newsId: C4C3B400-5056-AF26-BEB626A270A32181
Title: Greetings from Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA '08
Author:
Subtitle:
Abstract: A message from the Alumni Association President
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 03/08/2017
Content:

THANK YOU to everyone who generously gave to AU during this year's Founders Day celebration. More than 660 Eagles gave $114,397 to unlock $193,377 in challenge gifts for a grand total of $307,774 - all in just 36 hours. As I said before, the ambition and success of the AU community never cease to amaze me. Founders Day 2017 was truly illustrative of that success, and I'm very proud to have been a part of it. (And, by the way, if you didn't have a chance to join in, it's not too late to make a difference. The online giving form is always open and your support is always appreciated.)

It is a great time to be an American University alum.

As we've been focused on how you can support AU, I also wanted to highlight how AU serves a resource to alumni. From career and job resources, discounts on products and services, to the ability audit AU classes for as little as $150, American University is there for you even after you graduate. Take a look at the Alumni Benefits page to learn more.

American University has been in the news this month, demonstrating our reach and impact around the globe.

Ambassador Susan Rice will join the faculty at SIS. She was the former US Ambassador to the United Nations (2009–2013) and President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor (2013–2017). This is fantastic news for AU!

Our alma mater ranks No. 1 among medium-sized schools on the Peace Corps 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. This is the third consecutive year that AU has ranked in the top five in that category; in 2016 and 2015, the school held the No. 2 spot.

AU junior Liam Purdy took home first place in the Patriot League indoor track and field championship 800-meter race in unusual fashion—after finishing the run without one of his shoes. Liam's commitment to finish – and win – is emblematic of AU's commitment to excellence and perseverance. Liam's race was featured on ESPN, the Washington Post, and on the Today Show. Congrats, Liam!

With spring just around the corner, it's time to think about recognizing alumni Eagles at All-American Weekend. The tradition of our Alumni Association's annual awards celebration dates back to 1948. Nominations will be accepted until May 5, but it's never too early to nominate a deserving alumna or alumnus who has made an impact. Share with us their story and your recommendation.

Lastly, I hope you enjoy our new format for Alumni Update. As always, we are working toward making your alumni experience better, and we welcome your feedback on the newsletter format - and anything else.

-  Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA '08

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update
Publication: DC9BFA6D-C400-714B-030527285D7B0492
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: F99E1865-5056-AF26-BE92D4F042F74862
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: A88538CE-5056-AF26-BE45DD8444DFFD7F
Title: Clawed Made it to The Ball!
Author: Joanna Platt
Subtitle:
Abstract: More than 660 Eagles gave during Founders Day giving event, raising over $300K in 36 hours.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 03/07/2017
Content:

AU's third annual Founders Day giving event, Get Clawed to the Ball, was a success! More than 660 AU Eagles gave $114,397 and unlocked $193,377 in challenge gifts for a grand total of $307,774 raised in just 36 hours. 

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Jack Cassell, SOC/BA '77, issued a challenge to the AU community: if 500 Eagles gave in 36 hours, he would donate $50,000 to AU. The challenge was met in a little over 28 hours. Jack was so inspired by the momentum that he offered an additional challenge: if 100 additional donors gave in three hours, he would give an additional $25,000. This bonus challenge was also met.

More than 400 of the 664 donors are alumni. Giving from current students, parents, faculty, and staff doubled over last year's event.
Gifts came from as far away as China, India, and Belgium.

You can see more about the 2017 Get Clawed to the Ball campaign at american.edu/getclawedtotheball.

Check out social media buzz from the day.

 

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,Annual Giving
Publication: DC9BFA6D-C400-714B-030527285D7B0492
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: A8B21A14-5056-AF26-BE3D457369BECCD6
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 0746B24E-5056-AF26-BE0CE0A2906758FE
Title: On Founders Day 2017: “Get Clawed to the Ball”
Author: Winston Kelly
Subtitle:
Abstract: Here’s what we have planned for our third annual giving day.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 02/07/2017
Content:

February 23-24 is our annual Founders Day giving event in celebration of AU. "Get Clawed to the Ball!" is a fun, online challenge for our community of supporters. This event demonstrates the power we have when we come together. In 2016, a record number of AU community members gave over $104,000 for one purpose – to support AU.

We will build on last year's success and aim to break a record with more than 500 donors in 36 hours.

