newsId: 258FE669-5056-AF26-BE959E7BC8B4BC88
Title: All-American Success!
Author: Carla Gochicoa, CAS/BA ’09
Subtitle:
Abstract: All-American Weekend was filled with laughter, great weather, and lots of fun! Hundreds of alumni returned relive their days at American University and participate in a wide variety of events throughout the city.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 11/13/2017
Content:

All-American Weekend 2017 was the most successful ever! We had a 12% increase in attendees this year. The weekend was full of fun and laughter. Alumni and students brought their families and friends to share in the spirit of AU.

Alumni from the class of 1952 to the class of 2017 celebrated all things AU, renewed their connections to the university, and showed palpable excitement around the university's future. 

It was a beautiful weekend to launch several new events, including the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Faire, the Multicultural Alumni Reunion's Books and Brunch and Distinguished Alumni Panel events, and the Student Government and Eagle Staff Reunion.

Other highlights of the weekend were the Golden Eagles Luncheon, Class of 1967 Reception, Taste of AU, the Kennedy Political Union featuring Gabrielle Union, and the All-Alumni Party at the International Spy Museum (which had nearly 200 attendees). 

The weekend was a hit, and it's only going to get better. Thank you to everyone who attended. 

If you have not already done so, please fill out our All-American Weekend survey.

Be sure to check out our Flickr page for photos from the weekend!

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,Alumni Weekend
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Title: Alumni Board Seeks New Members
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Abstract: Interested in helping make key decisions about programming and outreach to fellow Eagles? Apply for the Alumni Board!
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 09/15/2017
Content:

Looking for ways to reconnect with your alma mater? Interested in helping make key decisions about programming and outreach? The American University Alumni Board is accepting applications for its 2018-2020 term. All AU graduates are encouraged to apply. 

Here are the details:

• Each term of office lasts two years, and each member can serve up to two consecutive terms.

• Board members must attend four meetings in DC per year, and serve both as stewards to and for the general alumni body.  

• Members are expected to represent the board at AU alumni events, positively promote the university, and financially contribute to the university with a gift of at least $1,000 per year.

Joining the Alumni Board is an excellent way to hone your leadership skills, help shape the future of AU, and most importantly, give back to the university. While the nominations process for the board is extremely competitive, membership is very rewarding. Members play an active role in guiding the efforts and initiatives of the Office of Alumni Relations and serve as regional, national, and international AU ambassadors.

A nominations committee reviews applications, presenting a slate of nominees to board president Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA ’08, for approval and appointment. New board members will assume their responsibilities in January 2018, following a welcome celebration. 

To nominate yourself or a fellow alumnus/a, submit an application and a current résumé online by Wednesday, October 11, 2017. Contact Raina Lenney, assistant vice president of alumni relations, at lenney@american.edu or Amy Jones, chair of the nominations and governance committee, at amrjones08@gmail.com with questions. 

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Title: Greetings from Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA '08
Author:
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Abstract: A message from the Alumni Association President
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 09/12/2017
Content:

It's officially time to turn our attention to the fall and the many activities your Alumni Association is planning for you. First and foremost, All-American Weekend is right around the corner. I hope you're making plans to return to DC and to AU next month. We will celebrate this great university with more than 40 events during the weekend of October 20-22. And, if you haven’t heard, this year’s All-Alumni Party is at the International Spy Museum. I definitely expect to see you there for this one! It’s going to be epic.

This month's Alumni Update features five alumni award winners to be acknowledged at a special dinner during All-American Weekend. This phenomenal group includes David Aldridge, Ann Kerwin, Penny Pagano, Tara Palmeri, and Andy MacCracken. I hope you will join me as we thank them for their contributions both to AU and to the communities around them on October 20.

Also, I encourage you to take time to consider nominating a fellow Eagle - or yourself - for the Alumni Board. Members play a key role in guiding the efforts and initiatives of the Office of Alumni Relations and serve as formal and informal ambassadors of American University regionally, nationally, and internationally. We have a fantastic group of Eagle alumni and are excited to add to our ranks this year. Please read up on our work and be in touch with any questions.

