newsId: CC6E73FC-5056-AF26-BE9FECBB46FDE107
Title: Collection Spotlight—Black History Month
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Abstract: Black History Month is a time of observance during which we reflect on the important people and events in African American history. Here at Bender Library, we spotlight the best selections in our collection to help further celebrate Black History Month.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 02/26/2015
Content:

Black History Month is a time of observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom during which we reflect on the important people and events in African American history. The precursor to Black History Month was Negro History Week, which was created 1926 and was since expanded to a month long celebration during the bicentennial of the United States in 1976. For more about the origins of this observance, read Ralph Crowder’s “Historical Significance of Black History Month” in Black History Bulletin (requires AU login) or check out our African American Studies LibGuide. Here at Bender Library at American University, we have curated the best books, films, and music selections to recognize the important contributions made by African Americans.

Books:

Black History extends from the time of slavery to present day America under the leadership of the first African American President of the United States. These selected books highlight experiences of black Americans throughout history.

From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans by John Hope Franklin and Alfred A. Moss [E185 .F825 2000]
This is the powerful story of African American history, from the slavery era through the late twentieth century.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas by Frederick Douglas [E449 .D749 2005]
This highly influential book changed the abolitionist movement forever in 1845 through its account of Douglass’ life as a slave and his ambition to become a free man.

The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois [E185.5 .D83 2005]
Du Bois’ 1903 collection of essays was groundbreaking in creating an intellectual argument for the black freedom struggle in the twentieth century—which continues to resonate in the twenty-first.

Black Like Me by Howard Griffin [E185.61 .G8]
A nonfiction account of Griffin, who was a white native of Dallas, Texas, as he traveled for six-weeks through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia passing as a black man after artificially darkening his skin.

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama [E185.97 .O23 A3 1995]
The President of the United States explores his heritage in this memoir and speaks to the current issue of racial tension within our nation.

Films:

If a picture is worth a thousand words, these films tell a score of struggles and triumphs in black history.

Roots (1977) [HU DVD 6121]
Based on the novel, Roots: the Saga of an American Family, Alex Haley chronicles the story of his own family across many generations. It begins with an 18th century African, Kunta Kinte, who is captured and sold into slavery in the United States, then traces his life and the lives of his descendants in the U.S. into the twentieth century.

Glory (1989) [HU DVD 1171]
One of the best Civil War films ever made, this film follows the US Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of the Union Army and the Confederates.

12 Years A Slave (2013) [HU DVD 11176]
The Oscar winning film tells the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, as he is abducted and sold into slavery.

42 (2013) [HU BLU 4622]
This films depicts the story of Jackie Robinson from his signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1945 to his historic 1947 rookie season when he broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball.

Malcolm X (1992) [DVD 165]
Denzel Washington holds nothing back in his portrayal of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader in this Spike Lee film.

Music:

Music is an integral component of the history of black Americans. Here is just a small sampling you can find in our streaming content or in the American University Music Library, located in the Katzen Arts Center.

Negro Spirituals [http://bit.ly/1whlDNg]
This collection catalogs a sampling of songs slaves sang for inspiration while working and, sometimes, use to secretly coordinate runaways to freedom.

Jazz
Jazz originated in African American culture, evolving from Negro spirituals and European music. Some influential black jazz artists include Louis Armstrong [CD 3332], Duke Ellington [http://bit.ly/1yEHICx], Miles Davis [http://bit.ly/1AmpS9G], and Billie Holiday [http://bit.ly/1IGqhtx]. All of these artists, and many more, used their talents and prestige in the 20th century to fight for equality in the United States and across the world.

Go-Go
Originating in Washington, D.C. during the 1970s, Chuck Brown, the “Godfather of Go-Go,” introduced this subgenre of funk to the black music circuit. Get a taste of the culture, and D.C. history, with a live recording of Chuck Brown at the 9:30 Club [CD 9827].

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Title: Secret Lives: Jackie Saavedra
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Abstract: Our latest Personnel Profile story highlights Circulation Services Specialist Jackie Saavedra, a Miami native who was swept off her feet by Washington, D.C.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 02/10/2015
Content:

During the grey, chilly months of winter, many D.C. residents fantasize about sunnier locales with sandy beaches and palm trees. Sometimes we can lose sight of the charms our home has to offer, until we chat with an enthusiastic newcomer, seeing the city through fresh eyes. Let Circulation Services Specialist Jackie Saavedra, a former Miami resident who fell head over heels for D.C., take you on a tour of the nation's capital that will have you falling in love with the city all over again.

While visiting friends in the District a few years ago, Jackie was struck by the abundance of libraries, museums, and intellectual activities available here. Her friends brought her to the American History Museum, Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery of Art, out for brunch and shopping at Eastern Market, and to see a band at the 9:30 Club. By the end of the weekend, she was hooked!

An avid book-lover, Jackie was already working on her Master of Science in Library and Information Studies at Florida State University in Tallahassee. After completing her degree, Jackie was awarded a two month internship at the National Anthropological Archives through the Smithsonian Institute. When her internship ended, she moved back to Miami for a short time before relocating to her new home and accepting a job with American University.

