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Dean's Picks: Shaping the Future of Media Innovation

Latest Stories

Katie Couric

AU Unveils Disruptive Leadership Initiative

With $250,000 from the Knight Foundation, collaboration looks to game design practices and process to shape media leadership innovation. Read more.

Katie Couric
Want Diversity in Docs? Look to Public TV

A new study from Professor Pat Aufderheide and the Center for Media & Social Impact shows public television remains the leading source of programming that represents diverse creators and characters. Learn more.


Katie Couric

McKinley Milestone

AU community celebrates SOC's new home in the McKinley Building. Learn more.

In the News

DREAM Act Exemplars, Stereotypical Selection, and American Otherness
Journalism professor Angie Chuang co-authors "Beyond the positive-negative paradigm of Latino/Latina news-media representations: DREAM Act exemplars, stereotypical selection, and American Otherness." Read more.

Hong Kong Protesters in Cyberwar
Journalism professor Andrew Lih's Quartz op-ed was quoted on CNN.com to describe the sophisticated use of technology by the activist of Hong Kong's Occupy Central Movement, aka the Umbrella Revolution.

Fort Bliss Is a Favorite with Military Audiences and Deserving of Wider Success
The Washington Post featured a glowing review of School of Communication Film and Media Arts professor Claudia Myers' new film "Fort Bliss", a drama about the impact deployment has on military families. Read more.

Go-Pro Shark Photo Goes Viral
Public & strategic communication professor Scott Talan spoke to the BBC.com about what makes a picture go viral on the Internet and analyzed the trending image of a great white shark off the coast of South Africa.


Awards & Achievements

SOC professor and award-winning filmmaker Carolyn Brown will host the California premiere of The Salinas Project documentary film at The Carmel International Film Festival on Saturday, October 18. The documentary follows the lives for four young Latinos from immigrant farm working families as they face social, political and economic obstacles. Read more.

The Mama Sherpas, a feature documentary produced by SOC professor Brigid Maher, selected to screen rough cut at Docs in Progress at the Utopia Film Festival. Read more.

MA in Media Entrepreneurship alum Dena Levitz named 1776 Challenge Cup reporting fellow. Read more.


Upcoming Events

Human Rights Film Festival—The Supreme Price Screening and Q&A
October 15, 7:00 p.m. Learn More.

International Cinema Series—Viewing China
October 17-24 Learn More.

Coffee & Conversation with Dean Rutenbeck
October 21 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Learn More.

Moving Beyond the Obituaries: From Doom and Gloom to #Oceanoptimism
October 21 7:00 p.m.
Learn More.

ONA DC Meetup, with Vox.com
October 23 6:00 p.m.
Learn More.

American Forum — #MyMidTermFix
October 23 8:15 p.m.
Join SOC, Kennedy Political Union, and the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, founder of "The Fix," for a discussion on mid-term elections, the media, and issues of interest to youth voters in 2014.
Learn more.

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Please send your suggestions for Dean's Picks to Dani Rizzo.

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Dean's Picks: A Legacy of Leaders

Latest Stories

Katie Couric

Focus on Military Families at VIP Screening

'Fort Bliss' event drew star Michelle Monaghan and Colonel Parker of the White House's Joining Forces initiative. Read more.
Screening starts Friday, Sept. 26 at West End Cinema.

Katie Couric

SOC's Top Achievements of 2014

2014 is shaping up to be a big year for the AU School of Communication. Read more.


Katie Couric

Jamming at the White House

AU professors invited to first White House Educational Game Jam. Read more.

In the News

Under New Ownership, WJLA-TV Takes a Slight Turn to the Right
School of Communication professor Charles Lewis spoke to the Washington Post about WJLA-TV's change in ownership and how the new owner's viewpoints differ from the previous owner. Learn more.

Hollywood's Medical Storylines Vetted by Those Who Know
School of Communication professor Kathryn Montgomery spoke to Kaiser Health News about the nature of political, social and health messaging in entertainment television. Montgomery specifically noted the ethical concerns on whether the public should be made aware of the influences. Learn more.

AU Wonks on Ferguson, Missouri, Police Shooting and Protests
Amidst the turmoil following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, SOC professors Talan and Steinhorn discuss social media's role and the White House reaction.  