Gifts show AU students and faculty that you believe in the important work they are doing. The best part is you decide where to give. Which school, program, initiative, or part of campus do you want to influence the most? 

We can't wait to see what the AU community will do this year.

So how can you get involved?

  • Visit the giving day website to sign up for a reminder and to get more information.
  • Become a social media ambassador and Facebook Challenger.
  • Share posts on social media about what school, program, or initiative you are supporting with the hashtag #getclawedtotheball.
  • On February 23 and 24, be sure to check the website periodically to see Clawed's progress!
  • Make a gift!

With your help, we can shape the future of AU and support current and future AU students. Together we can get Clawed to the Ball!

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,Annual Giving,Giving
Publication: DC9BFA6D-C400-714B-030527285D7B0492
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 07685F60-5056-AF26-BEE861DE4E22B7F1
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 9E7EB87C-5056-AF26-BE0D2332B478360A
Title: Welcoming the Newest Alumni Board Members
Author:
Subtitle:
Abstract: Meet the university’s newest alumni leaders.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 02/06/2017
Content:

Four vibrant new members joined American University's Alumni Board this year. Their diverse perspectives and insights strengthen our already dynamic leadership. Since the 1950s, the Alumni Board has provided advice and insight to university staff in their outreach to alumni.

New Alumni Board members include:

Piya Charanjiva, Kogod/BSBA '91; Boca Raton, Fla.; Partner, Virginia Phillip Wine Shop & Academy
Piya has been a loyal supporter and advocate of AU. She has been involved with the Admissions office in assisting with interviews, college fairs, and summer send-offs in the South Florida area for the last five years. 

Kerry-Ann Hamilton, SIS/MA '05; Washington, DC; Vice President, GMMB
Kerry-Ann has participated annually in activities for the School of International Service and the international communication program since her graduation. She has worked on numerous panel discussions and workshops for current students and served as a resource on media matters and communication issues for the Office of Communications and Marketing. 

Jonathan Mathis, Kogod/BSBA '04; Alexandria, Va.; Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals
Jonathan has stayed connected to AU by serving as a mentor, remaining active with the AU Gospel Choir, and being a resource for the undergraduate chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He is an avid supporter of the AU Black Alumni Alliance, having served as the 2016 Multicultural Alumni Reunion Brunch co-chair.

George "Cookie" Reed-Dellinger, Kogod/BSBA '69, Kogod/MBA '71; Washington, DC; Senior Vice President, TeleMedia/Internet Analyst, Washington Analysis
Cookie has served AU in a variety of capacities, including on the Athletic Department Leadership council, and being an adjunct professor in the international business department. George is a supporter of the AU men's soccer team and a member of the President's Circle. 

On the board, all five schools and colleges are represented, as are a variety of industries and careers. Information regarding the full Alumni Board membership is available on the Alumni Board website.
 

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update
Publication: DC9BFA6D-C400-714B-030527285D7B0492
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 9E98AFD1-5056-AF26-BEB532802810A45B
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 2939C90A-5056-AF26-BE1199A81A7D823A
Title: Christine and Michael: From McDowell dorm mates to AU Sweethearts
Author: Patricia Rabb
Subtitle:
Abstract: For AU Sweethearts Christine and Michael, a shared dorm and passion for soccer turns a friendship into marriage.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 01/24/2017
Content:

For AU Sweethearts, Christine Moo-Young, Kogod/BSBA ’87, and Michael Russell, Kogod/BSBA ’86, it wasn’t love at first sight but friendship. However, during her junior year and his senior year at AU, that friendship deepened into love.

They met as dorm mates in McDowell when Christine was a freshman and Michael a sophomore. “Because we both lived in McDowell, we hung out in the same circle of friends,” commented Christine. Their mutual studies at Kogod and a shared passion for soccer meant they saw each other every day. “We were good friends long before we ever started dating,” added Michael.

Born and raised in Jamaica, Christine graduated from a small, all-girls high school and loved being in an academic environment where she felt a part of the community. She wanted to attend a small liberal arts university in or near a city. Upon visiting AU, she immediately liked the size of the school, the diversity on campus, and the business school. “DC was new to me and it had everything a student could want. It was an ideal fit,” she adds.

