newsId: 60080A28-AC3A-1DE4-3D10E19BCCECA75E
Title: Jesse Reed, BSBA '16, Leads Championship Basketball Team in Points and GPA
Author: Max Chilkov
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Abstract: Jesse Reed, BSBA ’16, earned Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award on his way to leading the Eagles the their first NCAA Tournament birth since 2009.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/17/2014
Content:

The life of a college basketball player is far from simple. Finding a way to balance practice, weight lifting, film sessions, and games can mean athletes barely have time to sleep, much less study.

But Jesse Reed, BSBA '16, makes it look easy. The leading scorer on this season's Patriot League Championship team—leading to American's first NCAA Tournament birth since 2009—Reed also proved himself a leader off the court, earning the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.

New Season, New Goals

After a disappointing 2012-2013 season, finishing with a record of 10-20, few believed the Eagles had any chance of competing for a Patriot League title in 2013-2014. With Mike Brennan replacing long-time head coach Jeff Jones and the loss of key seniors, the season seemed to be defined by uncertainty before it even began. Preseason rankings predicted the Eagles would finish at the bottom of the league, but Reed and his teammates had different plans.

"We were upset about [the rankings], but at the same time we didn't prove anything," said Reed. "It's understandable that they picked us last but we just used it as motivation."

The sophomore recommitted himself to his craft, improving his scoring average from 3.7 points per game to a team-leading 13.8.

Reed's maturation proved essential, applying concepts from Coach Brennan and from his schoolwork to self-improvement, athletically and academically. 

"I felt more comfortable with the position I was in and just being able to slow things down, not try to force things and let them come to me," he said.

Scholar-Athlete of the Year

For a college athlete to be successful on the court, he or she must be diligent off of it. The Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award honors players for high academic achievement.

"I was shocked at first; I had no idea I would even be eligible for [the award]," he said. "But to receive it was a tremendous honor."

No stranger to hard work, Reed's upbringing taught him the value of education: "My parents instilled in me from day one: academics first."

But Reed has worked hard to juggle the two, attributing his successes to late nights in the library and sacrifices in other aspects of his life. But in the end, it's all been worth it to him.

"Being a college athlete, being able to balance sports and school…gives you a sense of self-pride," Reed said. "Knowing that you can handle this, there's not much you can’t handle."

Finding Support at Kogod

As much as Reed's life centers around basketball, "Kogod is a great place to be," he said. "I go [to the business school] a lot more to do my studying than the library, because there is a sense of comfort."

As an athlete, Reed has been able to apply the skills and habits he's developed on the court to help him academically, citing commonalities between sports and business school.

"In the Kogod School of Business… you have to be able to interact with people, lead an audience or a group," he said. "That's what you have to do in sports."

Sights on Next Year

Reed isn't dwelling on his achievements. Everything that he's been able to do has only inspired him to do more in his remaining two years at AU.

"Getting that taste of success makes you want to have success everywhere," he said.

Athletically, Reed hopes he and his fellow Eagles can continue to dominate the Patriot League, bringing home next year's trophy as well.

But Reed refuses to let his championship aspirations distract him from his post-graduate career. He intends on maintaining his stellar GPA and having a job offer upon graduation, if a professional basketball career isn't an option.

As for next season's hardware, Reed hopes to follow fellow AU Eagle Alexis Dobbs and her back-to-back Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards by securing a second of his own.

"What [Alexis] did was unreal. For her to show that it's possible to [be a good student and athlete] but you got to keep up the hard work, makes you want to achieve it."

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Title: Kogod Network 2014
Author: Laura Herring
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Abstract: Annual career development event connects Kogod students, alumni, for mock interviews and networking.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/08/2014
Content:

The annual Kogod Network, the largest networking event of the year for the full Kogod community, took place on Wednesday, April 2, hosted by the Kogod Center for Career Development (KCCD).

More than 90 students participated in mock interviews with 25 interviewers, a combination of campus recruiters, alumni, and friends of the school. For the first time, interviews were conducted via Skype and telephone as well.


Kogod Network 2014 from Kogod School of Business on Vimeo.


At a reception following the interviews, approximately 200 current undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and other members of the Kogod community mingled to discuss their roles in business.

"Kogod Network is the epitome of what we as a business school community are all about: building relationships," said Arlene Hill, director of the KCCD. "This is the only event we have where all of the Kogod community—students, alumni, faculty, and staff—come together to reconnect and meet new people."

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Title: Ford, Chevrolet Top New Release of Kogod Made in America Auto Index
Author: Jackie Zajac
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Abstract: The Kogod index uniquely evaluates the American-ness of vehicles to determine the impact on the U.S. economy.
Topic: Research
Publication Date: 04/03/2014
Content:

The Ford F-Series pickup and the Chevrolet Corvette reign supreme in the new release of the Kogod Made in America Auto Index, revealed this week.

The Kogod index has a unique evaluation method to determine the domestic content of vehicles sold in the United States—which accounts for production factors ignored in other indices. It also compensates for the drawbacks of using self-reported regulatory data as the only measure of determining the "American-ness" of a vehicle sold in the U.S.

"This index provides the public with a more accurate reflection of the true country of origin of a car and the impact of its purchase on the US economy," said Associate Professor Frank DuBois, the index's author and an expert in global supply chains. 

"And hopefully, it holds vehicle manufacturers accountable for the claims they make in marketing to U.S. consumers."

The top vehicles in the 2014 Kogod Made in America Auto Index are:  

• F-Series Pickup, Ford (score: 87.5 out of 100) 

• Corvette, Chevrolet (score: 87.5) 

• Enclave, Buick (score: 86) 

• Traverse, Chevrolet (score: 86) 

• Acadia, GMC (score: 86) 

• Acadia Denali, GMC (score: 86)

Although the Kogod index incorporates data from the American Automotive Labeling Act (AALA) into its calculation, it also includes relevant information such as the vehicle's location of assembly and the company headquarters location, where research and development occurs.

