newsId: A73DC7CE-B77E-18C7-BEA7B0713CFFAA97
Title: Stay Cozy in your Kitchen this Winter
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Abstract: Introducing our new cookbook collection! This collection supports a variety of academic programs, including College Writing, Chemistry, and American Studies—and provides new, fun ideas for your weekend baking extravaganza.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 12/18/2014
Content:

If your list of wintertime essentials includes butter, sugar, and vanilla extract, then our collection of cookbooks might be your new favorite section of the Library! Spend your next snow day warming up the kitchen by whipping up a batch of delicious cookies, cupcakes, or brownies with one of our many baking-focused cookbooks. 

Vintage food photographs are half the fun of Betty Crocker's Cooky Book (TX772 .C76 2002), which includes retro recipes from the 1880s to the 1960s—perfect for your next theme party. Food blog fans can flip through books from Smitten Kitchen (TX714 .P443 2012), Pioneer Woman (TX715.2 .S69 D793 2012 & TX715 .D7785 2009), and Joy the Baker (TX771 .W477 2012). Cake Pops Holidays (TX771 .B336 2012) lets you recreate the irresistibly cute cake-pop creations of Bakerella for Instagram-ready sweets!

The celebrity-obsessed can find cookbooks from Gwyneth Paltrow (TX715 .P184 2011) and Jessica Alba (RA776.9 .A43 2013)—or try out the Banana ba-ba-ba Bread recipe from Cookin' with Coolio (TX714 .C672 2009). You can even test out Oprah’s favorite brownies, featured in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking (TX765 .L67 2008).

And who needs to wait in line at Georgetown Cupcakes, when you can make your own from their cookbooks, Cupcake Diaries (TX771 .K35 2011) and Sweet Celebrations (TX771 .B467 2012)? Our collection also includes cookbooks from other local favorites like CakeLove (TX769 .B838 2012 & TX771 .B8785 2008) and Sticky Fingers (TX837 .P5134 2012).

Special diets are covered too, with selections like Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef (RM237.86 .A338 2010) and Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry (RM237.86 .A48 2013).

Happy Baking!

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Title: Featured Database: Met Opera on Demand
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Abstract: Our featured database, Met Opera on Demand offers an extensive catalog of more than 500 performances, all available to watch instantly.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 12/09/2014
Content:

Whether you're a classical music buff looking for something new –or simply curious about opera, the AU Library has your daily dose of drama. From Aida to Die Zauberflöte, Met Opera on Demand offers an extensive catalog of more than 500 performances, all available to watch instantly. Since 2006, the Met has been filming select performances in high-definition (HD), meaning that some of the newer additions are available in this format. You'll be able to catch every detail of those glorious costumes and sets!

All of the Met Opera on Demand videos contain English subtitles, so you won't need to worry about missing any important details. Also, many recent HD additions to the Met Opera on Demand catalog contain subtitles in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

See iconic performances such as Wagner's Ring Cycle, without leaving your apartment (or spending hundreds of dollars on a ticket!) This collection includes operatic interpretations of Shakespearean works, like Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth, classic productions featuring the famous Luciano Pavarotti, and even contemporary works, such as Doctor Atomic.

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Title: Winter is Coming: Time to Get Cozy with these Titles
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Abstract: This month’s collection highlight article deals with all things winter which means each item has the word “winter” in the title. Bundle up with these cool picks.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 12/04/2014
Content:

This month's collection highlight article deals with all things winter which means each item has the word "winter" in the title. So ironically you won't see Game of Thrones [HU DVD 10021], the inspiration for our title, on this list. So as this semester draws to a close and the nights grow longer and the air becomes colder, make sure to check out one of these books, films, or musical treats.

Books

Captain America: Winter Soldier Ultimate Collection by Ed Brubaker [PN6728.C35 B78 2010]
The comic inspiration for the summer blockbuster hit, this graphic novel delves into the Cold War, using the conflict between Winter Soldier and Captain America as a metaphor for this historical clash of super-powered nations.

The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare [PR2754 .K5 1966]
This romantic-comedy features a man-eating bear, a disastrous shipwreck, a living statue, and one of Shakespeare's best comic relief characters in "a rogue" named Autolycus. A great treat to get your mind off those finals-blues.

The Long Winter Ends by Newton G. Thomas [http://bit.ly/1xSrRSd]
Thomas tells the story of a year in the life of a young immigrant miner who leaves Cornwall in the southwest of England to work in the copper mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This novel offers a glimpse into the lives of an often neglected immigrant group that played an important role in the development of the Great Lake and American mining industries.   

The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck [PS3537.T3234 W5]
Set in Steinbeck's contemporary 1960 America, the novel explores the tenuous line between private and public honesty, offering penetrating insight into the American condition.

Bonus Winter Treat
Anything by Robert Frost [PS3511.R94 A17 1930] perfectly complements a peppermint mocha latte or fireplace snuggle. 

Films

Captain America: Winter Soldier [HU DVD 11478]
Playing on the fears of government surveillance, this Washington, D.C. centered, action-packed superhero political thriller will keep you warm on even the coldest winter days.

Winter's Bone [HU DVD 7696]
Jennifer Lawrence stars in this movie about an unflinching mountain girl who hunts down her drug-dealing father. This film will chill you to the bone.

Bonus Winter Treat
Fargo [HU DVD 2393] The iconic shot of bright red blood stains on the snow in this hit Coen Brothers film might just send shivers down your spine.

Music

"A Hazy Shade of Winter" by Simon and Garfunkel [http://bit.ly/1xBZitQ

"Winter Wonderland"
Give your Spotify and Pandora stations a rest and listen to this American classic covered in genres such as country [http://bit.ly/1zmXFj4], Jazz [http://bit.ly/1ugTBAK], [http://bit.ly/113mzIx], [http://bit.ly/14iLIRs], [http://bit.ly/113mHrA], Hawai'ian [http://bit.ly/1zmXYu6], [http://bit.ly/1v8YwoJ], Rock [http://bit.ly/1v8YwoJ], and Hip-Hop Remix [http://bit.ly/1ugUhGv]

"Winter" by The Rolling Stones [Rolling Stones COC 59101]

Vivaldi [http://bit.ly/14iMDRZ]
Add some class to your winter break with these violin concertos.

"Winter" by Tori Amos [Compact Disc 9727]

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Title: Be Thankful for: Music, Movies, and Books
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Abstract: This article highlights a small collection of books, videos, and music which attempt to discover the truth about the Pilgrims, the Mayflower, and that harvest nearly 400 years ago.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 11/25/2014
Content:

As the leaves begin to turn and pumpkin spice lattes flow, we remember to give thanks with our friends, families, and loved ones. But what is the origin of this tradition? Cemented into American culture by Abraham Lincoln and FDR, the history of Thanksgiving is rife with controversy. Here is but a small collection of books, videos, and music which attempt to discover the truth about the Pilgrims, the Mayflower, and that harvest nearly 400 years ago.