A self-proclaimed “army brat”, Michael was born in Anchorage, Alaska. Over the years, he lived in Florida, Arlington, Virginia, and Australia, eventually returning to Arlington where his dad retired at the Pentagon. Michael decided to attend AU for both its academics and athletics.

While at AU, Michael was a member of the only AU soccer team to reach the Division I NCAA finals. His most memorable experience as a student was walking across campus with the men’s soccer team to beat Hartwick College in a 1-0 victory during the 1985 NCAA semifinals at Reeves field. “Banners were hanging from McDowell and Leonard Halls. Students were hanging out the windows screaming and cheering. Hundreds of students surrounded us chanting, singing, and walking with us all the way to field. It was a memory I will never forget,” he exclaims.

Christine was also a big soccer fan and attended all of Michael’s home games. After over two years of friendship, they finally had their first date – hiking the trails at Great Falls, Virginia. “I wanted to show Christine a place where I knew she had not seen since living in DC,” says Michael.

After dating and graduating from AU, Michael moved to Jamaica when they became engaged in 1989, and they were married there the following year. As time passed, they had two daughters, who each independently decided to attend AU too. Kiera is a 2015 international studies graduate from the School of International Service, and Hailey is a senior majoring in business administration at the Kogod School of Business.

Christine and Michael are pleased their two daughters also chose to attend AU. “We did not pressure them to go to AU. They evaluated all the options and made their own decisions to attend. That is why I know they love it here. It was their choice,” says Michael.

Currently, Christine and Michael own and manage a small hotel in Jamaica that Christine’s parents built almost 50 years ago. “My mother passed away when I was quite young and my father passed away in 2015, so now I own and manage it with my husband. It has always been a family business,” Christine explains.

Even while working seven days a week at their hotel, Christine and Michael still manage to find time to be alumni volunteers for AU. They are both active Alumni Admissions Volunteers and co-chairs of the Legacy Alumni Network. Members of the legacy network include alumni and students who are the children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents of an American University alumnus/a. Because their daughters attended AU, all four of them are legacies.

Christine and Michael both agree that helping to promote AU as alumni is a great way to give back. “We very much appreciate what the alumni association has done for us, and we are very happy to give back in any way we can,” says Christine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Update,Kogod School of Business,Legacy
Publication: DC9BFA6D-C400-714B-030527285D7B0492
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 2A18AC80-5056-AF26-BE878A279D5E017B
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: C16A1D0A-5056-AF26-BE39848AFE408C8C
Title: Meet New Alumni Association President Joe Vidulich
Author: Traci Crockett
Subtitle:
Abstract: He takes over this month representing the more than 120,000 alumni Eagles worldwide.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 01/17/2017
Content:

Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA '08, fell in love with AU from the moment he stepped on campus. "I knew it was a special place and that I would be honored to be a part of it," he says. Joe, who takes over as president of the American University Alumni Association this month, has been a significant "part of it" ever since. 

As a student, Joe founded the AU Blue Crew to encourage fellow students in supporting the university's athletics teams. "Supporting the men and women who wear the AU insignia on their chests was important to me," he says. The group Joe founded in 2006 is now the university's largest student group. 

Even then, Joe recalls the alumni board president, Brian Keane, SPA/BA '89, saying that your time at AU doesn't end when you graduate – and Joe's involvement certainly didn't stop when he crossed the stage in Bender Arena and received his diploma. "My priority is to be AU's biggest cheerleader," he says. (In fact, that's how he first met outgoing president Andrea Agathoklis Murino, SPA/BA '98. Both are season ticket holders for the men's basketball team, and they struck up a friendship courtside.)

Joe, now in his sixth year as a member of the Alumni Board, believes AU is at a crossroads. "It's a better institution, a stronger institution than it was when I left it," he says. "I think that's in large part due to very active and engaged alumni. One has to look no further than the legacy of Dr. Kerwin as an example. I want more alumni to take an active stake in their university. Talk about AU, share our story, live our values so that American is better for the next students."

In his new role, Joe looks most forward to meeting and engaging alumni who have not yet reconnected to the university. "Whatever drew you to AU, there is a way to support that same vision today, tomorrow, and for years to come…Half the battle is showing up," he says. "Reminisce, contribute time, talent, and dollars. Help shape AU."