In calculating the index, DuBois derived seven individual criteria scores per vehicle, based on publically available data. These weighted criteria include:  

1. Profit Margin: Where the automaker’s global headquarters is located. This is relevant as profits from cars return to the shareholders in the home country. (6 percent) 

2. Labor: Location of assembly, included as the money supports workers in this country. (6 percent) 

3. Location of Research & Development activities: Essentially, where the headquarters is located. (6 percent) 

4. Inventory, Capital and Other Expenses: the location of assembly. (11 percent) 

5. Engine: The location of production. (14 percent) 

6. Transmission: The location of production. (7 percent) 

7. Body, Chassis and Electrical Components: The location of where they are made. (50 percent)

As the Kogod index reveals, automakers with a U.S.-based headquarters rated highly in terms of overall domestic content, largely because the profit derived from the vehicles' sale was more likely to return to the U.S., and most R&D activities for these firms are located in the U.S.

AALA Limitations

Since 1994, the AALA has required automakers to document the percentage of American content in U.S.-sold vehicles. The AALA is useful in determining the country of origin of the parts and components and location of assembly of a vehicle but has some limitations, notably:

• Canadian and U.S. content are not separately calculated, but lumped together. 

• Automakers can "round up" from 70 to 100 percent to calculate "local" content. 

• Finally, all cars in one line are counted uniformly, which may distort the actual level of American content in a particular vehicle.

The 2013 Index

DuBois released the first Kogod Made in America Auto Index in 2013. In the first edition, GM topped the list with the GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, and Chevrolet Traverse all scoring 88.5 out of 100.

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Title: PMBA Student Named Standout Employee at Rising D.C. Company
Author: Sam Kauffmann
Subtitle:
Abstract: Professional MBA student Briana Evans has earned recognition at her employer, Cvent, and on campus for her stand-out leadership.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/02/2014
Content:

It can be difficult to stand out in a company with more than 1,400 employees, especially when that company is one of the hottest up-and-coming companies in D.C. But, Briana Evans has managed to do just that.

Evans, PMBA '15, is a senior enterprise marketing associate at Cvent, an industry leader in the meetings and event management software market. Since she joined the team just two years ago, she has become a vital resource at Cvent.

In 2013, she was named "Top Performer for Enterprise Sales," and was nominated for both "CVENTer of the Year" and Cvent "Game Changer."

"I was really excited about these nominations because I was nominated alongside other staff who have been here much longer," said Evans. "It was an honor and very humbling."

Out-of-Class Connections

Evans's ability to stand out among her peers also shows in her role as a student ambassador. Executive-in-Residence Jill Klein, faculty program director for the Professional MBA, selected Evans for the role based on her leadership skills.

"Briana sparkles. This must be what [her employer] sees in her as well. When she commits to something, she commits to it completely," Klein said.

As an ambassador, Evans gives prospective students an insider's look at the PMBA experience—often telling them her initial assumption about graduate business school culture was wrong.

"I assumed in the part-time program I might not make connections [with other students], because everyone has work, families and personal lives," Evans admitted.

"But it is really refreshing to see that people bond with one another by getting together outside the classroom."

Her peers in the cohort regularly spend time together outside of class, meeting after work and attending barbecues or parties at one another's homes. Some students even spent their day off from class together during spring break.

"In the long run the most beneficial things for my business [school] experience is the sense of community and supported I feel from everyone here," said Evans.

Committing to an MBA

Evans joined Cvent after graduating in 2011 from the University of Virginia with a double major in foreign affairs and anthropology. After working in the sales department for a year and a half, she was ready for a change.

"I wanted a deeper understanding of business," she said. "[My current] position opened up a couple of months after I got accepted at Kogod, now my job goes hand in hand with what I'm learning."

While considering graduate schools, Evans said she paid special attention to the overall "feel" of the school. After shadowing classes, talking to current students and observing student-teacher relations, one thing stood out about Kogod; the community.

"The students [at Kogod] had a [deeper] bond and connection with one another than I'd ever seen at a business school," she said. "Everyone wants to do well, but everyone also wants you to do well, and that is evident."

Global Goals

Looking ahead, Evans plans to take part in Cvent's international program. Employees from the U.S. office are sent to their India office to bridge the culture gap between the two. She thinks this would combine her undergraduate degrees in anthropology and foreign affairs with the skills she is developing in the PMBA program.

"I work with colleagues from the India office on a regular basis, so it gives us a chance to get to know each other," Evans explained.

"Being able to continue traveling and understanding different cultures is very important to me, but now I can add business to that."

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Title: Alumni Business Built on Customer Service Provides Service that Dazzles
Author: Laura Herring
Subtitle:
Abstract: Alumni Michael Paradise, MBA ’00, and Craig Bednarovsky, CAS/BA ’91, built their business to provide professional guidance and placement in competitive industries.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/01/2014
Content:

Michael Paradise, MBA '00, and Craig Bednarovsky, CAS/BA '91, have a simple desire. They want to see employees in the position that best suits them. They want to see employers have the most efficient workforce possible. And they want to facilitate that through their company, Sysazzle.

Named one of the 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies of 2013 by Inc. Magazine, Sysazzle is a national recruiting and staffing company specializing in the healthcare and IT industries. But Sysazzle is about more than just "putting butts in seats," according to Paradise. The company's number one priority is to focus on customer service.

"Our job is really to help our clients understand what needs they have and to find them the right people to fulfill those needs," he said.

Paradise founded the company in 2008 and currently serves as CEO. He brought Bednarovsky, a childhood friend, on board as COO in 2013.

The key to making the right placement, according to the pair, is in the underlying mission of all parties involved.

"We put a lot of thought into making sure both sides are working towards the same goal," Paradise said. "If an employee doesn't feel a connection to the final product then they're not going to be willing to put in the time to get it off the ground."

By putting this extra focus on finding the right fit, Sysazzle has become a trusted partner of both corporate clients and potential candidates, according to Bednarovsky.

"We're up front and honest, especially when it doesn't look like everyone is on the same page," he said. "That's the only way to foster any relationship and when it comes down to it, that's what [recruiting] is all about."

Going Home Again

Beyond Sysazzle's corporate commitments as a recruiting company, Paradise and Bednarovsky are committed to improving lives in their shared hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

"When we were looking at places facing harsh economic challenges and in need of some employment help, we didn't have to look far from home," Bednarovsky said.

Beyond working directly with companies looking to hire, Sysazzle is offering consulting advice, free of charge, to people looking for a job. From tips for improving a résumé to determining skill sets for career transition, Paradise and Bednarovsky are using their expertise to help others.

"Our goal is to be helpful, that's it," Bednarovsky said. "If more people took the time to just answer questions when they could the impact would be huge and the world would be a different place."

