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About the College | Achievements, 2010 Fall

Please see below for recent student, alumni, faculty, and staff accomplishments:

Please send achievements announcements to casnews@american.edu.

GRANTS AND RESEARCH

Nine new participants joined the Math for America program this fall under a $1.5 million NSF grant joint between the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, SETH, and the Carnegie Institute of Washington.

Kathy Franz (history) and Adrea Lawrence (SETH) have received a $964,000 Teaching American History grant in conjunction with D.C. Public School system. They will be working with others on campus and in the D.C. school system to better prepare teachers for their history classrooms.

Kim Blankenship (sociology) received a $681,282 grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse for a project titled “Drug Policy, Incarceration, Community Re-Entry, and Race Disparities in HIV/AIDS.” This grant is for the second year of Kim’s research with the project.

Jeff Hakim, Joshua Lansky, and Jeff Adler (mathematics and statistics) coorganized a conference on representation theory in Ann Arbor and conducted collaborative research in Mumbai this past summer Under the NSF $521,588 grant.

Mary Hansen (economics) Michael Black (computer science), James W. Bono (economics), Jeremiah E. Dittmar (economics), Phillip Johnson (physics), Adrea Lawrence (SETH), Elizabeth Malloy (math and statistics), Kathyrn Muratore (chemistry), Kara M. Reynolds (economics), and Sarah Irvine Belson (SETH) were awarded a $260,745 award from the National Science Foundation for a project entitled Major Research Instrumentation Program: Acquisition of High-Performance Computing at AU (Expanding Capabilities for Research and Research Training at American University through Shared High-Performance Computing).

Arthur Shapiro (psychology) received a $409,404 grant from the National Institutes of Health for his project, “Separating the Visual Response to Color from the Visual Response to Color Contrast.”

Douglas Fox (chemistry) received a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research—part of the United States Department of Defense—for a project entitled, “POSS-Modified Cellulose for Improved Biopolymer Performance.”

Jeremiah Dittmar (economics) received a grant award from NSF for his study on "Ideas, Technology, and Economic Change: The Impact of the Printing Press." in the amount of $163,257. It will document how the great pre-internet revolution in information technology transformed the economic geography of Europe. The research will examine the diffusion of print media from a new perspective by constructing city level data on the local production of knowledge.

Sarah Irvine Belson (SETH) with the Multicultural Career Intern Program received a one year, $74,625 grant from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education for Teacher Quality Improvement in Mathematics.

Fernando Benadon (performing arts) received a grant from the NEH for a study on "The Map of Jazz Musicians: an online interactive tool for navigating jazz history's interpersonal network" in the amount of $49,777. The grant will be used to create an interactive and freely accessible website where users can explore connections between the many protagonists of jazz history.

Kim Blankenship (sociology) received a $38,530 award from NIH/NIDA to supplement an existing grant for her project on "Drug Policy, Incarceration, Community Re-entry, and Race Disparities in HIV/AIDS."

Anastasia Snelling and Kelly Miller School (SETH) have received a $20,000 award from General Mills/United Way to improve the health of students, faculty, and staff of the school. The grant will focus on the design and delivery of a professional development program, engaging teachers to deliver nutrition and fitness lessons to children.

Anastasia Snelling (SETH) received a one year, $15,000 grant from A Wider Circle to conduct a study entitled “The Impact of an Outdoor Space on the Health and Well-being of Elderly Urban Housing Residents.” In the same month, Dr. Snelling also received a $20,000 grant from the D.C. Department of Health for a project in Ward 7 entitled “Community Voices for Health: Teachers Take Action.”

Kim Blankenship (sociology) awarded $9,750 grant for “Law Enforcement and Gender Based Violence Challenges and Opportunities for HIV Prevention." Sponsor: Temple University (UNDP Funded Research)

Mustafa Akasakal (history) has been offered an NEH Fellowship for AY11-12.This is one of the more prestigious awards offered historians.

 

APPOINTMENTS AND HONORS

Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) was honored in October by the University of Maine at Augusta as they launched their 2010-2011 academic theme "Communications in the 21st Century." The yearlong activities began with a campus-wide convocation, at which Naomi delivered the keynote address. Her book Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World was selected last spring to serve as the common text for many courses and campus events over the next nine months.

