newsId: 911B01D9-5056-AF26-BEC041D9808D0211
Title: Librarian Profile: Kathryn Ray
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Abstract: This article in our series of librarian profiles focuses on Reference Librarian Kathryn Ray. In addition to providing research guidance on a wide number of topics, Kathryn is also an expert on Washington, DC history.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 08/28/2015
Content:

If you have visited the first floor of Bender Library, chances are you have seen Reference Librarian Kathryn Ray in action at the Research Assistance Desk, helping AU students track down the resources they need for projects and papers. Kathryn has been an instrumental part of the team since she came to the Library in 2003. Between her extensive knowledge base and her wealth of library experience with 23 years spent at DC Public Library, she brings a special energy to her work. Kathryn received her B.A. in American Studies from Mary Washington College, her M.S. in Library Science from Catholic University, and her M.Phil. in American Civilization with a concentration in DC History from George Washington University.

Given her interests as a student and her background as a DMV local, it makes perfect sense that she is now an expert on DC history. She is also eager to share that knowledge. In addition to creating the Subject Guide on DC History and Local Area Studies, Kathryn has been published several times, including a chapter on the Tenleytown neighborhood for the book, Washington at Home, published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Her knowledge of the history of Tenleytown was particularly useful when she participated in the Tenleytown Heritage Trail working group.

Where can you find her?

Kathryn logs a lot of hours at the Research Assistance Desk, where she helps students, personnel, alumni, and community users with their research efforts. She can also be found in College Writing classes each semester, “teaching students the power of information.” Every year during All American Weekend, Kathryn works with other Library personnel to offer the extremely popular AU Neighborhood Bus Tours. These tours fill up completely each year, even as the Library offers more and more tours to meet the demand. Kathryn helped to develop the guide for these tours, which explore the historical background of popular sites in the neighborhood surrounding AU, such as the former homes of Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, Embassy Row, the National Cathedral, and Civil War forts.

Why she loves her job

As Kathryn puts it, “Working with students is very satisfying. I want to empower them by introducing resources and teaching research skills. It is a collaborative relationship because they are always exposing me to new ideas as well. Before working as a Reference Librarian, I didn’t know much about the Fibonacci sequence or Beowulf. That is a fun part of my job—the research questions that come in can be about anything!”

In the Community

In addition to her love of sharing information and learning new things, Kathryn is also actively involved with the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia and edits their book, Know the District of Columbia.Kathryn and her husband are also big fans of the Washington Nationals. “I grew up as a Senators fan and we’ve been season ticket holders for the Nats since day one.” When she isn’t working on scholarly pursuits or catching baseball games, Kathryn is taking ballet classes at the Washington School of Ballet, getting in some after-work Zumba, or biking around the city. As if that wasn’t already a full schedule, she rows on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers five days a week as a part of the Rock Creek Rowing group. The schedule may be intense—they hit the water at 5:25 a.m.—but for Kathryn “there is something magical about seeing the sunrise over the Kennedy Center, monuments, and cherry blossoms from the water.”

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Title: Secret Lives: Matt Barry
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Abstract: The ninth article in a series of profiles offering a ‘behind the scenes’ peek at our Library personnel. Meet Overnight Operations Coordinator Matt Barry and learn about his secret life as a college student and veteran.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 08/20/2015
Content:

When most Library personnel are asleep, Matt Barry is here keeping an eye on things. As the Overnight Operations Coordinator, Matt oversees the building and patrons each night from 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. Between the unusual hours and his work as a non-traditional student, Matt does not shy away from a challenge. He is enrolled in a B.A. program in History at American University and now has only one course left before he graduates.