Jackie takes full advantage of living in a cultural hub, catching author talks at her neighborhood bookstore, Politics and Prose, seeing performances at the Kennedy Center and Shakespeare Theatre, and trying out different restaurants and cuisines. (She loves the pop-tarts at Ted's Bulletin and the ramen at Daikaya!) Some of her favorite activities include bringing a book to Meridian Hill Park on Sundays for some leisurely reading and a chance to enjoy the weekly drum circle, strolling through Georgetown to see the historic buildings, checking out shows at local art galleries, and visiting the National Museum of the American Indian, her favorite museum in town.

She also makes time to visit the United States Botanic Garden regularly during the winter. The steamy, warm environment reminds her of home. While Jackie is still getting used to winter weather, she thoroughly enjoys the occasional snow day. "It is so peaceful to stay in your warm apartment, sipping coffee and watching movies, while enjoying the view of a winter wonderland. There is something beautiful about the glare of the sun hitting a blanket of bright white snow." Experiencing the change in seasons is new for her and she appreciates seeing how the city changes throughout the year.

Although she misses her family, Jackie Skypes with them regularly and loves being able to explore D.C. with them when they visit. Her homesickness has also been eased by the friendliness she has encountered here, which surprised her initially. "D.C. residents are so welcoming. People here seem more willing to start up a conversation or lend a helping hand than I expected. Even though it is a busy city, D.C. has the neighborliness of a smaller town."

Her list of places to visit and things to do is always growing, but she is eager to visit Mt. Vernon and Dumbarton Oaks, see the upcoming exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, and take a Ghost &Graveyard Tour of Old Town Alexandria. Jackie's excitement about D.C. is contagious and serves as an excellent reminder to step back and renew one's appreciation for local culture.

Book and Film Recommendations from Jackie:

1. House of Cards, Seasons 1 & 2

Although the original book and mini-series are set in the U.K.'s House of Commons, the story seems far more gripping and sinister in an American setting. Also, the time-lapse opening sequence shows D.C. in its most imposing light.

2. A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro

This book takes a look at one of Shakespeare’s most productive years, in which he wrote Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and Hamlet. It's an ideal companion to a night out at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre or the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

3. Blankets by Craig Thompson

A blustery Wisconsin winter is the perfect backdrop to this graphic novel about adolescence and first love; the setting alone makes it a great read for a snow day.

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Title: Let the Library be your Valentine
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Abstract: Whether you plan to spend this Feb. 14 contemplating the nature of love, baking cookies, watching movies, or enjoying a romantic evening—the Library has plenty of suggestions for fun Valentine’s Day listening, cooking, viewing, and reading.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 02/05/2015
Content:

Whether you plan to spend this February 14th contemplating the nature of love, baking cookies for your most-adored friends, watching movies with your roomies, or enjoying a romantic evening with someone special (like yourself!)—the Library has plenty of suggestions for fun Valentine's Day listening, cooking, viewing, and reading.

Music:

Les Misérables Live! The 2010 Cast Album Get swept away by the music of this production and the romance between Cosette and Marius.

Magic Flute Set in a fantastical world, Mozart’s opera features plot twists aplenty, magical instruments, and of course, romance.

Tristan und Isolde  Wagner’s famous opera is a classic romantic tragedy based on a Celtic legend.

Cookbooks:

Sprouted Kitchen by Sarah Forte Show your body some love with healthy recipes from a wellness oriented food blogger.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child Learn to cook French cuisine alongside beloved chef Julia Child.

Sweet Magic: Easy Recipes for Delectable Desserts by Michel Richard Make some sweets for your sweetie, using the recipes from this DC celebrity chef.

Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes by Daniel Ahern and Shauna James Ahern This love story meets cookbook features recipes and romance, with great ideas for anyone avoiding gluten.

Neelys' Celebration Cookbook: Down-Home Meals for Every Occasion by Pat Neely, Gina Neely and Ann Volkwein This celebrity chef couple’s featured menu for Valentine’s Day manages to be both light and decadent.

Movies:

Crazy, Stupid, Love Two words: Ryan Gosling

Noah’s Arc (season 1) Super-campy & fun, this show takes a look at the lives of young black men in LA.

Zebrahead Set in Detroit, this Oliver Stone-produced film brings together 90s hip hop and interracial love.

Weekend Two men have a brief, but intense love affair that changes them both.

But I'm a Cheerleader Orange is the New Black actress Natasha Lyonne stars in this tongue-in-cheek rom-com cult classic.

Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss Unrequited love takes center stage in this charming camp classic.

Books:

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro Beautifully written, this novel follows a young woman as she reconnects with two deeply loved people from her past.

Selected Poems by Federico García Lorca Explore the haunting Sonnets of Dark Love in this book of dual language poetry by an iconic Spanish writer.

All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks In this book, a noted writer, intellectual, and social activist examines the concept of modern love. 

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin Follow the story of an American in Paris who experiences the soaring highs and devastating lows of love.

Perks Of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky This coming of age story encompasses the love, heartache, loneliness, and angst of adolescence.