Books:

A Great & Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims & The Myth of the First Thanksgiving by Godfrey Hodgson [F68 .H69 2006]
A rich work throwing new light on the radicalism of the so-called Pilgrims, the financing of their trip, the state of the American Indian tribes that they encountered when they landed, and the reasons why Plymouth probably didn't actually have a rock.

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick [F68 .P44 2006]
This book chronicles the history of the ship that carried the Pilgrims across the sea. From construction to decommission, the storied tale of this monumental ship carries immense bravery and the terrible fury of war.

The Times Of Their Lives: Life, Love, And Death In Plymouth Colony by James Deetz and Patricia Scott Deetz [F68 .D4 2000]
Beginning with an eyewitness account of the first Thanksgiving, this book paints a startling portrait of Plymouth Colony that includes aspects of the legal system, folk beliefs, family life, women’s roles and gender issues, eating habits, alcohol use, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, suspicious deaths, and violent crimes.

Cooking In America, 1590–1840 by Trudy Eden [http://bit.ly/1vibvTH]
Cook your own traditional Thanksgiving dinner (possum stew anyone?) with this cookbook that uses authentic colonial writings to detail what and how American Indians ate in Colonial times and a look at European immigrants cooking evolved into American cooking. 

America's Hidden History: Untold Tales Of The First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, And Forgotten Founders Who Shaped A Nation by Kenneth C. Davis. [E178 .D39 2008]
An iconoclastic look at America’s past, spanning a period from the Spanish arrival in America to George Washington’s inauguration in 1789, with little-known but fascinating, myth-busting facts.

Films:

While there is a plethora of fictional films centered on Thanksgiving, these selections offer opposing views of the fateful landing.

Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower [http://bit.ly/1zdtbni]
A story bearing little resemblance to the popular myth, this A&E special tracks the incredible voyage that landed an unlikely band of pioneers on the inhospitable shores of what would come to be known as New England.

After The Mayflower: We Shall Remain—America Through Native Eyes [http://bit.ly/1wbwmq2]
Part of a larger series, this episode begins in March of 1621, in what is now southeastern Massachusetts, when the leading sachem of the Wampanoag negotiated with a ragged group of English colonists. What followed half a century later was a war that never ended. An alternative look at a controversial time in America.

Music:

While Christmas is known for its traditional song selection, Thanksgiving is not without its own share. Reflect on the music that shaped the times and inspired the deeds of early Americans.

An Anthem (Designed For Thanksgiving Day. But Proper For Any Publick Occasion) by William Cooper (1792) [http://bit.ly/1wMSPd8]
One of the oldest songs in the collection this anthem captures the spirit of Americana at the birth of this nation.

Canon And Fugue in D Minor (No. 4 Of New England Holidays) by Wallingford Riegger (1941) [Composers Recordings 177]
A song composed around the time when Thanksgiving was declared an official holiday by FDR.

Thanksgiving Suite by Charles Callahan (1988) [M13.C254 op.52 1988]
A modern organ hymn in the style of traditional hymnals.

Early American Anthems [M2 .R2375 v.36]
A cornucopia of traditional Thanksgiving songs from Early America

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Title: Food for Fines at the AU Library
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Abstract: This article details the Food for Fines program, which allows patrons to pay their Library fines with donated food. These food donations go to the Capital Area Food Bank.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 11/21/2014
Content:

For more than fifteen years, the Library has partnered with the AU community to provide canned and other food for those in need, while giving you a break on your library fines. This year we are partnering with Capital Area Food Bank's Back Pack Program.

As Capital Area Food Bank explains on their website: "The Capital Area Food Bank is the hub for food sourcing, food distribution and nutrition education in the Washington metro area, serving those struggling with hunger. In Washington, DC and its six surrounding counties, there are nearly 700,000 individuals at risk of hunger, of which nearly 150,000 are children."

You can pay up to $20.00 of your AU fines with donated food. The Food for Fines offer does not extend to other consortium libraries. Food for Fines ends on Monday, December 23, so take advantage of this opportunity while you *ahem* can.

As you select your donation, please consider the healthfulness of the food items. The items that you donate through Food for Fines help to provide vital nutrition for a food insecure population in the DC area. The families and individuals who receive assistance from CAFB rely on them for healthy, nutritious ingredients and meals.

The list below details what food items will be accepted for this program, and please note that the Capitol Area Food Bank has specifically requested low sodium items. You may also request a copy of this list in-person at our Borrowing Desk or by contacting the Borrowing Desk by email, circulation@american.edu, or phone 202-885-3221.

Food for Fines items accepted in 2014:

CANNED FOOD

  • Canned fruits (without corn syrup)—8oz or larger 1 can = $1.00 off fines
  • Canned vegetables—8oz or larger 1 can = $1.00 off fines
  • Canned beans (black or kidney)—8oz or larger 1 can = $1.00 off fines
  • Soup (especially chicken noodle or tomato)—8oz or larger 1 can = $1.00 off fines
  • Canned tuna—6oz or larger 1 can = $1.00 off fines
  • Canned chicken—6oz or larger 1 can = $1.00 off fines

BOXED/DRY FOOD

  • Boxed rice dishes—1 box 7 oz or larger = $1.00 off fines
  • Plain rice—1 bag 32 oz or larger $1.00 off fines
  • Boxed mac and cheese—1 box 7.25 oz or larger = $1.00 off fines
  • Granola or cereal bars—1 box 6ct or more = 4.00 off fines
  • Single Serving Snacks—1 box 8ct or more = $4.00 off fines
  • Peanut butter (no hydrogenated oils/trans fats)—1 jar 18oz or larger = $4.00 off fines
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Title: Win A Prize for Outstanding Research! Enter a Paper or Project in the Annual AU Library Research Competition
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Abstract: The University Library Research Prize recognizes AU undergraduate students who make extensive use of the Library’s collections and show excellence in critical analysis by locating, selecting, evaluating, and synthesizing information.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 11/12/2014
Content:

AU Library is offering two prizes for outstanding Undergraduate Research papers or projects prepared during 2014: one for the Best College Writing Research Paper or Project and one for the Best Undergraduate Research Paper or Project. A prize of $1,000 will be awarded in each category. Papers and projects prepared for spring, summer, or fall 2014 AU courses will be accepted for consideration. 

Submission Dates and Prizes

Beginning January 12th, the University Library will begin accepting application for two prizes for high quality undergraduate research papers or projects:

  • University Library Prize for Best College Writing Research Paper or Project
  • University Library Prize for Best Undergraduate Research Paper or Project

One prize of $1,000 will be awarded in each category. The deadline for submission is 12:00 midnight, March 20, 2015.

