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About the College | Achievements, 2008-2009

Please see below for news briefs on CAS students, faculty, and staff accomplishments in 2008–2009:


Appointments & Honors

In November, Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) won the 2008 Duke of Edinburgh English-Speaking Union English Language Book Award for Always On (Oxford, 2008).

The U.S Department of State appointed Brock Brady (language and foreign studies) an English-language specialist for Angola in February.

In January, Robert Feinberg (economics) was named coeditor of the Southern Economic Journal.

A paper by Tom Hertz (economics), "The Inheritance of Educational Inequality: International Comparisons and Fifty-Year Trends," won the 2007 Arrow Prize for Junior Economists. The paper originally appeared in the B. E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy.

Priyanka Komala (MS computer science '08) was awarded the 2008 Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) Award.

This April, Michael Black (computer science) was awarded a Fulbright fellowship sponsored by the State Department’s Center for the International Exchange of Scholars. He will be instructing courses and conducting collaborative research at Sankalchand Patel College of Engineering in Visnagar, India, for 5 months this fall. Sponsored by the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Fellowship Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.

This April, Kyle Dargan (literature) won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in the poetry category for Bouquet of Hungers, University of Georgia Press. The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award is the first national award presented to published writers of African descent by the national community of Black writers. The award consists of prizes for the highest quality writing in the categories of Fiction, Debut Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry.

A musical composition, "Acheron," by Paul Oehlers (performing arts) was accepted for performance at the prestigious Society for Composers Incorporated (SCI) national conference in Santa Fe in April.

This May, James Girard (chemistry) was named a 2009 Franklin Fellow. In this year-long fellowship, he will serve as a science advisor to the U.S. Department of State. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Franklin Fellows program is an executive development vehicle designed to promote professionals’ public service work. Franklin Fellows work on global issues of vital importance to the United States, and they may collaborate with government entities, including the White House, Congress, and the Department of Defense.

This May, Anthony Riley (psychology) became the first-ever recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences' Betty T. Bennett Faculty Scholar-Administrator Award. This annual award recognizes a talented faculty member who exhibits superior scholarship while also exemplifying leadership in an administrative role.

This May, Mustafa Aksakal (history) was awarded a John W. Kluge Fellowship for study at the Library of Congress during the coming academic year. The John W. Kluge Center is located in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. The fellowship encourages humanistic and social science research that makes use of the Library's large and varied collections.

This June, Fernando Benadon (performing arts) was awarded a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship in large part for his innovative debut album, Intuitivo, which was released this spring. For Intuitivo, Benadon took improvised solo recording sessions from seven musicians to the studio, where he melded the separate recordings into a series of cohesive compositions. Guggenheim Fellowships are awarded annually to scholars and artists who demonstrate both outstanding accomplishments and strong potential for continued achievement. Each year, the foundation chooses about 220 fellows from a pool of over 3500 applicants in a full range of academic fields.



Publications & Productions

Noah Getz (musician-in-residence, performing arts) had an article, "Jazz Practice Tips," in the May 2009 issue of The Instrumentalist.

In February, Yuliya Gorenman (performing arts) performed Schumann’s Fantasy in C Major, Op. 17 as part of What Makes It Great?, a Washington Performing Arts Society series hosted by Rob Kapilow. The performance took place at the Smithsonian Institution’s Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery of Art.

Michael Manson (academic affairs) had his essay “‘The Thews of Hymn’: Dickinson’s Metrical Grammar," included in A Companion to Emily Dickinson. (Eds. Mary Loeffelholz and Martha Nell Smith. Blackwell, 2008). He also gave an interview to Isabella Wai of The Richard Wilbur Forum entitled“‘Demiurge’s Laugh’ versus ‘Cheshire Smile’: Differing Approaches of Frost and Wilbur to Nature.”