Flaneur: A Stroll through the Paradoxes of Paris by Edmund White Fall in love with Paris as you stroll through the ‘City of Lights’ alongside a celebrated American novelist.

More: Speak to each other in the language of love, using the Library’s new Pronunciator language learning software.

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Title: Select Stream-able Selections
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Abstract: When it is chilly outside and you need a break from your studies, check out our streaming content that you can enjoy from the comfort of your room. If you are snowed in, look to the Library’s streaming and online services to cure your cabin fever.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 01/29/2015
Content:

When it is chilly outside and you need to take a break from your studies, check out our streaming content that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own dorm room. If you find yourself snowed in and bored, then look to the Library's streaming and online services for books, films, and music to cure your cabin fever.

Books:

Winter is the perfect time to sit down in a big comfy chair by a fire (or space heater), sip some hot cocoa, and catch up on a couple of those great literary classics you've been meaning to get around to but just haven't had the time. This is just a small selection of the numerous titles available online.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens [http://bit.ly/1ulgrHB]

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley [http://bit.ly/14n6PSX]

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain [http://bit.ly/1wzv72p]

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells [http://bit.ly/1tRvC6f]

Some electronic resources are spinoffs from literary favorites, such as the …and Philosophy series.

Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts edited by David Baggett and Shawn E. Klein [http://bit.ly/1xzHoHk]

The Hobbit and Philosophy: For When You've Lost Your Dwarves, Your Wizard, and Your Way edited by Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson [http://bit.ly/14n9yvm]

The Catcher in the Rye and Philosophy: A Book for Bastards, Morons, and Madmen edited by Keith Dromm and Heather Salter [http://bit.ly/1GXeGFE]

Films:

Find more streaming videos in the numerous Media Service collections but here are some highlights not available on Netflix streaming.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) [http://bit.ly/116UIaB]
This film originally bombed when it was released, making it cheap for TV stations to play during the holiday season and solidifying it as the Christmas classic we know today.

The Stranger (1946) [http://bit.ly/1ub7yid]
Directed by Orson Welles, this film follows a man of the War Crimes Commission seeking Franz Kindler, mastermind of the Holocaust, who has effectively erased his identity.

Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1942) [http://bit.ly/116VwMI]
You won't find Benedict Cumberbatch or Martin Freeman in this William Roy Neill directed film, but you will find a lot of classic local scenery as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson travel to Washington D.C. in order to prevent a secret document from falling into enemy hands.

Music:

With Pandora, Spotify, and iTunes Radio, you have a lot of ways to listen to music. Why not explore a few different genres of ad-free music brought to you by the music library?

Jazz Library [http://bit.ly/1ulLxii]
Mix selection of Jazz legends and contemporary jazz.

American Song Library [http://bit.ly/1vdPiYq]
Music from America's past including songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers, and cowboys.

World Music Library [http://bit.ly/1xA0Qnm]
Take your ears on a global trip with sounds from nearly every genre and region of the world.

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Title: Going Abroad? Meet Pronunciator
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Abstract: The Library now offers Pronunciator—free language-learning software with a host of useful features.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 01/16/2015
Content:

Planning to study abroad and wondering how you're going to going to find time to brush up on your language skills? Looking for a convenient way to structure your study time? Simply love languages and want to try learning a new one? Meet Pronunciator, our new online language-learning tool. Pronunciator offers instruction for 80 languages that can be taken from any of the 50 starting languages. This range of permutations means that a Spanish speaker can learn Chinese, a Thai speaker can learn Russian, or a Japanese speaker can learn German (just to name a few).

Pronunciator focuses on the language of everyday situations, so you can begin with the essentials, like food or transportation, and then build on that foundation at your own pace. With Pronunciator by your side, you'll be able to ask for directions, order a drink, and communicate with your host family in no time!

Pronunciator's free mobile app for iPhone, Android, and Kindle Fire lets you take your lessons with you. It also features thousands of downloadable audio lessons and phrasebooks, so you can access the tools you need—even while you're offline.

One of Pronunciator's most useful features is the real-time pronunciation analysis tool. All you need is a microphone and Pronunciator will help you test your accent. Especially useful If you're learning a tonal language like Chinese, where pitch can completely change the meaning of a word. Use Pronunciator to help you avoid ending up at a book store, when you really want to visit the library.

If you're planning a trip make sure you check out one of their 8-week travel-prep courses. You'll be conversational before you know it. Bon voyage!

Tags: Library,Library Services,New at the Library,University Library,Languages,Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition & Research (CLEAR),Kogod School of Business,Study Abroad,Abroad at AU,AU Abroad,World Languages and Cultures,Language and Area Studies (w/ College of Arts and Sciences),English for Speakers of Other Languages
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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
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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: Nate Beeler Draws The News
Author: Rebecca Vander Linde
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Abstract: Alumnus Nate Beeler is an award-winning editorial cartoonist.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 12/11/2014
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“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
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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
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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
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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: Alumnus Michael O'Brien's Book Details Symbolic Civil Rights Movement
Author: Ann Royse
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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.

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