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Title: MS Taxation Program Among Top Ten for Second Year in a Row
Author: Laura Herring
Subtitle:
Abstract: Kogod MS Taxation program named among top in the nation by prominent industry publication TaxTalent.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/31/2014
Content:

National publication TaxTalent has named Kogod's Master of Science in Taxation (MST) one of the top ten such programs in the country for a second year in a row. The MST is No. 9 on the list for 2014, up one spot from No. 10 in 2013, according to the annual survey completed by corporate tax executives.

"This shows that our reputation as a respected program is growing among a key demographic," said Professor Donald Williamson, faculty program director for the MST. "I really feel this positively reflects the quality of our students, they’re the stars of our program."

The only program of its kind in Washington, D.C., the MST provides students the opportunity to study current taxation issues at the heart of where policy is made—guest speakers often include members of Congress. Students also benefit from the institutional knowledge at the Kogod Tax Center, a research facility dedicated primarily to taxation issues for small businesses and middle-class Americans.

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Title: Take the Tension out of Presentations with the Kogod Center for Business Communications at the Library
Author:
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Abstract: The Kogod Center for Business Communications joins the Library through April 25 to help you with professional communications. Drop in or make an appointment for help with public speaking, presentations, and business writing.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 03/27/2014
Content:

The Kogod Center for Business Communications now offers a Professional Communications service in Room 1 of the Research Commons at Bender Library to provide help with presentations, public speaking, and business writing.

This service is available to all AU students, so no matter what your major is, come by for personal assistance with your professional communications!

The service runs March 25–April 25, 2014, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 3:30–5:30 p.m. and Fridays 12–2 p.m. Appointments are preferred, but drop-ins are accepted as space allows. Make an appointment online or by calling 202-885-1920.

Visit Professional Communications to

  • Practice a presentation or speech and receive supportive, insightful suggestions
  • Overcome public-speaking jitters
  • Improve the clarity and organization of your slides or poster papers

Professional Communications also provides help with all types of business and workplace writing—including reports, memos, emails, and cover letters—at every stage from first draft through revisions and on to the polished final product.

Prefer a workshop approach? Kogod Center for Business Communications Director Bonnie Auslander will be giving a workshop on Thursday, April 3 at 4pm in the Library Training & Events Room (115). “Speak Up” will cover public speaking skills for any situation from academic presentations to wedding toasts.

Don’t delay! It’s not too late to improve your presentation or public speaking skills this spring, and Professional Communications can provide the help you need.

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Title: Five Reasons to Nominate Outstanding Grads for the 2014 Alumni Awards
Author: Emily McGranachan, SIS/MA ’14
Subtitle:
Abstract: Know an outstanding AU alum? Of course you do. Nominate them now!
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 03/14/2014
Content:

American University alumni are changing their communities, their professional fields, and the world in a million different ways. Chances are, that as an alumnus/a, you know someone who is one of these movers and shakers. Here are five reasons to nominate that someone for an alumni award by Friday, May 9, 2014.

1) Be part of history. The American University Alumni Awards, the highest honors awarded by the Alumni Association, have been highlighting exceptional alumni for more than 60 years. New recipients join the ranks of diplomats, journalists, educators, and community leaders who have made a lasting impact on society and on AU through outstanding professional, philanthropic, or volunteer accomplishments.

2) There is more than one award. The longstanding Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through their professional accomplishments, while the Alumni Recognition Award is given to alumni who inspire the world around them through service to the community or a philanthropic mission. For alumni who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to the university and/or the Alumni Association, there is the Alumni Eagle Award. And last, but not least, the Rising Star Award recognizes young alumni (those who received their undergraduate degree within the last 10 years) who are already making significant contributions to greater society through professional or philanthropic work.

3) Celebrate with AU. Alumni award winners are celebrated during All-American Weekend at the Annual Alumni Awards Dinner.

4) Nominating is easy. The entire nomination process is online and easily accessible from the Alumni Association website. Get started now.

5) Pass it on. Nominees for alumni awards have touched lives and distinguished themselves in meaningful ways. Why not take this opportunity to celebrate their hard work? Take the time to nominate a deserving friend, colleague, mentor, or mentee. You know he or she is outstanding, isn’t it time the AU communities does too?

To nominate an outstanding AU graduate for an alumni award, fill out our online form and submit a statement (between one and three pages) establishing the candidate's qualifications with clear and concise detail as to why he or she should be selected for the award, and include up to three additional letters of recommendation.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update,Alumni Weekend
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Title: New Entrepreneurship Initiative to Include Student Incubator, Venture Fund
Author: Laura Herring
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Abstract: New Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative at Kogod designed to foster growth among budding entrepreneurs and business ventures.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/14/2014
Content:

The theoretical only goes so far when learning some skills. Launching a business—growing a company from idea conception to business proposal to filing that first tax return—can only be experienced.

That's where Kogod's new Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative (SEII) and start-up incubator come into play.

Unveiled this spring, the Entrepreneurship Initiative's mission is to expand Kogod's dedication to sustainable business practice through a combination of research on sustainable business practices and environmental advocacy and the implementation of a new venture incubator.

"The Initiative is really about harnessing the power of entrepreneurship and focusing on ventures that really create economic, environmental, and social progress—the true meaning of sustainability," said Professor Stevan Holmberg, executive director of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative.

Kogod has been dedicated to encouraging young business ventures since offering its first entrepreneurship course in 1987. The school added an Entrepreneurship minor last fall, and has offered related courses at the undergraduate and graduate level for years.

"Entrepreneurship is one of the key drivers of the U.S. and global economies," said Michael Ginzberg, dean of the Kogod School of Business. "With our great history of entrepreneurship within our alumni community, I am already witness to a groundswell of support."

Room to Grow

At the heart of the project is the Incubator—a co-work space for young ventures to develop—conveniently located on campus in the Mary Graydon Center.

The Incubator will match students and young alumni from across American University with a business mentor and provide them with modest seed money and space to get their business off the ground. Teams will work with their mentors to get their product off the paper and into consumer hands.

"We're really trying to provide an environment open to all of AU where venture ideas can become a reality," Holmberg said.

Serving as co-directors of the Incubator are Executives-in-Residence—and experienced entrepreneurs—Bill Bellows and Tommy White.

