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April 2017 - AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

Campus Beautification Day April 18

KAM01-04-17 CBD

April is Earth Month at American University, and we invite our neighbors to join us for our annual Campus Beautification Day (CBD).

This year, AU will celebrate its 24th annual Campus Beautification Day on April 18, a university tradition that incorporates campus beautification and sustainability goals. However, the most important aspect of the day is building and strengthening the AU community by bringing together staff, faculty, students, and neighbors.

CBD will highlight AU's commitment to greening the campus, including planting and mulching. To participate in CBD events, you may register at the flag pole area opposite the Mary Graydon Center entrance on the AU Quad starting at 8 a.m. on the day of the event. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing, closed toe shoes, and we will supply the rest (gloves, water, T-shirt, and team leaders to guide you in participating in the various activities).

Beautification activities wrap up at 11:45 a.m. with a BBQ in the AU Amphitheater. Campus Beautifiers all will be qualified to enter to win a raffle prize at the BBQ. Simply fill out a raffle ticket at the registration desk and be present to win at the giveaway during the BBQ.

During Campus Beautification Day, there also will be an opportunity to purge personal e-waste. AU will collect e-waste next to the registration desks at the quad to be recycled.

If you’d like to join in, please contact Andrew Huff, Director of Community Relations, at or (202) 885-2167.

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Join AU’s Office of Sustainability and WABA for a Guided Community Bike Ride

Woman riding a bike

American University’s Office of Sustainability is excited to partner with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) to host events during the spring semester for the entire AU Community. This month’s featured event is the Guided Community Ride, scheduled for Friday, April 14 from noon to 1:30 p.m. (location TBD).

The ride is geared towards experienced riders as well as novices. If you’re a seasoned city rider, WABA has new tips and tricks for you. If you’re new to biking, WABA will help you master the fundamentals. Ride more comfortably and confidently while exploring the best routes to get to and from campus. Be sure to RSVP at to participate in the ride. Riders are encouraged to bring their own bikes, or contact the Office of Sustainability for alternatives.

Additional information on biking at AU can be found at

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  American University Partners with the Casey Tree Foundation

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On March 4, American University’s Arboretum and Gardens staff was excited and pleased to partner with the Casey Tree Foundation to host their annual Tree Planting Workshop. According to Laura Bassett, the Acting Director of Education for Casey Trees, “American University is a natural partner to help fulfill our mission to restore, enhance, and protect the tree canopy of our nation’s capital. Casey Trees chose to host our 2017 Tree Planting Workshop at AU because of the university’s commitment to cultivating people’s connection to trees through a creative arboretum design that promotes a diverse and healthy tree canopy.”

The workshop is part of a series of educational opportunities that Casey Trees offers and is a requirement for their volunteers to attend to achieve their Citizen Forester designation. Volunteer Citizen Foresters who complete the program will assist and lead teams of community volunteers in other tree-planting projects throughout the city. The workshop at AU was well attended despite the chilly temperatures with more than 100 volunteers present. The first half of the day was focused in the classroom where students learned the many values of having trees in our community and the logistics of the Community Tree Planting Program. After lunch, the fun and education moved outdoors to the AU campus where students were able to apply what they had learned by planting 31 new trees.

American University’s Grounds Manager and certified arborist, Stephanie DeStefano, said, “We appreciate the donation of these 31 new native trees to our collection. Trees are a very important component of our campus and we now have in excess of 3000 trees and more than 200 species and varieties on display in our arboretum and gardens.”

The new trees were planted along Nebraska Avenue to create a natural wooded buffer between the street and the new East Campus addition to the university.

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Community Design Charrette: Fessenden Park, April 4, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

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The Tenleytown Main Street (TMS) organization invites Tenleytown residents and business owners to share their feedback and ideas for improving Fessenden Park – the small, triangular park bounded by Wisconsin Avenue, Fessenden Street, and 42nd Street – at a Community Design Charrette on April 4. The goal of the meeting is to develop a consensus on what the community would like to see happen at the park, which has the potential to become a community gathering spot.