Matt is also one of the 3 million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in the United States today. Attracted to military service as a kid, Matt greatly admired his older cousin’s service in the Marines and loved visiting battlefields with his history-buff dad. Growing up in New Jersey near the Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Matt loved visiting this “battlefield in suburbia” and reading history books. Reminders of the Revolutionary War are dotted throughout the northeast, and since moving to the DC area, Matt has also been able to visit some of the nearby Civil War sites. “As Americans, we’ve been blessed with a largely peaceful existence within our own country and these historic sites are important. They speak to the way that we memorialize the events of the past and provide us with a glimpse into history, right in our own backyards.”

Immediately after high school, Matt enlisted in the Marines. At the age of 17, he went off to Parris Island in South Carolina for 2 weeks of training, the longest he’d ever been away from home. Initially, the stressful environment was traumatic, but it quickly started to feel normal as Matt adapted to the demanding new schedule. He found that the training was not only practical, but also included social and cultural components. After completing training, he was serving his country and attending community college at the same time while residing in New Jersey, until the events of 9/11 changed everything.

In 2002, he received notice about mobilization and one Friday in January 2003, he was placed on active duty – beginning that Monday. “My priorities shifted very quickly. I called my parents, then my girlfriend, and the rest of the weekend is a blur.” First sent to Camp Pendleton in California, within 3 weeks of being mobilized, Matt was in Kuwait. About a month after he arrived, the war began. Suddenly, his chemical response training was put to use, as the base was under missile attack for the first couple of days. Matt describes the experience of his tour in the Middle East as “large spans of boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror.”

After being demobilized around his 21st birthday, Matt returned to college, eventually transferring to American University in 2006. He also took on a part-time job at the Library, before being hired for a full time position within a few months. For Matt, returning to school was a culture shock. “The unpopularity of the Iraq War made for some uncomfortable class discussions, because there were often strong, emotional responses being voiced, but on the whole, everyone was still welcoming.”

As a student of history, Matt has discovered an interest in memoirs and other personal accounts. “That shared experience over generations, a shared lineage that transcends time, allows me to see what I have in common with soldiers from different nations and time periods. At one time, each of us is a person isolated from home, surrounded by strangers who become friends, and enduring hardships that make us stronger.” Since Matt has been on campus, he has watched how AU worked to improve the experience of veteran students, of whom there are now more than 100 on campus. The Veterans of American University student organization advocates for student veterans and provides them with a peer support network. AU also offers the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, which helps to make college for affordable for veterans. There is even a Veterans Lounge in Asbury, providing these students with a space that facilitates connection among student veterans.

Asked for any advice that he would share with other student veterans or veterans thinking of returning to school, Matt had this to say: “Remain flexible. If it takes a little longer to meet your goals, that is okay—it will happen. Your experiences in the service will give you the fortitude to finish your degree.”

Matt’s Recommendations

With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge
A US Marine's memoir of his fighting in the Pacific theater of World War 2. It is visceral. It is shocking. And itis easily one of the finest war memoirs ever written.

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James D. Hornfischer
A wonderfully written narrative history of Taffy 3, an outgunned and outnumbered US Navy force tasked with protecting vulnerable troop transports in the Philippines. They find themselves facing the might of the Imperial Japanese Navy, including the Yamato, one of the largest warships ever built.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
The American humorist Bill Bryson decides to reconnect with his home country after spending decades aboard by hiking the famed Appalachian Trail. He teams up with an old college buddy and a combined outdoorsmen skill of "What do you mean I shouldn't eat these berries I found?" to conquer all 2100 miles of it. 

The Lego Movie
Everything is, in fact, awesome.

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Title: 5 Little Known Archives and Special Collections Tidbits
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Abstract: Already home to some of our rarest and most unusual items, there is even more to Archives and Special Collections than most people know. Take a look at some little known facts about your Library.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 08/19/2015
Content:

1) Our rarest collections are protected by a gas fire-suppression system.