Finally, to our alumni in areas affected by recent natural disasters, please know that our thoughts are with you. We have heard from alumni who are pitching in to help their own communities and others with recovery, and we applaud your efforts and your resiliency. Please be in touch if the university can assist during this time of great need.

All the best,

- Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA '08

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newsId: 8659BA8F-5056-AF26-BE14968C3FDF0875
Title: Shreen Khan Connects Dots to Tell the World’s Untold Stories
Author: Carla Gochicoa, CAS/BA ’09
Subtitle:
Abstract: Shreen Khan, CAS/BA ’08, SIS/MA ’12, grew up listening to stories, now thousands listen to hers.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 06/09/2017
Content:

Shreen Khan, CAS/BA '08, SIS/MA '12, grew up in Connecticut with her two sisters. At home, she was part of a tightknit family of storytellers. She grew up listening to stories about connection and migration. Away from home, Shreen often felt isolated by her differences. She was the only Indian child in her grade, the "only person with spicy food in my lunch box." Growing up, she was always looking for that connection to culture and diversity from her childhood stories. She found that at American University.

Shreen says she was "excited to go somewhere with lots of diversity and lots of kinds of diversity." When she began at AU, Shreen lived at Leonard Hall where she had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. "Even though AU has a lot of work to do on inclusion and diversity, that was something really amazing to experience," she says.

Although pursuing journalism wasn't originally on her path as a student, through her courses she began to take a more active interest in how race, gender, and culture impact individual lives. It was the class People and Cultures of the Middle East that put her on her current path. "Everything linked together in that class. After working for a few years, I wanted to get back to how I felt in that class," she recalls. The course inspired her to return to AU for her master's degree. While studying, she became increasingly interested in journalism. A storyteller at heart, she became sure that when she graduated, she wanted to work at Al Jazeera.  

Shreen began as a production fellow and worked her way up while taking on increasing responsibilities. She now works in San Francisco as a producer for AJ Plus, the digital channel of Al Jazeera English. Her career has allowed her the opportunity to interview an array of fascinating individuals. "The interview I did that really stuck with me was interviewing a former US drone technician turned whistleblower, Lisa [Ling]. The chance to meet someone like her and hear from her perspective was something I wouldn't get to experience anywhere else," she says. Her current job is focused on finding the stories that are off the radar and that would normally be absent from most US news sources. Shreen describes her role as a "dream job." It's no wonder: all a storyteller hopes to do is to tell stories that are true, authentic, and often overlooked.

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Title: AU Eagle Prepares to Leave the Nest After 40 Years
Author: Sarah Martone
Subtitle:
Abstract: Patricia Oltmann, CAS/MEd ’78, celebrates the end of a long and successful career at AU.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 06/09/2017
Content:

In August 1976, Patricia (Natale) Oltmann, CAS/MEd '78, left Rochester, N.Y. for Washington, DC, to enroll at American University. Nearly 40 years later, she is graduating from American University in a different way, concluding a nearly 20-year career as AU's alumni career programs coordinator.

"At a graduation almost 40 years ago, I walked across the stage to receive my master's in education from the College of Arts and Sciences," said Pat. "At the May 2017 CAS graduation, I walked in Bender across the stage carrying the alumni flag for CAS, so I guess I've come full circle!"

As a student at American University, Pat pursued a graduate degree in counseling and received her MEd from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1978. Just before her graduation, she visited AU's Career Center for help in her job search and found her first job - a summer employment coordinator position in Human Resources for the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Pat continued working for the government for the better part of the following decade. During this time, she also met her husband, Hank Oltmann, SPA/MS '78. Pat and Hank married and, in 1989, welcomed twin daughters. Following the birth of their children, she temporarily left the workforce to be a stay-at-home mother.

In 1997, Pat returned to work and was hired by American University's Office of Development and Alumni Relations to work on alumni reunions. She stayed in this role until January 2000, at which point she became the first alumni career programs coordinator.