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update
Publication: DC9BFA6D-C400-714B-030527285D7B0492
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: C179FBB4-5056-AF26-BE5694C4DEC8AE6A
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 22B89875-5056-AF26-BEA216CCAC36FB35
Title: Share Your AU Happily Ever After
Author:
Subtitle:
Abstract: Add your story and photos to our AU Sweethearts Social Media Project!
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 01/13/2017
Content:

Every new American University student begins their journey expecting to find lifelong friends, make lasting memories, and – of course – get a world-class education. A lucky few find their soulmates along the way. In fact, we know there are at least 2,500 happy AU alumni couples.

Each February, we ask these couples to share their love stories as part of our AU Sweethearts Social Media Project. Below are some highlights from previous years. If you found your mate at AU, tell us your story and send us your photos. We will feature you and other AU couples in the next issue of Alumni Update and on social media. You can fill out this form or share stories and photos on Twitter and Instagram using #AUSweethearts.

Sarah Cooper, SPA-CAS/BA ’12, and Sam Miller, SOC-CAS/BA ’12, notably got engaged at commencement. The video of the proposal went viral and was even featured on the Today show.

Robyn (Slagle) Showanes, SOC/BA ’08, and James Showanes, SPA/BA ’08, met on Tenley Campus and now have a beautiful daughter named… Tenley!

Gerry Sommer, CAS/BA ’66, and Joni Palew Sommer, CAS/BA ’67, returned to Mary Graydon on the 50th anniversary of their meeting there.

Adam Dunn, SIS/BA ’07, and Mary (Turkowski) Dunn, SIS/BA ’07, were married on campus in Kay Spiritual Life Center.

Together for over 50 years, Dot (Murray) Waugaman, CAS/BA ’62, and Paul Gray Waugaman, CAS/BA ’61; SPA/MA ’66, love attending All-American Weekend together.

Elizabeth Horsely, SPA/BA '09, SPA/MS '13 and Clay Massa, SPA/BA '10, spent their first date watching the 2009 Inauguration of President Barack Obama. "It was cold, and we left before the swearing-in! But we made up for it in 2013 when we attended the re-inauguration," says Clay.

Tyler Budde, CAS/BA ’10, and Ezree Mualem, CAS/BA ’09, went to the Founder’s Day Ball together for their first date. “Who knew we would be practicing for our first dance [at our wedding]?” says Ezree.

Tessa Telly, CAS/BS '01, CAS/MS '03, and Saliou Telly, CAS/BS '02 were close friends until an outing for a school project turned into a date.

Read about more AU couples:

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update
Publication: DC9BFA6D-C400-714B-030527285D7B0492
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 2536B9C3-5056-AF26-BE73B8231791027C
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
 
newsId: DD06FCBA-5056-AF26-BEE9BD595182FDC0
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.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,Alumni Author
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: DD162199-5056-AF26-BE53B823AAC207E5
Media:
newsId: 39F227E0-5056-AF26-BE03CF979F008D56
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: 02/13/2017
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."

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 3A317403-5056-AF26-BEBB584774600153
Media:
newsId: 614A9C95-5056-AF26-BE9E2F597E99E3CA
Title: Granddaughter of a slave, Justice Audrey Collins to receive Beacon of Justice Award
Author: Nicholle Granger
Subtitle:
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."

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Update,School of Public Affairs
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 6161A065-5056-AF26-BE92ACCF514193D0
Media:
newsId: D283A6B9-5056-AF26-BE50847C4D271A13
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
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: D2A86660-5056-AF26-BE51F735748D46F2
Media:
newsId: D0B9510C-5056-AF26-BEF51382EC42C14A
Title: Alumnus Strives to be the Change He Wants to See in Haiti
Author: Zim Ezumah
Subtitle:
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.”

Tags: Alumni Update
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: F7025784-5056-AF26-BEE00E9EDAB5D189
Media:
newsId: 29D32452-5056-AF26-BE503A64226FFDAA
Title: Alumnus Leads an ACYPL Delegation to Tunisia and Morocco
Author: Melissa Bevins ’02
Subtitle:
Abstract: Michael Inganamort, SPA/BA ’06, led a delegation of political professionals to Tunisia and Morocco with ACYPL.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 07/14/2016
Content:

Michael Inganamort, SPA/BA ’06, recently had the unique opportunity to lead a delegation of five political professionals, including fellow AU graduate Suzanne Swink, WCL/JD ’15, on a 10-day tour of Tunisia and Morocco to better understand the roots of the Arab Spring and evaluate progress on security and human rights. The trip was sponsored by the US State Department and the nonprofit American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL).

