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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

Zoë CharltonZoë Charlton’s (art) work is featured in the State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Daniel SayersDaniel Sayers (anthropology) published A Desolate Place for a Defiant People: The Archaeology of Maroons, Indigenous Americans, and Enslaved Laborers in the Great Dismal Swamp.

Anastasia SnellingAnastasia Snelling (SETH) published Introduction to Health Promotion (Jossey-Bass).


Zoë Charlton (art) is a 2014 Rubys grantee in the literary and visual arts. Sponsored by the The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, the artist grant will support work on the Cultural Currency: Tourists, Trophies, and Tokens series.

Mary Hansen (economics) and Brian Yates (psychology) won a $39,444 Annie E. Casey Foundation award for the project "Costs and Benefits of Interventions that Reduce Group and Institutional Care." 

Mark Laubach (biology) received a $132,693 NSF award for the project "Neural Circuits for the Executive Control of Action in Rodents." He also won a $392,704 award from The Klarman Family Foundation to research the "Functional connectomics of cortico-striatal-hypothalamic circuits and the motivation control of feeding."

Michael Robinson (mathematics and statistics) won a $40,000 University of Pennsylvania (funding source: DARPA) award for the project "Sheaf-based Layered Track Management (SLTM)." 



Stefano Costanzi (chemistry) was named to the editorial board of the Journal of Receptors and Signal Transduction.

Stefano Costanzi (chemistry) received the national habilitation for full professorship in Italy. He was one of twelve scholars awarded the habilitation in the field of pharmaceutical chemistry.

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

Bette Dickerson (sociology) was elected as Member-at-Large to the Executive Council of the Association of Black Sociologists (ABS) for 2014-16.

David Haaga (psychology) and Evan Berry (philosophy and religion) received awards for excellence in graduate student mentoring for the 2014-15 academic year.

Laura Juliano and Anthony Ahrens (psychology) were included on list of 10 Must Take Psychology Professors in DC.

David Keplinger (literature) was named the Humanities Scholar of the Washington Performing Arts Society for the 2014-15 season.

The British Institute in Eastern Africa invited Chap Kusimba (anthropology) to deliver the BIEA's annual Nairobi Lecture on January 23.

Mark Laubach (biology) was named to the editorial board of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Martyn Oliver (philosophy and religion) will give the MLK Day keynote address, "Muhammad Ali, Islam, and Civil Rights in Multi-Religious America," at Emory & Henry College.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Frank Rose (history BA '94) as the assistant secretary for verification and compliance at the State Department. 

Arthur Shapiro (psychology) spoke at an invited symposium on Mathematical and Psychological Explanations of Visual Illusion in Hong Kong. He gave two public lectures: one to the Young Brain Scientists organization; the other was a public lecture at the University of Hong Kong. 

Rachel Louise Snyder (literature and journalism) won the Green Teacher of the Year Award.

Martha Starr is serving as the Senior Economic Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning and Legislation at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.



A story about Michael Bader's (sociology) research has published in the Science of Cities blog on Next City, a news website devoted to examination of innovation, policy and technology issues in metropolitan areas.

Economics undergraduate students Mike Bassett and Emily Ellis presented research at the Eastern Economic Association meetings. The research has also been accepted for publication in Issues in Political Economy, the journal of undergraduate student research in economics.

Naomi Baron (WCL) published Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Robert Blecker (economics) published What would the Trans-Pacific Partnership offer the middle class? in the Washington Post.

FDR and the Jews, by Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman (history), was featured in the New York Times Sunday Book Review's Paperback Row column on January 16, 2015.

To the Gates of Jerusalem: The Diaries and Papers of James G. McDonald, 1945-1947 (Indiana University Press) was edited by Richard Breitman (history), Norman J.W. Goda, Barbara McDonald Stewart, and Severin Hochberg.

Zoë Charlton's (art) work is featured in the State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Charlton was also a participant in the State of the Art Summit "Personal Stories: Inspiration to Creation" panel. Of the 102 artists in the exhibition, only 11 participating artists were invited to discuss their work at the summit.

Zoë Charlton's (art) work is featured in the group exhibition Venturing Out of the Heart of Darkness, curated by Rehema Barber at the Harvey B. Gantt Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, February 7 through June 26, 2015.

Kong F. Cheong (anthropology doctoral candidate) co-authored the chapter "Ancient Maya Musical Encore: Analysis of Ceramic Musical Instruments from Pacbitun, Belize and the Maya Subarea" in Flower World: Music Archaeology of the Americas, Vol.3. He also co-authored the article "Recovering Music from Pacbitun, Belize: New Evidence for Ancient Maya Instrument," published in Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology Vol.11.

Kristina Crona (mathematics and statistics) published "Adaptation and Fitness Graphs" in Algebraic and Discrete Mathematical Methods for Modern Biology (Elsevier).

