newsId: 1C646F78-5056-AF26-BEE55ECC17AE2B6D
Title: To My Fellow Alumni
Author:
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Abstract: A Message from the Alumni Association President
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 05/17/2017
Content:

Dear fellow alumni,

At this time each month, I look forward to sharing with you news and events happening on campus and in our alumni communities through the Alumni Update e-newsletter. For now, though, I would like to pause for reflection around what American University is and what it means to us.

The hate crime that occurred on our campus recently has affected us deeply. Our African American students – especially the first African American woman to become Student Government president and the members of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated – were the target of a truly evil act, and I can't overstate the impact this has had on the entire university community.

Typically, I feel endlessly proud to be an AU Eagle. During the last two and a half weeks, though, I have felt shock, anger, frustration, and numbness for what occurred on our campus. As Dr. Kerwin asserted during this past weekend's commencement ceremonies, an assault on one member of this community is an assault on all of us.

It is important to recognize that hate in a variety of forms has existed on AU's campus for a long time. That is not to say that we should accept or ignore this ugly behavior. Rather we must, as Dr. Kerwin said, acknowledge that we are not insulated from this behavior and recognize that it too often threatens our values. And we must solve the problem.

I appreciate efforts the university is making to both solve the crime and to offer resources to community members. The outpouring of support for our students of color has been truly uplifting. But we simply must do more.

We have received many messages from alumni who recognize that we have an important role here. Alumni want to provide support and to stand with students in condemnation of hate. They seek to be heard – to have the world know that this is not #ourAU. All of us must be the exemplars and the leaders that our students need.

Please take a moment to learn more about identity-based alumni alliances and become engaged in these programs. Come back to campus. Speak to a class or participate in a panel. Now is the time to become more engaged, not reserved or withdrawn. Consider supporting the Black Alumni Alliance and Latino Alumni Alliance book awards so that they can be fully endowed. These awards help students feel like there is something specifically for them, and the funds help them make the most of their time at AU.

It is no overstatement to say that we can all do something to impact the lives of students at AU. Many of us have been on campus standing alongside them in recent days. I write today to ask: How would you like to contribute to progress at AU? Please be in touch.

These are challenging times for our university, but we must recommit ourselves to do all that we can to aid our students and our campus. I promise that we will endeavor to keep you informed, but please join me in leading the charge.

For #ourAU,
Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA '08
President, American University Alumni Association 

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Title: Alumni Linda Daly and Jackie Cirillo Meisenberg
Author: Helen Dodson
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Abstract: Best friends, and supporters of the College
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 05/05/2017
Content:

For Linda Daly and Jackie Cirillo Meisenberg, decades of friendship began with a horrendous haircut. The year was 1984. Linda was a freshman and Jackie a sophomore at American University, both living on the third floor of Hughes Hall.

Jackie had just gotten what she calls a "part mullet, part punk rock" fiasco of a haircut, with a perm added in for good measure. She stood in front of the mirror of the third-floor bathroom, screaming, "Can you believe how horrible my hair looks?" Linda thought it looked a little orange, but what she said was, "It's not so bad." In that moment of kindness, a deep and lasting friendship was born.

Daly and Cirillo Meisenberg soon became roommates, sharing an off-campus apartment with another Hughes friend, Linda Lupo Rodriguez.

Daly graduated in 1990 from the College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in literature, and Cirillo Meisenberg in 1987 from the School of Communication. Today, they are still best friends who text every day, talk every few weeks, and see each other once or twice a year. And both are deeply involved with the College of Arts and Sciences.

Life took them to separate coasts and careers after graduation. Daly went west to Los Angeles, where she taught children with learning disabilities. She was also a freelance writer, and worked with non-profit and international relief organizations. In 2014, she published her first book, The Last Pilgrimage: My Mother's Life and Our Journey to Saying Goodbye, a moving chronicle of her mother's battle with pancreatic cancer.

Cirillo Meisenberg launched an advertising career in New York until her daughter Hannah was born. She is currently on the advisory board for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Westchester County.

As the years passed, both decided to renew their relationship with their alma mater. Cirillo Meisenberg says she "fell in love with it all over again." The love was catching: her daughter (and Linda's god- daughter) Hannah enrolled in the College, earning a degree in art history in 2015. She now works at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan.

