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About the College | Achievements

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

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Recent Achievements

David Haaga David Haaga (psychology) won a $321,750 award from NIH for his project titled "Looming Vulnerability and Smoking Cessation Attempts."

Maria FloroMaria Floro (economics) won a $25,000 award from USDA for her project titled "Exploring Migration and Food Insecurity Relationship: New Evidence from the Food & Agriculture Organization's Food Insecurity Experience Scale."

Douglas FoxDouglas Fox (chemistry) won a $104,675 award from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities for his project tiltled "Fluorescent Cellulose Nanomaterial Development Project."


Kim Blankenship (sociology) won a $753,433 (funding for year 1 of 5 year project) fom NIH for her project titled "Social Determininants of HIV: The Intersecting Impacts of Mass Incarceration, Housing Stability, and Subsized Housing Policies."

Frederick Bruhweiler (physics) received $300,000 (partial funding for a $2,358,826 total award) from NASA for a five year project through June 30, 2021 titlted "Establishing the Legacy of the RHESSI Space Mission." 

Frederick Bruhweiler (physics) won a $27,626 award from the Space Telescope Science Institute for his project "Identifying the Progenitor of a New Red Transient."

David Carlini (biology) won a $13,664 award from Cave Conservancy of the Virginias for the project "Testing for Parallel Evolution in Gammarus Minus Cave Populations Using Whole Transciptome Data."

Terry Davidson (psychology) won a four year $1,265,000 NIH award for the project "Signals to Feed: Biological and Associative Mechanisms", $316,417 of which will be received this year. 

Maria Floro (economics) won a $25,000 award from USDA for her project titled "Exploring Migration and Food Insecurity Relationship: New Evidence from the Food & Agriculture Organization's Food Insecurity Experience Scale."

Douglas Fox (chemistry) won a $104,675 award from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities for his project tiltled "Fluorescent Cellulose Nanomaterial Development Project."

David Haaga (psychology) won a $321,750 award from NIH for his project titled "Looming Vulnerability and Smoking Cessation Attempts."

Kristen Stoebenau (sociology) won a $50,000 award from George Washington University for her project titled "Improving measures of the gender dimensions of adolescent girls and young women's risk of HIV through transactional sex."


Daniel Abraham (performing arts) was elected chair of the Committee on Monographs for the American Choral Directors Association.

David Keplinger (literature) received a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in the area of Literary Translation. This is Keplinger's second NEA fellowship.

Salvador Vidal-Ortiz's (sociology) recent book Queer Brown Voices (U Texas Press) has been awarded the 2016 Ruth Benedict Prize for "Outstanding Edited Volume" by the American Anthropological Association. 


Kyle Dargan's (literature) poem "Minefields" was featured in BuzzFeedNews.

Director of the Creative Writing Program Kyle Dargan's (literature) poem Points of Contact was featured in The New York Times Magazine. Dargan's poem is a ghazal or a lyric poem, which originated in the Arabian Peninsula. Dargan wrote, 'Name one revolution whose inception was unlike a fist. Factions disparate, then tucked together, coiled like a fist."

Edward Helfers (literature) wrote an article for The Rumpus on distance swimming. Helfers wrote, "Unlike athletes who play team sports, swimmers labor in solitary, submerged in a strangely silent medium. Absent conversation or choreography, one becomes uniquely attuned to the forces conspiring against the body - gravity, lactic acid, time."

The Oral History Review republished Dan Kerr's (history) “We Know What the Problem Is: Using Oral History to Develop a Collaborative Analysis of Homelessness from the Bottom Up”, in a separate anniversary issue that included the fifteen most influential oral history articles published in the OHR since its inception in 1973.

Dan Kerr's (history) article “Allan Nevis is not my Grandfather: the Roots of Radical Oral History Practice in the United States” was published in the 50th anniversary special issue of the Oral History Review

Out Magazine features William Leap's (anthropology) forthcoming Language Before Stonewall project in Lavender Language, The Queer Way to Speak.