"It was always a dream of mine to work on a college campus - I found my niche at AU, and it's lasted almost 20 years," said Pat.

In her role, Pat has served as the liaison between the Office of Alumni Relations and the Career Center and has worked to forge connections between students, alumni, and employers. Throughout her 17 years in this role, she has helped to connect more than 10,000 students with alumni and prospective employers, has facilitated 75 school-specific networking receptions, assisted with 33 job and internship fairs, and has helped plan 19 All-American Weekends. She has also filled in as a career advisor and worked on graduate outcomes.

"This job has fit my personality perfectly, because I love to connect people," said Pat. "I've been so lucky to work with two offices and two teams - it's just been a really wonderful career."

Pat's time at AU provided her with many exciting experiences, including the opportunity to meet important guests on campus such as Barack Obama, Caroline and Ted Kennedy, the Dali Lama, and Buzz Aldrin. However, her favorite experience at AU has been seeing students with whom she's worked return to AU as employers.

"It's such a thrill that people come back after they went to one of the networking receptions and got an internship that turned into a job, and now they're recruiting," she said.

Pat is proud of the progress AU has made over the past 40 years and is positive about the future of the school. "To me, the university has never been as good as it is now", she said. "Over the years, I've been increasingly impressed with the caliber of AU's students and alumni, staff, faculty, and leadership. Neil Kerwin has been a fabulous president-getting to know him and wife has been a real honor and a joy."

As she transitions to retirement, Pat will take with her the lifelong friendships she's made at AU and is looking forward to her next chapter. She plans to pursue health and fitness, travel, take some art and music classes, and continue her relationship with AU as an alumna. Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle!


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Title: Metro Communications Chief Says There’s “No Average Day”
Author: Traci Crockett
Subtitle:
Abstract: Lynn Bowersox, SOC/BA ’85, feels like she’s come full circle since her time at AU.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 05/23/2017
Content:

Lynn Bowersox, SOC/BA '85, feels like she's come full circle since her time at AU. "When I was at AU in the '80s, we dreamed of having our own red line station," she says with a laugh. Now, of course, the Tenleytown-AU Metro stop is an integral part of the AU student experience.

As assistant general manager for customer service, communications, and marketing at Metro, Lynn is especially excited about the UPass program introduced at AU last year. "It demonstrates the leadership of President Kerwin," she says. "It helps to give students a practical way to really use the laboratory that is Washington, DC." (The UPass program allows students unlimited use of the Metro rail and bus systems during the academic year.) "So many of us came here because we wanted to be in this city," she says. "The connectivity of Metro is to me a unique extension of the experience. Once again, AU is a leader. It has always understood the importance of public transportation to its mission." 

Lynn herself takes Metro to the office each morning. Once there, she says there is no such thing as an "average" day. Her work includes overseeing day-to-day communications for bus and rail service, providing good customer service, responding to riders on social media, and oversight of the system's call center. She also manages responses to media. Most exciting of all, she says, is that "We're doing a lot of cutting edge stuff in expanding the use of technology, our presence in social media, and digitizing advertising to help keep fares down."

Despite her busy days, Lynn makes a point to get back to campus – and into the classroom – every semester. She visits to speak in SOC's public communication courses, saying "students have given me great ideas when I talk through challenges and ideas about Metro. I always have fun." In fact, she recently hired a full-time employee who started as an intern at WMATA after Lynn spoke in his class. "It's great recruiting ground for interns and for entry-level hiring," says Lynn, who especially loves sharing her workdays with fellow Eagles.

Lynn finds her work and her opportunities for involvement on campus complement one another and leave her feeling proud of what she does. "There's no other job where you get to affect the quality of someone's life twice a day," she says.

