either the Coast Guard Reserve or the Peace Corps.

Incoming AU Scholar Zoey Salsbury took a trip with her Girl Scouts troop to Costa Rica last summer. During their stay, they lived on a sustainable ranch and repainted a local school. Salsbury, who hails from Seattle, will major in political science.

Home at AU

Even before the beginning of classes, some living-learning students have made meaningful connections here. This summer, VanPelt started helping out as a manager for the AU wrestling team. Theuma already got to know plenty of students through orientation and a Facebook group for the incoming AU freshman class. "The people, honestly, are what made the school worth it for me," says Theuma. "They were the kinds of people I could see myself spending a significant portion of the next four years with. So, ultimately, that's why I chose AU."

Beyond the living-learning programs, AU continues to be a popular destination. One-third of this year's freshman class is comprised of students admitted early decision.

Tags: AU Scholars,College of Arts and Sciences,Community-Based Research Scholars,Frederick Douglass Scholars Program,Media Relations,School of International Service,School of Public Affairs,Undergraduate Students,University Honors Program,Featured News
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 8E9AFF64-C39D-629F-67136326E24BA4AF
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 27011D57-DBCF-8176-D214D375B8A5FCBF
Title: Congratulations to 2014 Alpern Scholarship Winner, Luefras S. Robinson
Author:
Subtitle:
Abstract: Congratulations to Luefras S. Robinson on her selection as the 2014 Anita F. Alpern Scholarship winner.
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 08/18/2014
Content:

The Anita F. Alpern Scholarship, named after one of the first eight women to be appointed to a GS-18 level at the IRS, is a prestigious award that carries not only a cash price of $2,500, but a stellar list of recipients. The operative guidelines for the Anita F. Alpern Scholarship is that it be awarded to dedicated and committed public servants.

The Key Executive Leadership Program is pleased to announce Luefras S. Robinson, a member of the Key MPA cohort 46, as the 2014 Anita F. Alpern Scholarship winner. "I am so honored and thankful to have been selected for the Anita F. Alpern Scholarship. Ms. Alpern was such a great leadership example, so to have received this award in her name gives me more of an impetus to strive for excellence" shared Luefras.

Currently, Luefras supports a Department of Defense contract as a communications and engagement strategist and team lead at the Joint Staff J7 (Joint Force Development). In her role, she provides expertise to senior military and civilian leadership as a part of a task order Northrop Grumman administers. Luefras is also a well sought out professional Christian jazz saxophonist, motivational speaker and freelance writer. Additionally, she volunteers her time mentoring individuals who require job coaching and life skills expertise. She is also a member of Northrop Grumman's Veritas Employee Resource Group for which she volunteers as the Communications Chair. This program assists military veterans and wounded warriors at Northrop Grumman, and provides support to various community activities that support veterans. Luefras is also a member of Women in Defense, Virginia Government Communicators and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

This year Luefras was also nominated for the Northrop Grumman Technical Services Women of Color award for professional achievement, a distinguished enterprise-wide honor. Luefras was also a recipient of a Community Service Award from the he Smart Set Club of Suffolk, Virginia in 2005.

Congratulations to Luefras S. Robinson on her selection as the 2014 Anita F. Alpern Scholarship winner.

Tags: Key Executive Leadership Program,School of Public Affairs
Publication: DCD78B53-AC64-DD4A-8265A5A48FC4D7CF
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 284AEAE1-BCCA-F245-24339E5367C77569
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 582BAE04-AFBE-EB11-D898C52E151605AA
Title: Tobias to Analyze State Department’s OIG
Author: Will Pittinos
Subtitle:
Abstract: Bob Tobias was recently appointed to the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) Academy Panel, which will conduct an organizational analysis of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of State.
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 08/12/2014
Content:

Robert Tobias, director of the Key Executive Leadership Programs at the School of Public Affairs, will serve on a panel that will provide organizational analysis of the Department of State's Office of Inspector General (OIG).

The panel will review OIG's existing structure, provide recommendations for process improvement, and develop a roadmap for high-level implementation.  

"The panel will provide preemptive recommendations and a high-level implementation plan to the State Department Inspector General Steve Linick who is eager to successfully fulfill his statutory responsibilities," Tobias explained.

OIG contracted with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to conduct the study, led by five-member panel of academy fellows, including Tobias.

"I am honored to be a member of a NAPA panel," Tobias said, "providing advice to Inspector General Linick on how best to use his resources to achieve his important goals and objectives."

OIG provides oversight of the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to improve management, strengthen integrity and accountability, investigate and deter fraud, and ensure the most efficient, effective, and economical use of resources. This oversight extends to more than 72,000 employees, 280 missions, and other facilities worldwide.

Established in 1967 and chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) is a non-profit, independent organization of top public management and organizational leaders who tackle the nation's most critical and complex public management challenges. With a network of nearly 800 distinguished Fellows and an experienced professional staff, the Academy is uniquely qualified and trusted across government to provide objective advice and practical solutions based on systematic research and expert analysis. The Academy helps federal, state and local governments respond effectively to current circumstances and changing conditions.


