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AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

January 2015

January 2015

Student Elected to Local Advisory Neighborhood Commission


An American University student was recently sworn in as a member of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 3D. Regina Monge, a sophomore in the School of International Service, was elected to represent ANC 3D07, which includes students living in Anderson, Centennial, Letts, Leonard, Hughes and McDowell Halls.

ANC Commissioners consider a wide range of policies and programs affecting their neighborhoods, including traffic, parking, recreation, street improvements, liquor licenses, zoning, economic development, police protection, and sanitation and trash collection. The ANCs present their positions and recommendations on issues to various District government agencies, the Executive Branch, and the Council. They also present testimony to independent agencies, boards, and commissions, usually under the rules of procedure specific to those entities.

“Regina will make an excellent addition to the ANC,” said Andrew Huff, American University’s Director of Community Relations. “Student involvement in neighborhood affairs is a great way to build bridges between students and residents and encourage creative problem solving.”

Monge will serve a two-year term on the ANC.

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How to Contact Us

Office of Community Relations
(202) 885-2167

Public Safety
non-emergency: (202) 885-2527
emergency: (202) 885-3636
Community Incident Reporting Form

Dean of Students
(202) 885-3300

Parking & Traffic Office
(202) 885-3111

Community Audit Program Registration Under Way

Community Audit Program

Ever wanted to take a class at American University? Registration for spring classes, as part of AU’s Community Audit program, is open now to neighbors.

Modeled after the Alumni Audit Program, the Community Audit program is coordinated by the Office of Alumni Relations in conjunction with the Office of Community Relations. The program offers adults ages 60 and older, who live in the 20016 zip code, the opportunity to attend university courses on a non-credit basis for a nominal fee. Auditors may listen to the same lectures and work from the same texts as enrolled students.

For just $100, $75 of which serves as a donation to the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, neighbors are provided with a rewarding way to enhance professional skills, take classes with popular professors, or delve into a new hobby and pursue a commitment to lifelong learning.

For more details and to register online, visit here, or contact Kristena Wright at 202-885-5962. Registration for the spring semester closes on January 16.

“The community audit program is another great benefit for all those who live close to the university,” said Andrew Huff, AU’s Director of Community Relations. “Our neighbors have interesting experiences and life stories, and the audit program allows our students and professors to learn just as much from neighbors as our neighbors will learn from them.”

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Books That Shaped America Community Discussion Series Continues

Join us again for Books That Shaped America, a series of conversations for the American University and metro-D.C. communities about books that have helped shape American society. Each discussion starts with a focal text, but the conversations stretch far beyond the pages of the books themselves. Led by a faculty or staff member from AU, attendees are encouraged – but not required – to have read the featured text.

Upcoming events include: Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library

Discussion Leader: Richard Wilson, Professor, Director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic, Washington College of Law Beloved by Toni Morrison

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library

Discussion Leader: Keith Leonard, Associate Professor, Department of Literature, College of Arts & Sciences The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill

Tuesday, Mar. 17, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library

Discussion Leader: Karl Kippola, Assistant Professor, Department of Performing Arts, College of Arts & Sciences Family Limitation by Margaret Sanger

Tuesday, Mar. 31, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library

Discussion Leader: Mary Clark, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice Provost, Professor, Washington College of Law Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Tuesday, Apr. 21, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library

Discussion Leader: Marianne Noble, Associate Professor, Department of Literature, College of Arts & Sciences

The Books That Shaped America series is co-sponsored by the American University Library and the Humanities Lab at American University.

Admission and parking are free for this series, and no RSVP is required to attend. For additional information on the Books That Shaped America community discussion series, please visit

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Neighbors Invited to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Activities

MLK Day of Service

The Center for Community Engagement and Service invites neighbors and community members on Monday, Jan. 19 to join them in the celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his commitment to service.

The MLK Day of Service provides participants the opportunity to engage directly with the local community to address issues related to education, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, hunger, seniors, women's health, and youth development. Last year more than 250 volunteers from both AU and the local community served at 12 area non-profit organizations in honor of Dr. King’s commitment to service.

For a complete listing of AU events and activities related to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, please visit here.

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AU Music Ensembles Welcome Community Participants

AU Orchestra

The American University music program invites community members to audition for the university’s orchestra, bands, and choirs. Each group meets weekly starting in mid-January and continues through April.

For more information, please email the ensemble directors below. Auditions will be held the week of January 12.