With the support of the Department of Parks and Recreation and at the urging of community members, TMS is exploring potential programming, landscaping, seating, and other improvements for the park. The organization hopes to encourage people to utilize the park and bring new life to the area. Suggestions have ranged from morning yoga classes to a concert series to outdoor art shows. Others have proposed new benches, small game tables, and even a gazebo.

The workshop will begin with a walk-through at the park at 6:30 p.m., followed by a facilitated discussion at 7 p.m. at Hera Hub DC about potential uses for, and improvements to, Fessenden Park.

Your input is critical, so please plan to join the discussion. Register online to attend the charrette. In advance of the meeting – and for those who are unable to attend – TMS also will conduct an online survey to gather community feedback about Fessenden Park. Please take our brief survey now.

For more information on the Fessenden Park project, contact TMS Design Committee co-chairs Justin Pollock and Hilary Oat-Judge at

Founded in late 2015, Tenleytown Main Street is a community-based non-profit organization that seeks to revitalize the Tenleytown business corridor by leveraging its history to attract new businesses, create a stronger retail presence, and make Tenleytown a more desirable place to live and work. Tenleytown Main Street is dedicated to promoting, strengthening, and improving our business district by:

  • Providing technical and small grant assistance to local businesses.
  • Increasing customer traffic through marketing and special events.
  • Supporting a clean, green, and visually cohesive commercial area.

Tenleytown Main Street is funded in part through a grant from the Department of Small and Local Business Development and is an officially recognized DC Main Streets Program.

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Ambassador Susan Rice Joins American University School of International Service

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Ambassador Susan Elizabeth Rice, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2009 – 2013) and President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor (2013 – 2017), has joined American University as a Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow in the School of International Service (SIS). During her residency at AU, Ambassador Rice will work primarily on her next book and mentor SIS students on careers in national security.

“We are honored and incredibly proud to welcome Ambassador Rice to AU and SIS,” said James Goldgeier, Dean of American University’s School of International Service. “She brings decades of direct, high-level experience in international relations, foreign policy, and national security. I am excited that our students will have a unique opportunity to interact with Ambassador Rice, learn from her, and develop the skills that are essential to tackling the most critical global challenges.”

“I am very pleased to become a part of SIS and the AU family,” said Ambassador Rice. “I look forward to joining this distinguished community.”

As the 24th National Security Advisor, Ambassador Rice directed NSC Staff and chaired the Cabinet-level National Security Principals Committee. She provided the President with daily national security briefings and was responsible for coordinating the formulation and implementation of all aspects of the Administration's foreign and national security policy, intelligence, and military efforts.

As U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) and as a member of President Obama's Cabinet, Ambassador Rice worked to advance U.S. interests, defend universal values, strengthen the world's security and prosperity, and promote respect for human rights. Rice helped rebuild an effective basis for international cooperation that strengthened the United States’ ability to achieve its foreign policy objectives.

Ambassador Rice also held positions as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1997 to 2001; Special Assistant to President William J. Clinton and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House; as well as Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping on the National Security Council staff. From 2002 – 2008, Rice was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she conducted research and published widely on U.S. foreign policy, transnational security threats, weak states, global poverty and development.

Ambassador Rice began her career as a management consultant with McKinsey and Company in Toronto, Canada. She has served on numerous boards, including the Bureau of National Affairs, National Democratic Institute and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

A native of Washington, DC, Ambassador Rice is married to Ian Cameron, and they have two children.


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DC Water Performs Water Main Upgrades in Spring Valley

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DC Water is performing water main upgrades within the Spring Valley neighborhood as part of its Capital Improvement Program. The upgrades are designed to improve water quality, system reliability, water pressure in some areas, and ensure optimal fire flow.

Upgrades include:

  • Replacement of existing water main with a larger diameter water main on Rockwood Parkway;
  • Installation of a new water main connection to an existing main on Nebraska Avenue, NW; and
  • Refurbishing of structural lining of existing water mains on Woodway Lane, NW; Hillbrook Lane, NW; 49th Street, NW; and Glenbrook Road, NW.