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Title: SIS Alumna Defeats Hiring Trends and Defines Service
Author: Stephanie Block
Subtitle:
Abstract: SIS alumna credits AU Study Aboard for paving the way for a successful career in the military.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 04/21/2017
Content:

American University Alumni Association board member, Merri Uckert, SIS/BA '77, who retired as Colonel after nearly 29 years of active duty service in the United States Air Force, contributes her brave, adventurous spirit to her American University study abroad experience. "My semester studying at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark probably shaped me the most," she says. "Growing up a bit sheltered in Holbrook, New York, my semester in Denmark opened my eyes to the world! Although I lived with a Danish family, I was able to travel on the EurailPass every weekend to explore the other European countries."

While her immediate career goals were to work in intelligence, the economy was facing a recession following her graduation. The intelligence agencies were hiring accountants and Russian linguists. In 1978, she found herself attracted to the Air Force because they guaranteed equal pay to men and women. She graduated from American University in three years and joined the military shortly after the Vietnam War, when a small percentage of those serving were female.

"When I looked at the military, it was so much more progressive than the private sector. I was able to use knowledge from my AU School of International Service international studies degree over time as I worked with attachés, was assigned to Korea and Japan, taught national security policy to Air Force ROTC cadets, was an advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, attended Air War College, and rose through the ranks. My SIS experience started me on a solid path to success."

During her AU experience, Merri completed an internship at the American Society for the International Law of the Sea. She also served as president of the SIS Undergraduate Cabinet, working directly with the Dean on issues and policies of the day. In addition, she was a campus tour guide, introducing and selling AU to prospective students.

Merri is now a defense contractor for a mid-sized company in Columbia, Maryland, assigned to an intelligence agency providing systems engineering technical assistance support. Her first role as a defense contractor was supporting the construction of the new National Geospatial Intelligence Agency building in Springfield, Virginia.

"Life has come full circle, and I am working in the intelligence community after all," Merri says. "However, the whole journey working for our nation's Department of Defense has been rewarding—supporting our country, our freedom, and the American way of life."

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Title: From School to Career, Marketing Remains This Alumna’s Passion
Author: EmilyAnn Walrath
Subtitle:
Abstract: Lesley Siu, SOC/BA ’13, speaks about her current role as marketing specialist for Peace Corps Response.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 04/13/2017
Content:

According to a report recently published by the Peace Corps, American University is the top medium-sized school (5,000 to 15,000 undergraduates) for Peace Corps volunteers, with 54 currently serving volunteers. As a graduate of AU and current marketing specialist for Peace Corps Response, Lesley Siu, SOC/BA '13, is excited to share this news. She says, "It's been great having that connection" between her alma mater and the Peace Corps organization. Lesley's favorite part about working with Peace Corps Response is "connecting experienced professionals with service opportunities" and the work the organization does internationally. 

Before she began working for the Peace Corps, Lesley's professional experiences after graduation were in social media and media relations. "I always knew I wanted to do marketing," Lesley recalls. So, she began looking for something that would provide her with the opportunity to be more of a leader in marketing campaigns, to help build a global brand. She found this opportunity at the Peace Corps headquarters in DC. 

Lesley says her academic experience at AU prepared her for the role of marketing specialist. She has been able to take what she learned in film and media arts and apply it to her current role in many ways. "I enjoy being the one who understands the process for production and film editing in order to create visually stimulating pieces that draw people in and get them excited about what I am marketing," she says. 

While at AU, Lesley was active outside of the classroom, getting involved in the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, study abroad, and even leading the charge to create the online magazine, HerCampus, at AU. Lesley's involvement in this organization and publication allowed her to put her academic knowledge of marketing, communications, and media into practice while still pursuing her degree. What's more, she developed leadership skills as president of the organization, which she says carry over to her work as well as her role as vice president for the American University Alumni Association's DC Young Alumni Chapter.

Lesley is proud to be a graduate of American University because of the academic and cultural lessons she learned. She says, "AU students are internationally focused and curious about the world," just like Peace Corps volunteers.

