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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

Anton FedyashinExecutive director of the Initiative for Russian Culture Anton Fedyashin appeared on CNN International to discuss Russian President Putin’s strategic and uncompromising speech following Crimea’s annexation.

Rachel Louise Snyder Creative Writing prof Rachel Louise Snyder published her first novel, What We’ve Lost is Nothing, favorably reviewed in publications including the Washington Post, Booklist, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Peter Starr 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.

Vivian Vasquez Vivian Vasquez (SETH) won the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award.


The research of Mauro Zammarano and Douglas Fox (chemistry) on the smoldering of foam used in furniture is featured in the latest issue of NIST Tech Beat.

Kathleen Franz (history) received a $19,327 award from the Smithsonian Institute for the project "American Enterprise: Stories of Business."

Amos Golan (economics) received a $98,544 award for the first year funding of a 5 year $500,731 project, "Info-Metrics Institute and Network" from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Caren Grown (economics) received a $26,611 grant from the University of Florida for her project "The Gender Asset Gap Project."

Mary Hansen (economics) received a $27,107 award from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ) for her project "Opening New Views into Bankruptcy and Credit Markets Using Court Records."

Kiho Kim (environmental science) received a $93,490 award from NSF for his project " RAPID: Documenting Bleaching Susceptibility and Resilience in Guam Micronesia."

Elizabeth Malloy (mathematics and statistics) received a $16,282 award for the first year of the three year project "Exposure Response Relationships for CTS and Epicondylitis from Pooled Data."

Cynthia Miller-Idriss (SETH) received a $29,375 grant from the Spencer Foundation for her project "The Extreme Goes Mainstream?: School Bans and New Right-Wing Extremist Forms in Germany."

Anastasia Snelling (SETH) received a $20,821 award from the Children's National Medical Center for her project "Teacher's Views on Health Education."



Daniel Abraham's (performing arts) group The Bach Sinfonia received three Washington Area Music Association "Wammie" Nominations: Best Classical Chamber Music Ensemble, Best Classical Recording: Zelenka, The Capriccios, Best Classical Conductor/Director: Daniel Abraham.

Kena Allison, MAT '10, a physics teacher and instructional specialist at Thurgood Marshall Academy in Southeast, won the prestigious Milken Educator Award.

A Wider Circle's Mark Bergel, College of Arts & Sciences alumnus and professor, was named a ?CNN Hero?.

David Brat, CAS/PhD '95, will run against House majority leader Eric Cantor in Virginia's 7th District.

Richard Breitman and Allan Lichtman (history) received a Tikkun Olam award for "raising enormously important issues and opening up a dialogue leading to a new sense of understanding" through their book FDR and the Jews. They also won the highest award in American Jewish Studies, The National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish Studies.

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.

Professor Erik Dussere (literature) is an Edgar Award nominee for his Oxford UP book America Is Elsewhere: The Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture.

Boris Gershman (economics) was invited to participate in the 5th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences August 19-23 in Lindau, Germany.

Kiho Kim (environmental science) was elected as the Recording Secretary for the International Society for Reef Studies.

Eric Lohr (history) gave talks on his book Russian Citizenship at Berkeley, Stanford, Munich, Toronto, and St. Catharines (January-March 2014). He also was invited to give a series of four lectures in 2014-2015 as visiting professor at the School of Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (EHESS), Paris.

Andrea Pearson (art history) has been elected to a three-year term on the Council of The Sixteenth Century Society and Conference (SCSC) starting in January 2014. The SCSC, an international organization, promotes scholarship and intellectual exchange on the early modern era.

Gautham Rao (history) was invited to give a series of four lectures in 2014-2015 as visiting professor at the School of Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (EHESS), Paris.

Dark Swans and Painted Faces - A Tale of the Vietnam War (Tate Publishing) by John Schalestock, CAS '74, was a finalist in the 2013 Wiliam Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.

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.

Vivian Vasquez (SETH) won the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award. The early childhood section of NCTE honored her by creating The Vivian Vasquez Teacher Scholarship.

Vivian Vasquez (SETH) was named Routledge Author of the Month for March 2014.

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

Brian Yates (psychology) received CTRL's 2014 Jack Child Teaching with Technology Award.



William Brent (performing arts) received an outstanding review in the Washington Post for his computer transformation of virtuoso Ross Karre's performance of composer Steve Antosca's world premiere of “Habitat" at the National Gallery of Art.

Melanie George (performing arts) published a chapter, "Jazz Dance, Pop Culture, and the Music Video Era" in Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches (University of Florida Press).