Aaron Tobler (PhD candidate, anthropology) and Maria Amelia Viteri (PhD anthropology, ’08) coedited, Shifting Positionalities: The Local and International Geo-Politics of Surveillance and Policing (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009). It includes chapters by Michelle Carnes (PhD candidate, anthropology) and Mysara Abu-Hashem (PhD candidate, anthropology). The book was inspired by the Interrogating Diversity Conference that AU’s Department of Anthropology held in March 2007.

Maria Eugenia Verdaguer (PhD sociology ’02) published Class, Ethnicity, Gender and Latino Entrepreneurship (Routledge, 2009).

David Vine (anthropology) published Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia (Princeton University Press, 2009). Vine explores a largely unknown American military base on the island of Diego Garcia, near the center of the Indian Ocean, and the harsh actions taken by the United States and Britain against the island’s indigenous people. A review of Island of Shame was featured on the front page of the New York Review of Booksin May, and Vine has made national and international appearances in support of the book, including a recent interview that aired on C-SPAN's Book TV on September 19-20.

John Wisman’s (economics) article, “Household Saving, Class Identity, and Conspicuous Consumption,” was published in the Journal of Economic Issues (March, 2009).

Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) wrote the "Linguistics" section for Blackwell's International Encyclopedia of Communication, published in conjunction with the International Communication Association in April.
In July, Jack Child (language and foreign studies) published Miniature Messages: The Semiotics and Politics of Latin American Postage Stamps (Duke, 2008).

Consuelo Hernández (language and foreign studies)
published "Realidad virtual," Alora. La Bien Cercada. Revista Políglota Internacional de Poesía y Dibujo (December, 2007); "En el fondo de la valija" and "Volver a la niñez," Hostra Hispanic Review (Spring, 2008); and "Los músicos de Jazz," Revista La Urraka, Edición Internacional: Poesía Del Mundo no. 16 (August, 2008).

Kiho Kim (environmental science) coauthored a report, Tackling Marine Debris in the 21st Century (National Academy of Sciences, 2008). The report was covered in the Los Angeles Times, Seattle Post Intelligencer, and the Associated Press.

Eric Lohr (history) and Tazreena Sajjad (PhD international relations) published "Human Rights and Human Insecurity: The Contributions of U.S. Counterterrorism," Journal of Human Rights (January–March, 2008).

The composition Phreximus by Paul A. Oehlers (performing arts) was included in a 50th-anniversary recording for the Experimental Music Studios, University of Illinois–Urbana- Champaign. His film score for Most High received a Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Atlanta Film Festival.

As a contributor to a feature on U.S. military bases abroad, David Vine (anthropology) published "Homesick for Camp Justice," Mother Jones online edition (August 22, 2008).

Andrew Yarrow (history) published an op-ed, "Making Tax Day Less Painful," Washington Times (March 26, 2008).

In October, Harjant Gill (anthropology PhD candidate) screened his new film, Lot's Wife, at the 13th Annual Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

Patricia Hall (psychology) and Catherine Schaeff (biology) published "Sexual Orientation and Fluctuating Asymmetry in Men and Women," Archives of Sexual Behavior (February, 2009).

Philip Johnson (physics) published "Probing Optical Lattice States with Double-Well Atom Interferometry," Proceedings of SPIE (May, 2008). He coauthored "Nonequilibrium Quantum Dynamics in Ferromagnetic Nanoparticles: Conditions for Bose- Einstein Condensation," Journal of Applied Physics (February, 2009). This article was selected to appear in the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science and Technology (March 2, 2009).

Robert I. Lerman (economics) published an op-ed on the importance of renters in this real estate market in the Washington Times (February 27, 2009).

Allan Lichtman (history) published an op-ed, "The Democratic Dream Ticket," in the Gazette (May 9, 2008).

Gail Humphries Mardirosian (performing arts) contributed "How to Use Theater to Teach At-Risk Students" to the Chronicle of Higher Education (March 6, 2009).