For The Guardian, Juliana Martinez, (world languages and cultures) wrote an article on Jennifer Lopez's upcoming HBO biopic on Colombian drug-trafficking legend, Griselda Blanco. Martinez wrote, "These shows present Colombians as the bearers of a cocaine-filled Trojan horse and obscure the global dynamics that create and uphold the international drug trade."

Cynthia Miller-Idriss, director of the International Training and Education program, wrote an article for The New York Times on national symbols. Miller-Idriss wrote, "National symbols deserve respect not because they are static representations of unchanging ideals, but because they offer a focal point for diverse societies to express and navigate what it is that unites and represents them." 

Danielle Mysliwiec's (art) artwork has been included in the exhibition ESSENTIAL STRUCTURE at the Chandra Cerrito Contemporary gallery in Oakland, CA

Christina Pierpaoli (CAS/BA '14) and Barry McCarthy (psychology) coauthored an article featured in Psychology Today. 

The Washington Post featured research by Stacey Snelling (health studies) and Sarah Irvine Belson (education). Snelling and Irvine Belson found that the amount of time students spend on physical activity in DC schools is linked to improvement in standardized math scores.

Jennifer Steele (education) penned an op-ed for The Washington Post about the recent executive order in Maryland delaying the opening of schools. Steele wrote, “Lengthening summer vacation will not help and may hurt student learning, especially for the children whose success depends the most on their schools. For a long-term economic boost, the governor should put education first.”

Lily Wong’s (literature) completed book manuscript, "Transpacific Attachments: Sex Work, Media Networks, and Affective Histories of Chineseness" was offered a contract by Columbia University Press, to appear in their Global Chinese Culture series.

Naoko Wowsugi's (studio art) project, Permacounterculture, was featured on WAMU-FM. Permacounterculture combines locally grown food with locally grown music. Wowsugi said, "We cultivate the wheatgrass, while D.C. local punk bands play punk music." 

Melissa Scholes Young's (literature) novel, FLOOD, will be published in June 2017 by Hachette/Center Street.

In The Media

For National Catholic Reporter, Ernesto Castaneda (sociology) spoke about the Zapatista legacy in Chiapas. Castaneda said, "It is good the Pope is going to Chiapas because the issues raised by the Zapatistas have not been resolved."

Katie DeCicco-Skinner (biology) was interviewed for an article in HealthLine. Skinner said that the study, for which she is the lead author, shows that "Once a person with cancer is out of the normal weight category, their BMI is contributing to multiple myeloma growth and progression."

Anton Fedyashin (history) discussed recent events regarding Syria with KPCC's AirTalk with Larry Mantle. Fedyashin said, “We got here because the cease-fire that Russia and the U.S. had negotiated so painstakingly started breaking down.”, 

Anton Fedyashin (history) spoke to CNN about the ceasefire in Syria and Russia's claim that a recent U.S. strike was helping ISIS. Fedyashin said, “There are two reasons for Russia to make this claim. One this is PR posturing before the security council meeting and two this is a Russian signal to the Syrians that they are sticking by their ally.” 

Anton Fedyashin (history) spoke to CCTV about Russia and Ukraine relations. Fedyashin said, “I’m afraid at this point that Crimea will no longer be a bargaining chip because it is solidly within Russia's control, as is shown in the text of the Minsk agreement.”

For CNN, Anton Fedyashin (history) spoke about Putin. Fedyashin said, “The special aspect of this is the building of a special relationship between Moscow and Beijing, which was sped up by the western sanctions on Russia.”

Anton Fedyashin (history), director of the Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History, spoke with NPR-affiliate KPCC Southern California about U.S.- Russia relations. Fedyashin said, “One thing to remember about Vladimir Putin is that when he became Russian President in 2000, he was a westernizer and an integrationist.” 

Peter Kuznick (history) talked to CBS Radio about the new Snowden movie and Edward Snowden's request for a presidential pardon. Kuznick said a pardon is unlikely.