"Our goal with the Incubator is to really give these budding entrepreneurs the space and the resources to focus on building a successful product," White said. "Kogod already has a lot of great curriculum in place to teach the building blocks of writing a business plan and identifying a consumer base."

Once a venture is beyond the initial conception stage, teams may apply for modest seed capital from the Kogod Entrepreneurship Venture Fund (EVF). Designed to be self-sustaining, the Kogod EVF will be built not only on donations, but also on returned contributions from funded ventures that go on to find commercial success.

Students will also benefit from Kogod's new partnership with 1776, a local company dedicated to providing resources and support for new businesses.

Currently under renovation and expected to open to teams by the end of the semester, application to the Incubator is now open to the AU community: current students, both undergraduate- and graduate-level; and young alumni.

Sage Advice

Helping to guide the Entrepreneurship Initiative is an advisory council with strong personal histories of entrepreneurial success.

"I'm very excited about [the initiative], it's one of the most exciting things I've seen come out of Kogod in a long time. There's lots of energy behind this," said Mark Bucher, BA/SPA '90, and founder of multiple D.C. restaurants, including BGR: The Burger Joint and Medium Rare.

For many, their seat on the advisory council is a way to give back to the business community and to AU.

"I started my business because of AU and all that I learned here. I never stopped learning [after school] and I'm excited to be on this council and see how I can help today's students," said George Assimakopoulos, MBA '95 and vice president of Penton Digital Media Services.

These seasoned entrepreneurs know first-hand the importance of starting off on the right foot with a new venture.

"This is the perfect format for today's students to gain real-world experience when it comes to starting a business. It's going to give them a good dose of reality before they hit the ground running [after school] and that's an amazing gift," Bucher said.

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Title: Entrepreneurship Workshop Highlights Benefits of Design Thinking
Author: Laura Herring
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Abstract: Design Thinking workshop led by Booz Allen Hamilton innovation consultant and an expert design professor from Finland’s Aalto University teaches attendees how to merge form and function to best serve the client.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/11/2014
Content:

Good design is more than pleasing aesthetics. Good design takes user experience, end-result goals, production needs, and other factors into account.

At least, that's the hypothesis behind the concept of Design Thinking (DT). Design Thinking is a popular business strategy that purports that managers and entrepreneurs can better improve their own problem-solving and creative abilities by understanding how designers approach problems.

A crowd of graduate business students, entrepreneurs, and other members of the AU community came together on March 8 for a Design Thinking for Entrepreneurship workshop to explore these ideals.

The workshop, sponsored by the Full-time MBA program and the new Kogod Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative (SEII), was facilitated by Peter Khanahmadi, MBA '10, an innovation consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, and Daniel Graff, an instructor at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, with expertise in design thinking.

"When done properly, good DT can add value to any project," Graff said. "But if you focus too much on form and not enough on function, you’re not going to serve the client at all."

The attendees did group exercises and worked in teams to produce design concepts for an Incubator, part of the new Kogod SEII, which is set to open later this spring.


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Title: Building Upon a Family History
Author: Mike Rowan
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Abstract: After her valuable AU experience—and now her daughter’s—Mary McCarthy Hayford and her family are helping lay the groundwork for the university’s next generation.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 03/27/2014
Content:

Stroll along the west side of the quad, passing Frisbees floating across the grass and cheerful student organizations camped outside of Mary Graydon, and at either end of campus you will find a building that has been transformed within the last five years. Across the street from the Katzen Arts Center, the Kogod School of Business opened a 20,000-square-foot expansion in 2008. A few hundred yards down, next to Bender Library, stands the newly reopened McKinley building, the state-of-the-art new home of the School of Communication. Though housing separate schools, and situated on opposite ends of campus, there’s a strong thread connecting the two of them—the Hayford family.

Mary McCarthy Hayford, Kogod/MBA ’78, did her graduate work at AU’s business school, but when she attended, it did not yet bear the Kogod name. It was simply called the School of Business Administration. Classes were housed in the Ward Circle Building, and offices were in the cozy quarters of the Hamilton Building (known then as Hamilton Hall).

“I remember picking AU based on my perception that the administrators and faculty were more accessible,” McCarthy Hayford shares as she recalls her AU experience. “I look back not only on the great full-time professors in subjects which appeal to me, but also on several adjunct professors who imparted real world experiences. For me, that exposure to professionals working in industry was essential to seeing how the theoretical was applied in the real world, and to envisioning the type of career I would want to pursue.”

When the Kogod School of Business announced plans for its expansion campaign, Mary and her husband, Warren, signed on to help by making a major contribution to the building. Their generosity is marked by a plaque adorning one of the new classrooms inside, which displays their names.

Then, three years later, when the effort to renovate McKinley began, the Hayfords were there again, eager to give back once more, naming the facility’s new audio editing suite.

Why jump in to support another major project, especially when the family had so significantly dedicated themselves to an effort close to their hearts just a few years earlier? One reason is that their daughter, Margaret, SOC/BA ’13, just finished a very positive undergraduate career in the School of Communication.

“We feel strongly that SOC and AU provided Margaret with the experience she needs to pursue her career goals,” McCarthy Hayford articulates. “AU was one of few schools where she could study film and graphic design while still broadening her education in history, science and social science. She capped off her SOC experience with a semester in the film school in Prague where she worked with a small group to create a professional-quality film.”

In addition to Margaret, the Hayfords are parents to Amanda, a 2006 alumna of Oberlin College, and Warren, who graduated from George Washington University in 2012. Ms. McCarthy Hayford’s husband, Warren John Hayford, is the president and managing director of the software company RatioServices, and is a director of the Warren J. and Marylou Hayford Family Foundation, which his parents founded. The foundation has been instrumental in the Hayfords’ gifts to American University.

Though she has graduated—as have her children—McCarthy Hayford remains an avid learner. While embarking on a path toward starting a new career, she has been steadily auditing courses at the university. “Wherever that takes me, I hope to keep close ties to AU.”