Macworld to End Its Print Edition and Lay Off Many of Its Employees
Associate Journalism professor Andrew Lih spoke to the New York Times about the monthly print edition of Macworld's demise because of its failure to keep up with other technology sources like CNET. Read More.

When Wildlife Documentaries Jump the Shark
Center for Environmental Filmmaking director Chris Palmer spoke to NPR about conscious filmmaking and discussed how the line between authentic documentaries and "docufiction" is often blurred by deceptive editing and staged animal interactions. Palmer discussed his own experience using animals in filmmaking. Learn More.


Upcoming Events

SOC Faculty Forum

September 23 11:00 a.m.
935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity with professor Charles Lewis. Use #SOCFacultyForum to participate in the conversation.
Learn More.

CEF Film Series—Nat Geo Goes Wild!
September, 23 7:00 p.m.
Learn more.

International Cinema Series: Italian Film Series
Starting September 26
Co-hosted by SOC, the National Gallery of Art, and the Italian Embassy Cultural Institute. Learn More.

Coffee & Conversation with Dean Rutenbeck
September 26 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Learn More.

Human Rights Film Festival
Beginning October 1
Learn More.

Photo Night @ SOC—Powered by PechaKucha
October, 3 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Learn more.

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Dean's Picks: Communication Seniors Celebrate Success

Katie Couric

Couric Named Commencement Speaker

News legend Katie Couric will speak at the 2014 School of Communication commencement ceremony. Read more.



Bridging Wikipedia's ‘GLAM’ Gap

Professor Andrew Lih's students spread public knowledge, dodge social-media pitfalls. Read more.


Stand Up Planet

‘Stand Up Planet’ Leverages Laughs for Change

How one communication professor helped craft an international transmedia anti-poverty project. And made it funny. Read more.

Senior Reception

Communication Seniors Celebrate Success

Lessons and connections for life post-graduation. Read more.



In the News

The Worldwide Debate Over New Rules for the World Wide Web

Communication professor Laura DeNardis appeared on WAMU’s Diane Rehm Show and NPR stations nationwide to discuss the international debate over net neutrality rules and the critical need to successfully transition ICANN oversight to a multi-stakeholder model. Read more.

Snowden the 'Traitor' Looms Over Pulitzers
Prior to the announcement of the Pulitzer Prize for journalism, Agence France Presse spoke to communication professor Christopher Simpson about the conservative nature of U.S. versus European media coverage of national security issues pertaining to the Edward Snowden NSA revelations. Read more.

New Graphic Ad Campaign Targets Distracted Driving
With CBS Evening News, communication professor Leonard Steinhorn talked about how the most effective public service ad campaigns use shame and embarrassment to get viewers’ attention and shock them into changing behaviors such as speeding, smoking, and texting while driving. Read more.

D.C. Museums Look to Movies to Expand Their Audience
In a trend piece about museums linking collections with Hollywood movie releases, film professor John Douglass spoke to the Washington Times about the benefits that these museums see in increased traffic. Read more.

Upcoming Events

Visions Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, May 7
Reception 7:30 p.m.; Awards 8:00 p.m., Forman Theater
Congratulations to the 2014 Visions Nominees

Public Communication Awards Celebration
Thursday, May 8 – 5:30-7:30 p.m., McKinley 101 Learn more

2014 SOC Commencement Ceremony
Saturday, May 10 – 9:00 a.m, Bender Arena Learn more
Follow #2014AUGrad for updates.


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Dean's Picks: Students, Faculty and Alum Find Success

Latest Stories

Olivia Water Project

Water Project Catalyzes Communication Students

Experiential cross-disciplinary initiative pairs students with water advocates and scientists for professional projects. Read more.


Laura DeNardis

State Department Taps DeNardis for Key Committee

Professor Laura DeNardis will serve on the Advisory Committee for International Communications and Information Policy. Read more. Join DeNardis for her book talk April 1 in SOC's Media Innovation Lab.


David Ruck

Alum's 'Astronaut' on International Space Station

Film by David J. Ruck, (SOC/MFA ’13) to screen in orbit for a very select audience. Read more.