In Tunisia, the delegation met with the Minister of Tourism, former prime minister Mehdi Jomaa, members of Parliament from four political parties, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia to discuss opportunities for increased tourism and investment. In Morocco, the delegation was hosted by the OCP Policy Center to consider the Kingdom’s balancing of security measures and freedom of expression. The agenda included a formal briefing with Youssef Amrani, the King’s foreign policy advisor; a dialogue with the Muhammadan League of Scholars on countering the extremist narrative; and a visit to a community center that shields at-risk youth from terrorist recruiters.

“In both countries, we saw how American aid and investment influences policy and can contribute to stronger security. The stability of this part of the world relies on people of all religions and backgrounds, and is directly related to American interests around the world,” Inganamort said.
 
This was the second exchange for Inganamort, who joined a bipartisan delegation to El Salvador and Guatemala in 2012 that studied the region’s pandemic violence and drug trade. At American University, Inganamort studied political science and communications, legal institutions, economics, and government. As a delegation leader, Inganamort was responsible for ensuring the delegation’s events and meetings proceeded without trouble. He was responsible for staying in touch with the on-site staff at ACYPL in Washington and serving as a liaison between the staff contacts and his fellow delegates.

While Inganamort’s professional work is focused primarily on policy at the state level, he said the international experience gained from his two ACYPL delegations has been helpful. “To have a global perspective is useful. Seeing how other governments are run makes me a better practitioner of domestic political affairs,” says Inganamort.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 29E792D5-5056-AF26-BE4D9A62D38F8544
Media:
newsId: 8D3772CF-5056-AF26-BEA304E04599FE21
Title: AU Alumnus Built Career around His Desire to Serve Others
Author: Kayla Kennedy, SPA/BA ’19
Subtitle:
Abstract: Wells Fargo names Patrick Morris, SIS/BA ’79, Kogod/MBA ’82, Community Affairs Officer
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 07/11/2016
Content:

Growing up in an atmosphere where one was expected to volunteer, Patrick Morris, SIS/BA ’79, Kogod/MBA ’82, developed a passion for serving others at a young age. Born in Long Island, New York, his family moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he finished high school. Morris was constantly exposed to a wide array of volunteer opportunities through his church, the Irish-American Society, and various political organizations. Morris recalls that “it was almost ingrained in you, from a very young age, to give back to one’s community. It was and still is extremely important.”  

Augmenting his early exposure to giving, Morris notes that AU played a major role in shaping his career goals. Through AU, he was able to travel and take additional course work at the Institute of International Studies, training in Fujinomiya, Japan and at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. AU, he says, provided him the opportunity to explore new ideas through an international relations lens. He developed a life-long love of learning.

With a zest for international affairs, Morris moved to Miami, a city known for its diverse population, in 1990. In 1993, he co-founded and was board chair of the non-profit Hands on Miami, a service that connects people to volunteer opportunities in the area. Morris took over as president and CEO in 2003. Following his success with Hands on Miami, he became vice president and chief development officer for the YMCA of Greater Miami, where he served from 2009 to 2012.

In November 2015, Morris was named community affairs officer for Wells Fargo. In this role, he maximizes Wells Fargo’s impact on key issues facing the South Florida community, including education, human services, the environment, and affordable housing. Specifically, Morris manages the Wells Fargo Foundation’s giving from Boca Raton to Key West. He scouts, vets, and places key executives in leadership positions on non-profit boards, in addition to managing the local Volunteer Chapter, which enables thousands of team members’ participation in community service. 

He stresses the importance of improving society in all ways possible, of which time, talent, and treasure are most important. Morris believes that when businesses and corporations aren’t socially responsible, they run the risk of alienating their customer bases. He says, “At Wells Fargo, caring for customers and communities is embedded in our culture,” and that, in the age of technology and social media, there is a new level of accountability placed on companies because consumers can access information about the practices of most businesses almost instantaneously. 