Tags: School of Public Affairs,Key Executive Leadership Program
Publication: DCD78B53-AC64-DD4A-8265A5A48FC4D7CF
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 244FE94C-B3A8-9C17-CC5D7B9CD4F2FAD5
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: BFA970D0-B65A-F9E4-DFEEECC46EEEFBAF
Title: Does Family Stunt Women’s Political Ambition?
Author: J. Paul Johnson
Subtitle:
Abstract: New research from AU’s Jennifer Lawless  debunks myth that traditional family structures and roles contribute to women’s lower political ambition
Topic: Government & Politics
Publication Date: 08/06/2014
Content:

Female candidates for elected office do as well as male candidates in terms of raising money and winning votes, so why do women only occupy 19 percent of congressional seats and approximately 25 percent of statewide offices and hold fewer governorships and mayorships? The traditional wisdom has been family obligations and responsibilities prevent women from running for office."

But in none of the scholarly research where scholars attempt to establish a link between family roles and political ambition did traditional family arrangements prevent women from eventually running for office," says American University's professor of government and director of the Women & Politics Institute Jennifer Lawless. In her new Brookings Institution report, It's the Family, Stupid? Not Quite. . . How Traditional Gender Roles Do Not Affect Women's Political Ambition, Lawless debunks the widely touted myth that traditional family structures and roles contribute to women's lower political ambition.

Impediments for Women Running for Office

Lawless found in her research that the significant impediments women face are a lack of political recruitment and lower self-perceptions of their qualifications. With Richard Fox (Loyola Marymount University), she conducted a national survey of a random sample of nearly 4,000 equally credentialed men and women who are well positioned to serve as future candidates for all elected office. The results revealed that women are:

*less likely than similarly situated men to consider running for elected office;

*less likely to actually run for office;

*less likely to receive encouragement to run for office; and,

*less likely to believe they are qualified to seek elective office.

The data revealed a 17 percentage point gender gap in political ambition. "In other words, men are 40 percent more likely than women ever to have considered running for office," says Lawless. "The ambition gap is all the more striking," says Lawless, "given that the women and men in the sample are similarly situated professionally and have comparable educational credentials, incomes, and levels of political interest."

But Lawless' research revealed that women and mothers are no less likely than single women or those without children to have considered running for office. Therefore, childcare, household tasks and other domestic burdens do not serve as the linchpins on whether to run for elected office. What are the key factors preventing women from running for elected office?  

Political Gatekeepers

Lawless found political recruitment to be a significant factor. Party leaders, elected officials, and non-elected political activists are far more likely to tap men to run as opposed to women. More specifically, 49 percent of men receive the suggestion to run for office from electoral gatekeepers versus 39 percent of women. 

Self-Perception

Self-perception also plays a critical determining factor. Men in the sample were 60 percent more likely than women to consider themselves "very qualified" to seek elected office. Women on the other hand were twice as likely as men to say they are not at all qualified to run for office.  

Women Who Run for Office, Manage Work and Family Responsibilities

Women who have bridged the gender gap in winning political office acknowledge the balancing act between career, family, and political ambition. Lawless' national surveys show that, among potential candidates, women are roughly six times more likely than men to bear responsibility for the majority of household tasks and about 10 times more likely than men to be the primary child care provider. "The work-life balance has become such a regular part of their daily routine that women's family dynamics do not discourage them from thinking about or embarking on a political career."

The struggle to balance family roles with professional responsibility has become part of the bargain says Lawless. Women have substantial professional demands that they must balance with family considerations, but they have become accustomed to doing so." 

Further research needs to be done on why women are not more actively recruited to run for political office in addition to what can be done to correct the negative perceptions women have of their qualifications to run for office. Lawless says, "Putting the family myth to bed is an important step to correcting the real reasons for the imbalance in representation of women in politics."

Tags: Featured News,Media Relations,School of Public Affairs,Women and Politics Institute
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name: J Paul Johnson
Contact Phone: 202-885-5943
Contact Email: jjohnson@american.edu
News Photos: C05516B7-E813-6031-BC40EAA40FE0F162
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 27344E21-A2FF-1649-C27685A775BB47BD
Title: Anita McBride Re-Appointed by President Obama to Fulbright Board
Author: Will Pittinos
Subtitle:
Abstract: McBride, executive in residence at the School of Public Affairs, will be the longest-serving active member.
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 07/29/2014
Content:

President Obama announced that Anita McBride, executive in residence at the School of Public Affairs, will be reappointed to the 12-person Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

"It is an incredible honor to serve our nation's largest exchange program," McBride said. "I look forward to continuing to promote the incredible impact of Fulbright participants around the world."

President Obama announced McBride's reappointment along with other key administration posts and said, "I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country."

Sponsored by the Department of State, the Fulbright program has granted more than 325,000 awards and is active in more than 155 countries.

McBride was first appointed to the board in 2009, and she will be the longest-serving active member. She has served at the White House in various capacities across three administrations, including assistant to the president and chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush from 2005 to 2009. She also served as senior advisor to the secretary and White House liaison at the Department of State from 2001 to 2003, and as senior advisor in the Bureau of International Organizations at the Department of State in 2004. From 1987 to 1992, she was director of White House Personnel under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

McBride is a also member of the U.S. –Afghan Women's Council and serves on the boards of the White House Historical Association and the National Italian American Foundation. Earlier this year, she was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations.