Kyle Dargan (literature) published his fourth poetry collection Honest Engine (University of Georgia Press). He also published the poem, “Two years from retirement, my neighbor contemplates Canada” on Proletarian Poetry.

Rebecca Downey (public health '17) published an article on genome sequencing in Exceptional Parent magazine. 

Boris Gershman's (economics) paper “The Economic Origins of the Evil Eye Belief,” published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, was reviewed in the Ideas section of the Boston Globe.

At the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education Conference in Las Vegas, NV, Alex Hodges (SETH) completed his first year of a two-year term as chair of the Information Literacy Education and Library/Media Science special interest group. He also co-presented "Information Literacy, Libraries, and Virtual Schools: New Standards for New Modalities," a peer-reviewed discussion on the intersections of virtual schooling research and the recent 2015 Association of College & Research Libraries Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

Andy Holtin (art) curated The Accuracy of the Ordinary exhibition at HilbertRaum in Berlin, Germany. The exhibition featured work by Berlin-based artists Isabel Manalo and Elizabeth McTernan February 1 through 22, 2015. 

Don Kimes (art) solo exhibition Finding Memory: New Works is featured at Denise Bibro Fine Art in New York City February 5 through March 14, 2015. This is Kimes's fourth solo exhibition in Chelsea and his tenth solo show in New York City.

Alicia Kopfstein-Penk (performing arts) published Leonard Bernstein and His Young People's Concert (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers).

Alumnus Gary Kremer published his 12th book, Race and Meaning: The African American Experience in Missouri (University of Missouri).

Peter Kuznick (history) published "Through Russian Eyes," co-authored with Oliver Stone, in the Japanese journal Shukan Kinyobi.

Peter Kuznick's (history) young readers edition of Untold History was featured on page three of the New York Times. The Untold History (Russian translation) was on Russian bestseller list for several weeks and the documentary series began airing on Russia One, Russia's largest TV network.

Anne L’Ecuyer (performing arts) is the lead planner and fundraiser for Art Lives Here, a regional visibility campaign for the Gateway Arts District in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The National Endowment for the Arts recently showcased the initiative in Exploring Our Town, a new national resource for creative placemaking. 

Jonathan Loesberg (literature) published a translation of Eugene Sue's The Mysteries of Paris with Carolyn Betensky (Penguin Classics, 2015).

Eric Lohr (history) published Empire and Nationalism at War: The Russian Empire in WWI (Bloomington: Slavica).

Cynthia Miller-Idriss' (SETH) proposal for a new sponsored global research network on Radicalism and Violence (together with co-director Prof Fabian Virchow in Germany) was selected by the Council for European Studies for network support. The network will launch at a meeting in Paris in July 2015.

NOVELLA gallery in New York featured Danielle Mysliwiec's (art) solo exhibition Harbinger from January 17 through February 8, 2015. Taney Roniger reviewed the exhibit in the Brooklyn Rail.

Meghan Raham (performing arts) designed the set for the world premiere of Life Sucks (or the Present Ridiculous) at Theater J.

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog featured research by Kara Reynolds (economics). Reynolds’ research examined the Trade Adjustment Assistance program and found that retraining assistance did help people find new jobs, but they were at much lower wages than their previous positions.

Daniel Sayers (anthropology) published A Desolate Place for a Defiant People: The Archaeology of Maroons, Indigenous Americans, and Enslaved Laborers in the Great Dismal Swamp (University Press of Florida and The Society for Historical Archaeology).

Anastasia Snelling (SETH) published Introduction to Health Promotion (Jossey-Bass).

Elke Stockreiter (history) published Islamic Law, Gender, and Social Change in Post-Abolition Zanzibar (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Vivian Vasquez's (SETH) refereed article "Podcasting as Transformative Work" was published in the Theory into Practice journal, volume 54, issue 2. 

The Washington Post and Washington City Paper reviewed Naoko Wowsugi (art) and her “Assignment: Happy Birthday” exhibition, which was displayed at Hamiltonian Gallery through Feb. 14. The exhibition was funded by an American University Mellon Grant.

Gay Young (sociology) published Gendering Globalization on the Ground: The Limits of Feminized Work for Mexican Women's Empowerment (Routledge).



A Washington Post feature piece about digital and print reading preferences featured Naomi Baron's (WCL) research and new book. 

The Chronicle Review featured Naomi Baron’s (WCL) piece about the decline in reading among professors and undergraduate students and the impact of “tl;dr." Baron also wrote an article about the irrelevance of page numbers for Slate, was featured in a Publisher's Weekly podcast to discuss digital reading, and  published Why Reading On A Screen Is Bad For Critical Thinking with the Huffington Post.

For WAMU’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show, Naomi Baron (WLC) discussed Internet dialects and the way online and offline speech affect each other. 

Naomi Baron (WLC) published a Washington Post op-ed about the demise of voicemail.