Today, both women contribute significantly to AU students through their support of scholarship and the Academic Support and Access Center, which helps students succeed. Daly says, "School was extremely difficult for me. But AU was extremely supportive when I needed help. I will always be grateful." Cirillo Meisenberg is also a founding co-chair of the Legacy Alumni Network, along with their third roommate, Linda Lupo Rodriguez.

AU's academic services were also of help to Cirillo Meisenberg's daughter Hannah. "Our gift to CAS," Cirillo Meisenberg says, "is a thank you to its professors and administration for providing not only Hannah, but all of its students, the opportunity to pursue their academic passions."

Both women are also members of the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council, parents and alumni who provide guidance on College initiatives.

When the two friends look back on their college years, they are thankful. "I met my best friend there," says Daly. Cirillo Meisenberg says, "As I get older, it becomes more and more apparent that AU was one of the most important experiences of my life. It's where I met my best friend Linda." 

Tags: Academic Services,Academic Support Center,Alumni,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,CAS Connections,College of Arts and Sciences,Legacy,Literature,School of Communication
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Title: Greetings from Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA '08
Author:
Subtitle:
Abstract: A message from the Alumni Association President
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 04/17/2017
Content: Fellow Eagles,

Spring has sprung on campus, and as you'll surely recall, spring is always a beautiful and busy time at AU, and there's no shortage of exciting happenings this year.

We're gearing up to welcome a new class of alumni to our ranks, and the campus is abuzz as Dr. Neil Kerwin prepares to step down as university president. I have been thrilled to help honor Dr. Kerwin for his service, and the Decade of Transformation event in DC was a special way for us to come together in that spirit. Thanks to all who attended!

I would be remiss if I didn't pause for a moment to reflect on the retirement of Dr. Gail Short Hanson, AU's vice president of campus life. For over 20 years of service, Gail gave much to AU and improved student life in myriad ways. Former students put together a short video in her honor, and we shared it (along with many memories of our time on campus!) last month at her retirement reception. In her honor, AU has established the Gail Hanson Endowment for Student Leadership and Service. The endowment will fund initiatives like an annual Student Leadership Retreat, and help to fund student leadership trainings and conferences throughout the year. Participants will come from student government organizations and media, university-recognized clubs, resident assistants, and fraternities and sororities. I hope you will consider contributing to this worthy endeavor.

Speaking of service, April is National Volunteer Month, so I'm sending out thanks to our more than 2,000 AU alumni volunteers! Your impact on this university is measurable and meaningful. I could not be more grateful for your service to our alma mater. Alumni interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at AU should check out the Volunteer for AU section of our website.

In addition to recruiting volunteers for AU, we're hosting Eagles in Action, a coordinated day of service, around the country on April 29. I hope you're able to join fellow AU alumni in serving our local communities on this day!

See you on campus,

Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA '08

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Title: American University Celebrates National Volunteer Month
Author: Jessica Tanca
Subtitle:
Abstract: Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month?
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 04/14/2017
Content:

Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month? It's not only a time to recognize and thank volunteers who lend their time, talent, voice, and support to causes they care about in their communities, but to bring awareness to the importance of giving back. National Volunteer Month serves to inspire others to find ways to take action that creates change.

In honor of the service of AU alumni in Washington, DC and around the world, the AU Alumni Association is proud to announce a new initiative. Eagles in Action: A Coordinated Day of Community Service is a celebration to promote volunteerism and show appreciation for our more than 2,000 alumni volunteers.

Eagles in Action will provide AU alumni, parents, and friends of the university the opportunity to foster the desire to lead for the greater good in their communities. By bringing together members of AU's community, with a common goal of service, Eagles in Action aims to strengthen the bond between fellow Eagles and the university.

From all over the country, AU community volunteers are planning service activities to improve their neighborhoods while wearing their red and blue. Eagles in Action service projects range from serving food in soup kitchens to cleaning up parks, rivers, and beaches to working in support of an orphanage in Kenya.

Check out our the Eagles in Action webpage and sign up now to volunteer on Saturday, April 29.

Not sure where your closest AU community is? Visit the Find a Community webpage for more information. Don't forget to learn about other ways to volunteer with AU

If you're on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, be sure to share a photo with your service stories using the hashtag #EaglesInAction 

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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.

 

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newsId: 23C39F11-5056-AF26-BE6ADFDC9E57F17E
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
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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.

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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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newsId: 29D32452-5056-AF26-BE503A64226FFDAA
Title: Alumnus Leads an ACYPL Delegation to Tunisia and Morocco
Author: Melissa Bevins ’02
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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.

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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.

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