Tags: Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies,First Ladies,School of Public Affairs,Government Dept
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 27E731D7-EAA1-C9D2-73BBE539F6CD831E
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 21FDBB45-D618-2CE4-DB08924A8A6598A3
Title: Congratulations to 2014 Zauderer Scholarship Winner, Amir Paul
Author:
Subtitle:
Abstract: Congratulations to Amir, a student who embodies the Key mission and values.
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 07/29/2014
Content:

Succeed despite your circumstance. That is the motto of scholarship winner Amir Paul’s life. Born in Washington, DC to a native Washingtonian and Vietnam Veteran father whose PTSD caused him and his four siblings to enter foster care at the age of 10, Amir Paul remained dedicated to succeed despite the circumstances in which he found himself.  At the age of 15 Amir received admittance into The Groton School in Massachusetts, which as he recalls “was the polar opposite from the streets of DC—from eating mumbo sauce to hollandaise.” Amir eventually went on to attend and graduate from Ohio Wesleyan University where he served as a mentor, member of the student government, rugby player, and fellow “social-scene enthusiast”.

Upon graduation, he began working full-time at the Department of Commerce in downtown Washington, D.C. while taking care of his 13-year old brother. Remaining true to his commitment in helping others, Amir worked one night a week for a non-profit dedicated to helping DC youth gain entry into college, which boasts a 90% success rate. After a year at the Department of Commerce, Amir married and moved on to the Department of Veteran Affairs, where he is today. Amir shared, “I am now the proud father of a 6-month old baby girl whose nickname varies based on her situation (i.e., fussy baby, sleepy baby, smelly baby). My career mission is to work for agencies that need hard-working employees to improve their current state-of-being to improve the services they provide and increase morale.”

“I am forever grateful to Pam Spearow—who is a Key graduate and the person who not only told me about the program, but encouraged me to apply” shared Amir. “Not only has this program made me a much better employee, it has made me a better father and husband through understanding myself better.”

“When [Director] Bob [Tobias] told me that I won the Don Zauderer scholarship, I was speechless. I became even more humbled to receive this award when I learned more about all that is Professor Zauderer, whose transformational leadership and ‘professor wit’ has made a tremendous impact on all of his endeavors. By no means do I consider myself worthy of this award but I guarantee that I will do everything that I can to become worthy of an award that honors Professor Z.”

Congratulations to Amir, a student who embodies the Key mission and values.

 

Tags: Key Executive Leadership Program
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 220F5E69-E2F0-A929-BEDC594ADF98C17B
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 557F2EE6-0B5B-17CF-4DAA4883F09BBE73
Title: Jane Palmer to Advise on National Study
Author: Dave DeFusco
Subtitle:
Abstract: Jane Palmer, professiorial lecturer, will take part in a 42-month national study to assess the rate of violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women.
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 07/15/2014
Content:

A national study funded by the National Institute of Justice will assess the rate of violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women.

“Existing research indicates that violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women is a critical public health and public safety issue,” said Jane Palmer, a technical advisor to the study and professorial lecturer at the School of Public Affairs at American University.

The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 mandates that the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in consultation with the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, conduct a national baseline study on violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women living in Indian country.

The 42-month study, which is the first comprehensive national effort of its kind, will examine domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking against American Indian and Alaska Native women; identify factors that place these women at risk for victimization; evaluate the effectiveness of federal, state, tribal and local responses to violence; and propose recommendations for improving effectiveness of those responses.

Under the direction of the NIJ, American Indian Development Associates (AIDA) based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will partner with Palmer, Michelle Chino, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and RTI International to implement the study.

Palmer worked on a national baseline pilot study for three years as a doctoral student and will assist in instrument refinement, field interviewer training, data analysis, and report writing and dissemination.

National and regional studies have found that violence against women is more widespread and severe among self-identified American Indian and Alaska Native women than among other North Americans. There are 566 federally recognized tribes in the United States, and at least 300 additional tribes have petitioned for federal and state recognition.

“Accurate, comprehensive and current information on the incidence, prevalence and nature of crime and victimization is critically needed,” said Palmer. “The national baseline study will improve our understanding of the programmatic, service and policy needs of the women in these communities, and it will educate and inform policy-makers and the public about the threat to their health and well-being.”

Tags: Faculty,School of Public Affairs,Public Administration & Policy
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 83E8457C-F5D8-94B8-D6E6D33696EB471F
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 4C906210-D2FE-70DD-DF16EDF0E991D974
Title: SPA Ranked Among Top Universities for Institutional Impact on Research
Author:
Subtitle:
Abstract: The Journal of Public Affairs Education released a new index that awarded SPA high marks in research in the field of public administration.
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 07/15/2014
Content:

American University's School of Public Affairs is ranked 5th worldwide, 3rd in the U.S., and 1st in the Washington, DC area for institutional impact on research in the field of public administration, according to a new study published in the Journal of Public Affairs Education.  

To create the index, study authors surveyed public administration journals to determine quantity of articles published by an institution's faculty, quality of the journals in which those articles appear, and overall institutional impact. The score is based on five years of manuscripts published in Thompson Reuters Journal Citation Report-indexed public administration journals.  

American University was ranked 4th for quality of journals in which articles appear and 9th for quantity of articles published. The results also indicate the University's upward trajectory in recent years –data broken out by year shows American University's ranking climbed steadily from 31st to 5th over the five years of the study.  

"School of Public Affairs faculty members share a commitment to world-class teaching and high-impact research," said Barbara Romzek, dean of the School of Public Affairs. "To see that commitment come to life in our ranking in this index is truly exciting."

