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About the College | Achievements

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

Please send achievements announcements to casnews@american.edu.


Recent Achievements

Paul WintersPaul Winters (economics) won a $321,607 American Institutes for Research (AIR) award for the project "Evaluation of Plantwise — Kenya."

Naomi BaronIn a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed, Naomi Baron (WLC) cautions policymakers against rushing to make all educational reading digital.

Arthur ShapiroArthur Shapiro (psychology) was named a Nifty Fifty (times 4) speaker by the USA Science and Engineering Festival.


Juliet Bellow (art history) received a fellowship at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU for the 2015-16 academic year.

Douglas Fox (chemistry) won a $300,000 NIST award for the project "Durable Flame-Retardant Coatings Derived from Natural Materials."

Sibel Kusimba (anthropology) won a $27,335 grant from the University of California-Irvine for the project "Mobile Money and Coming of Age in Western Kenya."

Michael Robinson (mathematics and statistics) won a $13,488 award from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for his project, "Topological Methods for Semantic Sensor Integration: Use Case Development."

Randa Serhan (sociology) won a New World Research Institute award of $29,050 for her Palestinian American National Research Project.

Anastasia Snelling (SETH) received a $165,524 Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. grant award for her project "D.C. Healthy Schools Act: Measuring Implementation and Impact."

Paul Winters (economics) won a $321,607 American Institutes for Research (AIR) award for the project "Evaluation of Plantwise - Kenya."



Abdul Ali, MFA creative writing '13, has won the 2014 New Issues Poetry Prize for Trouble Sleeping. Ali wins a $2,000 award and publication of his manuscript in the spring of 2015.

Kim Blankenship (sociology) is the new director of the DC D-CFAR Social and Behavioral Sciences Core. She is also co-lead of the Criminal Justice-Affected Communities Scientific Interest Group, and the DC D-CFAR's AU Institutional Representative.

Elizabeth Cotter (SETH) is working with an Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) project to have Columbia Grove Apartment residents work towards reaching goals for enhancing their personal and family health, as well as the health of the community.

Terry Davidson (psychology) was elected President of the Eastern Psychology Association. He will be President-elect beginning June 2014 and President from June 2015-May 2016.

Richard Dent (anthropology) received a Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to archaeological knowledge of the Middle Atlantic region at the 2014 Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference.

Matthew Hartings (chemistry) and Arthur Shapiro (psychology) were named Nifty Fifty (times 4) speakers by the USA Science and Engineering Festival. The Nifty Fifty (times 4) are the two hundred most inspiring STEM professionals who will help re-invigorate the interest of our young people in science.

Monica Jeffries Hazangeles, MA arts management '96, won a 2014 Alumni Achievement Award. This award is presented to alumni who demonstrate excellence through professional accomplishments.

David Keplinger (literature) won the Cavafy Prize from Poetry International for "The Life of Simone Weil."

Dolores Koenig (anthropology) will serve the Society for Economic Anthropology (SEA) as president-elect beginning December 7, 2014, and will become president of the SEA in November 2015 to serve for two years.

Robert Lerman (economics) is currently the president of the Society of Government Economists.

Peter MacIver, BA psychology '15, won a Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience fellowship. He conducted research with Dr. Elizabeth Gould of Princeton's Neuroscience Institute on the behavior of the brain's microglia cells in obese rodents. The fellowship includes a stipend, free room and board on Princeton's campus, GRE preparation, and a presentation at a national conference in July.

Richard McCann (literature) was reappointed for third term as Vice President of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) invited Colin Saldanha (biology) to participate in a press conference on "Neuroinflammation: Causes and Effects" to discuss his research about neural estradiol as an anti-inflammatory following brain damage.

The French government named Dean Peter Starr a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques, for his work in promoting French language and culture in the U.S.

Martha Starr (economics) is the president of the Association for Social Economics until January 2014.

Andrew Taylor (performing arts) named as one of 2014’s "Top 50 Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts" by Barry's Blog.

Elizabeth Worden (SETH) received a 2014-2015 Fulbright U.S. scholar grant.



Anthony Ahrens (psychology) was featured in an article about happiness on CCTV-America.

Kyle Dargan's (literature) poem "The Robots Are Coming" is published in the 2014 Best Nonrequired Reading anthology.

Duke University published Eileen Findlay's (history) book 'We Are Left Without a Father Here': Migration, Domesticity, and Migration in Postwar Puerto Rico.