Construction tentatively is expected to complete in March 2019. University officials will work closely with DC Water to ensure as minimal an impact as possible to the campus community.

Additional information about the project can be found on the DC Water website at:


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AU First Among Medium-Sized Graduate Schools for 2017 Peace Corps Ranking

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American University ranks first among medium-sized schools on the Peace Corps’ 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. For the third consecutive year, AU has ranked in the top five in that category. AU held the No. 2 spot in 2016 and 2015. AU also claimed the top spot nationwide among all graduate schools, with 20 post-graduate alumni serving overseas. In 2016, the school ranked No. 5 on the same list.

Fifty-four AU alumni currently volunteer worldwide. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, 1,066 AU alums have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.

AU has partnered actively with the Peace Corps to further the agency’s recruitment efforts on campus, particularly in launching the undergraduate certificate program known as Peace Corps Prep. Undergraduate students enrolled in the Peace Corps Prep program at AU – housed in AU’s School of International Service (SIS) – combine targeted coursework with hands-on experience, building the competencies needed to become competitive Peace Corps applicants and international development professionals.

One such alumna, Katherin Sibel, a 2015 SIS graduate who works with a women’s agricultural cooperative in Paraguay, said, “I am a Latina Peace Corps volunteer with a big smile and voluminous laugh, living and thriving alone in a rural community.”

“This past year, my agribusiness project included the set-up of a dairy product co-op with members of the committee to address economic security and female empowerment purposes,” Sibel said.

Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to a community overseas and make a lasting difference in the lives of others. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment, and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy.

“Peace Corps service is an unparalleled leadership opportunity that enables college and university alumni to use the creative-thinking skills they developed in school to make an impact in communities around the world,” Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley said. “Many college graduates view Peace Corps as a launching pad for their careers because volunteers return home with the cultural competency and entrepreneurial spirit sought after in most fields.”

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. This year’s rankings were calculated based on fiscal year 2016 data as of September 30, 2016, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

Since the Peace Corps founding 56 years ago, more than 225,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide.


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Women’s Soccer vs. Mount St. Mary’s

April 1, 12 – 2 p.m.

Reeves Field


April 1, 2 – 4 p.m., 8 – 10 p.m.

Greenberg Theatre

This endlessly imaginative adaptation of Greek mythology follows Jason and his spunky band of Argonauts as they endeavor to retrieve the coveted Golden Fleece. Bursting with humor and fantastical creatures, Zimmerman refashions the enduring tale into a timely theatrical event that explores the complexities of the human condition and the resilience of the human spirit. Adapted from The Voyage of Jason and the Argonauts . Tickets: $10 – 15. RSVP Required:

Gallery Talk with Tammra Sigler and Sharon Wolpoff

April 1, 5 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

Learn more about the artists – Tammra Sigler and Sharon Wolpoff – and their friendship behind the exhibition Geometry and Other Myths. Immediately following the gallery talk is the opening of the Spring exhibitions from 6 – 9 p.m. Free and open to the public

Spring Opening Reception

April 1, 6 – 9 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

Mingle with the artists, curators, and fellow museum patrons at the opening reception featuring six new exhibitions, including: Foon Sham: Escape, Sharon Wolpoff and Tammra Sigler: Geometry and Other Myths, Summerford Legacy, Carlos Luna: Green Machine, Frida Larios: Maya Alphabet of Modern Times, MFA First Year Exhibition: Year One, and Elzbieta Sikorska: Time Stands Still. Free and open to the public.

AU Design Show

April 3 – 13, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Katzen Rotunda Gallery Exhibition

An exhibition of selected student design work from the next generation of leaders in graphic design. An opening reception takes place Tuesday, April 4 at 5 p.m. Free and open to the public.


Yoga in the Galleries

April 5, 12, 19, 26, 10 a.m.