Morris has unwavering commitment and passion for the work he does. Recently reminiscing on his days at AU, he recalled how he once wanted to become a foreign service officer. He had an interest in the developing world and remembered how Dr. Albert Mott mentored him and encouraged his involvement with Student Government and as director of the Kennedy Political Union. Through KPU, he was even able to bring a young Senator Joe Biden to campus, as well as former Senator Eugene McCarthy, and UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who inspired a lively debate on arms control.

His advice to current AU students is to gain as much valuable experience as possible. He says, “The people you meet now will parlay into deep friendships that will last a lifetime.” Morris and his best friend, Miami Judge Steve Leifman, met at AU. They began as fellow resident advisors, and that relationship led to sharing a house on Yuma Street and becoming best men in each other’s weddings. They now live right around the block from each other. Morris lives in Coral Gables with his wife Stacy, and children, Ellie and Brian.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 8D5495FE-5056-AF26-BE70AE8F6BDFE779
Media:
newsId: ADB516DA-5056-AF26-BE08F22EC9BACF60
Title: Alumna Rachel Koretsky Wants to Change Your Gym Experience
Author: Zim Ezumah
Subtitle:
Abstract: Rachel Koretsky, founder and CEO of upace, speaks on entrepreneurship
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 04/13/2016
Content:

Have you ever gotten dressed and raced down to your campus gym, only to find that all of the equipment is taken? Rachel Koretsky, Kogod/BA ’14, did, and through her time at American University, created an app that could change campus gyms across the nation.

Rachel is the founder and CEO of upace, an app that “offers students a way to find out how crowded the gym is, plan their visits and sign up for classes,” also offering management, monitoring, and scheduling systems for universities to utilize. Rachel, motivated by her own passion for fitness, began the company two years ago out of the American University Entrepreneurship Incubator, a program that she declared was “instrumental” to the growth of her business. “The American University Entrepreneurship Incubator made it easier to collaborate with student founders like myself and with alumni in the for-profit business world, which helps when you’re establishing steps to start a company. They also helped me with my business plans and guided me on ways to appeal to potential customers. Plus, the program provided me with a great support system.”

Rachel’s background at AU primed her for a career in entrepreneurship, particularly studying in Kogod and interning at nonprofits. Despite popular belief, her time spent at not-for-profit institutions such as the Ronald McDonald House of South NJ gave her invaluable experience about business operations. “Nonprofit and for profits shouldn’t be at odds. Through a nonprofit I learned how to direct fundraisers, run meetings and manage different working styles.”

Although Rachel is on the younger end of AU alumni, she has invaluable advice for graduating seniors seeking to pursue a career in entrepreneurship after that big walk in May.

“First, conduct informational interviews and find out if your idea is a useful asset. I spent three months doing development on upace – I got honest feedback and it helped me prevent mistakes. Secondly, ask yourself - Is this the right time in your life to pursue this? Is this your passion? Starting a company is a big time commitment, and you have to be ready. Many entrepreneurs [underestimate the amount of time it takes to oversee their operations].” As for upace, their immediate next steps include readying for launches this Fall and continuing to grow the product based on feedback from users and partners. She also adds that graduating seniors seeking advice are welcome to send questions to her at info@upaceapp.com.

Tags: Alumni Update
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: ADD782A0-5056-AF26-BE66F1E953FF395E
Media:
newsId: A16C8843-5056-AF26-BECB5E81EB737295
Title: Alumnus Jake Hollander Channels a Passion for Unity in St. Louis
Author: Melissa Bevins ’02
Subtitle:
Abstract: Jake Hollander, SPA/BA’13, founded St. Louis Strong with the goal of unifying St. Louis.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 04/13/2016
Content:

Like many people living in Washington, DC at the time, Jake Hollander, SPA/BA ’13, watched the events in Ferguson, MO unfold in August 2014 and knew that something had to be done. Earlier, in the spring of 2014, the native St. Louisan had already explored ways to unify the region as a passion project. Following Ferguson, he built out a plan to help move his hometown forward. With momentum building, Jake made the tough decision to leave his job at a D.C. public affairs firm and return home to St. Louis to help bring his hometown together. 

Today, his organization St. Louis Strong is working to champion a grassroots movement with the goal of unifying the St. Louis region and streamlining how the city and county operate. Currently, there are 91 different municipalities in the St. Louis region, including 57 police districts, 43 fire protection districts, and 81 different municipal courts. Because of the extremely fragmented nature of things, there is substantial inequality and inefficiency. 