Tags: Public Administration & Policy,School of Public Affairs,Government Dept
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 4CE1B22B-B97E-912E-320A5D80A40D0FF8
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 87DE58A8-C0E5-53FB-F6C7377D5CE8A065
Title: Jon Gould to Join National Science Foundation
Author: Dave DeFusco
Subtitle:
Abstract: Gould will join the National Science Foundation as a visiting director of its Law and Social Sciences Program.
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 07/11/2014
Content:

Professor Jon Gould, chair of the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology and director of the Washington Institute for Public Affairs Research in the School of Public Affairs, has been named a director of the Law and Social Sciences Program at the National Science Foundation. His one-year appointment begins in September.

"This is a tremendous honor for Jon, recognizing as it does his leadership in the field of law and society and his experience in grant-funded research," said Barbara Romzek, dean of the School of Public Affairs. "It also benefits us in the long run, helping to raise the profile of the school in such circles and bringing Jon's heightened experience back to SPA when the position ends."

Gould will help steer $6 million in grant money toward research in the fields of law and social sciences. "It will be a chance to immerse myself in research on law and social sciences and help support future scholarship in those areas," he said.

He will remain director of the Washington Institute for Public Affairs Research (WIPAR) and chair of Justice, Law & Criminology through the end of July. While on leave at NSF, he will continue to advise and work with SPA doctoral students.

WIPAR serves as a bridge between academic researchers and the public affairs community, including public agencies, corporations, private foundations, nonprofit organizations and media. It advises faculty in conceptualizing and operationalizing their research and assists researchers in grant-funding.

With WIPAR's encouragement and support, research proposals generated by SPA faculty and the amount of grant funding have increased steadily over the last three years, and almost all of SPA's new faculty have submitted research proposals on some project that has been funded.

"This appointment is a natural progression from WIPAR," Gould said. "At the NSF, I'll be helping to support research and advance important projects of scholars across the country. I'll see part of the grants process from the other side."

A lawyer and social scientist, Gould combines empirical research with policy advocacy to promote government reform and administration. His work focuses on civil rights and liberties, justice policy and legal change, helping to make academic research relevant and accessible to policymaking. Over the past three years, he has led the Preventing Wrongful Convictions Project. Funded by the National Institute of Justice, Gould directed a team of nine in examining how the criminal justice system avoids wrongful convictions.

He has published on the subjects of wrongful convictions, hate speech, sexual harassment, criminal defense, police compliance with the Constitution, and judicial treatment of race and gender. His first book, Speak No Evil: The Triumph of Hate Speech Regulation, was a co-winner of the 2006 Herbert Jacob award for the best book in law and society. His second book, The Innocence Commission: Preventing Wrongful Convictions and Restoring the Criminal Justice System, was named an Outstanding Academic Title for 2008 by the American Library Association. Gould has been a U.S. Supreme Court Fellow, is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and has served on multiple scholarly and policy boards. He has won awards for his scholarship, teaching, and service.

Gould sees his NSF appointment as an opportunity to share with his SPA colleagues the ideas and areas in social sciences that are being funded, the pressing scholarly issues that should be addressed, and the ways to make faculty research more visible.

"It will also be a chance to give back to American University," he said.

Tags: Justice, Law & Society
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: BDEC9DAD-EC05-A206-F82D3493F41C300A
Profile: 45B917FD-F14A-3C25-84770A99F0764D19
Media:
newMediaIDList:
 
newsId: 409288E8-EDD6-2C5D-ABF5AF8E5E7E340C
Title: The Next Generation of Leaders: Sarah McBride’s Pride for AU
Author: Megan Patterson, SIS/BA ’11
Subtitle:
Abstract: Sarah McBride, SPA/BA ’13, says that her time at AU allowed her to live authentically.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 06/10/2014
Content:

Alumna Sarah McBride, SPA/BA '13, is proud that American University is preparing the next generation of leaders. At 23 years old, the former Student Government president is a remarkable example of what AU's young alumni can achieve. From being the first openly transgender woman to work for the White House, to being instrumental in the passage of Delaware's Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act, Sarah is committed to working toward equality for all. 

Sarah has loved politics since she was a teenager, and she became actively involved in campaigns in her home state of Delaware in 2006. Coming to AU was the right choice for her politically-minded career, she says, because her time at AU "made my love of politics less about 'politics' and more about what politics can do." 

As president of AU's Student Government for the 2011-12 academic year, Sarah championed student interests, including gender neutral housing and encouraging changes in AU's insurance coverage for transgender students. After completing her term as president, Sarah wrote a Facebook note, later edited into an op-ed in The Eagle, titled "The Real Me," in which she came out as being a transgender woman. 

After publishing her story, Sarah received a tremendous amount of support from the AU community. "Only at AU would I have had an experience where every single response to my coming out was positive," she says. "I wouldn't be the person I am today without AU and without my experience there. My time at AU, the relationships I developed, and the lessons I learned allowed me to live authentically." 

Sarah says she felt overwhelmed, but also inspired by the reactions she received by the AU community. "It shows us where our school can be, where our community can be, where our country can be, and that we have the capacity to get there." 

Sarah credits fellow AU students and alumni for instilling in her "a deep passion for social justice." Now an alumna, Sarah has continued to work with the university in promoting equality among students. Along with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Sarah helped champion a new sexuality and queer studies minor at AU, which debuted in fall 2013. 

She says that she feels a "deep responsibility" to give back to the school that has given her so much. "I want to make sure that the students who go to American for generations to come have as positive an experience as I had. I and my fellow alumni have a responsibility to do that." 

