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Please see below for news briefs on CAS student, faculty, and staff accomplishments from spring 2009:


Appointments & Honors

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.

In 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.

In 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.

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

In 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.

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.

In May, the university named Mieke Meurs (economics) Scholar-Teacher of the Year. The highest annual honor given to a faculty member, the award recognizes the professor who best exemplifies the university's ideals of research and teaching excellence.

In 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.


Publications & Productions

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).

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.

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

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


Speaker's Corner

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

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 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."

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).

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."

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 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, 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).

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).

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.

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