Albert Beveridge, distinguished historian in residence, was nominated by President Obama to member of the National Council on the Humanities. Beveridge is a founding member and Senior Counsel of the law firm of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C and has served as General Counsel of the American Historical Association for more than 15 years. He was a founding member of the National Trust for the Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Obama said, "I am proud to have such distinguished and accomplished individuals join this Administration and serve on the National Council of the Humanities. I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come."

Colleen Callahan (economics) received the prestigious Jonathan Hughes Prize for Excellence in Teaching Economic History from the Economic History Association. Colleen received the award for her commitment to teaching economic history, especially for her influential role in training high school teachers of economics.

In December, professor Danielle Evans (literature) was named one of Washingtonian magazine's "40 Who Shaped 2010" for publishing one of the year's best short-story collections, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self. Evans shares the list with Christiane Amanpour, Robert Gates, Newt Gingrich, Vince Gray, Christopher Hitchens, Elena Kagan, and Michelle Rhee, to name a few. 

James Girard (chemistry) is the third Horace S. and May Davidson Isbell Chair in Chemistry.

Adam Gray, MA: TESOL '02, won the 2010 His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh English Speaking Union (ESU) English Language Book Award. He co-authored a text Fiction in Action: Whodunit (ABAX Press, 2010) for intermediate English language learners that are based on reading mysteries.

Hasan Hamdan, MA: mathematics/statistics '96; PhD '00, a professor at James Madison University's Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was awarded the 2010 Legacy Grant Award. The JMU Emeriti Association's annual award presents an unrestircted grant to a JMU faculty member who has made significant professional contributions over time.

Robert Kagan (PhD history '05), Leading Foreign Policy and National Security Expert, joined the Brookings Institute.

Dan Kalman (mathematics and statistics) has been elected to the Board of Governors of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). As the representative of the MD-DC-VA region, he serves on the principal governing body of the MAA, an organization of more than 20,000 mathematics faculty, students, and practitioners nationwide.

Caleen Jennings (performing arts) was recently named to the newly-formed D.C. Public Schools Blue Ribbon Commission. Composed of prominent artists and philanthropists from a range of artistic disciplines, the commission will help plan a new, citywide arts middle school for students in grades six through eight, to open in fall 2011.

Thomas Johnson, BA: American studies ’79, named director of Victoria Mansion

Pamela Nadell (history) is the inaugural Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History. She was also honored with the Lee Max Friedman Award Medal from the American Jewish Historical Society.

Will Petersen, Cameron Cook, and Almas Kebekbayev (computer science students), took first place in the CCSC Programming Contest on Oct 16th. They solved four very tough programming problems thus beating 18 other teams and taking the top title.

Meghan Raham (Department of Performing Arts) designed Venice, which ranked #2 on Time Magazine's list of top ten plays and musicals.

Jack Rasmussen, director and curator of the American University Museum, was elected Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums President of the Board. He also joined the Advisory Boards of The Asia Society and the Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival.

Jerzy Sapieyevski (performing arts) was chosen as an ASCAPLUS Award recipient by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. He has also been asked to participate in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce project entitled, “Faces of Intellectual Property.” The project will compile about 30 case studies from across the United States for use in the U.S. Congress’s upcoming deliberations on intellectual property protections.

Anastasia Snelling (SETH) and Cathy Crocker, principal of the Kelly-Miller Middle School, teamed up to start a health literacy education program to promote good nutrition and physical activity at the middle school. With help from the program, Kelly-Miller Middle School became the first DC school to receive the Silver Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their participation in the HealthierUS School Challenge, a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign.

Anastasia Snelling (SETH) was appointed to the faculty of the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland.

Nancy Jo Snider, director of AU's Music Program in the Department of Performing Arts, was elected as a member of the National Association of the Schools of Music’s Nominating Committee, to serve for a three- year term.

 

PUBLICATIONS AND PRODUCTIONS

Daniel Abraham (performing arts) published his third commercial recording, Johann Sebastian Bach: Motets to be released on October 27, 2010. The CD, an international release, appears on the Dorian Sono luminus, a recording company that is among the very top labels for early music and traditional music recording.

Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) published the article "Discourse Structures in Instant Messaging: the Case of Utterance breaks" in the journal language@internet.

Kyle Dargan (literature) published a book of poetry entitled Logorrhea Dementia: A Self-Diagnosis in September 2010.

Catherine Davis (psychology) and colleagues published new findings about opioid receptors in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior (Opiate-agonist induced taste aversion learning in the Fischer 344 and Lewis inbred rat strains: evidence for differential mu opioid receptor activation. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 2009;93(4):397-405).