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Title: Meet Jonathan Mathis, PhD, Kogod/BSBA ’04: Education Leader and New Alumni Board Member
Author: Patricia Rabb
Subtitle:
Abstract: Jonathan Mathis actively supports students both professionally and as a member of the AU Alumni Board.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 04/11/2017
Content:

"I knew I wanted to study outside of New York state, so I made AU my first choice. With DC as an extension to the classroom, and the promise of having access to and connecting with current and future world leaders, I could not go wrong," says Jonathan Mathis, PhD, Kogod/BSBA '04, about his decision to study at AU.

Born and raised in Albany, Jonathan's first formal visit to AU was in December 1999, when his family decided to spend Christmas in DC following his early decision acceptance. He also had a brief encounter with the campus while in Washington for the National Young Leaders Conference during his junior year of high school. "We stayed at the 4-H Center in Bethesda and traveled past 4400 Massachusetts Avenue daily," he recalls.

As a student at AU, Jonathan was very active on campus. He participated in the AU Gospel Choir and was active in student government (as homecoming director and Founders' Day Ball co-director). He was also a Resident Advisor, an AU Admission Ambassador, a member of the Black Student Alliance, and the founding father of the Beta Beta Theta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Jonathan points to directing both the Homecoming and Founders' Day Ball during his senior year as highlights of his AU experience. "These two examples point to the various ways in which I was able to help establish university community across the campus," he says.  

Since graduating from AU, Jonathan has been studying and working in secondary and higher education administration. He received his MSA in educational administration (K-12) from Trinity University in 2008 and his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in urban educational policy from the University of Southern California in 2012. Jonathan believes the foundation of having a Kogod degree was instrumental in how he looks at education through the lens of organizations, leadership, and relationships. "An understanding of marketing, finance, organizational culture, management of people and resources have been invaluable in my early career pursuits and even to this day," he says.

Jonathan is currently director of National Honor Societies at the National Association of Secondary School Principals. In this role, he serves as a resource for tens of thousands of educational leaders, youth development professionals, and future school leaders. "Every day, I am blessed to think about and create conditions for the success of other people's children. I could not think of a better way to exercise my professional purpose," Jonathan exclaims.

When he's not enjoying the arts in New York City or DC, Jonathan enjoys cooking, writing, and serving as a mentor. As a new member of the AU Alumni Board, Jonathan hopes to find ways to engage his peers and other alumni in support of current and aspiring students. "I would love to see increased giving—time, expertise, money, networks—among those who have yet to engage, and deeper levels from those who currently contribute to the legacy of the institution," says Jonathan.

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Title: Alumna’s Feminist Collection on Display at Library of Congress
Author: Traci Crockett
Subtitle:
Abstract: Bonnie Morris was the first AU student to graduate with a minor in women’s studies.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 03/23/2017
Content:

Bonnie Morris, CAS/BA '83, came to AU as a Jewish studies major and a feminist activist. She spent a transformative year abroad in Israel, where she says she was struck by the struggles of women. "It wasn't just the struggle for equal rights," she says. "I was struck by their very limited roles in society."

The young feminist in Morris returned to AU with a renewed sense of urgency for her cause and was very proud to be the first AU student to graduate with a minor in women's studies. "Also, the performing arts were fantastic," she says, recalling her days on campus. "And you had all of Washington…It's not surprising to me that I became an arts activist. Everything at AU directed me to what I did and what I wrote later." 

Now the author of 15 books, Morris says, "AU was very warm and supportive. All of that made me into the very secure person I am today." After graduating from AU, she received an MA and PhD from Binghamton University in New York, where serving as a teaching assistant, she discovered what more she wanted to do. "I discovered I really liked students," she says, "And by the time I was finished, I had lots of teaching experience."


These days, Morris teaches gender studies at both Georgetown and George Washington universities, where she has been a faculty member for 22 years. Her courses cover everything from gender in sports to music history, where her particular interest lies. "It's a great time to be a student in DC. I tell students to keep a journal so you can describe what it was like to live through this time," she says.