Purpose

The purpose of the prize is to recognize and award American University undergraduate students who make extensive use of the University Library's collections and show evidence of critical analysis in their research skills, including locating, selecting, evaluating and synthesizing information.

Eligibility

Students must be currently enrolled as undergraduates at American University. Groups and teams are not eligible.

  • Undergraduate papers or research projects that have been completed for a registered American University course, including study abroad courses, are eligible for consideration for the Best Undergraduate prize. Papers or projects prepared for a College Writing class are eligible for the Best College Writing prize.
  • Papers submitted in Spring, 2014, Summer 2014, and Fall 2014 courses are eligible. Capstone Projects are not eligible for this award.
  • Projects may be in any format as long as the creator can demonstrate significant inquiry in the development of the work that involved use of the library's resources and collections.
  • Papers or projects must be nominated by the professor responsible for the course.

Evaluation criteria

Successful projects will demonstrate:

  • Substantial use of library resources and collections in any format, including but not limited to printed resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media;
  • Ability to locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize library resources and to use them in the creation of a project that shows originality and/or has the potential to lead to original research in the future;
  • Evidence of significant personal learning and the development of a habit of research and inquiry that shows the likelihood of persisting in the future;
  • Originality of thought, mastery of content appropriate to class level, clear writing, and a high quality of presentation.

Application Procedure

Applications may be received beginning January 12, 2015.To apply, students must submit the following in electronic form (MS Word documents only, not PDFs) to LibAward@american.edu no later than March 20, 2015.

  1. Completed application cover sheet with student name, title of project, title of course, name of professor, date of submission to competition.
  2. Letter of recommendation from the faculty member who taught the course for which the paper or project was prepared. (Refer faculty to the list of evaluation criteria.)
  3. A brief 500 to 700 word reflective essay describing research strategies, application of library tools and resources in completion of the project.
  4. A bibliography or other listing of sources consulted, if not already included in the paper.
  5. A final version of the project. Written papers should be double spaced and may be of any length. Digital projects should be submitted on a DVD. For other formats, contact LibAward@american.edu

Students may submit more than one paper, but only one award will be granted per individual. Questions about the award, the nomination, or application process, may be sent to librarian Mary Mintz or LibAward@american.edu.

Evaluation Committee

A committee composed of American University faculty from the library, the College Writing program, and other academic units will evaluate submissions.

Recognition

Awardees will be announced in late spring semester and will be honored at a special event on April 28, 2015. First place awardees will receive a certificate and a monetary prize of $1000. Awardees may be acknowledged in library publications and may be recognized at other appropriate university venues such as the Undergraduate Research Fair. Copies of the research papers may be held in the AU Digital Repository.

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Title: Librarian Profile: Derrick Jefferson
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Abstract: The fifth article in our series of librarian profiles focuses on Communication Librarian Derrick Jefferson. With his experience in filmmaking, photography, and journalism, Derrick has insight into many facets of communication studies.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 11/04/2014
Content:

Derrick Jefferson brings a wealth of expertise to his role as Communication Librarian. Always imaginative, he majored in Creative Writing as an undergraduate at San Diego State University and then moved on to the graduate Film program at the Art Center College of Design, before getting a second graduate degree in Library and Information Sciences at the Louisiana State University. In between all of his academic pursuits, Derrick operated in the film industry in Los Angeles, had a stint as a food photographer, and worked as a journalist. Throughout his life, Derrick's parents instilled in him the value of service work, which led to his first library job as a volunteer at a public library in Burbank, CA. Later on, as a graduate student in New Orleans, Derrick worked to restore local libraries post-Katrina. This restoration work encompassed everything from rebuilding collections to cleaning walls and carpets. Derrick's passion for helping others is also evident through his work here at AU.

Where can you find him?

In addition to offering personal appointments throughout the week and providing support at the Research Assistance Desk, Derrick holds SOC office hours every Monday 1–3pm on the Terrace Level of McKinley. Derrick finds that his experience as an embedded librarian has led to more serendipitous encounters with SOC students and faculty. He is also enthusiastic about nurturing nontraditional students, as a result of his experience in an essentially distance MLIS program. Although he was attracted to the role of technology in librarianship, he found that "as a people person, distance education was very difficult. It can easily result in a sense of disconnection."

In order to combat the difficulties of distance learning, Derrick works to meet with students from night and weekend programs via Skype, Google chat, email, or by phone. "Outreach is so important," he says. "The 'average' college student is continuing to change and I want to be a part of their experience. Any student who is here at AU has worked hard to get into their program and we [librarians] want to see them succeed and will go above and beyond to help that happen."

Why he loves his job

Derrick loves "helping students and pairing people with resources. I love seeing the wheels turn when you connect someone with the articles that can kick start their research." Derrick was thrilled to join the AU community as the Communication Librarian because it married so many of his interests and felt like an ideal fit for a creative, outgoing person. He also enjoys that libraries offer a continuously evolving environment, citing the new game collection as a perfect example of library innovation with collections; "We are not just books anymore;we are so much more than that. We can help researchers navigate the informational waters and find resources that they didn't even know existed."

In the community

Although Derrick is fairly new to AU;he has already gotten deeply involved with campus life. Working with the Ann Ferren Conference on Teaching, Research, and Learning Planning Committee has been especially rewarding: "It's great to be brainstorming and networking with people from all across campus." His work on the Online Learning Advisory Committee allows Derrick to contribute to the improvement of the distance education experience for both students and faculty.

Within the Library, Derrick serves as a co-chair for the External Diversity and Inclusion Committee, examining the role of the Library in fostering equity and acceptance within the AU community. Beyond the AU community, Derrick has just been accepted into the American Library Association Emerging Leader class of 2015. This is a highly visible and competitive program—this year there were more than 200 applications for a class of 50 people.

Derrick brings both organizational and leadership skills to the institution, along with a dedication to service: "Do not be afraid to reach out to us. There are no silly questions, and, if you are wondering about something, there is another person out there with the same question. My door is always open."

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Title: Recycling Electronic Waste at the Library
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Abstract: Bring old computers, mobile devices, and batteries to the Library for recycling.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 10/31/2014
Content:

Goodbye iPhone 5. Less than two years and now it's gone. Sure, it only had an A6 chip instead of an A8, and turning it on took a button push instead of a thumbprint, but perhaps it deserved better than the current fate. Some old devices will be sold for refurbishment, but eventually, like today's iPhone 4, iPod minis, and devices with slide out QWERTY keyboards, iPhone 5s will lose their technological relevance and end up in a landfill.

You can help the AU Library reverse this trend by bringing your discarded electronics in to be recycled. Through a partnership with University Facilities and the Office of Sustainability, the Library collects these items and sends them to recycling centers. The electronic recycling process not only directly helps the environment by preventing dangerous toxins from being added to landfills, but also promotes sustainable resource management. Electronic devices are made with a variety of rare earth-metals such as silver, gold, and palladium. Reclaiming these minerals helps reduce industrial mining operations cutting down on pollution and preserving eco-systems around the world.

