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AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

Students in caps and gowns in line at graduation

May 2012

Beginning with AU’s 126th commencement activities, May brings much to celebrate. Our graduation ceremonies will take place during the weekend of May 12-13. We anticipate increased activity around the campus as families and friends join us. For our new graduates, this step represents a transition to the next phase of their lives and we wish them much success. After graduation, the campus grows quieter and summer sessions begin later this month. It is a beautiful time to walk and enjoy the campus, and see our new community garden near the tennis courts. Recently, AU was named one of five winners in an Arbor Day Foundation contest to plant trees and recruit new volunteers for campus sustainability. There also is more exciting news: AU’s WAMU 88.5 is now the most listened to radio station in Washington, D.C., and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at AU (OLLI) celebrates 30 years.

You can learn more about recent AU achievements and milestones in AU President Neil Kerwin's spring video message.

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DC Reads Kids on Campus Day

Elementary school children on the steps of the SPA building.

AU welcomed more than 125 DC Public School students to campus last week for “Kids on Campus Day” to offer a glimpse of college life, book readings with local authors, and some new books to take home. Some 130 AU students participate as tutors in DC Reads. The tutoring program serves 500 DC public elementary and middle school children at six sites across the city with 6-12 hours of free tutoring support weekly. This year, the DC students’ visit to AU featured authors Paula Shelton reading from her book Child of the Civil Rights Movement, and Tony Medina’s reading of I and I: Bob Marley. The event was sponsored by AU’s Center for Community Engagement & Service, AU Campus Store, Students Fighting Homelessness and Hunger, and the AU Pep Band. For more information on DC Reads, visit

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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



Greening the Campus

Children planting flowers during Campus Beautification Day

The AU campus, a designated local arboretum, got even greener during the recent Earth Week. The week's activities included tours of green roofs on campus, a chance to test-drive an electric car, and a host of speakers and events. The week ended with a campus town hall and symposium with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and panel discussions on domestic and foreign implications of the upcoming U.S. Farm Bill 2012. On our annual Campus Beautification Day, 375 students, faculty, and staff planted 65 trees and 4,600 shrubs, ground covers, ornamental grasses, perennials, and annuals. We invited six “Eco-Goats” who grazed in a fenced area on the Quad munching grass and weeds. They were a big hit with the 45 children from nearby Horace Mann Elementary School. Our new community garden has been planted and has several new fruit trees, thanks to Casey Trees. For more information on AU’s commitment to the environment and a zero-waste future, visit

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Project Move Out Sale

Our neighbors are invited to come shop at our Project Move Out sale on Saturday, May 5 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s held on campus in the Tavern in the Mary Graydon Center (just look for the building by the flag pole on the Quad). The sale features lightly used items donated by students, faculty, and staff. Launched last year, the sale is part of AU’s effort to reduce waste and reuse items. Everything is $10 or less. Early birds are admitted at 8 a.m. for $5. Admission is free after 9 a.m. All proceeds from the sale will go to the following charities: M.O.M.I.E.S, TLC (Mentors of Minorities in Education), the Capital Area Food Bank, the Clothing Recycling Company, and A Wider Circle. There are great bargains, so come and shop for a good cause. For more information about Project Move Out, visit

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New Exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Yan Yeresko, Flower Vespertine, 2011.

Social media meets art in a new exhibition at the AU Museum this month called Like - Comment - Share: An Experiment in Art and Social Media. Take a picture, tweet a response using the hashtag #LikeArt, or “like” the exhibition on social media. Also featured at the end of the academic year are works by AU undergraduates who explore process in the pursuit of perfection in their show In the Studio: A Capstone Exhibition. Continuing shows through May 20 feature local artist Lou Stovall’s Vertical Views, and Tomokazu Matsuyama ‘s Thousand Regards. Museum hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free admission. Free parking on weekends under the Katzen building. While you are there, be sure to stop by the Museum Shop for lots of great gifts.

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AU Offers New Options for Full-time Professionals

Working professionals in a classroom

Pursuing additional graduate education without leaving your neighborhood has become even easier. Recently, American University launched new options specifically designed for working professionals who want to pursue graduate degrees while working full time. A new professional MBA being offered in the Kogod School of Business enables students to obtain their degree by attending class one evening each week for 27 months. The School of Communication (SOC) just launched a new MA in Media Entrepreneurship to train early- or mid-career professionals to be key digital players in the new media landscape. The class meets one night a week and every other Saturday. In addition, SOC also has a variety of certificate and weekend programs such as the Digital Media Skills certificate which is conducted entirely online, and several weekend-only options such as the MA in Political Communication, the MA in Interactive Journalism, and the MA in Producing for Film and Video.

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Community of Scholars Summer Program for High School Students

Students in front of the US Department of State

Community of Scholars, a summer program at AU’s School of International Service (SIS), offers high school students an opportunity to enroll in a three-credit college class in U.S. foreign policy or international conflict resolution. The program, from July 9 – 27, allows students to enhance their preparation for college while engaging in cutting-edge class material. Small seminar-style classes enable professors to challenge and engage students. The program also features guest speakers, visits to the State Department and the Pentagon, and workshops on topics including resume writing, studying abroad, and finding careers and internships in international relations. For more information, visit, email, or call 202-885-2442.