Allan Lichtman (history) was featured in The Washington Post for his prediction of the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Lichtman, who has accurately predicted presidential elections for the last 32 years, predicts Donald Trump will be the winner. Lichtman's system, “The 13 Keys”, is based on the basic theory that elections are primarily a judgement on the party holding the White House. Nearly 400 print, online and broadcast outlets covered the prediction, and Lichtman made appearances on multiple programs for CNN, FOX News National, Fox Business Network, MSNBC, CBS (Interactive), Bloomberg News Television, and WTTG-Fox 5.

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke to BBC World about the release of John Hinckley, Reagan's would-be assassin. Lichtman said, “The impact was enormous. This was a terrible tragedy, but ironically it saved the Reagan presidency and the Reagan White House.”,

For Voice of America, Allan Lichtman (history) spoke about the possibility of Bill Clinton as first gentleman. Lichtman said of the former president, “He's going to have to learn. And I think he can at the age of 70. He's certainly smart enough to figure all of that out.”, Lichtman also spoke to CNN International about his 13 Keys to the White House

For Fox News Shepard Smith Reporting, Allan Lichtman (history) spoke about his 13 Keys to the White House and why using his formula, which has successfully predicted decades of elections, is difficult to use this year. Lichtman said that one area of uncertainty is whether or not the sitting president will be able to illustrate to the American people a major foreign policy or military victory.  

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke to CBC News about Hillary Clinton's speech on the 'Alt-Right.' Lichtman said, "Americans have a right to know about the alt-right because it's frightening to think that anti-Semites, racists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan believe the Trump campaign is a signal that their time has come."

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke about his election prediction system, The 13 Keys, on C-SPAN. Lichtman said, "Elections are primarily referenda on the strength and performance of the party holding the White House and the opposition party doesn't matter much." The 13 Keys, which Lichtman has used to correctly predict every presidential election since 1981, are a series of simple true/false questions. Lichtman also said this election is difficult to call because of the ambiguity of the "party contest key."

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke to USA Today about how President Obama and Hillary Clinton are closely associated in voters' minds. Lichtman said, "You can't run away from the president of your own party. You can try. It's never worked anytime in modern American political history." Lichtman also spoke to KNX AM.

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke to WSLS Roanoke about the locations of the Republican and Democratic conventions. Underscoring the importance of the location choices, Lichtman said: "Where else would you want to put your convention other than in a critical swing state?"

Allan Lichtman (history) spoke to Sinclair Broadcast Group about the upcoming conventions. Lichtman said, "I do see a Trump VP being quite influential because Trump is not up on the issues. He's not up on the policies, and he is going to need help if he is going to navigate his way through the presidency."  

Dan Sayers (chair of anthropology department) was featured in Smithsonian Magazine for his work on the maroons of the Great Dismal Swamp. Sayers excavated at the site where possibly thousands of maroons, or self-liberated former slaves, lived in southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina. He said, "I'll never forget seeing this place for the first time. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. I never dreamed of finding a 20-acre island, and I knew instantly it was livable." Sayers' work on the Great Dismal Swamp will also be on display at the new National Museum of African American History.

Jennifer Steele (education) spoke to WTOP about Governor Hogan's executive order mandating that Maryland schools start after Labor Day. Steele said one concern of compressing the school year is that the achievement gaps grows over the summer and most adversely affects disadvantaged students. 

David Vine (anthropology) spoke to The Economist about the United States' global military bases. Vine said, “Most people would think the U.S. military is good so U.S. bases, wherever they are, must be a good thing.”

Buzzfeed featured Stef Woods (american studies) and her new course "The Shonda Rhimes Experience." Woods designed the course based on popular shows like Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and Grey's Anatomy to explore gender, sexuality, and social media marketing

Melissa Scholes Young (literature) was in the Washington Post on August 19 talking about visiting the Frederick Douglass House and why teachers sometimes struggle to teach their own kids.

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