How significant is the impact of electronic waste on landfills? Electronic waste makes up five percent of solid waste worldwide—nearly the same amount as plastic packaging. It has become the fastest growing part of the municipal waste stream and continues growing as the lifecycle of computers and phones continues to shrink. Greenpeace reports that Americans replace their computers every two to three years on average, and their cell phones after only 18 months. According to the EPA, only one percent of these discarded electronics are recycled, which means more than 135 million mobile devices are thrown away each year.

Check the list below to see what devices can be recycled, and then bring unwanted items to the Course Reserves and Technology Borrowing Desk on the lower level of Bender Library. If you have other electronics not listed below, contact the Information Desk. Library staff will be happy to help find the most eco-friendly waste disposal option. It's a chance to clear out your junk and help the University in its commitment to send zero waste to landfills and incineration by 2020.

  • Computers and Laptops
  • Consumer Electronics: iPods, Walkman, GPS, Digital Cameras, Video Cameras
  • Cellular Phones, Pagers, iPhones, Blackberry
  • Network Equipment: Routers, Switches, Hubs, Modems
  • Printers, Typewriters, Fax Machines, Scanners
  • New or Used Toner and Ink Cartridges
  • Peripherals: Mice, Keyboards, Wires, Power Strips, Network Cables
  • Power Supplies, AC Adapters
  • Flat Panel Monitors, LCDs, LCD TVs, Plasma, LED, Flat Panel
  • Audio Equipment: Speakers, Stereo Equipment, Turntables
  • VCRs, DVD Players, BlueRay Players, Cable Boxes, Tivo, DVR, Satellite Receivers
  • RF, Radio, and Ham Radio Parts
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Title: Secret Lives: Christina Floriza
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Abstract: Our third Personnel Profile story highlights RTL Technology Coordinator Christina Floriza and her secret life in the world of improv comedy.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 10/28/2014
Content:

As the Technology Coordinator for Research, Teaching, and Learning Services at the AU Library, Christina Floriza focuses on making instruction more accessible. In addition to creating tutorials and guides for digital resources to support instruction, Christina offers research assistance to library patrons, co-chairs the Internal Library Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and serves on both the Green Team and the Social Media Taskforce.

In her work, Christina is always ready to innovate and find new venues for reaching her audience. This past summer, she collaborated on a series of instructional Instagram videos, condensing her message to fit a platform that is popular with student users. She credits her improv work with inspiring her to look for new approaches to digital learning objects.

"Improv looks unstructured, but isn't at all—there are tons of rules and a formula that must be applied, right down to the structure of a joke. Creating tutorials is similar. You find a formula that holds the interest of the user and develop a structure for explaining something succinctly."

Christina discovered improv comedy more than a year ago, when she signed up for a free workshop at the Washington Improv Theater also known as WIT (wink, wink). Although she has a background in the performing arts, from aria competitions to productions of the Vagina Monologues during her undergrad years, this was Christina's first venture into the world of improv. Fast forward to today and Christina is performing regularly with local troupes at festivals and events such as DC's Improvapalooza.

Her connection to this creative community has been rewarding: "Improv comedy in DC is a nurturing, supportive, and stress-free environment full of kind people. The basic tenets of improv are agreement and support—you agree with the premise and add something extra. You don't look for the conflict in a situation; you look for what is interesting, and you find it by supporting your partner."

Through her exploration of improv, Christina has gleaned insights that can be applied to the rest of her life. She has learned how to stay grounded, become more open-minded, and approach situations by observing things first. She also stresses the approachability of improv, insisting that anyone can do it, as long as they come into it with an open mind. For anyone interested in giving it a shot, Christina offers some advice: "Never try to be funny, just be real and authentic. If the scene doesn't feel funny at first, don't worry. You'll find the quirk and humor as you go."

To see local improv in action, she recommends the Monday night Improv Wars at Mead Theater Lab; Comedy Spot, a club that offers a range of improv shows with different audiences in mind; or dropping by WIT on Tuesday nights at 9pm for a pair of free performances by their house teams followed by a free workshop and jam session.

Book Recommendations from Christina:

The Second City Almanac of Improvisation by Anne Libera, PN2071 .I5 S43 2004
"Second city is a big improv hub in the US and is where both Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch got started. This book offers a fun, very digestible how-to breakdown of the Chicago style, written by alums."

Guru: My Days with Del Close by Jeff Griggs, PN2287 .C5465 G75 2005
"This book chronicles the author's experiences with Del Close, considered the father of long-form improv, as a mentor, person, and performer. It also shows the evolution of the idea of improv into something teachable."

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Title: Celebrate LGBTQ History Month with These Library Selections
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Abstract: October is LGBTQ History Month and to celebrate we have highlighted some of the best LGBTQ books, films, and CDs in our collection.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 10/21/2014
Content:

October is LGBTQ History Month and to celebrate we have highlighted some of the best LGBTQ books, films, and CDs in our collection. The Gender and Sexuality Library at the Center for Diversity &Inclusion in Mary Graydon Center Room 201 is another excellent source for more LGBTQ related materials. Items from the Gender and Sexuality Library can be checked out just like books and movies at the Bender Library.

 

Books

A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski (HQ76.3 .U5 B696 2011)
The first book to cover the entirety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, from pre-1492 to the present.

The Gay Metropolis by Charles Kaiser (HQ76.3 .U52 N486 1997)
This collection of anecdotes is both serious and gossipy when it comes to chronicling gay life in New York City-and America-since 1945.

From "Perverts" to "Fab Five" by Rodger Streitmatter (HQ76.2 .U5 S87 2009)
This book, by an SOC professor, tracks the dramatic change in how the American media has depicted gay people. While the media has reflected the American public's shift to a more enlightened view of gay people, it has also been an instrumental player in propelling that change.

Lost Prophet by John D'Emilio (E185.97 .R93 D46 2003)
Bayard Rustin taught Martin Luther King Jr. the methods of Gandhi, spearheaded the 1963 March on Washington, and helped bring the struggle of African Americans to the forefront of a nation's consciousness. However, despite his incontrovertibly integral role in the movement, the openly gay Rustin is not the household name that many of his activist contemporaries are. Acclaimed historian John D'Emilio explains why Rustin's influence was minimized by his peers and why his brilliant strategies were not followed, or were followed by those he never meant to help.

Lives of Transgender People by Genny Beemyn and Susan Rankin (CDI Gender and Sexuality Library, MGC 201 HQ77.95 .U6 B44 2011)
A survey of nearly 3,500 participants on gender development and identity-making among transgender and genderqueer individuals. With more than 400 follow-up interviews, the quantitative and qualitative data offers a powerful glimpse into the lives of transgender people.