AU Symphony Orchestra – Every Monday & Wednesday, 8:10 – 10:40 p.m.

Contact: Yaniv Dinur (

AU Symphonic Band – Every Tuesday, 5:30 – 8 p.m.

Contact: Marc Decker (

AU Chorus – Every Tuesday, 7:30 – 10 p.m. and select Mondays 8 – 10 p.m.

Contact: Casey Cook (

AU Jazz Orchestra – Wednesday, 5:30 – 8 p.m.

Contact: Joshua Bayer (

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SPExS Leadership, Empowerment and Development Program Announces Spring Offering

SPExS Digital

Become a better writer. Learn how to lead better. Acquire a mastery of digital and social media. Improve your self-esteem. Switch professions, or re-enter the work force.

Registration is open now for AU's School of Profession and Extended Studies’ (SPExS) LEAD (Leadership, Empowerment and Professional Development) certificate program. Designed especially for adult women in transitional stages of their lives, the Certificate is earned by taking the four courses listed below. Students also may opt to take individual courses. Courses will be taught both in Annapolis, Maryland and on AU’s D.C. campus beginning in mid-January. Courses include:

Voices of Women

An immersion in the study of women authors through the ages with the purpose of self-reflection and re-direction in personal and professional lives.

Write Well

This course offers instruction in journalistic style, feature article writing, the art of the memoir, blogging – and how to get published.

Women and Leadership

This course will help women to lead more thoughtfully and effectively wherever they find an opportunity for leadership – in the workplace, in membership organizations, or in personal relationships. It also will help participants to better understand the distinct challenges and opportunities women face when assuming a leadership role, and provide them with choices for their leadership. Mastering Digital and Social Media

In an increasingly digital world, leaders must master social media to spread their messages and enhance their clout. In this class, participants learn how to use different social and digital media tools most effectively for personal branding goals and organizational purposes; to demonstrate expertise; promote a cause, product, or organization; and to reach a wide spectrum of audiences.

For registration and further information on instructors and courses, please visit: Space is limited, so enroll today.

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AU Students’ Tutoring Efforts Promote Children’s Literacy

DC Reads

50,928 hours. That is the astonishing amount of time between 2013 and 2014 alone that 259 American University students spent tutoring DC public school students in pre-K through 8th grade. In fact, since 1997, when the university began a chapter of the DC Reads literacy program, AU students have demonstrated their commitment to social responsibility by helping more than 16,000 children improve their reading proficiency.

DC Reads began in response to President Bill Clinton’s America Reads Challenge which called on the nation to “ensure that every child can read by the conclusion of third grade.” DC Reads serves children throughout the Washington, DC area with the united vision of a city where all children will be proficient and strategic readers. To make this aspiration a reality, DC Reads provides quality tutoring to children in under-resourced, high-needs communities and neighborhoods in the District. In partnership with DC Public Schools and community-based organizations, the AU chapter of DC Reads is committed to delivering a superior educational experience to disadvantaged children, and to foster meaningful mentorships between AU tutors and local-area students. DC Reads also promotes awareness to its participants of the important social issues and various inequities that are present within DC communities.

According to Robin Adams, the assistant director for the Center of Community Engagement & Service and director of DC Reads, “Our program’s ultimate goal is to eradicate illiteracy, which will go a long way towards eliminating many other social injustices.”

Seventeen years into the program, volunteer participation at AU has increased consistently between 20 and 40 percent each year, with a 90-percent tutor retention from fall to spring semesters. AU volunteers’ level of engagement and enthusiasm in DC Reads has shown dividends, as students who lag in their reading skills usually move up one grade per year or improve their reading proficiency by 40 percent.

In addition to promoting literacy, DC Reads also stresses the importance of a college education to children from underserved communities through campus visits and “Kids on Campus Day,” an event that gives children a glimpse of college life. During the annual event, AU tutors conduct a campus tour, children meet a local children’s author, attend an interactive book reading, participate in literacy activities, and receive new books to take home to build their home library and support book ownership. In 2014, the event involved 303 DC students, 30 site staff, 26 parents and 75 tutors.

Tutors benefit as much as their students, as the program engages college students at a critical time in their professional and personal growth, and nurtures the next generation of leaders in the field of education. DC Reads’ robust training program empowers tutors to analyze educational inequalities and advocate for a more fair and effective education system. Intensive team leader training also deepens tutors’ knowledge of education and social justice issues and prepares them to lead and support the tutor pool.

Adams noted, “The success of the DC Reads program is attributable to three factors: (1) an institutional investment in strengthening education in DC; (2) high quality, researched-based training for team leaders and tutors; and (3) longstanding community partnerships. I hope to see that commitment continue.”

For more information on the DC Reads program, and to contribute towards the annual Kids on Campus Day initiative, visit

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Calendar of Events

Lauren Adams: American Catastrophe Report

January 2 – January 31, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Katzen Rotunda, Second Floor

Artist Lauren Frances Adams has created American Catastrophe Report, an installation that acts as both homage and critique of the decorative frescoes in the United States Capitol Building, originally painted in the 19th century by Italian-born artist Constantino Brumidi. The site-specific artwork by Adams is installed in both the upper and lower rotunda in the center of the Katzen, less than six miles from where Brumidi's paintings are located. The prints forming American Catastrophe Report have the appearance of paintings due to the unique process Adams uses, where hand-painted originals are scanned digitally, then printed for long-term public display.

Sam Noto: Steel Sculpture, Anxiety, and Hope

January 2 – March 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Sculpture Garden

Sam Noto allows his materials to generate form and occupy space in a dynamic way. These large steel constructions, largely made of found materials, are both serious and playful and express the artist's improvisational technique.

Men’s Basketball vs. College of the Holy Cross

January 3, 1 – 3 p.m.

Bender Arena

Women’s Basketball vs. Loyola University

January 7, 7 – 9 p.m.

Bender Arena

Wrestling vs. Oklahoma

January 8, 7 – 9 p.m.

Bender Arena

Men’s Basketball vs. Colgate University

January 10, 4 – 6 p.m.

Bender Arena

Wrestling vs. Harvard & VMI

January 11, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Bender Arena

Men’s Basketball vs. Lehigh University

January 14, 7:30 – 9 p.m.

Bender Arena

Women’s Basketball vs. Lafayette College

January 17, 2 – 4 p.m.

Bender Arena

Wrestling vs. Old Dominion University

January 18, 2 – 4 p.m.

Bender Arena

Women’s Basketball vs. Boston University

January 21, 7 – 9 p.m.

Bender Arena

Members Only Tour and Discussion with Dean Byington

January 23, 5 – 7 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Katzen members and their guests are invited to tour the winter exhibitions early with Director Jack Rasmussen. Artist Dean Byington will be present to discuss the works in his solo exhibition Building Without Shadows. Not yet a member? Join now for more special events: (202) 885-3656.

Gallery Talk: Silvia Levenson

January 24, 5 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Join the Argentinian artist Silvia Levenson for a discussion on the glassworks in her solo exhibition, Identidad, which pays homage to the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the organization that has reunited 115 children missing from the Argentinian Dirty War with their families.

Winter Artists’ Reception

January 24, 6 – 9 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Join artists and curators for a reception to view their works, including Photoworks: Presence of Place, Identidad by Silvia Levenson, Phyllis Plattner: Gods of War!, Locally Sourced, and Dean Byington: Buildings Without Shadows. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. All featured works will be exhibited through March 15, 2015.

Men’s Basketball vs. United States Military Academy

January 26, 7 – 9 p.m.

Bender Arena

Books That Shaped America: Common Sense

January 27, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Bender Library Training and Events Room

Books that Shaped America is a series of conversations for the local community and American University students, faculty, and staff about books that have helped shape American society. Each discussion is led by a faculty or staff member from AU. Attendees are encouraged – but not required – to have read the featured text. Admission is free and no reservation is required. For more information, visit:

Women’s Basketball vs. United States Naval Academy

January 27, 8 – 10 p.m.

Bender Arena

Yoga in the Galleries

January 28, 10 a.m.

Katzen Museum

Led by certified Kripalu Yoga teacher Eva Blutinger, this yoga class provides mental clarity and relaxation in the peaceful surroundings of art. Participants are required to bring mats. Winter sessions run every Wednesday from January 28 through April 29. $5 per class and free for museum members. Cash, credit, or check accepted:

Women’s Basketball vs. College of the Holy Cross

January 31, 2 – 5 p.m.

Bender Arena

Gallery Talk: Photoworks: Presence of Place

January 31, 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Join Katzen Museum Director and Photoworks: Presence of Place curator, Jack Rasmussen, for a discussion on the juried exhibition and the collaboration, creative dialogue, and informal mentoring that led Photoworks artists to successful careers as fine art and commercial photographers.

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