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Title: Legal Eagle Utilizes AU Education to Establish Domestic and International Niche
Author: Milt Jackson
Subtitle:
Abstract: AU alumnus’ expertise in law impacts domestic and international cases.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 03/15/2013
Content:

Philadelphia attorney and Kogod class of ’71 alumnus Theodore “Ted” Simon is having a wonderful career. Among other achievements, he has obtained reversals in the Pennsylvania and United States Supreme Courts. In addition to his longstanding successful representation of individuals and corporations locally, nationally, and internationally in state and federal trial and appellate matters (“white collar,” “blue collar” and “no collar”) he is a recognized authority on the subject of international extradition requests, and he has provided advice and counsel to multiple Americans abroad who have found themselves in challenging legal straits.

Accordingly, while accomplishing these achievements and elevating his law practice into a respected national and international niche – he also has become a “go-to guy” for advice and adept handling of high profile media driven cases - where he credits his AU experiences for assisting him to consistently achieve and maintain success.

After graduating from AU, and later, Temple University Law School, Ted joined the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and began to exercise his passion for litigation and criminal law. His drive, focus, creativity, and comprehensive approach eventually earned him a listing as one of Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Philadelphia;” a selection as a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer,” and an invited membership in the National Trial Lawyers Organization (a group composed of the top 100 trial lawyers from each state).

Additionally in 2012, he was sworn in as first vice president of the NACDL, a position he relishes because it allows him to play a more specific part in ensuring justice and due process and at the same time recognizing the important and noble work of criminal defense lawyers around the country.

Communicating his passion for justice and due process is another of Ted’s many talents. His most recent appearance, as a guest on CNN and Soledad O’Brien’s “Starting Point” is a case in point. On the show, Ted presented an articulate and seasoned perspective on the complex legal considerations surrounding bail for Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius – who is currently accused of murder in South Africa.

He told O'Brien that Pistorius was a good candidate for bail. He is called upon as a legal expert by honing his speaking as a sought-after speaker for legal seminars across the nation and his numerous on-camera appearances on all major networks and shows including NBC’s The Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s The Early Show, Larry King Live, Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC’s 20/20, and NBC’s Dateline.

As a result of his recognized communications skills and legal ability, Ted’s client list has included Michael Fay (Singapore caning), Amanda Knox (college student acquitted of murder in Italy), boxing promoter Don King, Gregory Porter (college student accused but all charges dismissed in 2011 protest in Egypt), Chipper Jones (civil defense), New York real estate heir Robert Durst (favorable resolution of federal firearms offenses in Pennsylvania after acquittal in Texas murder and dismemberment case), NBA forward Dante Cunningham (dismissal of alleged drug and other criminal offenses), Drexel’s starting guard Derrick Thomas (dismissal of assault charges) as well as other clients involved in high-profile legal matters.

Ted credits AU for helping to provide a solid academic foundation for his success. He says, “I was just 16, leaving home for the first-time, and the American University environment, the teachers and classmates, soon to be life-long friends could not be more warm, welcoming and supportive. In hindsight it provided the absolute perfect opportunity to grow, excel academically, and provide a rich and enduring network of beloved friends that began the first day and happily remains so today.”

When asked about how he feels about the practice of law after nearly 40 years, he answered, “I feel the same, but more so - it is a gift to be a lawyer, providing care, assistance, and representation in some of the worst of times, whether a person is criminally facing loss of liberty or civilly and entitled to redress and compensation.”

In response to Ted’s appreciation of American University and for all the university has done for him, Ted recently offered his network, time, and support in assisting with planning of an alumni engagement event in downtown Philadelphia. The event was a resounding success due to the participation of Ted and other alumni.

While the law is clearly his personal and professional passion, Ted's continued relationship with his AU Zeta Beta Tau brothers is primarily a personal passion. He says “primarily” because privilege and privacy protects their confidentiality as even here he has been called upon professionally in “life-altering situations.” Ted couldn’t have been happier “to have their back when they needed it most.”

His relationship with the “ZBT Powerhouse of Excellence” brotherhood began when he attended AU and has only strengthened since then. Ted is everlastingly thankful and appreciative of his classmates who have remained truly supportive of his work, accomplishments, and resulting national and international presence in the law.

So the next time you hear the words, “legal expert” mentioned during a news broadcast, pay close attention. It may be that an AU alumnus, by the name of Ted Simon, is about to hold court.

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Title: Real-Life Experiences of AU Alumnus Hits the Big Screen in Blockbuster Hit Argo
Author: Stephanie Block
Subtitle:
Abstract: American University alumnus Mark Lijek, Kogod/MBA ’76, has lived quite the adventure—one big enough to create Hollywood Oscar buzz.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 12/12/2012
Content:

American University alumnus Mark Lijek, Kogod/MBA ’76, has lived quite the adventure—one big enough to create Hollywood Oscar buzz. Lijek was one of six employees lucky enough to escape the protests and attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Iran more than 30 years ago. Their story is the premise of the blockbuster movie Argo.

Lijek arrived in Iran in July 1979 and was only there a few short months before he nearly missed becoming a hostage. With his wife, Cora, by his side along with five others, the group became known as the “houseguests” of the Canadian Embassy for about 10 weeks before leaving the country posing as a film crew and making it back to safely to the U.S.

It was not fear as much as boredom that got the best of Lijek. “Boredom was one of the hardest things to face,” Lijek says. The group played scrabble, and he read many books, writing each title down as he completed it to help record the passing of time.

A recent story published on MyNorthWest.com chronicled details regarding the sequence of events leading to Lijek and the other officers escaping the embassy. Interviews with Lijek and other houseguests will be a special feature of the DVD release of Argo next year. However, as with any film, there is only so much time to share the story. “The movie is a slice of the real story which was why I wrote the book The Houseguests: A Memoir of Canadian Courage and CIA Sorcery,” Lijek says.

Lijek completed a Master in Business Administration at AU, attending class part-time in the evenings while he served in the United States Army during the day. “As an administrative officer for the State Department, I used my graduate degree a fair amount. It prepared me quite a bit,” he says.

Lijek moved to Washington, D.C. from Seattle to complete his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University. He retired from the Foreign Service to spend more time with his wife and children. He lives just outside of Seattle and keeps busy by promoting his new book and managing his website, marklijek.com.   

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Title: Alumni Offer an Unconventional Introduction to Shanghai
Author: Melissa Bevins '02
Subtitle:
Abstract: Jamie Barys and Kyle Long met while studying abroad and have turned their passion into a business.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 11/15/2012
Content:

When Jamie Barys, SOC/BA ’07, and Kyle Long, Kogod/BSBA ’07, studied abroad together in Beijing during their junior year, they left knowing that they wanted to return to China. 