Naomi Baron (WLC) published "The case against e-readers: Why reading paper books is better for your mind" in the Washington Post. She also was interviewed by CBC Fresh Air on January 11.

Richard Breitman (history) discussed remembrances of the Holocaust on FOX's "Special Report with Bret Baier." 

For Sinclair Broadcast Group television news affiliates, Michael Brenner (history) addressed tension between the White House and Israel, saying that the countries shouldn’t let it affect their many common values and similar interests. The interview syndicated on more than 30 affiliates nationwide.

For WAMU's Diane Rehm Show on NPR, Michael Brenner (history) joined panelists for a wide-ranging discussion about what's behind recent acts of violence and rising anti-Semitism in Europe. 

In an interview with The Guardian (U.K. edition), David Culver (environmental science) spoke about the diverse species of life found in Southeast Asia caves.

Terry Davidson (psychology) discussed how childhood diet impacts brain development on The Kojo Nnamdi Show.

Donna Dietz (mathmatics and statistics) discussed the importance of Pi on Fox 5 DC

Anton Fedyashin (history) appeared on CNN International to discuss political and economic issues surrounding the Russian government's attempts to modernize its healthcare system. 

For KSAT-TV online, Kathleen Franz (history) discussed her work to help bring a collection about Sosa, Bromley, and Aguilar and Associates, the top-billing Latino ad agency in the industry to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Franz was also a featured guest on BackStory with the American History Guys, the "New & Improved, Advertising in America" episode.

For U.S. News & World Report, Jolynn Gardner (public health) spoke about the increase of minority students majoring in public health and the role personal connections with these communities play for these students.

Mary Hansen (economics) spoke to the Los Angeles Times about President Obama’s announcement to make paid family leave a new norm in America. 

Anthropology PhD Candidate Erin Moriarty Harrelson spoke to National Geographic about her research on deaf Cambodians and Cambodian Sign Language. 

Alan Kraut (history) appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal to discuss past presidential executive actions on immigration dating back to the Eisenhower administration. 

Nuclear Studies Institute director Peter Kuznick (history) spoke to Japan News about the art exhibit "The Hiroshima Panels," which will be shown at the American University Museum in the spring. 

Peter Kuznick (history) was interviewed by KARN Newsradio, Fox 16 TV, AETN, Soul of the South Radio, RTR TV (Russia), CCTV, Russia One TV, NHK (Japan's Public TV), Yale Daily News, Boston Globe, Cambridge Community TV, and the University of Connecticut's Daily Campus to discuss Untold History.

Allan J. Lichtman’s (history) comments on President Obama’s State of the Union address have appeared on ABC News, CBS News, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Voice of America, San Angelo Standard Times, Euronews, Irish Times, Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle, Washington Times, El Financiero, CRJENGLISH, NIYZ, Medill on the Hill, Report News Today, RIFE, Benton.org, The Maddow Blog, Israel News, Berliner Zeitung, L'Orient-Le Jour, Telam Mundo, Diario El Analista, El Periodico, Middle East Eye, Yomuri Shimbun, Slovenska Tiskovna Agencija, Latino Fox News, and the Strait Times.  

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke on WJLA-ABC7's NewsTalk to discuss the historical precedent for presidents acting unilaterally on immigration, emphasizing Herbert Hoover's executive action in 1930. Lichtman also wrote an op-ed for The Hill.

Cynthia Miller-Idriss (SETH/sociology) was quoted in an article, "Authoritarian Outfitters," in The New Republic.

Martyn Oliver (philosophy and religion) published "10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Islam" on faithstreet.com. The website's top 20 posts of 2014 featured his essay "10 Things Every College Student Needs to Know About Religion."

For NPR, Martyn Oliver (philosophy and religion) spoke about the Museum of the Bible, a new museum set to open in DC in 2017, and the artifacts that the museum will have on display.

In an op-ed for Talking Points Memo, Pedram Partovi (history) explained that there is no quick fix to the jihadist movement.

Science News featured a study by Colin Saldanha (biology) and two of his students explaining how estrogen can protect the brain from harmful inflammation following traumatic injury.

NPR featured Daniel Sayers (anthropology) and his new book, A Desolate Place for a Defiant People. The segment aired on more than 70 NPR affiliates nationwide.

Arthur Shapiro (psychology) spoke to the Los Angeles Times for two separate articles about “The Dress” that went viral and the science behind the visual illusion. The articles syndicated more than 100 times. He also discussed #TheDress on ABC, NBC, and USA Today. 

Stacey Snelling (SETH) participated in a live panel discussion about food insecurity and college students for the NPR affiliate for Kansas City.

Carol Weissbrod (psychology) discussed the stigma of men crying - and how to change it - with the Washington Post.

The Washington Post cited research by Chenyang Xiao (sociology) and his colleagues that was published in Nature Climate Change.