In the News

Warming Up to the Culture of Wikipedia

Communication professor Andrew Lih discussed with New York Times the surge of Wikipedia ‘edit-a-thons’ including his course, “Wikipedia and Public Knowledge,” which focuses on ‘edit-a-thons’ and requires students to create and improve entries. Read more.

Poll: People Still Seek Meaty News on Media Buffet
Journalism professor Jane Hall spoke to Associated Press about a poll revealing leading newspapers and network evening news no longer set the national news agenda as Americans are increasingly relying on a wider variety of media sources—including social media—to stay informed. Read more.

U.S. to Cede Its Oversight of Addresses on Internet
Communication professor Laura DeNardis spoke to New York Times about the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to not renew the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) contract. DeNardis explained the benefit, which will take into account the global interests of multiple stakeholders. DeNardis also spoke to TIME and The Economist.

Who Was Carl Sagan?
Communication professor Declan Fahy spoke to National Geographic about the impact and legacy of astronomer Carl Sagan. Read more.

Upcoming Events

DC Environmental Film Festival
March 18- 30, View full list of SOC sponsored events.

Dean's Intern Recruitment Reception & Panel
March 26 – 3:30 p.m., McKinley Media Innovation Lab Learn more

SOC Week 2014
March 31 - April 4 – American University
View the full list of SOC Week events and follow #SOCWeek for updates.

"Last Call at the Oasis" Screening/Q&A with filmmaker Jessica Yu
April 3 – 5:30 p.m, Forman Theater Learn more


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Dean's Picks: Students Learn from Washington Post Pros, AU PRSSA Wins Conference Bid

Latest Stories

Washington Post John Sullivan

Learning from the Best in a Legendary Newsroom

Students dig deep alongside Washington Post professionals.
Read more



Engaging in Debates about Science and Society

Professor’s analysis of stem cell controversy reveals deeper influences shape people’s opinions. Read more



Continued Success for AU's PRSSA

Chapter wins bid to co-host 2014 PRSSA national conference
this fall. Read more


In the News // Awards

Timid About Fair Use?

InsideHigherEd.com featured Patricia Aufderheide, co-director of the Center for Media and Social Impact, and law professor Peter Jaszi’s study examining how visual arts professionals and art historians’ work is inhibited because of confusion over copyright infringement. Read more

FCC Media Survey Plan Draws Fire
Communication professor John Watson appeared on Fox News Channel voicing serious concern about the Federal Communications Commission’s probing into U.S. media newsrooms to determine how and why they select which stories to cover. Read more

How Far Will Reality TV Go For Ratings?
In a HuffPost Live interview, Chris Palmer, director of the Center for Environmental Film Making, challenged a Mother Jones’ investigation to expand its reporting beyond the animal suffering on Animal Planet to encompass other television network series where animal cruelty is suspected. Read more

Did the Winter Olympics in Sochi Really Cost $50 Billion?
Communications professor W. Joseph Campbell spoke to Washington Post about the media’s perpetuating questionable cost estimates rather than developing an independent analysis for the Sochi Olympics. Read more

Teaching with Research Award, 2014
Professor Campbell introduces students to the rewards of conducting research at the Library of Congress. Read more

Upcoming Events

Marketing & Communication Day
February 26 – 3:30 p.m. Kogod Student Lounge Learn more

Robecks with Dean Rutenbeck
March 3 – 2:30-3:30 p.m., McKinley 101 Learn more

Diversity Summit: Games for Good, Games for All
March 8 – American University Learn more


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Dean's Picks: New Investigative Report, Wonk of the Year and the Human Rights Film Series

Latest Stories

Hunting Nightmare Bacteria

Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria

AU-based FRONTLINE investigates the rise of deadly, drug-resistant bacteria that modern antibiotics can’t stop. Read more


Jane Hall Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper Accepts 2013 Wonk of the Year Award

AU SOC Professor Jane Hall moderates discussion with Wonk of the Year award recipient Anderson Cooper. Read more


Human Rights

Human Rights: On Film and In the Classroom

American University film series is part of campus-wide focus on human rights. Read more