Morris has worked for more than 30 years as an activist in the women's community, and she specifically enjoys work with performing artists, saying women's music has been "a rallying point" for many gay women though the decades. She regularly lectures on the importance of music in the feminist movement.

Recently, Morris was invited to display portions of her personal collection at the Library of Congress. The exhibition is on display through April 3. She says it's "unbelievable" that her collection ended up in the Great North Hall of the library's Thomas Jefferson building – and that she finds herself wandering the halls of the Library of Congress every weekend telling stories to the visitors there enjoying her wares.

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Title: Granddaughter of a slave, Justice Audrey Collins to receive Beacon of Justice Award
Author: Nicholle Granger
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Abstract: Only two generations removed from slavery, she has dedicated her career to supporting underrepresented people and communities.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 02/09/2017
Content:

As a youth, Associate Justice of the California Board of Appeals Audrey B. Collins, SPA/MA '69, would have never guessed that she would forge a history-making career. An American University School of Public Affairs graduate, Collins became the first African-American woman to serve as Head Deputy, Assistant Bureau Director, and Assistant District Attorney after joining the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office in 1978.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Collins to the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and she served as Chief Judge of the Central District from 2009 to 2012. During that time, Collins became the first judge to declare a portion of the 9/11-inspired Patriot Act unconstitutional based on language that she found to be in conflict with the First Amendment. In 2014, she was appointed to the California Court of Appeal, where she remains today.

Over the years, Collins has been acknowledged for her many contributions to public service and social equality. On April 5, the Friends of Los Angeles County Law Library will present her with the 2017 Beacon of Justice Award, recognizing her exceptional commitment to expanding access to quality legal services for low-income people and communities.

Collins's story is unique in that not only did she come of age during the Civil Rights Movement, but she was also the granddaughter of a slave. To be only two generations removed from slavery is "very unusual for someone my age, now 71," says Collins. She was born in Chester, Pa. in 1945. But both her grandfather and father married later in life, which explains her proximity to slavery. After being freed sometime in the 1860s, her grandfather, Furman Lawrence Brodie, worked his way through school, eventually becoming a minister and teacher. "He didn't learn to read until he was 16," says Collins.

Collins was first inspired to pursue a career in law by her family's strong tradition of public service. Her father was a dentist who built a community-based practice in Chester, and her mother was a teacher. Collins describes her mother as a "brilliant woman who graduated from Howard University at the age of 20." Collins is convinced that had there been an opportunity, her mother would have become a lawyer. But growing up in Norfolk, Va., her mother experienced segregation and overt racism, something Collins encountered only when she visited. By choosing to raise Collins in Yeadon, Pa., her parents were able to shield her from that and ensure that she had the best educational opportunities possible.

Collins's interest in law became more apparent during her undergraduate studies in political science at Howard University. While she was not involved in the Civil Rights Movement directly, it was then that she recognized the need for equitable legal representation for African-Americans, especially protesters who were being detained by police. "It occurred to me at that time that the most fascinating and meaningful thing for me to do was to go to law school," says Collins. "I think, especially being at Howard, it was clear that lawyers were there on the front lines of what was happening in the Civil Rights Movement."

After completing her MA in government and public administration at American University, Collins went on to obtain a JD from UCLA in 1977, throwing her legal career into full swing. Collins would have never predicted that she would be where she is today. "I'm not a fan of the five-year plan," she says. "You don't have to have your whole life worked out. I think if you find something you love to do, something you're enthusiastic about doing, and do well, it will reveal itself."

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Title: The Candy Man Can: A Young Alum’s Sweet Job
Author: Jessica Tanca
Subtitle:
Abstract: Dan Shorts, SPA/BA '11, has a sweet job at the National Confectioners Association, promoting candy as a part of happy, balanced lifestyle.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 02/06/2017
Content:

Not to sugarcoat it, but Dan Shorts, SPA/BA '11, has a pretty sweet job. He is the manager of government affairs for the National Confectioners Association. Dan represents American candy manufacturers and articulates to policymakers the industry's stance on a number of federal policies that affect the industry. These policies range from reforming federal sugar subsidies and other commodity support programs to food assistance issues to tax and trade debates. 