Out in the Country by Mary L. Gray (CDI Gender and Sexuality Library, MGC 201 HQ76.27 .Y68 G73 2009)
From Wal-Mart drag parties to renegade Homemaker's Clubs, Out in the Country offers an unprecedented contemporary account of the lives of today's rural queer youth.

Nobody Passes edited by Mattilda (CDI Gender and Sexuality Library, MGC 201 HQ77.9 .N64 2006)
A collection of essays that confronts and challenges the very notion of belonging. By examining the perilous intersections of identity, categorization, and community, contributors challenge societal mores and countercultural norms.

Bi Any Other Name edited by Loraine Hutchins and Lani Kaahumanu (HQ74 .B5 1991)
In this groundbreaking anthology, more than seventy women and men from all walks of life describe their lives as bisexuals in prose, poetry, art, and essays

Films

Paris is Burning (Hone Use DVD 1650)
A documentary chronicling New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.

Milk (CDI Gender and Sexuality Library, MGC 201 M)
The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

Boys Don't Cry (CDI Gender and Sexuality Library, MGC 201 B)
The story of a young transgender person named Brandon Teena who moves to a small town in Nebraska in the early 1990's.

Aimee and Jaguar (CDI Gender and Sexuality Library, MGC 201 A)
A German Film based off of the true story of two women who fell deeply in love in Berlin during World War II. One is a model Nazi wife and the other a Jewish member of the underground resistance movement.

Music

Make sure to stop by the Music Library in Katzen to check out our massive collection of LGBTQ musicians from Elton John to Queen to musicals like Priscilla Queen of the Desert (DC 9087) and Kinky Boots (CDE 10203). 

And for more academic research, make sure to check out 5 LGBT Resources at the AU Library.

Special thanks to Matthew Bruno at the Center for Diversity & Inclusion for the recommendations.

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Title: Nate Beeler Draws The News
Author: Rebecca Vander Linde
Subtitle:
Abstract: Alumnus Nate Beeler is an award-winning editorial cartoonist.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 12/11/2014
Content:

“There is something primal about a hand-drawn image that goes back to people painting on caves. We’ve always had cartoons, and editorial cartooning has a very rich history in the United States. It’s a powerful way to have a voice in the national conversation,” says Nate Beeler, SOC/BA ’02, an award-winning editorial cartoonist for the Columbus Dispatch.

By now, Beeler’s cartoons are certainly part of the national dialogue. His depiction of the Statue of Liberty and Lady Justice embracing following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) won the 2014 John Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition.

When the news of DOMA broke, Nate says he struggled for inspiration at first, but once he knew what he wanted to portray: the joy of same-sex couples as well as the scope and historical significance of the ruling, he says, “It seemed a natural fit to put Lady Justice and Lady Liberty together because this decision affirmed freedom and also righted an injustice.”

Nate draws five editorial cartoons each week for the Columbus Dispatch and his cartoons are also syndicated internationally to more than 800 other publications. “When you’re an editorial cartoonist, your work is basically a visual column, and you fall into the natural rhythm of the news,” he says.

Nate uses the newspaper and Twitter to track the national news conversation and search for topics that will resonate with his audience. Once he chooses a topic, he does extensive reading to determine how he feels about the topic, which guides his editorial approach.

His first foray into creating a cartoon tied to a national news story was for the edition of The Eagle published after September 11, 2001. Nate drew an image of the Twin Towers with angel wings, and the original drawing still hangs in The Eagle offices today. In fact, the The Eagle was Nate’s first stop when he arrived on campus, and he still stays in touch with his former Eagle colleagues and fellow alumni, including Brett Zongker, Scott Rosenberg, and Andrew Noyes.

American University’s strong journalism program and location in Washington, D.C. motivated Nate, a Columbus native, to attend AU. During his time in college, he was an editorial cartoonist for The Eagle and created two comic strips: Undergrad and Lawn Darts from God. His work with The Eagle earned him the prestigious Charles M. Schulz Award for best college cartoonist as well as the John Locher Award.

Since then, he has won more recognition, including the 2009 Thomas Nast Award from the Overseas Press Club and the 2008 Berryman Award from the National Press Foundation.

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Title: SOC Alumna Lands Media Spot with Oprah
Author: Kristena Wright and Penelope Butcher
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Abstract: SOC Alumna Lands Media Spot with Oprah
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 12/09/2014
Content:

Nicole Howard, SOC/BA '10, who works as the communications coordinator for AU's School of Professional and Extended Studies, says she came to AU to study sports communication and journalism.

"I'm not sure what is was, but I knew I had to come to D.C. for the exposure I wanted. After taking a few classes, public communication became my major," says Nicole. Writing became an integral part of her life, but she wanted to think of ways of make it match up with her career aspirations. Little did she know she would develop the details and skills to one day work for Oprah Winfrey.

After graduation, Nicole began contributing to forcoloredgurls.com, a blog inspiring and empowering women readers to reach their dreams, as a writer. Her first piece, "Blessing in the Storm," was about dealing with being laid off. Her other contributions included a series titled "My Almost Quarter-Life Crisis" and a story covering a National Council for Negro Women event. The founder of forcoloredgurls.com asked Nicole to write a book review for the site, but Nicole knew she needed her own blog in order to really get her writing where it could be noticed.

In December 2013 Nicole started her blog, shininlight.com, using Wordpress. The blog led to writing for adult fiction novelist Danielle Allen's Back to Reality book tour hosted by Carter's Books, and Nicole began reviewing memoirs and books about relationships. This led her to meet Mandy Hale, author of Single Woman. In Hale's book, she talks about her experience traveling as blogger as a part of Oprah's Lifeclass series on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), and it stuck with Howard.

Not long after reading Single Woman, Nicole discovered Oprah was coming to D.C. for her "The Life You Want" tour and needed media personnel. Nicole reached out to Hale for advice and was inspired to apply to be part of the Oprah Tour team. One week before the tour came to town, Nicole received word that she had been chosen to work on the team. She immediately started a page on her blog, as well as a Pinterest page, specifically devoted to the Oprah tour.  

"The Oprah tour taught me to not be afraid to go big, to turn an experience into usable, share-able content" she says. She also explains how the tour really helped her with branding and credibility. "The tour was a leap of faith, the live tweeting and taking pictures for the tour gave me the confidence and skills I needed to expand my blog," she says. Although it has concluded, Nicole continues to interact with the tour through social media. It helps her gain followers, and she now has contacts at OWN. 

In her spare time, Nicole works as an advocate for mental health issues and awareness. She also volunteers at American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Keeping her writing in the forefront, she writes self-love posts on her blog, and also writes for Mind of a Diva, a blog featuring real life experiences as told through the thoughts of a women in her twenties. 