Upon graduation, Kyle moved to Shanghai to teach. Jamie had a corporate job in Washington, D.C. for a while before deciding that it wasn’t for her and moving to Xiamen, China to work as a food writer. The two reconnected and decided to start a business together in Shanghai. 

Both recalled hearing the age-old advice that success comes with doing something about which you are passionate and decided that they wanted to love what they do. Jamie loves to eat. Kyle loves to run and eat. Both love finding off-the-beaten-path places and sharing their findings with friends and family. 

These shared passions led them to start UnTour Shanghai, an urban adventure tourism company specializing in unique and personal day tours, including jogging sightseeing tours, culinary tours, and cultural excursions. Jamie serves as the Chief Eating Officer while Kyle serves as the Chief Running Officer.

Jamie recalls that her first dinner in Beijing was a bad experience. She didn’t speak the language and couldn’t order, and the person who was ordering for her party decided to play a practical joke on the group. She wants to help others avoid that experience and to take the guesswork out of eating well in Shanghai.

“I know how intimidating it can be,” says Jamie, of traveling to a new city and trying to partake in the local foods without speaking the language. To avoid this and help tourists get off on the right foot, UnTour Shanghai provides all its customers with a welcome package that includes restaurant and dish recommendations in the neighborhood.

UnTour Shanghai offers a schedule of weekly public tours as well as several options for private group tours. All tours have a limited number of spaces, as Jamie and Kyle aim to keep them intimate and personalized. 

December 1 will mark the two year anniversary of UnTour Shanghai. Both Jamie and Kyle are excited to celebrate the milestone and look forward to what the future holds for the company they’re growing together.

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Title: Young Alum Builds on Valuable Relationships
Author: Rebecca Youngerman, SPA/BA '00, SPA/MPA '12
Subtitle:
Abstract: Rich Golaszewski, Kogod/BSBA ’07, has aspired to achieve since he first came to American University.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 10/10/2012
Content:

Rich Golaszewski, Kogod/BSBA ’07, has aspired to achieve since he first came to American University in 2003 as a freshman from Philadelphia.

He used that drive to launch a professional career in financial services. Golaszewski works in New York as a vice president at Nomura Securities International—a leading global investment bank—in Equity Derivatives sales and trading.
 
“The encouragement to go above and beyond has been especially valuable,” he said. “At Kogod, I learned the art of networking and the value of relationships, which has proved extremely beneficial in my career.“

On October 20, Golaszewski will receive the Rising Star Award, which recognizes young alumni who are already making significant contributions to greater society through professional or philanthropic work.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award; it truly means a lot…I continue to try to spend my free time on things that I really care about, and Kogod is at the top of the list,” Golaszewski says.

Golaszewski found his niche on campus through academics and a range of student leadership activities. Participation in the Student Managed Investment Fund (then the Kogod Finance Group) was particularly impactful. Gaining valuable skills in investment management and the stock market aided in building industry knowledge, and the leadership roles built softer traits such as public speaking and organization.

For Golaszewski, peers were mentors. He says, “The outgoing student body always had you thinking how you could do more to better your chances at landing the job you wanted, and this really resonated in me and motivated me to explore different industries through internships and challenging coursework.”

Golaszewski has found meaningful and lasting ways to give back to the university. Last fall, he helped conceptualize and launch the New York Finance Network, a new affinity group open to American University graduates working in the finance and real estate industries.

Golaszewski regularly connects with current students, offering guidance and advice about making the most of their time on campus and beyond.

He also has demonstrated his leadership through financial support of the school, and is encouraging others to do the same by serving as a signatory on the recent solicitation for the Kogod Dean’s Fund that was sent to nearly 1,500 fellow supporters.

Golaszewski’s Kogod relationships are very personal. He is the proud older brother of Jesse Golaszewski, Kogod/BSBA ’12, and is newly engaged to a fellow alum, Shannon Westfall, Kogod/BSBA ’07.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update,Alumni Weekend,Kogod School of Business,Kogod Undergraduate Finance Group
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Title: Travis Lay: From AU Basketball Star to Alumni Board Member
Author: Rebecca Vander Linde
Subtitle:
Abstract: Once a leader on the basketball court, Travis Lay continues to lead AU as a member of the Alumni Board.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 08/10/2012
Content:

Most alumni remember Travis Lay, Kogod/BSBA ’08, as the men’s basketball captain who led the Eagles to the prestigious NCAA tournament for the first time in 2008, but Lay is incredibly accomplished both on and off the court. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from American University and continues to give back to his alma mater as a member of the Alumni Board. Lay also embodies the AU spirit of service by donating his time to Year Up, a local charity that provides mentorship to disadvantaged young adults.


Unsurprisingly, basketball was a major factor in Lay’s decision to attend AU. “I grew up in Maryland, right outside D.C., so [by attending AU], my family would be able to see me play. I also knew AU had a strong chance of going to the NCAA tournament. … The combination of that and AU’s strong academics and business school was exactly what I was looking for.”

Lay says the support of the AU community helped boost the team to the NCAA tournament in 2008. “It was encouraging to see the university really get behind us as we succeeded in my senior year. … People were proud of the AU basketball team. It was a unique experience – to walk around campus and have so many people recognize me. And it was great to raise the profile of American University to a national level,” he adds.

After graduation, he moved overseas and played basketball professionally, with stints in England and Australia. Lay elaborates, “I never had the opportunity to study abroad, as many AU students do, so that was a great experience for me to live abroad and play ball before settling down in my real career [in finance].”

Currently, Lay works for SC&H Group, where he helps businesses implement financial software tools. He is pursuing his certification in public accounting and credits AU and his externships as a student with Beers & Cutler and Deloitte for preparing him for the world of finance. He also was very close with the late Kogod Professor Sue Marcum.

In his spare time, Lay is a member of the Alumni Board where he represents the young alumni point of view. He also mentors inner-city young adults through Year Up, a charity that helps minority adults, aged 18 to 24, transition from high school to either higher education or a professional career. Lay says that while growing up, he often played sports with teammates from similar backgrounds as the young adults he mentors, so he can relate to them. He even shot hoops with one of his mentees: “I was in my business clothes at the time, but I told [the other players], ‘Just so you know, I’m not awful at basketball.’”