Halon is a liquefied gas that is used to extinguish fire by disrupting the combustion process. When the halon evaporates, it leaves no residue. This quality makes it ideal for the protection of rare and sensitive materials. While systems like these were introduced in the 1960s, by the 1980s it was discovered that halon is an ozone-depleting substance. Consequently, its production and import were banned under the Clean Air Act of 1994, but existing systems were deemed legal. We purchase recycled halon to recharge our existing system, so that we can protect our books and still stay green.

2) We have the best view of campus from the Archives Reading Room.

Archives and Special Collections is located at the front of Bender Library on the third floor. The windows in these offices and the Archives Reading Room overlook the quad, allowing visitors to enjoy our beautiful arboretum campus in all seasons. AU’s campus photographer and others regularly stop by to take photographs from this expansive viewing spot.

3) Our oldest item is a book from 1468.

Our collections date from the 15th century to the present. The oldest item is a volume of sermons by Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo that was printed in Cologne, Germany by Ulrich Zell circa 1468. The text, Incipit Sermo Beati Augustini Episcopi de Conmuni [sic] Vita Clericorum, is bound in a very rare and expensive material, Moroccan goat hide, with the lettering done in pure gold.

4) We have copies of the original plans for campus including the one prepared by Frederick Law Olmsted’s firm.

Take a look at the AU campuses that could have been! AU initially consulted with the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. the father of American landscape architecture, who designed Central Park in New York and the U.S. Capitol grounds. The Olmsted firm’s design from 1895 was abandoned in favor of a more classical and formal design by Henry Ives Cobb dating from 1898.

5) We have a few artifacts including a snow globe featuring Chairman Mao and the shovel used by President Eisenhower for the groundbreaking of the original SIS Building.

Though Archives and Special Collections mainly collects audiovisual materials, books, and documents, we have acquired a variety of memorabilia and three dimensional artifacts over the years including several examples of freshman beanies, memorabilia created for AU’s 100th anniversary, and plaques and signs from buildings.

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Title: Take a Break from the Heat with these Sea-Themed Film Selections
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Abstract: Take a trip to the beach without ever leaving DC! Library Media Services has a great selection of films waiting to transport you to the sea or shore.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 07/31/2015
Content:

1965Beach Blanket Bingo DVD 10337
50s teen idols Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon star in this camp classic. Get ready for retro swimwear galore and cheesy special effects as the “Beach Party Gang” embarks on an absurd adventure.

1966Endless Summer DVD 10265
This classic surf documentary follows two American surfers as they travel around the world, chasing warm weather and waves. Enjoy the gorgeous visuals and the fun surf rock soundtrack.

1975Jaws DVD 98
If you’re looking for a scarier seaside experience, sink your teeth into this tightly paced horror classic, in which a massive great white shark terrorizes vacationers in a picturesque Northeastern resort town.

2001Y Tu Mamá También DVD 454
Take a road trip to Boca del Cielo beach alongside two teenage friends, Diego and Tenoch, and their alluring travelling companion, Luisa, with this nuanced tale of exploration and change.

2003Finding Nemo DVD 836
Enjoy the gorgeous animation of this deep-sea adventure about a young clownfish named Nemo, who is separated from his family and must find his way home.

2004The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou DVD 5101
Wes Anderson whimsy, Portuguese-language acoustic David Bowie covers, and big name stars, like Bill Murray and Cate Blanchett come together in this homage to underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau.

2009Undertow [Contracorriente] DVD 8696
Set in a tiny Peruvian coastal village, this film explores themes of sexuality and identity through the story of Miguel, a young fisherman, haunted by the ghost of his drowned lover, Santiago.

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Title: AU Library has got Game(s)
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Abstract: This summer, spend your next rainy day playing board games with some friends! The AU Library has more than 80 games to choose from at the Reserves and Technology Borrowing Desk.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 07/24/2015
Content:

Here’s the Verdict (AUGAME 46): games are the best summer pastime! GO! (AUGAME 43/44) to the basement of the library and you’ll be transported to a Bazaar (AUGAME 48), or maybe Camelot (AUGAME 50), or even an Andean Abyss (AUGAME 34) by checking out one of the games in our sizable collection! Stop the War on Terror (AUGAME 27) or make some Easy Money (AUGAME 41.) The possibilities are endless. Check out some of our favorites below:

Timeline (AUGAME 39)—Which was invented first: eyeglasses or the light bulb? Test your knowledge of the recent past with Timeline, a fun and easy card game about inventions and historical accuracy.