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Led by certified Kripalu Yoga teacher Eva Blutinger, this yoga class provides mental clarity and relaxation in the peaceful surroundings of our art galleries. Please bring a mat. Cost is $10 for non-members, $5 for museum members, and free for members at the Associates level and above. aumtickets.

AU Farmers’ Market

April 5, 12, 19, 26, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Every Wednesday, the quad space around the Mary Graydon building buzzes with activity as students, faculty, staff, and neighbors browse goods ranging from farm-fresh vegetables to homemade breads and desserts at the AU Farmers’ Market. The market is a coordinated effort between AU and Pennsylvania-based Agora Farms. Girardot's Crumbs Bakery also offers a variety of fresh breads, including raisin pecan, harvest grain, pain de campagne, jalapeno cheddar, sourdough, challah, whole wheat, focaccia, black Russian, NY rye, artisan baguettes, and tea breads, as well as chocolate chip cookies, mini pies, and cobblers.

The Age of Consequences

April 5, 6:30 p.m.

Malsi Doyle/Michael Forman Theater

The screening of the film The Age of Consequences will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Alice Hill, research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, with American University professors Paul Wapner, SIS, and Kiho Kim, CAS; and Franceso Femia, co-founder and president, Center for Climate and Security. The Hurt Locker-meets-An Inconvenient Truth, the film investigates how climate change affects resource scarcity, migration, and conflict through the lens of U.S. national security and global stability. Whether a long-term vulnerability or sudden shock, the film unpacks how water and food shortages, extreme weather, drought, and sea-level rise function as accelerants of instability and catalysts for conflict. Left unchecked, these threats and risks will continue to grow in scale and frequency, with grave implications for peace and security in the 21st century. Free and open to the public.

Registration Link:

Katzen Sound Bites

April 6 and April 20, 12:35 – 12:55 p.m.

Katzen Rotunda, First Floor

Join AU student and faculty performers for live midday mini-concerts. Free and open to the public.

Gallery Talk and Reception with Frida Larios

April 6, 6 – 8 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

The Embassy of El Salvador hosts this gallery talk and reception for Frida Larios: Maya Alphabet of Modern Times. The evening will feature remarks by Ambassador Claudia Ivette Canjura de Centeno and a discussion with artist Frida Larios. Followed by a reception with tastes of some Central American favorites. Free and open to the public.

Reception: AU Design Show

April 6, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Katzen Rotunda Gallery Exhibition

A reception celebrating the opening of the annual AU Design Show exhibition, an exhibition of selected student design work from the next generation of leaders in graphic design. Free and open to the public.

Women’s Lacrosse vs. Bucknell University

April 8, 1 – 3 p.m.

Jacobs Field

Gallery Talk with Elzbieta Sikoska

April 8, 2 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

Join the artist Elzbieta Sikoska and curator Aneta Georgievska-Shine for a conversation about the multimedia drawings in Time Stands Still. Free and open to the public.

International A Capella

April 8, 8 – 10 p.m.; April 9, 3 – 5 p.m.

Abramson Family Recital Hall

The AU Chamber Singers present a mixed program spanning delightful Renaissance European and Polish works; intriguing and intense contemporary American, Polish, and central European choral literature; and an array of uplifting American spirituals, traditional, and gospel arrangements. This program is a preview of their international concert tour to Poland in May. Tickets: $5–10. RSVP required: RSVP Required:

Kids@Katzen Family Day

April 9, 1 – 3 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

Families are invited for an art-filled afternoon inspired by the work of local artist Frida Larios in the exhibition Maya Alphabet of Modern Times. The class includes an age-appropriate tour, followed by a hands-on workshop with projects for the whole family. Cost is $20 per family of four. Recommended for ages 5 – 12. Advanced registration requested: RSVP Required:

Who is Dayani Cristal?

April 12, 6 p.m. Reception, 6:30 pm Program

Malsi Doyle/Michael Forman Theater

Filmmakers Gael Garcia Bernal and Marc Silver explore the journey of a Central American migrant worker who died trying to cross into the United States. It raises the questions “Who was Dayani Cristal? What brought him here? How did he die?” Free and open to the public.