Sarah knows that the university has well prepared the next generation of leaders, saying, "If America was a little more like American, things would be a lot better for people who are currently struggling."

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Update,Diversity,School of Public Affairs
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 40F32666-FD45-BDCF-A5C68AA178310BBF
Media:
newsId: 03DCA440-F399-8A8D-CB557FB2BB853C68
Title: Business & Public Affairs: A Perfect Marriage
Author: Phil Recchio
Subtitle:
Abstract: Ben, Kogod/MBA ’11, and Christina Macfarland, SPA/MPA ’11, entrepreneurially apply their skills in South Florida, while giving back to AU.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 05/15/2014
Content:

Ben, Kogod/MBA ’11, and Christina Macfarland, SPA/MPA ’11, came to AU together, shortly after getting married in their native state of Florida, to pursue their individual academic and professional interests. Christina’s passion for nonprofit work and supporting her community led her to pursue a Master of Public Administration and,a graduate certificate in nonprofit management, whereas Ben built off his undergrad business degree by focusing his MBA studies on real estate and finance. Since graduation, they have returned to their home state to not only put their degrees to work, but also spread word of AU’s excellence while galvanizing the Florida alumni community. 

This past February, Christina and Ben hosted more than 60 AU alumni, parents, and friends in their Palm Beach home, and had the chance to catch up with their old neighbor, Vice President of Alumni Relations and Development, Dr. Thomas J. Minar. Before Dr. Minar delivered updates regarding campus plans and alumni initiatives within the South Florida community, Christina reminisced about her time working in the AU development department for corporate and foundation giving, and Ben remembered hunkering down in their condo during the infamous Snow-maggedon storm of 2010. 

These types of close relationships serve as a beautiful model for how the Office of Alumni Relations and Development seeks to engage AU alumni, and Christina and Ben are no strangers to the world of philanthropy and volunteering. Christina is a board member for the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, where fellow master’s alumna Jillian Vukusich, CAS/MA ’04, serves as vice president for community investment.  

Christina continues her educational pursuits, and is a recent graduate of "Leadership Palm Beach County," which kept her up to date on the latest trends in philanthropic and non profit leadership. This is especially important for those as involved in their communities as she is. She volunteers and has served on numerous committees for The Flagler Museum, March of Dimes, Historical Society of Palm Beach County, the Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Presently, Christina performs research and writing for Women Corporate Directors, the only global membership organization of women corporate directors which serves as a catalyst for thought leadership and networking.

In addition to serving on his high school’s alumni board and helping to recruit great students to AU, Ben founded a local publication, Palm Beach Philanthropy, to showcase and educate the public to the diverse causes being supported right in their backyard. While philanthropy has always been a passion and a practice for the Macfarlands, Ben also puts his MBA to work running a boutique asset management firm that focuses on investing family office and institutional capital into self storage, student housing, and other special situations in real estate. The firm, where Ben serves as a partner and chief investment officer, has successfully acquired over two million square feet of real estate in the last two years.

The Macfarlands' collective energy and productivity is even more impressive in light of the fact they’ve accomplished so much all while raising their blossoming family. While their two young girls are a handful at home, Ben and Christina have a long standing history of supporting each other through thick and thin. While on campus, they could be seen attending a kick-off event to help rally support for Christina’s successful run for Editor-in-Chief of the SPA journal The Public Purpose, and nowadays they work to balance their busy schedules of business and board meetings with family meals and outings. 

Thankfully, the Macfarlands have continued their tradition of support as alumni by hosting the recent event for the South Florida AU Eagle community. As for the beautiful marriage of Ben’s business degree and Christina’s nonprofit policy focus, its power can be encapsulated by an Arthur Fried quote: “Private philanthropy is the last frontier of unconstrained freedom for private action in the public good.” AU is lucky to count this entrepreneurial and philanthropically minded young couple among its alumni family.

Tags: Alumni,Kogod School of Business,School of Public Affairs
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 041383EF-F5B3-8744-865E84D4D3D24DFA
Media:
newsId: 023057F7-EC0E-B0AB-5F284C4EB43D1024
Title: Board Member Amy Jones Realized Her Dream of Working on the Hill
Author: Rebecca Vander Linde
Subtitle:
Abstract: After getting two AU degrees, Amy has her dream job overseeing the House’s education policies.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 05/15/2014
Content:

“I am slightly unusual among many of my friends in that I am doing exactly what I’ve wanted to do since sixth grade,” says Alumni Board member Amy Jones, SPA/BA ’99, WCL/JD ’03. Her sixth grade social studies teacher and a family trip to Washington, D.C. convinced a young Amy that she wanted to work on Capitol Hill one day. “I came to AU for college and law school because I felt it was the best place to study that would expose me to politics and Capitol Hill,” she says.

After earning both her bachelor’s and law degrees from AU, Amy’s dreams came true, and she landed a job on the Hill. She now serves as director for education and human services policy for the majority staff on the Committee on Education and the Workforce in the U.S. House of Representatives. In this role, she oversees the House’s education policies.

Amy says the most rewarding part of her job is knowing that “the policies we are pursuing will help others, particularly the underserved, be able to access and achieve their postsecondary [education] goals,” adding, “I love the energy and the quick pace on Capitol Hill. There is always something interesting happening.”

A visit to campus on Accepted Students Day convinced Amy that AU was the right choice for her. “AU was close enough to the city that I knew there would be a lot of different things to do and see, but it also had the benefit of having a more enclosed campus, which I really liked,” she says. “And I liked my undergraduate experience so much, that I went to WCL for law school.”