Roberta Rubenstein (literature) published " ‘I Meant Nothing by The Lighthouse' : Virginia Woolf 's Poetics of Negation," Journal of Modern Literature (Summer, 2008).

Jon D. Wisman (economics) contributed "The Economic Causes of War and Peace" to the Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict 2nd edition, vol. I (Elsevier, 2008).

Andrew Yarrow (history) published "How National Debt is Contributing to Public Disenchantment with Government," Huffington Post (April 28, 2008).


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Speaker's Corner

Last December, Mary Hansen (economics) testified before the Council of the District of Columbia’s Committee on Human Services in a public oversight hearing on extending adoption and guardianship subsidies until age 21 and expanding guardianship subsidies to non-kin. She has also recently given interviews to WAMU’s Metro Connection and AARP TV’s Inside E Street on historical parallels between the depression and the current economic downturn.

Last November, Shubha Pathak (philosophy and religion) presented a paper entitled, "Kalidasa's Cuddly Kumara: An Army Commander Allowed to Act like an Infant," at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion in Chicago. The paper was part of a panel session that she organized entitled, "The Divine Child in South Asian Religious Traditions.”

In April, Jon D. 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 April, Jack Child (language and foreign studies) lectured on the Inter-American system and on Antarctica at the Inter- America Defense College in D.C. He spoke, in May, to a Spanish class at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School about the 1982 Falklands-Malvinas War.

In May, Consuelo Hernández (language and foreign studies) delivered tributes to Octavio Paz at the Library of Congress and at New York University's King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center. In July, she gave a poetry reading at the embassy of Uruguay and spoke at a conference on El Salvadoran poet Mayamerica Cortez at D.C.'s Martin Luther King Public Library.

In July, Teresa Larkin (physics) presented two lectures— "Learning the ‘Write' Way in the Physics Classroom and Laboratory" and "Writing: An Active Learning Tool in Physics and Engineering Education"—at the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) meeting in Alberta, Canada.

In April, Eric Lohr (history) presented "Russian and Ottoman Subjecthood Boundaries: Population Policy vs. Citizenship in Kars, Batum, and Ardahan Provinces, 1877–1917" at Columbia University's conference "Empire, Conquest and Faith: The Russian and Ottoman Interaction, 1650–1920."

Brian Yates (psychology) presented "Measuring and Improving Cost-effectiveness and Cost-benefit in Psychological Services" at the second biannual meeting of the Romanian National Psychological Association in Timisoara, Romania.

In March, Kathe Hicks Albrecht (director, Visual Resources Center) developed and chaired "Saltcellars, Oliphants, and Gems: Preserving Legacy Image Collections," a session at the Visual Resources Association annual conference in San Diego. At the same conference, she cochaired "The Transitional Space or Moving on Up: Facilities Planning in the Digital Age."

In July, Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) presented "Text, Talk, or View: The Role of Control, Culture, and Cost in Using Information Communication Technologies" at the "Role of New Technologies in Global Societies: Theoretical Reflections, Practical Concerns, and Its Implications for China," an international conference in Hong Kong.

In June, Jack Child (language and foreign studies) lectured on the 1982 Falklands-Malvinas War at the U.S. Southern Command in Miami.

In July 2008, Patricia Hall (psychology) and Catherine Schaeff (biology) presented "Homosexual Women's Assessment of Models' Attractiveness" at the International Academy of Sex Research (IASR) Conference in Leuven, Belgium.

In November, Schaeff presented "Monitoring Marine Mammal Health: Maximizing the Fluctuating Asymmetry Signal" at the Centre de Recherche sur les Mammifères Marins Annual Seminar in La Rochelle, France.

At Penn State in May, Philip Johnson (physics) presented "Probing Higher-order Interactions and Coherence with Double-Well Optical-Lattices" at the 39th annual meeting of the American Physical Society's Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (DAMOP).

Madhavi Menon (literature) was a keynote speaker in September at Cornell University's ShakesQueer Symposium. The symposium explored using queer theory as a new way to interpret and view Shakespeare.