James Girard (chemistry) published Criminalistics: Forensic Science, Crime, and Terrorism, Third Edition, which is an essential resource for undergraduate students entering the ever-evolving field of forensic science.

Bryan Innes (art), BA graphic design '12, worked on Twitter's new web design for its platform.

Peter Kuznick’s (history) Untold History Blu-ray 12 episode box set was released by Warner Bros and the U.S. paperback was published and made it on to the New York Times Bestseller list.

Eric Lohr's (history) edited book, The Empire and Nationalism at War in the series Russia’s Great War and Revolution, 1914–1923: The Centennial Reappraisal, was submitted and accepted for publication by Slavica. 

Eric Lohr's (history) article “Russian Citizenship and Migration in Historical Perspective,” was published in Problems of Post-Communism 60, no. 6 (November – December 2013): 3-15. 

Eric Lohr (history) and Anya Schmemann published their article "Spotlight on Crimea" in The National Interest on February 27, 2014.

PhD alumna Wendy Lower's (history) new book, Hitler's Furies, was reviewed by the New York Times. It is also a finalist for the National Book Award.

Pam Nadell's (history) article “Sisters in Arms: Jewish Women in the Civil War,” co-authored with Dale Rosengarten, appeared in Heritage: The Magazine of the American Jewish Historical Society (Winter 2014). Her chapter “‘The Synagog shall hear the Call of the Sister’: Carrie Simon and the Founding of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods” was published in Sisterhood: A Centennial History of the Women of Reform Judaism (Hebrew Union College Press, 2013). In December, Nadell was elected to a two-year term as Vice-President for Program of the Association for Jewish Studies.

History doctoral candidate Terumi Rafferty-Osaki has six entries (Apollo Anton Ohno, Junior Seau, Scott Fujita, Kailee Wong, Caroline Zhang, and the Manzanar Riot) in the Asian Americans: An Encyclopedia of Social, Cultural, Economic, and Political History, Eds. Xiaojian Zhao and Edward J.W. Park, (Westport: Greenwood Publishing, November 2013). Additionally the article "Battered but not Broken: Baseball and Masculinity at Tule Lake, 1942-1946" was accepted for publication in the biennial Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture Anthology, 2013-2014, (Jefferson: McFarland Publishing, forthcoming). 

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

Rachel Louise Snyder (literature) published her first novel, What We’ve Lost is Nothing. The book was reviewed by many publications including the Washington Post, Booklist, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Snyder was featured on the Kojo Nnamdi Show, WBEZ’s The Morning Shift with Tony Sarabia, Authors Revealed with Becky Anderson, and WVON: Conversations with Jeff Schectman/San Francisco Public Radio among others.

Vivian Vasquez's (SETH) published a 10th anniversary edition of Negotiating Critical Literacies with Young Children (Routledge 2014).

David Vine's (anthropology) recent article, "The Italian Job," which appeared at TomDispatch.com, was published in translation in a major Italian weekly magazine, Internazionale.

History graduate student David Waltrop’s publication, "An Underwater Ice Station Zebra: Recovering a KH-9 HEXAGON Capsule from 16,400 Feet Below the Pacific Ocean” in Quest: the History of Spaceflight Quarterly, vol. 19, no. 3 (2012) won the Charles Thomson Prize by the Society for History in the Federal Government.

Elizabeth Worden's (SETH) book National Identity and Educational Reform: Contested Classrooms was published by Routledge (2014) as part of the Routledge Research in International and Comparative Education.



In a USA Today story about Christmas traditions, Daniel Abraham (performing arts) discussed how the modern form of caroling, with harmonies and refrains, was formed during the Victorian era. More than 75 outlets republished this article.

Naomi Baron (WLC) spoke to Discovery.com about language evolving over time, especially the rise in the use of exclamation points in online and mobile conversations.

For Washington Post online, Sarah Irvine Belson, dean of the School of Education, Teaching, and Health, wrote about the lessons a class of aspiring teachers learned while they sheltered in place after reports of a person with a gun on campus earlier this week.

Robert Blecker (economics) was quoted in the Economist for his 2009 study which indicated that "for all its promise NAFTA had failed to close the development gap between Mexico and the United States."

Anton Fedyashin (history) spoke to U.S. News & World Report and NBC’s Today Online about the Sochi Olympics serving Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambition to internationalize Russia and highlight its culture. 

In an op-ed for The Guardian’s Comment is Free (US), Anton Fedyashin (history) wrote about how the Sochi Olympics boosted Russians’ self-confidence but received Cold War style treatment from the majority of western media and governments.