Danielle Evans (literature) published a book of short stories, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, got a rave review from the Washington Post.

Max Paul Friedman (history) published “Fracas in Caracas: Latin American Diplomatic Resistance to United States Intervention in Guatemala in 1954.” Diplomacy & Statecraft 21:4 (December 2010): 669-89.

James Girard (chemistry) published the book Criminalistics, Forensic Science, Crime and Terrorism, 2nd edition.

Mary Gray (mathematics and statistics) contributed a chapter entitled “Women’s leadership in mathematics” to Gender & Women’s Leadership: A Reference Handbook, edited by Karen O’Connor (Sage 2010).

Natalia Grincheva (MA arts management '10) published "New Directions, New Voices in Cultural Policy" in a prestigious arts management journal, the Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society.

Mary Ann Hutchinson (Psychology) researched the effect of adolescent alcohol exposure on the later aversive and locomotor-activating effects of cocaine. The study, which concluded that exposure may enhance later abuse liability of cocaine, was published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior (Exposure to alcohol during adolescence alters the aversive and locomotor-activating effects of cocaine in adult rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 2010;97(2):370-6).

Catherine Davis (psychology) and colleagues published new findings about opioid receptors in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior (Opiate-agonist induced taste aversion learning in the Fischer 344 and Lewis inbred rat strains: evidence for differential mu opioid receptor activation. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 2009;93(4):397-405).

Kiho Kim (environmental science) and colleagues published an article, "Caribbean octocorals record changing carbon and nitrogen sources from 1862 to 2005,  in the October issue of Global Change Biology. The researchers were able to reconstruct a record of pollution in the Caribbean  for the past 150 years using coral samples from the Smithsonian Institution collection. The main finding was that agriculture was the major source of pollution until the mid-1980s, but has become less important compared to sewage. 

Alan Kraut (history) published a new study "Immigration, ethnicity, and the pandemic" in Public Health Reports.

Noriko Kurosawa Williams (language and foreign studies) published The Key to Kanji – A Visual History of 1100 Characters. (Boston: Cheng and Tsui Company, 2010).

Peter Kuznick’s (history) co-authored book, Rethinking the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Japanese and American Perspectives (Kyoto: Horitsu Bunkasha, 2010), was released in Japan in November. The book was co-written by Akira Kimura.

Michael Manson (literature) wrote a chapter in the Emily Dickinson Companion: 'The Thews of Hymn': Dickinson's Metrical Grammar.

Katheryn Marks (psychology) and colleagues published a study about standard error-correction learning rules and how they apply even to drug reinforcers in Behavioural Brain Research (Learning that a cocaine reward is smaller than expected: A test of Redish's computational model of addiction. Behavioural Brain Research, 2010;212(2):204-7).

Pamela Nadell (history and Jewish studies) coedited the volume: New Essays in American Jewish History, with Jonathan D. Sarna and Lance J. Sussman (American Jewish Archives, 2010), which includes the essay: "Yentl: From Yeshiva Boy to Syndrome."

John Nolan (mathematics and statistics) has published three significant papers, “Metrics for multivariate stable distributions,” published by the Banach Center; “R as a tool in computational finance,” a chapter in Handbook of Computational Finance: and with J.G. Gonzalez and R.C. Nunez, “Stable filters: a robust signal processing framework for heavy-tailed noise,” which appeared in the Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE Radar Conference.

Celine-Marie Pascale’s (sociology) book, Cartographies of Knowledge: Exploring Qualitative Epistemologies, has been published by Sage Press (November 2010). The book explores the role of commonsense, power, and privilege in social research.

Larry Sawers and Eileen Stillwaggon (economics) published an article in the Journal of the International AIDS Society about whether concurrent sexual partnerships are really a major factor behind high rates of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Their findings showed that evidence to support the concurrency hypothesis was either lacking or contradictory.

Richard Sha (literature) published "Byron, Polidori, and the Epistemology of Romantic Pleasure" in Romanticism and Pleasure, Palgrave.

Brenda Werth's (language and foreign studies) book, Theatre, Performance, and Memory Politics in Argentina, examines the intersection of theatre, memory, and human rights discourse in post dictatorial Argentina (Palgrave, November 2010).