During her time at AU, Nicole was a part of the Summer Transition Enrichment Program, the gospel choir, and the Federal Work Study program. Nicole's advice to aspiring writers is very direct: "Get as much experience writing as you can. Get published if you can. Write for the school or local newspaper. Learn your voice. Pay attention to little grammar details. Stay in the writing center. Try different areas to find your niche, and then focus on your niche."

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Title: Alisyn Camerota, SOC/BA ’88, joins CNN
Author: Traci Crockett
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Abstract: After 16 years at FOX News Channel, Alisyn Camerota recently began as an anchor at CNN.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 10/02/2014
Content:

Alisyn Camerota, SOC/BA '88, says she arrived on American University's campus "with a vision of someday, somehow becoming a TV news reporter." And, that's just what she's done. After 16 years at FOX News Channel, she recently began work at CNN, anchoring both morning and primetime programs and covering special stories for the cable news giant.  

"I am loving my new job," Alisyn says. "There's been breaking news on a global scale for months now." In her short time at CNN, she's worked with a variety of co-anchors and producers on both New Day and CNN Tonight. "It's been pretty thrilling. It's been a whirlwind getting to know my new colleagues and getting to know how CNN operates," she says. 

Alisyn is settling in to a new routine –on some level. "Regular hours are not synonymous with news casting," she says with a laugh. She went from being on-air regularly in the early morning hours to anchoring the 10 p.m. newscast along with Don Lemon throughout the month of September. "I feel really fortunate to have this new opportunity," she says. 

Alisyn credits internships and hands-on experience while a student with launching her career. "Because of AU, I was able to achieve what I set out to do," she says. "I got a great internship and it connected me to all sorts of power players in the news business, and that was my launching pad." 

Because of her own experience as a student, Alisyn has remained actively involved with the School of Communication as an alumni mentor, a member of the SOC Dean's Council, and a host for students on site visits in New York. "I'm so grateful that I had a great academic and pre-professional experience at AU that I want to make sure other students have the same," she says. "I know of the goldmine of graduates that American has…And, I just know that if the current students can tap into that resource, then their future is that much easier." 

Alisyn has also made a lasting mark on McKinley, the new home of the School of Communication. Thanks to her generosity, it is also home to the brand new Alisyn Camerota Inspiration Lounge, which Alisyn describes as a one-of-a-kind space where the historic portion of the building meets the with the newly constructed areas –a vantage point showcasing both the past and the present. She's proud to say that the lounge bearing her name is "the bridge between the past American University building and the new School of Communication and all that will be accomplished there in the future."

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Title: Keosha Varela: Journey Through Digital Space
Author: Kristena Wright
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Abstract: Alumni Board Member Koesha Varela makes her mark in the digital world.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 08/15/2014
Content:

Keosha Varela, SOC/BA '07, SOC/MA '08, currently serves as the digital producer at The Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. But working in digital production was not originally her career aspiration. "I knew I was going to be a lawyer and later on a politician," Keosha says. "AU was always my first choice school and I couldn't wait to get there. Early on, I realized that rather than campaign to spend a short amount of time on the issue of the day, I could raise more awareness by telling the story and following its development," she explains. Keosha decided to go into journalism, saying that she loves reading and writing. "I still wanted to contribute to society in a meaningful way so I decided to tell people's stories. I wanted to be someone who alerted the world on unjust stories so that we could make a change."

Keosha says she was determined to get as much experience as possible to be able to land a job after graduation. "I used the AU career center and Google religiously" she exclaims, which landed her internships with WAMU 88.5, BBC News, and AARP. Her persistence paid off and led her to the highly competitive NBC Universal News Associates Program in New York City. There she helped to produce segments for the The Today Show, MSNBC, and Dateline. She also worked on the launch team of the African American NBC News website theGrio.com. She went on to become an online news editor for WAMU, an editor and producer for WBUR.org, and the social media strategist for the American Clean Skies Foundation. 

When asked what she enjoys most about her career today, she says, "It's such a multi-faceted position. I'm not doing the same thing every day. I enjoy a little bit of everything versus sticking to one task on a daily basis." Keosha's experience has also opened doors for her to delve into her love of writing and interviewing people. As a freelance writer, her work has been published in Sister 2 Sister magazine, The Grio, AARP's The Bulletin newspaper, msnbc.com, and other media outlets. 

Through her success, Keosha admits she had to adjust to a few things that come with the job. "There's a good chance of getting good paying job, but you quickly learn digital news is 24-7. Jobs are typically 9-5 but if breaking information needs to be released, you're expected to do so no matter what time it is." She sums up her advice to students into three points. 

  1. Get as many internships as you can.
  2. Take initiative during internships. A degree doesn't automatically mean a job. Be sure to suggest positive changes at your internship
  3. Never give up. It's not as easy as it may seem. But those who are successful never gave up.

While at AU, Keosha was involved in a multitude of groups and organizations. She was a proud member of the alto section of the gospel choir and an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Lambda Zeta Chapter. She also served as a resident assistant on the second floor of Letts Hall and in the summers, she was an RA on Tenley campus. 

Keosha moved back to the area from New York with a goal of reigniting school spirit in friends and the AU community. Her first step toward this goal begins with her service as a current Alumni Board member. Keosha hopes to continue in digital space and eventually wants to oversee digital and editorial content and strategy. She has loved AU since her freshman year of high school and has her sights set on someday teaching at the college level.

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Title: Building Upon a Family History
Author: Mike Rowan
Subtitle:
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: Alumnus Michael O'Brien's Book Details Symbolic Civil Rights Movement
Author: Ann Royse
Subtitle:
Abstract: Alumnus Michael O'Brien writes an enthralling and historic account of the famous sit-in protest at Woolworth's in Jackson, Mississippi during the height of the civil rights era.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 02/17/2014
Content:

If, during this Black History month, you find yourself searching for a new and enriching story of the civil rights era, look no further than a book by AU alumnus and successful author, Michael (M.J.) O’Brien, SOC/BA ’84. He is the writer of a new and highly popular book titled We Shall Not Be Moved: The Jackson Woolworth’s Sit-In and the Movement It Inspired, a story accounting the infamous and nonviolent protest in Jackson, Mississippi, during the turbulent American civil rights era. The book has received multiple accolades, and, according to Julian Bond, distinguished adjunct professor at AU and former NAACP Chairman, “Michael O’Brien has written a detailed history and fascinating study of one of the iconic moments of the modern civil rights movement and the powerful effect it had.”

The spark that ignited the passion and growth of this book begins with a single photograph found in the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia. While Michael was visiting the center, he came upon the photograph, which features three young people conducting a “sit-in” protest at the counter of Woolworth’s, surrounded by a violent and angry mob of Mississippi citizens. Shockingly, one of the iconic faces staring back at him was that of an old and very dear friend named Joan (Trumpauer) Mulholland. Joan had humbly omitted ever mentioning her historic involvement with the civil rights movement in Jackson to Michael.