Dixit (AUGAME 51)—A strikingly designed and easy to learn game, Dixit should be at the top of your list of games to play this summer. Grab a few friends and enter an abstract world, concocting clues based upon cards featuring beautiful drawings; see who can trick their opponents and guess their way to victory!

Pandemic (AUGAME 05)—In this board game, players work cooperatively instead of competitively. With each player in a randomly selected role, they must work together to stop the spread of four diseases in separate regions of the world. The Pandemic: On The Brink (AUGAME 06) and Pandemic: In The Lab (AUGAME 07) expansion sets are also available for checkout.

Settlers of Catan (AUGAME 08)—The game that arguably started the recent table top trend, Settlers of Catan pits you against your friends in a race to colonize the island of Catan. While creating roads, settlements, and cities with your collected resources, you must also effectively block your opponents from building across the board.

Tales of Arabian Nights (AUGAME 38)—If you’re a fan of “choose your own adventure” books, this game’s for you. In Tales of Arabian Nights, you’re the hero/heroine and you’ll choose your own destiny. There is a winner, but the game is less about who wins or loses and more about the story that gets told and events that unfold. Will you fulfil your destiny?

Agricola (AUGAME 24)—Consistently voted one of the best games by boardgamegeek.com; in Agricola you’re a farmer trying to expand your farm. You choose which plants/materials you want to harvest/collect and whether or not to expand your family to help with work on the farm. At the end of 14 rounds, the best and most stable farm wins.

Twilight Struggle (AUGAME 17)—The HIGHEST ranked board game on boardgamegeek.com, Twilight Struggle is a thematic card-driven game for two people. The game focuses around the tension of the Cold War, as one player represents the United States and the other represents the Soviet Union.

Labyrinth (AUGAME 30)—Labyrinth takes one or two players inside the Islamist Jihad and the global war on terror. Similar to Twilight Struggle, the two person version has one player representing Islamist Jihad and the other player representing the United States. Easy to play and with a broad scope, Labyrinth will leave you thinking about the ideological struggles at hand.

Remember: if you’re looking for some old classics, we’ve got those too. From Twister (AUGAME 13), to Scrabble (AUGAME 19), Risk (AUGAME 02), Chess (AUGAME 15) and, of course, Monopoly (AUGAME 11), our collection has so much to offer. Cool off in the MudBox Cafe with a few friends and spend the afternoon playing board games!

Check out the Board Games board on our Pinterest page to explore all current titles in our collection, as well as to see their availability. If you find a game you like, just drop by the desk on the Lower Level of the Library. Since the games are kept behind the Reserves and Technology Borrowing Desk, it is important to have not only your AU ID, but also the call number of the game. All games are available for a 3-day loan with no renewals. Games must be returned directly to the Course Reserves desk; if the desk is closed, they may also be returned to the Information Desk on the first floor. Games should not be returned to the front book drop or the Borrowing Desk. Overdue fines are $1 per day.

For more information on the Library’s games collection, you can go to the Course Reserves and Technology Borrowing desk. You can also contact us by calling 202-882-3231 or e-mailing elela@american.edu.

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Title: We All Scream for Ice Cream
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Abstract: These steamy summer days may have you wilting, but they do make cooling off with a frozen treat even more satisfying. July is National Ice Cream Month, so curl up with one of these titles and a big sundae.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 07/14/2015
Content:

These steamy summer days may have you wilting, but they do make cooling off with a frozen treat even more satisfying. July is National Ice Cream Month, so curl up with one of these titles and a towering cone of sorbet, frozen yogurt, or ice cream.