 

SPEAKER's CORNER

Robert Blecker (economics) gave a presentation, “Global Imbalances: A Perspective from the Americas” at the 2010 Money and Banking Conference, held to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Naomi Barron (language and foreign studies) was invited to give a lecture on the effects of online and mobile communication on social interaction at Montclair University.

Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) delivered a lecture in November at Georgetown University, entitled "Connections and Consequences: Living in an Online and Mobile World."

Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) was interviewed in October on the NPR program "On Point" (WBUR Boston) on the shifting balance between talking and text messaging on mobile phones.

Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) was the featured subject in an interview by Helsingin Sanomat (the largest subscription newspaper in Finland and the Nordic countries) on use of cell phones in America.

Jack Child (language and foreign studies) will be the keynote speaker at the National Postal Museum’s symposium at September. Child’s talk, “Stamps of the American Quadrant of Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands,” will combine Child’s interests of stamps, Antarctica, and the Falkland Islands.

Max Paul Friedman (history) presented “Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Cold War.” Foreign Service Institute, Arlington, December 2010.

Dan Kalman (mathematics and statistics) was the keynote speaker at the 13th Annual Michigan Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (MUMC), October 9, in Grand Rapids. MUMC attracts around 200 mathematics students from Michigan colleges and universities each year. Participants make presentations on their own original research in mathematics, or listen to presentations of other students.

Alan Kraut’s (history) lecture on Southern History was broadcast on C-SPAN. It aired November 27 and 28.

Peter Kuznick (history) appeared in a November issue of the Iranian Panjereh Weekly.

Peter Kuznick (history) was quoted in an LA Times article about the prospects for a national WWI memorial. It was also picked up by the Indianapolis Tribune and other papers.

Peter Kuznick (history) did an interview with the L.A. Times on how the history and the memory of WWI compare to that of other wars and why, as a result, there is no WWI memorial in Washington, DC.

Peter Kuznick (history) did an interview with INTER TV, the largest national broadcaster in the Ukraine, on Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbets and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

John Nolan (mathematics and statistics), internationally known expert on heavy-tailed distributions, was the plenary speaker at the annual meeting of the French Statistical Society in Marseille in May and invited speaker at Centre International de Rencontres Mathematiques, Luminy, France, in April and the Conference on latest Developments in Heavy Tailed Distributions in Brussels in March.

Roberta Rubenstein (literature) gave an invited lecture, "Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook: Approaching the Golden Anniversary," to the British Colloquium, Harry Ransome Center, University of Texas (October 15, 2010).

Stacey Snelling and Cathy Crocker (SETH) teamed up to start a health literacy education program to promote good nutrition and physical activity at the Kelly-Miller Middle Middle School. On Oct. 26, 2010, Kelly-Miller Middle School became the first DC school to receive the Silver Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their participation in the HealthierUS School Challenge, a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation. Kelly-Miller is also the first middle school in the country area to receive the award.

Josh Sickle, BS: chemistry ‘78, discussed the intersection of art and medicine in his lecture on “Discovering Art, Beauty, and Healing under a Microscope: Notes from a Pathologist” on Oct. 21. 

Ward Wilson (CAS: history '80) was an invited speaker at a November 2 seminar at the House of Commons entitled, "Is 'nuclear' the future of deterrence?" Tony Lloyd, chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party and former Foreign Minister, will host the seminar and introduce Ward.

Jon Wisman (economics) presented his paper “Why Inequality Urgently Matters: Status, Political Power, and Ecological Devastation,” in April at the Western Social Science Association.

Jon Wisman (economics) presented his paper entitled, “Increasing Inequality, Status Insecurity, Ideology, and the Financial Crisis of 2008,” at the Association for Institutionalist Thought’s annual meeting in Albuquerque.


IN THE MEDIA

Daniel Abraham (music) conducted the Bach Sinfonia chorus and chamber orchestra and received a glowing review in the Washington Post for their October performance "'Til Death Do Us Part" at the new Cultural Arts Center on Montgomery College's Silver Spring campus. In the piece, the writer said Abraham "led his 16-member chorus and period-instrument chamber orchestra in a splendid reading of these works, balancing scholarly know-how with sheery beautiful sound, pungent drama and cogent delivery." She described part of the performance as "electrifying."

Elizabeth Anderson (SETH) was a guest on BBC’s Radio 5Live Breakfast to talk about the recent protests in Moldova, the former Soviet republic, over the Communist Party's election victory (April 9, 2009).

Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) appeared on Tech Therapy, a podcast from the Chronicle of Higher Education, to discuss whether colleges push too much technology on students and professors.

Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) appeared in a Voice of America news story, “Brave New Communications World.” The piece discusses how communication technology affects social behavior.

Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) was interviewed by and featured in the Wall Street Journal Online, in a piece called "Y U Luv Texts, H8 Calls." The piece explores why many people across the age spectrum are texting more and calling less, and why. Based on a survey she recently conducted about college students' attitudes towards mobile phones, Baron says that this is because people like the convenience of being able to reach others at all times--however, they don't like being able to be reached themselves at all times.

Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) discusses how technology, especially texting, effects human interaction in an interview on NPR’s radio show "On Point." Her research cites that phone calls are losing popularity to the convenience and efficiency of text messaging, which in turn is changing the way people communicate with each other on every level.

Kyle Dargan's (literature) poem, “Note Blue or Poem for Eighties Babies”, reviewed by The Chronicle of Higher Education’s "Arts & Academe" online column. They described it as “rich, nostalgic, forgiving, and reveals another of Dargan’s poetic gifts: a kinetic stereoscopy that allows, in any one poem, a provocative conflation of personal and public histories, of past and present situations.”

Yuliya Gorenman (Dept. of Performing Arts) received a stellar review from the Washington Post for recital no. 7 of The Gorenman Beethoven Project, which took place at the Katzen Arts Center in October. The final performance in the project is scheduled for March 19. Yuliya released her newest CD, Yuliya Gorenman: The Gorenman Beethoven Project, Volume 1, Beethoven Piano Sonatas Nos. 1, 2, 3, worldwide in June of 2010 on MiClaire Records.

Mary Gray (mathematics and statistics) was quoted in an April article of the Washington Post, “D.C. carjacking victim immediately recognized teen suspect.” In the article, she discussed the statistical probability of a student unintentionally choosing to rob his high school teacher.

Bob Karch (SETH) was featured in the NPR Morning Edition story “How Revving up Your Heart Rate, Even a Bit, Pays Off.” In it, Karch explains how increasing your heart rate regularly can help people live longer, healthier lives.

An interview with Peter Kuznick (history) appeared in a November issue of the Iranian Panjereh Weekly.

Robert Lerman (economics) was quoted in a Washington Post story about the national economic effects of students who drop out of college. The story featured a report that stated that students who attend college for a year and drop out cost taxpayers billions of dollars. In the story, Lerman says that the report realistically depicts the reality of high drop-out rates and that it could just as easily be used to argue that under prepared students are better off not attending college at all.

Allan Lichtman (history) appeared on the History Channel's show The President's Book of Secrets. The show examines the types of secrets that Presidents keep and how they pass these secrets to future office holders.

Allan Lichtman (history) discusses on Voice of America how election results could impact foreign policy and makes predictions for the future of Congress if the Republican Party gains the majority.

Allan Lichtman (history) was quoted in a Chicago Tribune story about the Obama administration’s plans for the auto industry, a Bloomberg News story about one of President Obama’s overseas trips, and a Voice of America story about Obama’s leadership style. Lichtman also appeared on an MSNBC television news segment about Obama’s attendance at the G20 summit (April 8, 2009).

Professor Stephen MacAvoy (environmental science) was interviewed on Montgomery County TV on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and affects on global warming.

Sabiyha Prince (anthropology professor) and Kalfani Nyerere Ture (anthropology doctoral student) appear in the Al-Jazeera documentary “There Goes the Neighborhood” about gentrification in D.C. Prince is writing a book about African-Americans’ responses to the demographic changes in the city. Ture is writing his dissertation about the history of Barry Farm—a public housing complex that is the oldest community of African-Americans in D.C.

Jeffrey Reiman (philosophy) was featured in the English-language publication of the Tehran Times in April. In the interview, Reiman discussed why the 4th century B.C. was a better period than the 20th century for the history of philosophy.

Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) was interviewed by and featured in the Wall Street Journal Online, in a piece called "Y U Luv Texts, H8 Calls." The piece explores why many people across the age spectrum are texting more and calling less, and why. Based on a survey she recently conducted about college students' attitudes towards mobile phones, Baron says that this is because people like the convenience of being able to reach others at all times--however, they don't like being able to be reached themselves at all times.

David Vine (anthropology) wrote about the necessity for a decrease in overseas U.S. military bases.

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