Dan's focus is on introducing NCA to as many freshman members of Congress as possible and educating them about the industry. Part of his work is to explain to policymakers that the NCA embraces moderation and promotes candy as a part of happy, balanced lifestyle.

"The issues can be complex" he says, but he professes "the candy business is a really fun industry to work for." One could only imagine, if on the second floor of your office building is a candy room filled with sweets and treats.

"It's been gratifying to be part of an industry that is incredibly committed to thoughtful and responsible leadership. NCA is all about embracing moderation, which is where we think our consumers are. Most people enjoy candy just two or three times a week, averaging only about 40 calories per day. NCA is a vocal advocate of encouraging that kind of moderate consumption, and I think that's pretty special."

With a new life after American University, Dan has done a 'king-size' job of giving back time to his alma mater. He is president of the local alumni chapter for his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta. He also spends much of his free time working with AU's DC Young Alumni Chapter. Dan serves on the board for the DC YAC and contributes his time to event planning and engaging young alumni. Dan says, "it's a lot of fun to stay involved with AU and stay connected to other young alumni." His favorite annual events are DC YAC's Day at the Nationals Ballpark and a series of trivia nights, all of which Dan helps plan.

To get involved with DC YAC, NY YAC, or your local AU community, visit the AU Alumni Association's Find Your Community webpage or search for upcoming AU events in your area.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Update
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newsId: D0B9510C-5056-AF26-BEF51382EC42C14A
Title: Alumnus Strives to be the Change He Wants to See in Haiti
Author: Zim Ezumah
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Abstract: Fulbright Scholar Marc Alain Boucicault sets up a system for Haiti's future entrepreneurs
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 08/11/2016
Content:

Many AU alumni use their experiences to propel themselves to new worlds. One alumnus used his to give back to his own. Marc Alain Boucicault, CAS/MA ’15, is a native of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. His project, Groupe ECHO Haiti, is a youth organization he co-founded after returning to his home country after his time at American. He has been able to create programs bolstering the entrepreneurial minds in his home country, specifically that of the youth. Marc Alain had never spent significant time in the US when he was selected for the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, which allowed him to pursue graduate education stateside. Intending to study development economics, he enrolled at American University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

“When I met some great friends, they helped me realize what I actually wanted to do,” he says. Marc Alain realized he had an affinity for finance, and switched his education track to financial economic policy.

Upon graduation, Marc Alain returned to Haiti and a new position at the Inter-American Development Bank, where he is now an operations analyst. During his time there, he and his colleagues created the first youth-led venture capital fund in Haiti. “The objective of this fund is to create opportunities for innovators to create startups in the country,” he says. “We did our first investment in a small-medium enterprise that worked in the field of agribusiness in cocoa transformation. Our goal is to bring money and add our sweat equity gained through strategic advice and network money in the company to allow it to grow and manage production.”

Through this, Marc Alain discovered there was something more he could do to help Haiti’s youth. Under Groupe ECHO he began ELAN Haiti, a three-day conference that brings youth from around the world to Haiti, having them do entrepreneurial projects and creating an ecosystem for innovation in the country. “The participants who are coming are competitively selected. We had 420 applicants, and out of those we selected 100. They come from all over to Haiti to network and discuss development issues with influential leaders,” Marc Alain says.

For his efforts, Marc Alain was nominated for the Haiti Numerique 2030 Award, an honor given to individuals who advance technology industry in the country. He reflects on this honor by reiterating his passion for empowering Haiti’s youth.“Officials in Haiti still treat the youth as a problem that needs to be solved. These issues are real, but when these young people come together and work towards a goal, they can create a better Haiti," Marc Alain says. "This work doesn’t deal with the Haiti of today, it’s dealing with the Haiti of 10-20 years from now. People should invest in any initiative that connects and empower youth and changes the world.”

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