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AU President Kerwin Hosts Reception for DC Alumni

A recent reception for DC-area alumni drew nearly 600 people to the Hotel Monaco. The event was hosted by AU President Neil Kerwin who told the crowd, "We are very strong academically. We are very sound financially. We are very confident about the future, but like any institution of higher learning, we face very significant challenges." He urged alumni to stay engaged with the university, and to reach back and touch the lives of today's students. "We are all part of an institution we can be very proud of," he added. Raina Lenney, assistant vice president of alumni relations, said, "This is the largest recorded alumni event in our history, and we are delighted with the response from the entire community."

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WAMU's Community Minute

Photo: new WAMU logo

WAMU 88.5’s daily Community Minute broadcast provides information about community organizations working to improve lives in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Each month, the station features two organizations in Washington and one in the Ocean City area, along with local resources to learn more. Additional information is available online about the topics and the groups mentioned on air. To view some recent Community Minutes, visit

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A Neighborhood Tree Planting

AU staff members Adell Crowe, Katherine Ray, and Stacey Marien who also are neighbors, along with members of AU’s student club Eco-Sense, were among 50 gardeners who recently planted more than a dozen fruit trees at Friendship Gardens. This popular community garden in AU Park near the Friendship Recreation Center (Turtle Park) has several dozen garden plots. The tree planting event was sponsored by Casey Trees.

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Calendar of Events

Tuesday, May 1 through Sunday, May 20, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Late spring exhibitions at the AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center features Like – Comment – Share: An Experiment in Art and Social Media that explores the interaction between art and social media. Take a picture, tweet a response, “like” the exhibition. #LikeArt. Also on display is IN THE STUDIO: A CAPSTONE EXHIBITION where AU undergraduate students explore process in the pursuit of perfection. The museum is closed on Mondays. Free parking is available on weekends under the Katzen building.

Tuesday, May 1, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Faculty Down the Road with Allan Lichtman. Reception for AU alumni hosted by Peter Starr, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Program features an interactive lecture by Professor Allan Lichtman titled Who Will Be the Next President of the United States? Dr. Lichtman, confirmed recently as a Distinguished Professor by the university’s Board of Trustees, will focus on his prediction system, the “Keys to the White House,” which has predicted correctly the outcomes of all presidential elections since 1984. Hyatt Regency Bethesda, One Bethesda Metro Center, 7400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD. Admission: $15 includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Register at For information, call Tara Lang at 202-885-5921 or email

Tuesday, May 1, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Screening of student films United Planning Organization: The Voices of Overcomers in celebration of Community Action Month and The Anacostia Watershed Society: Re-Storying The Anacostia River. At the Anacostia Community Services Center, 1649 Good Hope Rd., SE. Light refreshments to follow. The Community Voice Project is led by Filmmaker-in-Residence, Nina Shapiro-Perl, and the American University Filmmakers. To learn more about the project, visit

Saturday, May 5, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Project Move Out sale of items donated by AU students, faculty, and staff is an effort to reduce waste and reuse items at the end of the academic year. Held in the Tavern in the Mary Graydon Center, located on the quad by the flag pole. All items are $10 or less. Early birds from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for $5. Admission free after 9 a.m. All earnings from the sale are donated to local charities.

Saturday, May 5, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Gallery talk at the AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Hear from MFA Thesis students from AU’s Department of Art as they discuss the diverse range of subjects and techniques featured in their final group showcase on display at the museum. Free and open to the public. Free parking under the Katzen building. The gallery talk is in conjunction with the students’ exhibition NINE DEGREES at the museum through May 13.

Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Hands on DC with AU’s DC Young Alumni Chapter. Join fellow alumni in the DC area for a one-day Work-a-thon with some 2,000 volunteers to assist with revitalization projects at DC schools. For more information and to register, visit, or call Melissa Bevins at 202-885-5933 or email

Monday, May 21, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Israel Studies Academic Conference with leading Israel Studies scholars from across the country. Co-sponsors: American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and AU Center for Israel Studies. Mary Graydon Center, located on the AU quad. For more information and to RSVP, contact Laura Cutler at

Saturday, May 26, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Meditation retreat with Sharon Salzberg of Insight Meditation Community of Washington. The program will focus on Buddha’s enlightenment which was said to have three facets: Great Renunciation, Great Realization, and Great Brave Mind (the mind of boundless compassion). Through discourse, discussion, and guided meditation, the workshop will explore these elements in individual lives. Suitable for both new and experienced meditators. Co-sponsored by the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, AU’s Kay Spiritual Life Center, the Center for Spirituality and Social Work, National Catholic School of Social Service, and Catholic University. Kay Spiritual Life Center, located on the AU Quad. For information, fees, and registration, visit

Wednesday, May 30, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Kogod, Cocktails, and Art. Kogod School of Business. An evening for AU alumni to connect with other business professionals and enjoy the more than 200-piece art collection displayed throughout the building. For more information and to register, visit, or contact Rebecca Youngerman at 202-885-1865 or by email at

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For event details and a full list of all upcoming events, see the University Events Calendar.

For a listing of upcoming events for AU alumni, please visit the Alumni Events Calendar.