That’s certainly an understatement, but is typical of Lay. He is modest about his accomplishments, crediting God and luck for his accomplishments and skills on the court and insisting that the Eagles’ victorious 2008 season, culminating in the NCAA tournament, was a team effort – the product of four years of hard work and practice together. In fact, the moments spent with his teammates are his favorite memories of AU.

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Title: Taking the World by Storm: Two AU Alumnae Inspired to Travel
Author: Heather Buckner, SPA/MPA '10
Subtitle:
Abstract: Imagine spending Christmas in Germany, New Year’s in Ireland, and your birthday en route from Austria to Italy all in the same year. This dream trip is two AU alumnae’s reality as they travel around the world for their “American Gap Year.”
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 01/14/2011
Content:

Imagine spending Christmas in Hamburg, Germany; New Year’s in Galway, Ireland; and your birthday on a train from Vienna, Austria, to Rome, Italy, all in the same year. This dream trip is two AU alumnae’s reality as they travel around the world for what they’re calling their “American Gap Year.”

The two 2006 AU grads are former roommates Laura Hockensmith, KSB/BSBA, and Stephanie Vavonese, SPA/BA.

Hockensmith had been working for Houlihan Lokey since the summer after her AU graduation, first as a financial analyst and then as an associate. Vavonese had been working for Accountants International since the fall after her AU graduation, first as an associate staffing consultant and then as a staffing consultant. They had both heard about Europeans and other young adults from other countries who had taken “gap years,” but knew few Americans who had followed suit.

“We were both at the points in our lives and careers where we knew we needed a change,” Hockensmith remarks. “We decided that it was ‘now or never’ to take this trip because of limited commitments at the time.”

As Hockensmith notes on their travel blog, “It’s a lot to give up (job, apartment, settled lifestyle, seeing family and friends regularly), but there is definitely so much to gain. This trip will allow me to visit new countries, experience cultures so different from my own, meet people that I would never meet elsewhere and also take some time for myself and develop new perspectives on who I am and what I want to do.”

The two have traveled to a long list of places in North, Central, and South America, Europe, and the Middle East already, as they’re over halfway through their year. Following stops in Mauritius and South Africa, they will next travel to several destinations in Asia before returning home in July 2011.

If you’re thinking that their trip has been all play and no work, think again. “On the road, every moment is a time to do something new, meet new people, etc.,” Hockensmith notes. “So far during our travels, we’ve met so many amazing people, some of whom we’ve met with again around the world after the initial meeting – inspiring us to change our initial itinerary.”

Hockensmith and Vavonese had several experiences traveling prior to this year-round trip, including several family vacations (both domestic and international), study abroad in France and New Zealand (respectively) while students at AU, and other travels together in the years since they met as students at AU.

Hockensmith and Vavonese met through the AU club crew team during their freshman year at AU and have remained close friends ever since. They remained active with AU, often attending events in the D.C. area. Hockensmith also served on the Young Alumni Chapter Board before beginning her travels and even though she is halfway around the world, has agreed to help serve on her five-year reunion planning committee for the Class of 2006 to be held in Washington, D.C. this October.

If you’re interested in getting involved with your class reunion, please e-mail reunion@american.edu with your name, grad information, and how you’d like to get involved.

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Title: Inspired by Lady Day, Carole Boston Weatherford, KSB/BA ’77, Writes Jazzy Poetry and Prose
Author: Rebecca Vander Linde
Subtitle:
Abstract: Carole Boston Weatherford, KSB/BA ’77, has won numerous awards for her children’s books and poems and seeks to educate a new generation on the past, prejudice, and overcoming adversity.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 12/08/2010
Content:

Growing up in the 1960s, professor and award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford, KSB/BA ’77, aspired to be many things but says she always was a writer, citing Harriet the Spy as an inspiration: “She was a writer. That’s how she spied; she wrote,” Weatherford recalls. “James Bond flicks were just coming out, spy toys were being developed. But those were ‘boy toys.’ I couldn’t have a 007 spy kit, but when I read Harriet the Spy, I realized I could have a notebook. I could write, so I could be a spy.”

Though her cloak and dagger aspirations of espionage faded with childhood, Weatherford’s dream of writing remained strong. She has penned numerous books, mostly aimed at children and young adults, and she has won countless accolades, including the NAACP Image Award. But Weatherford’s proudest accomplishment was writing Becoming Billie Holiday, a book of biographical poems chronicling the singer’s early life, which won a Coretta Scott King Author Honor. Weatherford declares, “It was the book I was born to write.”

While at AU, Weatherford was in the University Learning Center independent study program, where she could design her own degree and major. “Because it was independent study, I developed research skills that I would use in my literary career… At AU, I began to learn to make my own way. ”

She was also assistant manager at the record co-op. Combining her studies with her interests, Weatherford created a course called The Poetry of the Blues and read Billie Holiday’s autobiography, which piqued her interest in the jazz singer.

Unsure if young adult readers would know who Holiday was, Weatherford delayed writing Becoming Billie Holiday until she visited the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum. While standing near a wax figure of Billie Holiday, she overheard a young girl in middle school exclaim, “Ooh! Billie Holiday! …She could really sing!”

Weatherford had an epiphany: “I looked back at the wax figure, and it was almost as if Billie said, ‘I told you: you need to write my book.’”

Many of Weatherford’s works feature African American characters and historical figures. She is currently working on a book about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. As an author and teacher, Weatherford believes, “My mission is to mine the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles… so kids won’t carry prejudices forward into their future.”

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Title: AU’s Mock Trial Team scores impressive wins at invitational tournament
Author:
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Abstract: American University’s Mock Trial Team competed over fall break in the Coast Guard Academy Guardian Invitational, finishing in the top five among 22 competing college and university teams.
Topic: Student
Publication Date: 11/23/2010
Content:

American University’s  Mock Trial Team competed over fall break  in the Coast Guard Academy Guardian Invitational, finishing in the top five among 22 competing college and university teams. The results are extraordinary, especially given that AU’s Mock Trial Team, founded in 2008, is just entering its third season and the event held in New London, Connecticut was the team’s first Invitational Tournament.

The AU Mock Trial Team actually consists of three individual teams whose lineups vary each tournament. The two groups who travelled to Connecticut were highly representative of the university, including students from all five schools and four graduating classes. Both teams competed in four trials over the three-day tournament.