As a high school student, Jake had the political bug. When he was looking at schools, he knew that DC was the best place to be for someone with his interests, and his campus tour of American University made him feel that he was meant to be an Eagle. Excited by the climate of civic engagement fostered on campus, Jake applied to AU early decision and never looked back. 

With a double major in political science and philosophy, Jake learned early on the value of asking thoughtful questions and engaging in continuous learning. When asked what he thinks is one of the key things he carries with him from his time at AU, Jake replies, “Be humble in your thinking and always willing to admit you can do better. Success is born of mistakes and struggle. Always look for another perspective or different way to do things.” 

As for what’s in store for St. Louis Strong, Jake says this summer they will begin holding town hall meetings to engage the public in the creation of their proposal. He truly wants this to be a grassroots effort and feels confident that by engaging the public in the discussion, St. Louis Strong will settle on a course of action that results in unification of the region with widespread public support. However, he is not naïve in thinking this will be an easy process and knows he has a long road ahead of him. “Politicians have the most to lose with unification,” he says, “so this will not be an easy task.”

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Update
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: A4E51D4F-5056-AF26-BE3BAA10EE34C16B
Media:
newsId: CFA4FF86-5056-AF26-BE1D27C59F752AFE
Title: An Eviction Notice Sparks an Award-Winning Career
Author: Heidi Hokanson, SOC/BA ‘15
Subtitle:
Abstract: Michael Worley is the recipient of two awards this year, for the political communications agency he started as a junior at AU.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 03/10/2016
Content:

Michael Worley, SPA/BA ’12, is the President and founder of MDW Communications, a political consulting firm based in Fort Lauderdale. He has worked on campaigns from the municipal to congressional level, from South Florida, to Georgia, to New England. The firm has won two awards this year, the 2016 Campaigns & Elections Magazine Reed Award for Best Overall Direct Mail Piece, and a Pollie Award. At 25, Michael is one of the youngest people ever to receive a Reed Award. Today it seems everything is going right for Michael and his business, and it all started from a moment of financial desperation in Michael’s junior year at AU.

Michael was an over-worked, underpaid college student with a passion for politics. A national board member for the College Democrats of America for two years, Michael transferred to AU from Miami “to be closer to the action.” To get by financially, he had three different part time jobs and an internship. But all of a sudden in late 2010, Michael learned that his roommate hadn’t been paying rent for months, and they were about to be evicted. To make matters worse, his roommate abandoned the apartment and left town, leaving Michael to take responsibility for the debt.

At a loss for what to do, Michael sought advice from his boss at a Tenlytown cigar shop. His boss suggested he monetize his communications skills and start his own business. Inspired by the idea, Michael got to work right away. He ran a search through AUCareerWeb for companies hiring paid interns, and sent each of them a business pitch, offering his services as a professional social media marketing consultant who could provide better results than an intern could, for a lower rate than an agency would charge. Among his first clients were FroZenYo, American Tap Room, and the cigar shop in Tenleytown. “Things added up so quickly,” Michael says, “I was able to get out of debt and support myself for the next two years in college.”

Now Michael has worked on almost 100 campaigns. He has three full time employees, and produces everything from advanced digital marketing, to direct mail, and now television advertising as well. “Today we produced two direct mail pieces, produced a radio spot, and placed a digital ad, all before 11 a.m.” Michael says. His team is in the thick of municipal campaigns for elections this month. “We are involved in campaigns at all levels, but the local level is where you get to really make a difference. What people don’t realize is that if you don’t vote in municipal and state elections you have no seat at the table. Real policy making and impact on the community happens in the local level.”

Michael credits his AU experience for giving him the resources he needed to succeed as an entrepreneur. “AU was a catalyst for all the things that happened,” says Michael, “AU brought together people who had [started a business] successfully, who were living proof that you can do this if you work hard enough.” When Michael graduated, his decision to continue with his business was influenced by some advice from Chip Griffin, SPA/BA '94, who was president of the AU Alumni Board at the time, and is an experienced entrepreneur. He continues to get new opportunities from fellow AU alums in the political community. Michael is an active member of his local young alumni chapter, and he regularly gives back by volunteering for new and prospective student events.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,Entrepreneurship,School of Public Affairs
Suggested Home Page: Alumni Success Stories
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: CFF75B06-5056-AF26-BE074D242A542EF5
Media: