Skip to main content

AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

Header March 2016

March 2016

Meeting of Community Liaison Committee Slated for March 3

American University’s Community Liaison Committee (CLC) will hold a quarterly meeting on Thursday, March 3.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Claudio Grossman Hall (Room YT01-02) at the Washington College of Law at Tenley Circle. Free parking is available in the WCL garage (entrance is located off Nebraska Ave.).  To obtain a parking pass, email

Neighbors are invited to join AU staff at 6:30 p.m. for pre-meeting coffee and conversation.

The CLC was established to foster positive relations and to maintain regular communication between the university and its neighbors. As specified in the D.C. Zoning Commission Order for AU’s 10-year Campus Plan, the CLC comprises individuals from neighboring community organizations and representatives from the university.

Additional information on the CLC, including meeting agendas and minutes can be found at

Return to top

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

Washington College of Law Cuts Ribbon


Friday, Feb. 12 was both a groundbreaking and historic day for American University’s Washington College of Law (AUWCL), as a ribbon-cutting ceremony ushered in the opening of the new Tenley Campus.

The day served as a celebration of the school’s future as well as its past, and its proud tradition as a pioneering institution. Just as AUWCL accepted two trailblazing women – Ellen Spencer Mussey and Emma Gillett – to an otherwise all-male law school in 1896, the ribbon cutting for the new campus included the second-ever woman Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the second-ever woman mayor of Washington, DC, Muriel Bowser.

During her speech, Ginsburg paid tribute to Mussey and Gillet, noting that “(They) were the first women in the U.S. to serve as law school deans. When the Bar Association of the District of Columbia persisted in excluding women, this law school’s first deans didn’t waste time on anger or self-pity. They became charter members of the Women’s Bar Association of D.C.”

Recalling something she once wrote, Ginsburg noted how legal education is a shared endeavor for the entire university community – including students, teachers, alumni, and staff. “May that shared adventure of legal education, launched by Mussey and Gillett, continue here for decades to come. And may that adventure flourish in the grand facilities we dedicate this afternoon,” Ginsburg concluded.

Mayor Bowser reinforced AUWCL’s importance to the city. She mentioned that law schools produce intelligent, talented individuals who excel in the workplace. “I love hiring young law students. While you are learning here in a top-notch law school, you are thinking about what’s next in your lives. And so I invite you to think about helping us tackle the big issues facing the city,” Bowser said.

She added, “Our universities are part of the fabric that makes Washington a great place to live. We want to let you know we appreciate the investment that you’ve made here at the Tenley Campus.”

AU President Neil Kerwin explained the significance of the Tenley Campus. A project of this magnitude “reflects this university’s deep and abiding faith in the mission and work of the Washington College of Law,” Kerwin stated. “These new spaces are literally designed to inspire even higher levels of achievement, and to communicate to faculty, students, and staff that these surroundings represent the value we place on their work.”

Highlights of the new campus include:

  • more than 37,000 square feet of teaching space
  • 500-seat conference center, Claudio Grossman Hall
  • 5 courtrooms – the largest is a state-of-the-art, 60-seat courtroom for class, appellate, and mock courtroom activities
  • 60-seat Atrium Café and 223-seat dining hall
  • 847-seat, 2 1/2 floor Pence Law Library
  • 5,400 square foot outdoor courtyard

The new structures are configured to define a prominent new identity for the law school, while also honoring the rich historic legacy of its site. To accomplish this goal, all construction embraced and incorporated fully the historic Capital Hall and its chapel, as well as Dunblane House. It also retains and reinforces the central quadrangle as an open and accessible green public space, and improves the front lawn and perimeter of the site to increase opportunities for public access and enjoyment.

To view a video of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, click here:

Return to top

Books That Shaped America Community Discussion Series Continues

KAM2016-01-01 Books

Join us for Books That Shaped America – conversations for the American University and 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. Discussions are led by a faculty or staff member from AU. Attendees are encouraged – but not required – to have read the featured text. Admission and parking are free for this series, and no RSVP is required to attend.

From childhood classics, to books you studied in high school, and those you continue to reread in adulthood, familiar works that resonate with everyone are explored in this year's Books That Shaped America series.

Gone with the Wind

March 22, 3 – 4 p.m.

Bender Library, Training & Events Rm. 115

Despina Kakoudaki, Associate Professor and Director, Humanities Lab, will discuss Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. The most popular romance novel of all time was the basis for the most popular movie of all time (in today's dollars). Set in the South during the Civil War, the book won both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.

The Snowy Day

April 5, 12 – 1 p.m.

Bender Library, Training & Events Rm. 115

Alex Hodges, Curriculum Materials & Education Librarian, will discuss The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, the first full-color picture book with an African-American as the main character.

The Great Gatsby

April 19, 1 – 2 p.m.

Bender Library, Training & Events Rm. 115

Marianne Noble, Associate Professor, Department of Literature, will discuss The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Once ranked by AU's faculty, staff, and students as their favorite book, the novel explores the themes of class, wealth, and social status, as Fitzgerald takes a cynical look at the pursuit of wealth among a group of people for whom pleasure is the chief goal.

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

Return to top

Registration Open for Lifelong Empowerment and Professional Development Program

KAM2016-03-01 LEAP

Do you want to write better? Lead better? Master digital and social media? Recharge 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) certificate program for adult women in transitional stages of their lives, called LEAP – Lifelong Empowerment and Professional Development. The Director of LEAP is AU Professor and best-selling author Iris Krasnow (

The certificate is earned by taking four courses, although students can opt to take individual courses as well. Courses will be taught both in Annapolis, MD and on AU’s D.C. campus.

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 (and get published)

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 will provide insights to better understand the distinct challenges and opportunities women face when assuming a leadership role, and offer choices for their leadership.

Mastering Digital and Social Media

In an ever-increasing digital world, leaders must master social media to spread their messages and enhance their clout. In this class, participants learn about the appropriate use of different social and digital media tools for both personal branding goals and organizational purposes. The course also teaches how to use the various digital and social media tools 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.

Return to top

“Movies That Matter” Series Showcases Movie About Organ Donation


Award-winning documentarian Jan Krawitz comes to American University to talk about her latest project Perfect Strangers with a special film screening on Wednesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. in the McKinley Building Malsi Doyle & Michael Forman Theater. Part of the School of Communication's signature series Movies That Matter, Krawitz’s film follows the stories of two unique and engaging characters, and explores the complicated physical and emotional terrain of organ donation.

One of the main characters, Ellie, is a massage therapist who, after meeting a young woman in the early stages of kidney disease at a local community college, makes the poignant decision to donate her "spare" kidney to someone who needs it.

"Ellie was an ideal protagonist for this experiential, character-driven film, as she was forthright, insightful, and willing to grant me unprecedented access to her story," Krawitz explains.

"Her decision to become a donor cannot be dismissed easily by the viewer, as she was motivated by nothing more than a genuine desire to help someone in need and the recognition that, like many of us, she had the ability to do so."

Kathy, the recipient of Ellie’s kidney, lives with her husband 500 miles away. She learned that she has Polycystic Kidney Disease when she experienced the early stages of kidney failure as a young woman. In 2007, she started dialysis and began to look for an altruistic donor after several friends who volunteered their kidneys were found to not be the proper match. Hoping to accelerate the seven years that she would need to spend on the national wait list for a kidney from a deceased donor, she posted her profile on and found Ellie.

As the population ages, the need for organs increases and the wait list for a kidney from a deceased donor grows steadily.

"Altruistic kidney donation from a living donor is the new frontier that could increase the supply significantly. But many people feel discomfited by the idea and policymakers are wary of the implications. Through the prism of one kidney’s journey, Perfect Strangers confronts thorny philosophical questions about acts of compassion, altruism, and ultimately, who deserves a second chance at life and at what cost," explained Krawitz.

Karwitz has been producing independent documentary films for 35 years. Her work has been exhibited at film festivals in the U.S. and abroad, including at Sundance, the New York Film Festival, AFI/Silverdocs, and South by Southwest. Krawitz currently is the director of the M.F.A. program in Documentary Film and Video in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University.

Return to top

Calendar of Events

College Art Association’s MFA Annual Regional Exhibition: RBTL

Now – March 5

Katzen Arts Center, Rotunda Gallery

American University hosts the exhibition that will coincide with the 104th Annual College Art Conference. RBTL (Read Between The Lines) includes artwork from MFA/MA candidates enrolled currently at universities in DC, DE, MD, VA, NJ, and PA. The distinguished jurors are Karyn Miller, Acting Executive Director at the Arlington Arts Center, and Curlee Raven Holton, Executive Director at the David C. Driskill Center.

Yoga In The Galleries

March 2, 9, 16, 23,30 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. $10 per class and free for museum members. Cash, credit, or check accepted:

Farmers’ Market

March 2, 9, 16, 23, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Rain or shine, 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. Upper Crust 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.

Artist Talk: George Ferrandi

March 2, 6:30 p.m.

Katzen Performing Arts Studio 246

George Ferrandi will discuss her performance, installation, and participatory projects that address issues of vulnerability, impermanence, fallibility, and spectacle, often through experimental approaches to narrative. Employing unique humor and a deep sense of humanity, her work stimulates a rethinking of cultural assumptions. Her work has been performed and exhibited internationally. She is a 2015 Japan-US Friendship Foundation fellow and currently is developing an intergalactic festival with Washington Project for the Arts. The talk is free and open to the public.

Concert Performance of Mosaic Theater's "The Promised Land"

March 2, 8 p.m.

Katzen Arts Center Studio Theater

Mosaic Theater brings a traveling performance of The Promised Land to American University. The youth ensemble of Habimah, Israel's national theater, created this documentary-infused kaleidoscope chronicling the waves of Sudanese refugees who crossed the desert to enter Israel legally and illegally, finding themselves stranded in a drama of relocation and displacement. Adapted for an American troupe and staged by the former artistic director of the Cleveland Play House, Michael Bloom (Off-Broadway’s Sight Unseen), Promised Land personalizes a history of immigration and asks pointed questions about race and the limits of empathy in a welcoming society. Performance will be followed by a panel discussion about the issue. Free with RSVP. Send contact (name, email, and/or phone) to Laura Cutler,, 202-885-3780.

Registration is encouraged/required:

Women's Basketball vs. U.S. Naval Academy

March 2, 7 – 9 p.m.

Bender Arena

Friday Gallery Tour

March 4, 11 12:30 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

Break up your Friday afternoon with a tour at the museum. The museum offers docent-led tours of the current exhibitions every Friday. The tours are free and open to the public and last about an hour. Each week covers a different topic from our four exhibitions currently on view.

Women's Lacrosse vs. Richmond

March 5, 1 p.m.

Jacobs Field

Women's Basketball in Patriot League First Round

March 5

Time and location TBD

Metropolitan Book & Bake Sale

March 5, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

United Methodist Women of Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church

3401 Nebraska Ave. NW.

The sale, benefiting two local charities, DC Diaper Bank and Bright Beginnings, will feature a wide variety of used paperback and hardback books, non-fiction, fiction, children's books, and more. Parking at church will be free. For more information, tweet @metropolitanumw or e-mail

Men's Basketball in Patriot League Semifinals

March 6

Time and location TBD

Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium: + Art

March 6, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Katzen Events Space

The Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium (EALS) provides a forum for current students, emerging arts leaders, and working professionals from around the nation to discuss topics shaping the arts world. A day-long event kicking off Arts Advocacy Day, EALS has become a proud tradition for AU’s Arts Management Program. This year's theme, + ART, explores how the arts are integrated into all aspects of our lives. Whether in technology, politics, relationships, social justice, or countless other areas, art plays a major role in transformations happening right now. This year’s keynote speaker is Deborah Rutter, President of the Kennedy Center. RSVP required:

Women's Basketball in Patriot League Quarterfinals

Monday, March 7

Time and location TBD

Pushing Boundaries by Ellouise Schoettler

March 8 - 13, 6 p.m.

AU Katzen Museum

A special one-woman show by nationally-known Maryland storyteller Ellouise Schoettler in conjunction with Impact! The Legacy of the Women's Caucus for Art on view through March 13 and Women's History Month. Event info:

Women's Lacrosse vs. Boston University

March 8, 3 p.m.

Jacobs Field

Men's Basketball in Patriot League Championship

March 9

Time and location TBD

Women's Basketball in Patriot League Semifinals

March 11

Time and location TBD

Women's Lacrosse vs. Old Dominion

March 12, 1 p.m.

Jacobs Field

Women's Basketball in Patriot League Championship

March 12

Time and location TBD

“The Struggle for Israel: 1917-1947" with Benny Morris and Bruce Hoffman

March 15, 7 p.m.

Ward Circle Lecture Hall 2

How did the State of Israel come into being? What role did violence play in the emergence of the Jewish state? Two leading experts will discuss the pre-1948 foundations of Israel. Bruce Hoffman is the director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. His recent book, Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947, investigates the right-wing Irgun and Lehi movements and their struggle for independence. Benny Morris is professor in the Middle East Studies department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and currently the Goldman Visiting Israeli Professor in Georgetown University's Department of Government. His books The Origins of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 and 1948: A History of the First Israeli-Arab War are considered the authoritative writings on the birth of Israel and its ensuing conflicts. Registration is encouraged/required:

Women's Lacrosse vs. Colgate

Saturday, March 19, 12 p.m.

Jacobs Field

The Gorenman Russian Project

March 19, 8 p.m.

Abramson Family Recital Hall

Internationally acclaimed concert pianist Yuliya Gorenman explores masterpieces of Russian composers. The event will feature pieces by Medtner’s Sonata Reminiscenza, Scriabin’s Two Poems, Five Etudes, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition, as well as a slideshow of illustrations by Michael Abel. Following the concert, please join us for a reception sponsored by Jordan Kitt’s Music. Tickets: $25 regular admission, $10 AU students. RSVP Required:

No, No, Nanette

March 24, 8 p.m.; March 25, 8 p.m.; March 26, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Greenberg Theatre

A young, fun-loving Manhattan heiress naughtily runs off for a weekend in Atlantic City, as love, laughter, lies, blackmail, and tap dancing ensue. This 1925 musical comedy features classic tunes Tea for Two and I Want to Be Happy. Tickets: $15 general admission, $10 students, seniors, and AU community. RSVP Required:

AU Design Show: Workspace

March 28, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Katzen Rotunda, First Floor

The AU Design Show is an exhibition of selected student design work. Come out and support the next generation of leaders in graphic design. Opening reception will be held on March 29 at 5 p.m. at the Katzen Events Space. Both are free and open to the public.

Amos Perlmutter Memorial Lecture by Daniel Gordis

March 28, 7:30 p.m.

Abramson Family Founders Room, SIS Building

Dr. Daniel Gordis will give the Amos Perlmutter Memorial Lecture, From Hunted Revolutionary to Peace-Making Statesman: Why Did Menachem Begin Leave No Political Heirs? Gordis is Senior Vice President and the Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem College in Jerusalem. The author of more than ten books, Daniel Gordis is a regular columnist for both The Jerusalem Post and for Bloomberg View. Commentary Magazine called Gordis’ most recent book, Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel’s Soul, “the gold standard in Begin studies.” When the Hebrew edition of his Begin biography appeared in July 2015, it rose quickly to Israel’s national bestseller list. Gordis now is writing a concise history of the State of Israel, to be published in 2017. A reception will follow the lecture where the book may be purchased for signing by the author. RSVP required

This lecture is co-sponsored by the School of Public Affairs and Center for Israel Studies in memory of Amos Perlmutter, a Washington-based political scientist, author, and commentator on Middle Eastern affairs who taught at American University for nearly thirty years.

Return to top