With this new knowledge, he set out on a mission to uncover and tell the story behind the faces in this photograph and the grassroots civil rights movement surrounding the iconic protest. In essence, he used this image as the central organizing feature to tell a much larger story regarding one of the most tumultuous times in American history.

When discussing his book, Michael is quick to recognize American University as a major contributor to his success in writing. He specifically attributes his own growth in confidence to the education he received at AU in the School of Communication, saying it was “the best training I’ve ever had.” Michael fondly recalls former faculty member Joe Tinkelman as a primary guide and mentor during his time at AU. Professor Tinkelman encouraged and nurtured Michael’s passion for writing and telling stories about social change and justice, a passion he continues to embrace today.

Michael first met Joan while he was a working as a camp counselor with Joan’s five boys, and the friendship grew from there. Then, on the day he discovered her photograph, he decided to dedicate his work to telling her story and the larger social movement of that time. Indeed, Michael O’Brien’s life and career took an unexpected yet valuable turn after befriending Joan. In fact, AU students should heed this insightful advice of Michael: “Keep your eyes open. You never know who will have a significant impact on your life.” Whether it is a confidant and inspiring professor or a lifelong friend and civil rights activist you meet in the park, Michael says it is clear that certain people and events have the ability to change the course of one’s life and career.

Currently, Michael lives in Virginia with his wife and three adopted children and looks forward to continuing a career of writing about his various passions. He reflects fondly on time at AU, saying, “my education [there] essentially launched my career.”



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Title: AU Alumnus Prepares to Release Film in 2014
Author: Penelope Buchter
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Abstract: Brian Levin SOC/MA '04 is writer/producer for Flock of Dudes
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 11/13/2013
Content:

"I've learned a lot in a short amount of time. I've been lost in the realities of film," Brian Levin, SOC/MA '04, says of his first film, Flock of Dudes, which is set to release in early 2014. This is his first feature-length film, and he says that the process has been an opportunity to put everything he has learned into one work. It has also taken more time than any past project. From the initial idea to make this film until now, Brian reveals that over five years have passed.

The inspiration for the film came from a lot of personal experiences, and Brian thinks they are experiences to which many people will be able to relate. He says, "There's something about the experiences people go through in that time of life; it's a funny and emotional time."  

Now that the film is in post-production, Brian is looking forward to his next projects, some of which he hopes to bring to Washington, D.C. Having grown up in Maryland, Brian has spent a lot of time around the area; he says that there is a special look and feel to D.C. that he hopes to capture on camera. To add to the effect, he hopes to find a cast from around Washington for his next project, which he reveals will be a throwback comedy in the vein of films like The Naked Gun. He expounds, "I'm excited to be making these movies and bringing them back to the area."

However, Brian wasn't always sure that he wanted to go into film. He entered college at Towson University as a mass communications and advertising major interested in commercials. He always loved movies, but film had been merely a hobby for him until he got to college, when he realized that film was where he wanted to make a career.  

There are many aspects of filming, but Brian explains, "I felt pulled more and more toward screen writing as a specialization, then toward producing." To current students, he gives the advice that to succeed you need "persistence, seeing it through to advance in whatever you're doing." And, as it relates to film, he says, "try to be creative every day."

Brian encourages students, saying "take advantage of the fact that you have all this time and these resources." He adds, "AU was a great place for me, to have the tools, teachers, and flexibility to discover what I wanted to do professionally."

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Title: Alumnus Daniel Maree wins Do Something Award for Creating Social Change
Author: Rebecca Vander Linde
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Abstract: When Daniel Maree, SOC-CAS/BA ’08, heard about the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, he took action.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 09/12/2013
Content:

When Daniel Maree, SOC-CAS/BA ’08, heard about the fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, he knew he had to take action. “I lived in Gainesville, Florida for two years, and I’ve been in positions like [Trayvon was in]. I’ve been stopped in predominantly white neighborhoods in Florida by police or [citizens] just because I was an African American male. … Trayvon could have easily been me or my little sister, and I knew immediately I had to do something about it.”

Daniel definitely did “do something.” He launched the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice movement, and because of its success, on July 31, 2013, he won the Do Something Award, broadcast on VH1, which includes a grand prize of $100,000.

Trayvon was wearing a hooded sweatshirt the night he was killed, so Daniel recorded a YouTube video to launch Million Hoodies Movement for Justice. “We were calling on people around the world to show solidarity for Trayvon’s family with one act – simply by putting on a hoodie and sharing a picture of themselves in the hoodie,” Daniel says.

This sparked a social media firestorm, the fastest-growing petition in the history of the internet, as well as more than 50,000 people participating in more than a dozen protests in different cities across the United States, including 5,000 people in New York City’s Union Square.

Daniel credits American University for giving him the opportunity to create his own interdisciplinary major in history, philosophy, and film so he could study how social change occurs and how to use media to create change. He says some of his mentors are Professors Russell Williams, SOC/BA ’74, Peter Kuznick, and Gemma Puglisi.

“I had the privilege of being taught by some of the best professors. … I look back every day, and I see how their coursework and the conversations I had with them, not only in the classroom but during office hours, helped establish my foundation in critical thinking and exploring issues beyond the surface,” he says, “The School of Communication provided a great basis for my training in interactive media and film, which has been a huge part of the Million Hoodies movement. We leverage media and entertainment every day to galvanize people to the cause.”

When asked how he will spend the prize money to continue his activism, Daniel says, “Trayvon Martin is just the tip of the iceberg. … We want to prevent [incidents like this] from ever happening again, so we really have to attack to root causes: racial discrimination and structural violence against young people of color – black, Latino, Hispanic, Asian American, the list goes on. It’s not just African Americans.”

Daniel hopes to accomplish this by educating young people and engaging them in conversations on race and gun violence at an early age. He is in talks now with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create a digital study guide for classrooms to start these discussions. He also hopes to start local conversations about racial profiling and common sense gun legislation because, he says, change must come from the local level.

“We are calling on college students to start Million Hoodies chapters on their campuses, and we will give them the resources they need to have an impact on their local communities. And I want American University to be the first Million Hoodies college chapter. All it takes is one student,” says Daniel.

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Title: A Profile in Compatibility
Author: Rick Horowitz
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Abstract: So many devices, so little time! Alumni couple simplifies cross-platform file transfers, untangles cloud computing.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 07/31/2013
Content:

You have a document on your iPad you need to edit on your Android phone. Or a video on your flash drive you need to send to someone else’s PC. Or a music file over here that absolutely has to be over there.

Welcome to Tech World. And consider the story of two American University grads who continue to bring some much-needed order to this digital jungle while inspiring other young entrepreneurs.

For Donald and Claire Hykes Leka, their four AU degrees—two apiece—are a source of pride. You could also say they’re a source of Glide.