Anton Fedyashin (history) appeared on CNN International to discuss Russian President Putin’s strategic and uncompromising speech following Crimea’s annexation.

Anton Fedyashin (history) provided analysis and discussion surrounding Ukraine’s unfolding political crisis. He appeared twice on CNN International and on CNN Newsource. Fedyashin also spoke to McClatchy Newspapers, PolitiFact and Global News online (CA).

In the Huffington Post, Vincent Intondi (history), co-director of research for AU's Nuclear Studies Institute, urges President Obama to recommit to nuclear disarmament and add Japan to his spring Asia tour. In his argument, Intondi references the student trip he leads each year to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, along with co-director Peter Kuznick, where students explore Japanese wartime aggression, nuclear devastation, and current efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Matthew Hartings (chemistry) discussed the toxicity levels of formaldehyde found in everyday products like baby shampoo with Slate.com.

Laura Juliano’s (psychology) research on the negative effects of caffeine use is receiving media attention. WJLA–TV and WTOP Radio featured Juliano’s findings indicating further research is needed to understand the condition known as Caffeine Use Disorder. More than 100 domestic and international outlets, including UPI, CBS-DC online, Outside Magazine online, National Post (Canada), and Huffington Post (UK) highlighted the study.

In a San Francisco Chronicle feature story on caffeine use disorder Laura Juliano (psychology) discussed her research focusing on the condition. 

Women’s Health Magazine online spoke to Laura Juliano (psychology) about her research examining caffeine consumption and the little-understood condition called Caffeine Use Disorder. EmaxHeatlth.com also featured Juliano’s research.

Professor Dan Kerr (history) was recently interviewed by NBCnews.com for a story on those who choose to be homeless.

In his op-ed for Anthropology News, William Leap (anthropology) explains how the longest-running academic conference on LGBTQ language use retains its focus on scholarship, while also involving activists, community organizers and citizens from around the Metro D.C. area.

New York Times spoke to professor and specialist in lavender linguistics William Leap (anthropology) who explained how the term “homosexual” is now considered offensive because of its association with medical history.

Robert Lerman (economics) talked to the New York Times about his hopes for a new push in direct funding for apprenticeships programs. 

Robert Lerman (economics) spoke to Bloomberg News about the need to create more overall positions for female apprentices in the United States rather than spend public money to shift existing jobs from men to women.

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke to BBC Radio about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s failure of leadership in the bridge scandal making him a vulnerable presidential candidate.

National Journal spoke to Allan Lichtman (history) about 2016 presidential media coverage beginning earlier than ever.

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke to New York Times about Tea Party leader Katrina Pierson’s effort to become the first black Republican female in Congress, as she mounts a primary challenge against Texas Rep. Pete Sessions.

Allan Lichtman (history) appeared on CNN Newsroom and EuroNews to outline President Obama’s strategy at the State of the Union.

Allan Lichtman (history) appeared on Sinclair Television to discuss the Republican Party’s motivation to support immigration reform. More than 30 network affiliates across the country aired this story, including outlets in San Antonio, TX and Baltimore, MD.

Associated Press spoke to Allan Lichtman (history) about U.S. Senator Ted Cruz trying to distance himself from his father Pastor Rafael Cruz’s more polarizing, sensational remarks. More than 200 outlets republished this article.

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke to Reuters about one-third of Americans rejecting the notion of evolution, saying that evangelical Protestants make up the majority of that segment.

Washington Post spoke to Allan Lichtman (history) about Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown’s gubernatorial campaign and the potential downside of his receiving more than 180 endorsements from elected Democratic officials.

In an op-ed for Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog Eric Lohr (history) asks whether the handing out of passports to Russian-speaking citizens in Ukraine suggests that Putin has a long-term plan in Crimea.

Freddy Scott (BA Audio technology '08) is making big news for the parody Nine Inch Nails song he made and uploaded to SoundCloud.com two days ago. The song has started to go viral on the internet and has reached press with SPIN magazine among other media outlets. Freddy is currently a freelance soundtrack composer for TV and film and has had some of his work featured on "Arrested Development."

Morocco World News announced the launch of the Arab World Studies Program at American University. Randa Serhan (sociology) is the director of the new program.

Anastasia Snelling (SETH) appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal to discuss federal changes to food nutrition fact labels and the impetus to improve consumers' opportunities for healthy eating.

Arts management professor E. Andrew Taylor (performing arts) spoke to Washington Post about the number of vacancies and length of time it is taking to fill leadership positions in Washington’s cultural and arts institutions despite a large pool of qualified candidates.