Despina Kakoudaki (literature) published a new book, Anatomy of a Robot: Literature, Cinema and the Cultural Work of Artificial People (Rutgers University Press).

Alan Kraut (history) spoke to Slate about his research on the perennial concerns over the health of immigrants as part of a story about the migrant child crisis.

Michael Robinson (mathematics and statistics) published his book Topological Signal Processing (Springer, 2014).

Richard C. Sha (literature) will speak about his new book manuscript, "Science and Imagination in Romanticism, 1750-1850," at the University of Toronto in spring 2015. He has also been invited, courtesy of a Leverhulme Fellowship, to speak on "William Blake and the Mark of Cognition" at the University of Edinburgh in June 2015, through the History of Distributed Cognition Project. He spoke at the "Visual Cultures of Medicine" conference in September 2014, and talked about the famous neurologist and artist, Sir Charles Bell, discoverer of Bell's Palsy. He is once again a reader for the ACLS competition.



In an op-ed for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Naomi Baron (WLC), discussed her research and how the shift from reading in print to reading on digital devices is further reducing students' pursuit of work in the humanities.

In a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed, Naomi Baron (WLC) discussed her research findings about reading practices and preferences

In an op-ed for LiveScience.com, Naomi Baron (WCL) discussed the negative effects that PowerPoint has had on in-depth reading.

McClatchy Newspapers spoke to Robert Blecker (economics) about the labor market's slow recovery. 

For the NPR radio program Interfaith Voices, Michael Brenner (Israel Studies) provided historical context for the current struggle between Israelis and Palestinians.

Kyle Dargan (literature) wrote an op-ed discussing the silence of Black entertainers in positions of national and international influence regarding Ferguson.

South Africa's Mail &Guardian highlighted Terry Davidson's (psychology) research that found that there is a link between obesity-causing diets and changes in the brain's hippocampus, resulting in the overconsumption of food.

Washingtonian magazine spoke to Anton Fedyashin (history) about his course on Cold War history and the spy novel.

Anton Fedyashin (history) appeared on China Central Television America to discuss the rhetoric and realities surrounding the NATO summit and events in Ukraine.

With CNN International, Anton Fedyashin (history) analyzed comments by Russia on Ukraine, saying that President Vladimir Putin intended to reach a political solution rather than a military one but Ukraine's reluctance is prolonging the conflict.

USA Today featured an AU Game Lab video game developed during the first-ever game jam event held at the White House.

Mary Hansen (economics) spoke to Fortune online about fast-food restaurant strikes regarding minimum wage issues.

With Business Insider, Matthew Hartings (chemistry) explained the chemical processes at work behind why certain foods become soft or hard when stale.

Kate Haulman (history) was featured on the American Apparel, A History of Fashion show on BackStory. 

Nathaniel Herr (psychology) was quoted in an article about what can lead to extreme cases of domestic violence.

In a LiveScience.com op-ed, Katie Holton (SETH) explained how monosodium glutamate affects a subset of the population that consumes the chemical compound causing them ill effects.

Phys.org featured student Dhaneshvaran Krishnarao's internship as a space weather forecaster for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

For the Wall Street Journal, Robert Lerman (economics) discussed differing views of apprenticeships.

Allan Lichtman (history) appeared on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show to discuss President Obama's use of executive orders while Congress stalls on moving legislation as compared to his predecessors.

Allan Lichtman (history) wrote "The death of civil discourse?" for The Hill.

In his op-ed for The Hill, Allan Lichtman (history) called attention to a study about how ordinary Americans have nearly no impact on U.S. domestic policy making. Lichtman's piece was republished by more than 10 outlets, and he appeared on the Laura Ingraham Show.

Allan Lichtman (history) discussed President Obama's legacy with host Bill O'Reilly on FOX Television's The O'Reilly Factor. 

Daniel Lin (economics) discusses with the Atlantic if musicians should pay to play at the Super Bowl halftime show.

Martyn Oliver (philosophy and religion) published 10 Things Every College Student Needs to Know About Religion on faith.com.

For the PBS television series This is America & the World, Celine-Marie Pascale (sociology) participated in an expert, academic panel with host Dennis Wholey for a broad discussion about topical sociological issues such as changing the name of Washington, D.C.'s, NFL football team to distractions in society and racism.

Teen Vogue featured Stef Woods' (American studies) course The Hunger Games: Class, Politics, and Marketing.