Honors student Eric Fleddermann, SIS ’13, served as captain for the A team at this tournament, which ranked third of 22 teams participating Fellow Honors students Sarah McIntosh, SPA ’13, and Samantha Sandfort, CAS ‘13, were co-captains for AU’s B team at the Invitational, which placed fifth among the 22 collegiate competitors.

In mock trial competition, students assume the roles of lawyers and witnesses and construct a case based around a particular lawsuit. The case in question for last month’s tournament was a liability case involving a child who ingested a toy created with a chemical that decomposed into GHB, commonly known as the “date-rape drug.” The student lawyers wrote questions to ask the student witnesses, preparing both direct and cross examinations while tangling with the rules of evidence for court proceedings.  

Witnesses refined their character, making sure that they acted in a both convincing and engaging manner. Preparing and delivering opening and closing statements, the team worked together to solidify the arguments against other teams’ competing cases. By trying both the defense and plaintiff sides of the case, each team gained valuable experience for the next tournament.

Team A plaintiff attorney Jessica Lagomarsino, KOGOD ’12, rated AU’s performance at the Invitational to be “a pretty good job,” especially considering the AU Mock Trial Team’s relative inexperience.

Along with AU Mock Trial Team’s top ranking among individual teams, its student competitors won many individual awards, making the AU’s overall team the invitational’s only competing team to receive honors in every individual category.  

AU Mock Trial Team individual award winners include Aileen George, CAS/SPA ’11 (Witness, Second Place), Marianne Johnson, SPA ‘13 (Witness, Second Place), Malea Otranto, SPA ‘14 (Plaintiff Attorney, Second Place), as well as Honors students Will Maner, KOG ‘13, (Best Witness in entire competition), Sarah McIntosh (Best Plaintiff Attorney in entire competition), and Amy Whitelaw, SPA ‘12, (Defense Attorney, Second Place).

Organizers of intercollegiate mock trial competition expect that by participating in trial simulations in competition with teams from other institutions, students will develop critical thinking and public speaking skills, as well as knowledge of legal practices and procedures.  Based on their experience at last month’s invitational, AU participating students can attest to the value of mock trial competition.

AU Mock Trial Vice President and Honors student Amy Whitelaw, SPA ’12, loves the AU Mock Trial environment and sense of camaraderie.

“Not only does [AU Mock Trial] provide me with a competitive outlet and a place for me to learn more about the law, which I love, but it provided me with a family.… We study together, we compete together, we travel together … My teammates have become some of my closest friends and have created one of the strongest networks of support I have on this campus.”

SPA Professor Jessica Waters (CAS/SPA ’98, Honors; and WCL’03), a lawyer and coach of the AU Mock Trial Team, also sees the great benefit of such competition for students.

“Competing with the Mock Trial team provides a tremendous learning experience for the team members,” Prof. Waters says. “Not only do they learn the fundamentals of trial practice, but they also hone their public speaking skills and really learn to think on their feet when responding to tough questions from judges.

“The student teams worked incredibly hard to earn this impressive distinction, and I could not be more proud.  If you know any of these Team members, please take time to congratulate these students!”

The AU Mock Trial Team’s “A” Team at the Invitational included:  
Participating  Honors students
Eric Fleddermann, SIS ’13
Liz Rademacher, SPA ’13
Amy Whitelaw, SPA ’12

Other AU students
Aileen George, CAS/SPA ’11
Kaizad Irani, SPA ’12
Marianne Johnson, SPA ’13
Jessica Lagomarsino, KOGOD ’12,
Malea Otranto, SPA ’14


The AU Mock Trial Team’s “B” team at the Invitational included:
Participating  Honors students
Emma Horvath, SIS ’14
Will Maner, KOGOD ’13
Sarah McIntosh, SPA ’13
Sarah Prostko, SPA ’14
Samantha Sandfort, CAS ’13

Other AU students
Brad Barbour, SPA ’13
Laura Friessnig, SPA ’14
Annie Reilly, SIS ’14
Jen To, SPA ’13

Tags: College of Arts and Sciences,School of International Service,School of Public Affairs,University Honors Program,Kogod School of Business
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Title: Gierman '09 Returns to High School as AU Admissions Volunteer
Author: Laura Legg
Subtitle:
Abstract: Andrea Gierman, KSB/BSBA ’09, returns to her high school alma mater to represent AU admissions at local college fair. 
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 11/09/2010
Content:

One October evening, Andrea "Andy" Gierman, KSB/BSBA '09, walked through the doors of Redondo Union High School in California, thinking of what she would say to students that night. Gierman wasn't there to reminisce; she returned to her alma mater as a member of the AU Alumni Admissions Volunteers program to share her experience with prospective students. 

A sales representative for The Same Guy, an easy-to-wear basics clothing line that embodies the "Americana vintage-vibe" and can be found in flagship stores on Melrose Ave. in LA, SoHo in New York City, and at other select boutiques across the country, although Gierman is making her mark as a business professional, she hasn't forgotten AU. Her coworkers tease her about her love for AU. "It seems I'm always talking about my AU experiences at the office," she says.

Her desire to volunteer for admissions initiatives as an alumna came from several on-campus experiences when she was an undergrad. While a member of Kogod's 1955 Club, she assisted with admissions activities for prospective business students. She also spoke at Freshman Day activities when admitted students visited campus to make their enrollment decisions. In fact, she remains in touch with two AU students from California whom she met during the recruitment process. 

Gierman's experience of traveling to D.C. to pursue her undergraduate degree is only one of the conversations she has with prospective students who are considering AU among their college choices. She recounts wanting to challenge herself by trying something new, far from her California home, and tells high school students that choosing a college at a distance can be both a scary and exciting leap. She stresses to students the importance of getting involved. "There are so many interests that students can explore at AU – internships, volunteering, study abroad – any student can find an outlet within campus organizations."

Gierman only joined the Alumni Admissions Volunteers program earlier this fall, but already, she has participated in several recruitment events in the Los Angeles area and looks forward to doing more.   

"You can't relive college, but you can recap your experience and offer advice to prospective students," she notes. Thanks to volunteers like Gierman, AU has an expanded alumni presence at recruitment activities, which engages additional prospective students to look at American in closer, more meaningful way.    

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,Kogod School of Business,Kogod Women in Business,Admissions
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