As an AU student, Amy was involved in numerous activities. “I participated in the Freshmen Service Experience, played lacrosse during my freshman and sophomore years, worked at the front desk of McDowell Hall, studied abroad in London for one semester, interned on Capitol Hill, and worked at a few different law firms because I was trying to decide if I wanted to go to law school,” Amy recalls.

Of her time on the American University Alumni Board, Amy says, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my service on the AU Alumni Board and becoming a more engaged alumna over the past several years. I am continually amazed by the students attending AU now and love being able to serve as a mentor or resource to them.”

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,School of Public Affairs,Washington College of Law
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: DDB574D2-08B0-5F98-92E1559C6702221E
Media:
newsId: 6449E296-09D7-C80B-BDA285991D985CC6
Title: Alumni Board Member Joe Vidulich is Always an Eagle
Author: Rebecca Vander Linde
Subtitle:
Abstract: Few alumni embody the phrase “Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle” as well as Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA ’08.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 04/07/2014
Content:

Few alumni embody the phrase "Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle" as well as Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA '08. A member of the American University Alumni Board and men's basketball season ticket holder, Joe continues to support AU as enthusiastically as when he was a student.

"I joined the alumni board because I want to make sure the AU alumni experience is just as good as – if not better than – the student experience, and show alumni that their time at AU doesn't end after four years," Joe says, and it's true: his Eagle pride is inescapable and infectious.

An AU men's basketball jersey bearing the signatures of the 2008 team (the first in AU history to qualify for the NCAA tournament) hangs on the wall of his home, and he is frequently at basketball games and alumni events. Joe even traveled to Boston and Milwaukee this year to watch the men's basketball team win the Patriot League Championship and play in the NCAA tournament, respectively.

"During the Patriot League Championship game, [Boston University's Agganis Arena] arena became Bender Arena North," Joe recalls. "You could hear the cheers of the AU students and alumni throughout the building and on television. It just shows that AU alumni are everywhere, and AU pride far exceeds the boundaries of Washington, D.C. … The fact that this small team of stellar student-athletes achieved an objective no one thought they could speaks to the caliber of the team, Coach Mike Brennan, and Athletics Director Billy Walker. I'm so proud of them, and I look forward to next season."

As a high school student in Long Island, Joe knew he wanted to study politics and policy. He looked at a number of D.C. schools, but decided to apply early decision to AU because, he says, "I fell in love with the campus and the spirit of the community. I saw that AU really believed that given the tools and the knowledge, you can change the world."

As soon as he arrived on campus, Joe began to change the world – or at least AU. As a freshman, he ran for student government and later became student body president. He also joined College Republicans, the Residence Hall Association, ATV, was a resident assistant, and even participated in a production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Joe also interned for Congressman Peter King (R-NY) and the McCain presidential campaign. "I wanted the whole AU experience," Joe says, "And I definitely achieved that."

Perhaps Joe's most lasting legacy to date is as a founder of Blue Crew, the student cheering section at athletics events. After noticing lackluster attendance at AU games, Joe wanted to bolster student support for AU athletes. "It touched me that these young men and women were out there – on a court or turf or field – every day with an AU emblem on their chests that represented me and everything that I stood for. … We [as AU students] might have disagreements on policy or philosophy, but there shouldn't be a disagreement about cheering on fellow students as they represent your university in competition," he says.

Joe regularly interacts with AU President Neil Kerwin, SPA/BA '71, in his duties as an alumni board member, and he recalls Dr. Kerwin's inauguration fondly. As student body president, he participated in the inauguration ceremony, presenting Dr. Kerwin with an AU jersey on behalf of the student body. "It was a really special time. His presidency brought about a rebirth in the AU alumni community, since he is the first AU president who is also an alumnus and he has implemented a strategic plan that incorporates alumni."

When he isn't cheering for the Eagles or networking with fellow alumni, Joe represents the interests of over 650 businesses and half a million employees as vice president of government relations for the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, one of largest chambers in Virginia.

"One of the passions I got out of AU is that a strong economy is central to a strong region. … Every day, I use the skills taught to me by some of the best professors and experts in their fields to advocate and shape policy to make a better Virginia for my companies and the people who work for those companies," Joe says.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,School of Public Affairs,Athletics
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 6470C8FD-E7BC-0EEF-346E84FE9447E1CA
Media:
newsId: 50F3004E-A33A-3D5C-8464AD6318C2A6F4
Title: John Tranfaglia, SPA/BA ’13, Providing Solutions to Preserve the Maine Lobster Industry
Author: Pat Rabb
Subtitle:
Abstract: As part of AU’s Roosevelt Institute, Tranfaglia began proposing ideas to strengthen the industry.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 01/07/2014
Content:

"I think the biggest mistake that the lobster industry has made is not being proactive towards marketing the product out of state."

So says alumnus John Tranfaglia, SPA/BA ’13, about his efforts to promote initiatives to save Maine’s most identifiable industry - lobsters. Without changes, many believe that the business of catching lobsters in the state of Maine will die.

John first became involved in the lobster issue as a member of the Roosevelt Institute at American University. As a member of this organization, he was challenged to look at public policy problems and highlight possible solutions that might alleviate them. "I had read in the newspaper a few times about some of the troubles that the lobster industry was having with marketing the product and thought it would be interesting to look into the issue further," says John.