Glide: TransMedia’s computer operating system that seeks to tame the multi-platform, multi-format world of file sharing—moving documents, pictures, videos and music seamlessly across technical borders. And Glide: the subject of a new book the Lekas have co-written to recount the birth and growth and increasing impact of an entrepreneurial techie’s vision, rendered with a storyteller’s eye for detail.

Say the word “Glide” and you think “smooth.” You think “hassle-free.” However, that wasn’t the state of tech world when Donald Leka first started looking at it as an AU grad and Kogod-trained MBA in the late 1990s.

It was quite a different time.

“There was no Dropbox, no SkyDrive, no Google Drive,” Donald Leka recalls. “Ninety-five percent of people had their files on a PC. There was a lot less to connect.”

And now, when seemingly everyone has an assortment of devices and when gigabytes of data reside instantly available in “the cloud”—how does all the data and information move around? And how can you deal with it when it gets where it’s going?

Glide OS is how. When “everything is everywhere,” in Donald’s words, Glide lets “everywhere” talk to, send to, and receive from “everywhere else.” Donald refers to it as “cross-platform compatibility.”

You might apply that same phrase to the Lekas.




Donald, the founder, chairman, and CEO of TransMedia Corporation, had a wide-ranging curiosity and interest in technology from a young age. He recalls learning about the world by watching Walter Cronkite.

Claire meanwhile was several years younger; her own inspiration came from watching Cronkite’s successor, Dan Rather.

That’s what “planted the seeds,” she recalls—the first stirrings of a journalist’s career. When the time came to apply to college, she visited AU and “fell in love with it.” The size of the place—“not too big”—was an attraction. So were the School of Communication’s well-known, well-respected programs in communication and journalism. She could hardly have picked a more eventful time to learn her craft at SOC.

LiveShot 'En Serio'

“A lot of major world events were happening my sophomore year at AU, in 1989— including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Tiananmen Square massacre. Those events really influenced me and inspired me to seek the truth and report it.”

There was experience to be gained closer to home, too.

“Since AU is based in the ‘Journalism Capital of the World,’” she recalls, “I was able to attend Capitol Hill hearings, Supreme Court arguments, events at The National Press Club…”

She graduated with a major in communication, but soon returned to SOC for a Master’s in broadcast journalism. Her first job was as a part-timer in Hagerstown, Md., covering Rotary Club meetings and house fires. Other jobs soon followed—as a business reporter, business anchor, and correspondent—for Reuters and CNN, NBC News, and CBS News—covering everything from the stock market crash and the Great Recession to the Virginia Tech massacre to the 2012 presidential race. In that time Claire has remained an active member of the SOC Alumni Mentoring Program, building on the impact of her SOC degrees.

Donald’s AU degree, in international relations, also had an impact—as did his Albanian roots. Albania was, in 1990, just emerging from decades as a closed society when Donald was invited by the Ministry of Health to help supply the beleaguered nation with Hepatitis B vaccine, and then a computer and phone system for the ministry. These were among the first commercial transactions between the two long-estranged countries. With the end of the Cold War, Donald co-founded a foundation, funded in part by George Soros and by the U.S. Agency for International Development, to bring additional technical assistance to Albania and other Eastern European nations.

Meanwhile, his appetite for all things tech was growing. And, he says, he “really started to understand format and bit rate issues…really started to understand issues of compatibility.” In this still largely dialup world, getting information from one device to another was “a real headache.”

Donald thought, “If we could build an engine that could just do it…”




Paul Barrett 'CloudComputing'

Now, more than a decade and several updates later Glide has garnered more than 3,000,000 users around the world.

The timing is right for a big step forward, Donald believes—so many different kinds of files, so many different kinds of devices. Most people, he says “don’t care” which platforms they’re on at any given time. They simply want them to work together.

“We’re at a real ‘pain point’ for most users. Before, we were solving a mostly theoretical problem. Now, it solves a real ‘pain point’ for most people. It’s the difference between ‘This is interesting’ and ‘I need this!’”

And with public concern increasing over the secret collection of personal data—by the government, or even by online companies—Donald sees people wanting greater control of their own data, all their own data, with “one login, one search box, one system to manage all your devices and services.” He thinks Glide is positioned just far enough ahead of the demand curve, and ready to ride the wave.

If he’s right, Claire will have had a key role, too. She signed on with TransMedia in 2010 to guide the company’s public-relations efforts and its expanding presence on social media. And the couple has collaborated on a book, Cloud Computing: The Glide OS Story, targeted to other young entrepreneurs, and to anyone interested in cross-platform and cloud computing.

Teaming two strong-willed people on a complicated writing project took work, they both concede: some deep breathing, some counting from one to 10—even, says Claire, that old kindergarten standby, “Take your turn.” Donald sees the contrasting styles—he the techie, she the humanizer, the storyteller—as a definite plus: “There’s good resistance there.”

Or, you could say, compatibility.

 

Tags: Alumni,Faculty,Students,School,School of Communication,Communication,Communication Technology,Information Technology
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newsId: 497D2FA6-03C5-429A-0EF284473D7DFBE0
Title: AU Alumnus Sees Success at SXSW Film Festival
Author: Tyne Darke, SOC/BA ’13
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Abstract: Producer Chris Leggett, SOC/BA ’08, wins the SXSW Film Festival’s Audience Award for The Short Game.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 07/12/2013
Content:

You could say things have been going pretty well for AU alumnus Chris Leggett, SOC/BA ’08. In March, he won the Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival as a producer for The Short Game, a documentary following eight seven-year-old golfers vying for the top spot at the World Championships of the Junior Golf tournament in North Carolina. The film received a second Audience Award at the Maui Film Festival this June.

But before he was an award-winning producer, Chris was a student in visual media at American University. Chris was attracted to AU for many reasons including the inviting community, the experienced professors, and the connection he developed with the university’s swim team.

Chris acknowledges the influence his time as a competitive swimmer at AU has had on his career, specifically his work ethic. He says, “I may not be the best producer yet, but I definitely work the hardest. It’s all about pushing yourself to the limit, and that’s what you do in athletics. The word ‘no’ should not be in your vocabulary; it should be ‘how.’”

That work ethic shows itself not just in the recent success of The Short Game, but also in the other projects with which Chris keeps himself busy. He covered the 2010 and 2012 Olympics and produced a Webby Award-winning music video for the song “Fjögur píanó” by Icelandic band Sigur Rós. Even though juggling multiple projects often means scheduling “too many meetings, overlapping meetings,” Chris says this makes being a producer “probably the most exciting job in the world.”


For those who are looking to get into the field, Chris’s advice is to “make your own rules” and constantly learn. “The film industry is evolving every day but you’re never doing the same thing twice. Just embrace that,” he says.

The Short Game will be in theaters at the end of the summer. Watch the trailer and learn more about the film.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Update,School of Communication
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