In the News

Facebook to Let Teens Share with a Bigger Audience

Communication professor Kathryn Montgomery talked to the Associated Press about teens not always understanding the consequences of putting their information on social media sites like Facebook. Read more

Shutdown Coverage Benefits Cable News Networks
The Associated Press spoke to journalism professor Jane Hall about the boost in cable network ratings during the government shutdown which she attributed to the volume of stories about how the shutdown impacted government workers. Read more

AP Reporter’s Mistake: Did the Punishment Fit the Crime?
In a Washington Post article about an Associated Press reporter being fired for a factual error, journalism professor W. Joseph Campbell agreed that the punishment was too much, citing examples of other cases where there was no retribution for reporters misstating facts. Read more

Professor Carolyn Brown presents at Celebraciones de la Gente
Professor Carolyn Brown screened From the Fields: An American Journey and clips from her upcoming film, The Salinas Project, at the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Celebraciones de la Gente. Learn more


Upcoming Events

Environmental Film Series
“Classroom in the Wild: Chesapeake Bay”
October 29 – 7:00 p.m., Wechsler Theater Learn more

SOC Ambassadors Spooktacular
October 29 – 8:30 – 11:30 p.m., MGC 200 Learn more

Faculty Forum: The Myth of Digital Democracy
October 29 – 2:35 p.m., Media Production Center Learn more

American Forum with Barton Gellman
November 6 – 11:00 a.m., Knight TV Studio – The Newseum Institute
The event will be streamed live. Learn more

Faculty Forum: Advertising as Public Policy with Professor Wendy Melillo
November 6 – 3:30 p.m., Media Production Center Learn more

DC Startup Forum with Seth Goldman, CEO Honest Tea
November 12 – 7:00 p.m., Butler Boardroom Learn more


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Dean's Picks: Maher's New Film and the Dean Recruited for Dumbledore's Army

Latest Stories

Brigid Maher

Professor Explores Changing Face of Midwifery in New Film

Maher's film follows DC-based nurse midwives, their patients, and the doctors they work with over a two-year period, documenting their stories along the way. Read more


Dumbeldore's Army

Communication Dean Recruited for Dumbledore’s Army

Dean Rutenbeck connects with students as faculty advisor for the new American University Dumbledore’s Army. Read more



Ayofemi Kirby

Professional Masters Program Alumni Discuss Their Success

Recent graduates from the Strategic Communication Professional Masters Program are excelling in their fields, and have high praise for the classes they took at AU, which they say helped prepare them for their jobs. Read more


In the News

Bob Lehrman

Lehrman's Article Looks at Obama's Second Term

The myths and realities of second-term presidents – and what they portend for Obama. Read more

Benedetto Discusses Biden's '16 Prospects

Adjunct professor Richard Benedetto wrote an article in Real Clear Politics on the possibility of Obama boosting Biden's 2016 prospects. Read more

Mayor Nutter: One Cool Cuss-tomer

PC professor Lenny Steinhorn discussed with the Philadelphia Inquirer public reaction to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s use of curse words in a recent public statement. “If this comes off as not crude but authentic, people may in fact feel that the politicians, who are so often careful about the words they use, who so often speak from talking points, that this comes from the heart.” Read more


Upcoming Events

John Weiskopf, veteran producer and screenwriter, will speak on the practice of screenwriting
January 30 - 7:00 p.m., Wechsler Theater

"Through Their Eyes" Documentary of AU Abroad Students in Cuba
January 30 - 7:00 p.m., Ward I, Watch trailer

National Geographic's Television Film War Elephants
February 5 - 7:00 p.m., Wechsler Theater

Visiting Filmmakers Roland Legiardi-Laura and Lance Kramer Screening "To be Heard" and clips from "Green Corps""
February 14 - 6:00 p.m., Wechsler Theater, Learn more

Media That Matters 2013
February 15 - 9:00 a.m., Katzen, Learn more

SOC Student-Alumni Networking Reception
March 5 - 7:00 p.m., MGC 4, Learn more

Admitted Students Day
April 6 - 9:00 a.m., Butler Board Room, Learn more

2013 Kappa Tau Alpha Reception
April 16 - 5:30 p.m., MGC 200, Learn more


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Please send your suggestions for Dean's Picks to Michael Wargo.