Women’s Lacrosse vs. Army West Point

April 15, 1 – 3 p.m.

Jacobs Field

2017 Campus Beautification Day

April 18, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.


The annual Campus Beautification Day will take place all over campus. Students, faculty, staff, and the AU community are invited to help plant trees and flowers, spread mulch, and participate in a variety of green activities. Sign-up is from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. in front of the steps of Mary Graydon, where you can pick up free gloves, water, and a T-shirt. BBQ and raffle will follow in the Amphitheater at noon. (Rain date: April 19)

Dance Works

April 21 – 22, 8 – 10 p.m.

Greenberg Theatre

The American University Dance Company presents the annual Spring Dance Concert, featuring choreography by AU students, AU faculty Britta Joy Peterson and Erin Foreman-Murray, and guest artists Zoe Scofield and Michel Kouakou. This main stage production presents fresh and seasoned perspectives on concert dance performed by AU dance students. Participate in a post-performance discussion with the choreographers. Tickets: $10–15. RSVP required:

The Living Composer’s Series: The Music of Amy Williams

April 21, 8 – 10 p.m.

Abramson Family Recital Hall

This AU Workshop concert focuses on one of Amy Williams’ newest large ensemble works and a number of chamber works. Williams writes with a modern aesthetic that borrows from a variety of musical styles in a uniquely American way. Her music is informed by her work as an active contemporary pianist. Tickets: $5–10. RSVP required:

Women’s Lacrosse vs. College of the Holy Cross

April 22, 12 – 2 p.m.

Jacobs Field

AU Jazz Orchestra Concert and Conversations

April 22, 6 – 10 p.m.

Katzen Museum First Floor Exhibition, Abramson Family Recital Hall

Join jazz musicians and scholars for a panel discussion at 6 p.m. in the museum (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) moderated by Joshua Bayer, AU Jazz Orchestra. Panelists include Rusty Hassan, WPFW 89.3 FM. Reception to follow. Panel discussion is free and open to the public. At 8 p.m., the Jazz Orchestra’s annual spring concert will begin. Tickets: $5-10 at

Distinguished Artists Lecture with Foon Sham

April 23, 2 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

In conjunction with the James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Lecture series on “local treasures,” artist Foon Sham will discuss his latest large-scale installations in Escape, on view at the AU Museum through August 13. This lecture is free and open to the public. Associate Level Members are invited to register for the exclusive workshop that accompanies the lecture.

Frenzy and Calm

April 23, 3 – 5 p.m.

Abramson Family Recital Hall

The AU Symphonic Band presents their spring program. Just as spring manages to be reliable and surprising, so too does this production which features popular classics and new favorites of the repertory. Tickets: $5–10. RSVP required:

Free Parking Salon Style Conversation at the Alper

April 27, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

This season’s salon-style conversation in the Alper space will feature former students of Ben L. Summerford, in discussion about the legacy of their teacher. Free and open to all interested in Washington art and artists. Space is limited. RSVP required:

Theatre/Musical Theatre Senior Capstone

April 27 – 28, 8 – 10 p.m.; April 29, 2 – 4 p.m., 8 – 10 p.m.

Katzen Studio Theatre

Graduating theatre and musical theatre students present original dramatic work and songs. Artistic direction by Randy Baker. Production contains mature themes. Tickets: $10-15.RSVP required:

Lux in Tenebris (Light in the Darkness)

April 28 – 29, 8 – 10 p.m.

Abramson Family Recital Hall

The AU Symphony Orchestra and AU Chorus present a concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna. This joint performance also includes a newly written work by AU faculty composer Sean Doyle, as well as Brahms' epic Symphony No. 1 in C. Tickets: $5–10. RSVP required:

Alternative Views: MFA Thesis Exhibition Reception and Gallery Talk

April 29, 5 – 8 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

Join the MFA Thesis candidates for a gallery talk from 5 – 6 p.m. and opening reception from 6 – 8 p.m. for their exhibition Alternative Views. Free and open to the public.


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