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In the Media

Behind the Velvet Curtain, an American University Museum exhibit that ran from April 2–May 17, was featured in a Washington Post feature story (April 10, 2009).

Elizabeth A. 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).

In April, 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).

In his opinion piece for Foreign Policy in Focus, David Vine (anthropology) wrote about the necessity for a decrease in overseas U.S. military bases (March 9, 2009).

In April, Naomi Baron (language and foreign studies) spoke about telephone area codes as social signifiers in an interview with the Oregonian (April 20, 2008). The Boston Globe also interviewed her about the Pew Internet and American Life report, "Teens and Texting" (June 16, 2008).

The Voice of America interviewed Consuelo Hernández (language and foreign studies) about implications of the burgeoning population of Latin Americans and Hispanics in the United States (September 12, 2008).

USA Today quoted Alan Kraut (history) in "Ellis Island Strives to Tell More Complete Immigration Story," an article about a new exhibit center that will focus on the island's history between 1954 and 1982 (September 23, 2008).

In May, Iran's Fars News Agency interviewed Peter Kuznick (history) about the threat posed by Israel's nuclear capability and why American leaders perceive Iran, not Israel, as potentially more dangerous to the region.

The Washington Post published a letter to the editor, "Bring on the Meters," by Aaron Pacitti (economics) (October 20, 2007). Brad Schiller (economics) was quoted in a story about John McCain's and Barack Obama's different plans to increase workers' wages (August 1, 2008).

A book by Charles S. J. White (professor emeritus, philosophy and religion), The Garden of Loneliness: A Translation of Jayshankar Prasad's "?ns? (Tears)," was reviewed in the Journal of Vaishnava Studies (Spring 2008).

Close Encounters: Facing the Future, an exhibit at the American University Museum in September and October, was reviewed in the Washington Post Express (October 2, 2008).

Naomi Baron's (language and foreign studies) book Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World was reviewed by William Safire in the New York Times Magazine (December 21, 2008).

Jacob Choi (BS math, BA secondary education '09) appeared in an Associated Press television news segment about the Obama administration's plans to spend more time on education efforts (December 5, 2008).

A study of meditation's effectiveness against student stress, conducted in part by the Department of Psychology, was picked up by more than 25 news outlets, including BBC News and WRC-NBC 4 (February 24, 2009).

Mary Garrard (professor emerita, art history) discussed artist Raphael and his painting Madonna Lactans in an op-ed for the Washington Post (October 5, 2008).

Laura Juliano (psychology) was quoted in a New York magazine article, "The Coffee Junkie's Guide to Caffeine Addiction: We're Hooked Like Never Before. Is That Bad?" (June 1, 2008).

In October, Alan Kraut (history) was quoted in a New York Times article, "Getting the Nation's Story Straight" (October 11, 2008). He also was quoted in a Washington Examiner piece, "Prince William Seeing Effects of Immigrant Crackdown" (December 4, 2008).

William Leap (anthropology) was quoted in an Edge magazine story about gay humor and the thin line between jokes and homophobia (February 9, 2009).

Allan Lichtman (history) was quoted last fall on the subject of the presidential election by the Bloomberg News, the Press Association, the Associated Press, and the Chicago Tribune.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Barry McCarthy (psychology) in "The Young and the Restless: Why Infidelity Is Rising among 20-somethings" (November 28, 2008).

Stacey Snelling (School of Education, Teaching, and Health) was quoted in a story on how to select a proper diet (October 1, 2008).

Martha Starr (economics) was quoted in an Agence France-Presse story, "Americans Shift Back to Thrift as Finance Tightens," about the dangers of frugality during an economic recession (October 6, 2008).

A Baltimore Sun article, "Boomers Planting a Debt Bomb," featured a recent book by Andrew Yarrow (history), Forgive Us Our Debts: The Intergenerational Dangers of Fiscal Irresponsibility (April 30, 2008).


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