The Roosevelt Institute is the first student-run policy organization or "think tank" in the United States. Its mission is to empower students to create and advocate their ideas for change. Including the AU chapter, there are 8,500 active members and over 80 established chapters in the U.S. and abroad.

John describes how, until recently, there were very few processing plants in Maine to break down and freeze the product so that items such as lobster meat or tails could be sold. ?Much of the lobster caught off the coast of Maine is sent to Canada to be processed. Once it crosses the border, it is marketed as Canadian lobster. This leads to price markups that increase dealers’ profits while shrinking the profits of the lobstermen.

Once caught, a lobster can change hands five or six times before reaching the consumer’s plate. However, lobstermen are getting paid as little as $2 a pound for their catch – while the price can escalate to $18 a pound by the time it reaches a restaurant menu.?

John believes that the best way to raise profits for the Maine lobstermen would be to increase processing capabilities in Maine. "Last year, over 133 million pounds of lobster was caught off the Maine coast but much of that was sent to Canada for processing," he adds.?John thinks that if either the processing costs could be reduced or if lobstermen could co-op with processors, then their wages would increase considerably.

When reflecting on his passion for the Maine lobster industry, John admits that he actually was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. However, his family moved to Cape Elizabeth, Maine, when he was two years old. "I have lived there ever since and it is what I have come to know as home," he says.

In describing why he chose to attend AU, John states that he wanted to go to a school in the city, he wanted to be able to study and work in politics, and he wanted the opportunity to study abroad.?"Going to AU allowed me to achieve all three of these," he remarks.

Now that John has graduated from AU with a major in political science and a minor in public administration and policy, he plans to leave Maine and move overseas. "In March, I will be moving to Seoul, South Korea, to teach English for a year," he says.

While in Korea, John will be planning his next step. He has an interest in health policy and has deferred his admission to the University of Melbourne for a master’s degree in public health. "Studying abroad was something that has definitely impacted me throughout my time at AU. I loved Perth and plan on going back to Australia for graduate studies," says John.

Tags: School of Public Affairs
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 7F606831-BF4B-6B5E-C359D78F7E56B992
Media:
newsId: 08FF149F-A39F-A15E-758315C96181311A
Title: Cameron McCosh, SPA/BA ’07, SPA/MPP ’08, is a Washington Power Broker
Author: Dash Radosti
Subtitle:
Abstract: McCosh recently was named to list of 25 Most Influential Washington Women Under 35.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 11/12/2013
Content:

Cameron McCosh, SPA/BA ’07, SPA/MPP ’08, was recently named to the National Journal’s list of 25 Most Influential Washington Women under 35.

Although only 28, Cameron is chief operating officer of American Action Forum, a conservative think-tank focused on domestic and economic policy.

After finishing her studies at American University with both an undergraduate degree in justice and a master’s in public policy, Cameron interned with Lehman Brothers, working in government relations. Afterwards, John McCain's Chief Economic Policy Adviser approached Cameron about starting a new type of conservative think-tank that would be more reactive to the 24-hour news cycle. The rest, as they say, is history.

In a few short years, Cameron helped grow the organization from a fledgling startup to one of Washington’s most influential center-right policy institutes. As COO, she is involved in nearly all aspects of the organization--from formulating policy to meeting decision makers on the Hill and advancing the forum’s message. Cameron credits her time at AU as being instrumental to her development.

“When I came to AU, I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew I loved to learn. Then I took a class from Dr. Jeffery Schaler that really questioned what I believed in, changed my outlook and sparked my interest in public policy,” says Cameron. Later, as a graduate student, another professor, Dr. Sonja Walti, really showed her how public policy influences lives all around us. “Her class really opened my eyes,” Cameron recalls.

While she is unsure about the future (she jokes that she barely has tomorrow planned), Cameron is confident that she’ll be able to seize whatever opportunity presents itself—another skill she credits from her time at AU. Until then, she is working in an area about which she is passionate, including domestic and economic policy, and enjoying life as a newlywed, having just gotten married last summer.

Cameron continues to take advantage of AU’s community. She gleefully boasts about her love of hiring AU students for internships. She also attends an occasional alumni happy hour and sometimes indulges in nostalgic jogs to her alma mater from her house in Logan Circle. Above all, she is impressed by how much the university has grown in the last few years.

“When I was at AU, which wasn’t too long ago, they didn’t even have the [new] SIS building, but more than that, the school’s reputation has grown so much in the last few years. I love the WONK campaign. I think its so fitting.” says Cameron.

Above all, Cameron advises current students to take advantage of their professors and to say yes to every opportunity that presents itself. “I took the opportunity to go back for my master’s in public policy, and I can’t stress how amazing that experience was,” she remarks.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Update,School of Public Affairs
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 0995FD4F-C786-A268-9485279221406312
Media:
newsId: 33E74DDC-D3A2-5141-1F564E045572DBBC
Title: Stephanie Tinsley Regagnon’s Path to and from Washington included AU
Author: Phil Recchio
Subtitle:
Abstract: Alumna uses conversations to forge new partnerships.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 11/08/2013
Content:

Growing up in Kirksville, Mo., Stephanie Tinsley Regagnon, SPA/MA ’02, was never a stranger to the wide open farmlands of America’s agricultural landscape. After exploring academic options in law, she found her niche in politics and completed her undergraduate work at the University of Missouri. During a visit to D.C., she heard an AU radio advertisement during a cab ride and the following evening attended an open house for the School of Public Affairs. This spurred her matriculation to AU, and despite her family’s desire to keep her close to home, Stephanie traded her car in Missouri for a D.C. Metro card.