Of Sugar and Snow: a History of Ice Cream Making by Jeri Quinzio (Ebook)
Frozen desserts have a longstanding history as popular confections. In this book, Quinzio starts with the partially frozen wine slushies that became popular in 16th century Italy and brings the reader along on an exploration of the social history of ice cream.

Sweet Carolina by Foy Allen Edelman (Ebook)
Even if you don’t own an ice cream maker, Edelman’s overview of North Carolina confections offers plenty of frozen treats that are easy to whip up on a hot summer day, like Coffee Ice Cream, Orange Icebox Cake, and Frozen Strawberry Pie.

Pure and Modern Milk: an Environmental History since 1900 by Kendra Smith-Howard
While most consumers know that ice cream, butter, and cheese are produced with milk, there are many other commercial uses for dairy by-products, like the milk proteins used in house paint and bath soap. Howard’s investigation of the historic use of dairy products is an illuminating look into this industry.

Perfect Scoop: Ice creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz
This cookbook is a Library employee favorite—and for good reason! While most of the recipes require an ice cream maker, many do not (like the Nectarine Granita and Watermelon Popsicles.) Lebovitz offers a mix of classic and unusual recipes (think Saffron-Pine Nut) with clear, easy to follow instructions.

Ice Cream Time by Nick Didkovsky (streaming music)
The record label categorizes this album as Classical/Electronic, but the weird, complex, discordant, and highly textured sound of these computer-meets-instrumental compositions make this difficult to fit neatly into any genre category.

Ice Cream Reporter (Ejournal)
As the CEO of a highly successful multinational ice cream corporation, you are no doubt wondering how to keep up with the latest industry news. Worry no more—AU Library subscribes to "The newsletter for ice cream executives."

Ice Cream Wars (streaming video)
When Häagen-Dazs was introduced to the UK, the dominant force in the ice cream market was Wall’s, a company that had been producing vegetable fat based ice cream since the days of dairy rationing during the World Wars. This BBC video explores the marketing strategy and struggles of the upstart brand.

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Title: Secret Lives: Christine Weidner
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Abstract: The seventh article in this profile series offers a ‘behind the scenes’ peek at Christine Weidner, a student worker turned Library Operations Specialist, who is about to depart for the next step in her academic career—an MA/PhD program!
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 07/07/2015
Content:

Christine Weidner is about to make a major transition. She is leaving her job as Library Building Operations Specialist at American University, leaving the East Coast entirely, for an MA/PhD program in English at the University of California Santa Barbara. In this program, she will be specializing in affect theory with emphases in modernism and global studies.

As you might expect, she is excited and a bit nervous. A life-long East Coast resident, Christine grew up in Johnstown, PA, a small city about an hour and a half away from Pittsburgh. As a rising high school freshman, she visited DC as a part of the National Student Leadership Conference. During this conference, she and the other students stayed in the dormitories on the AU campus. When she returned home for the summer, Christine knew that she wanted to come to college at American University.

She began her college career with a major in International Relations, but with each passing semester, she accrued more and more credits in Literature, until it clicked that she had found her passion. For Christine—“Literature is extremely interdisciplinary, providing an avenue of access to a variety of disciplines, including politics and international relations, while offering a methodology that intrigued me. Every day, we’re reading and accessing written information reflexively and this act is worth studying.”

Christine’s experience in a film class taught by Dr. Jeff Middents left her with a profound appreciation for the intersections between film and literature; an interest that influenced her choice in graduate programs. The program at Santa Barbara encompasses both literature and film studies, allowing Christine to further explore her fascination with the “shifting conversation between high and low forms of art, completely different genre expectations within both forms, and the emotional effect of consumed material. Both literature and film shape our definition of intimacyand our construction of beliefs.”