Working full-time while she got her master’s degree, Stephanie embodied the AU archetype of putting academic theory into practice. “Once I got to AU, I felt like I was doing what I wanted to do. School didn’t even feel like school; at that point it’s not about college, it’s about the rest of your life,” Regagnon remembers. In the evenings, she learned about advanced political theory and how it has played out in Washington, and the next morning she applied the teaching directly in her work for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

One of Stephanie’s influential professors was Pat Griffin, whose experience as legislative affairs assistant to President Clinton shown through in the classroom. Griffin’s down-to-earth style and gregarious demeanor drove home the fact that Stephanie, a Beltway outsider, could do this work too. Griffin’s successes in bridging gaps between public and private partnerships paved the way for Stephanie to assert her skills in connecting people, ideas, and policies from seemingly disparate communities. 

In her current role as director of sustainable agriculture portfolio strategy at Monsanto, she continues to bridge gaps between local farmers, global tech innovations, and an inquisitive public. Balancing all of the needs and futures of these differing communities is no small feat, and Stephanie continues to rely on one of Pat Griffin’s teachings; “Be up front, be honest and be yourself.”

Having frank and informed conversations regarding controversial topics is part of Stephanie’s critical skillset. Years of having tough conversations around protecting agricultural resources around the globe has prepared her for promoting innovative and collaborative partnerships necessary to moving our collective environmental footprint forward.

Stephanie proudly states the critical role her AU education has played in her successes. Her dedication to education is evident and it continues to be her passion. After a personal family experience with the justice system, Stephanie founded Ava’s Grace Scholarship Foundation. Ava’s Grace has a mission of providing scholarships for higher education to children with incarcerated parents in the state of Missouri. The foundation currently funds two new students per year, giving $5,000 each of their four years in college or university. “In higher education there are scholarships for twins, diabetics and everything in between. There were no scholarships for children with incarcerated parents. As an at-risk population this was a need that wasn’t being addressed. At Ava’s Grace we are seeking to change that one child at a time in Missouri.” 

Academically, professionally and philanthropically, Stephanie is embodying AU’s pragmatic ethos by collaboratively engaging new connections and partnerships, while not shying away from tough conversations.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,School of Public Affairs
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 3FD151C0-D224-3F98-EBC0D949A94D57F5
Media:
newsId: B1028450-AF2B-8780-B99CDAB60BBA93EE
Title: Turning Leadership and Mentorship Into Success
Author: Alexis Pazmiño, SPA/BA ’11
Subtitle:
Abstract: Marc Bender, SPA/BA ’97, is the chief investment officer at Cantor Fitzgerald Asset Management.  During his time at American University, he was not only a student athlete but also a member of the SPA Leadership Program.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 08/12/2013
Content:

Marc Bender, SPA/BA ’97, attributes his success to his experiences as a student athlete and the SPA Leadership program. He is currently the Chief Investment Officer at Cantor Fitzgerald Asset Management, a global financial services firm in New York City.

Looking back at his tenure at AU, Bender considers himself fortunate to have participated in the SPA Leadership Program. “Richard Levick was our director and taught us a great deal about a wide range of areas, including everything from how to speak and articulate yourself in public to how to act around political dignitaries,” Bender says.

Recently, Bender met Margaret Marr, the current SPA leadership director, when he spoke to a group of current students and recent alumni. Bender regards Marr as a terrific leader who provides invaluable opportunities to her students. The SPA Leadership Program allows students to learn real-life leadership skills to pave the way for future success. “The wide reach of skills and walks of life touched by this program in a practical way is second to none in the life lessons you can learn at a young age,” Bender says proudly.

Bender was also a noted student athlete for all four years of his time at AU. During his time on the golf team, he competed against some of today’s best PGA Tour players, including John Rollins. Wade Heinzelman, Bender’s coach, proved inspirational to the young player. Bender recalls, “[Heinzelman] taught us a ton about everything from golf course management to custom golf equipment to having the right disposition on the course and how to focus on specific targets (both on and off the golf course).”

Bender balanced his responsibilities as a student-athlete while enjoying the classroom environment and social aspects of AU. He interned at the Public Defender’s Office where he had an eye-opening experience as he visited clients in all areas of D.C., including local jails.

Bender earned his J.D. from New York Law School immediately after earning his B.A. in Law and Society from AU. From there, he partnered with Donald Erenberg and Michael Friedman at First New York Securities, undertaking a management role in a prospering company.

Currently, Marc Bender is chief investment officer at Cantor Fitzgerald Asset Management. A large part of his role at Cantor Fitzgerald is finding undiscovered investment talent. He says of his work, “I get to constantly learn and enjoy the challenge of not looking at opportunities through rose colored glasses but actually understanding the risk/reward profile of each opportunity.” The position allows him to define truly valuable people and investments that are not only competent but also differentiated. Enjoying his challenging position, Bender notes that “[w]ithstanding the test of time requires hitting singles and doubles, with an occasional triple or home run - but the manager seeking grand slams often suffers big losses or goes out of business.”

Continuing with the sports metaphors (ever the AU athlete), Marc Bender has hit a home run as a leader in his own right.

A native of Great Neck, New York, Bender lives with his wife Rachel and their children in the New York metro area.