The AU Library has been a “huge part” of Christine’s academic life thus far. She began working at the Library as a student assistant during her sophomore year and accepted a full time position upon graduating in 2014. As a young professional, Christine describes some of the biggest challenges she faced as “extending my education beyond graduation and discovering my identity away from grades and class schedules.” Her job at the Library gave her a “chance to be around people who aren’t afraid to be passionate about their professional work and hobbies.” During her year off, Christine audited two courses, spent lots of time reading books and watching films, and realized along the way that she longed to return to academia.

Her time at the Library provided Christine with a greater familiarity with the academic resources available to her at AU, resources that she found invaluable in her search for an ideal graduate program. She researched the work of various scholars in her field, looking for work that inspired and excited her. As an undergraduate, Christine worked with faculty, particularly in the Literature Department, who nurtured her intellectual interests and left her with a strong desire to teach others. “I want to be the kind of professor that I had at AU—passionate, spreading a desire for knowledge, and sharing what I love with other people.” Recognizing the impact that these instructors had on her goals, she knew the importance of good mentors and focused on searching for a graduate program with advisers who could “help me to become my best self.”

As one of the pleasures of working in academia is watching the next generation of scholars grow and blossom within an intellectual environment, the Library takes great pride in seeing our student workers develop into young professionals and academics. In her time here, Christine has moved from student assistant to library professional to PhD candidate—and we are excited to watch her future unfold.

Christine's Recommendations:

NW by Zadie Smith. I wrote my thesis on Smith’s first novel, White Teeth, but NW is equally as enjoyable, while still being vastly different because of its experimental style. Smith uses the rich culture of her native northwest London to narrate the friendship of two girls whose lives both converge and diverge from their birthplace.

Interpreter of Maladie by Jumpha Lahiri. This collection of short stories rightly won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. While the stories vary in content, each confronts the pleasures and anxieties of intimacy. My favorite story is “Sexy” in which a child claims sexy “means loving someone who you don’t know.”

Kiss of the Spider Woman is a 1976 novel by Argentine writer Manuel Puig. This metafictional novel focuses on the conversations between two prison inmates and explores their burgeoning relationship as they recount films they’ve seen to each other.

Dil Se is Mani Ratnam's 1998 Hindi film depicting the supposedly discordant themes of love and terrorism. The film dramatizes the fraught attraction between two characters occupying central and peripheral political positions. Gorgeous cinematography (including a dance scene on top of a moving train filmed without any CGI) and astounding music by A.R. Rahman make this a transfixing film about deferred desires.

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Title: Fin-tastic Collection Highlights for Shark Week
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Abstract: Sink your teeth into our Shark Week collection highlights. AU Library has picture books, streaming videos, and scholarly works relating to everyone’s favorite apex predator.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 07/02/2015
Content:

Close to Shore: a True Story of Terror in an Age of Innocence by Michael Capuzzo
During the summer of 1819, a series of fatal shark attacks along the Jersey Shore set off a public panic. These attacks changed the accepted scientific belief that sharks were not dangerous to humans and are often credited with inspiring the book Jaws by Peter Benchley.

In Harm’s Way: the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of its Survivors by Doug Stanton
When this Navy cruiser was torpedoed and sank in 1945, the survivors of the initial attack faced a number of dangers, including shark attacks. Out of a crew of almost 1,200, there were only 317 survivors This book connects the larger narrative with the stories of 3 survivors.

TEDTalks: Simon Berrow - How Do You Save a Shark You Know Nothing About? (streaming video)
Marine biologist Berrow speaks about near-extinct basking sharks, a non-aggressive and enormous filter feeding breed of shark. Although long hunted for their oil, little is known about basking sharks, something that Berrow is attempting to remedy by studying these creatures.

Surviving the Shark: How a Brutal Great White Attack Turned a Surfer into a Dedicated Defender of Sharks by Jonathan Kathrein and Margaret Kathrein (ebook)
As a 16 year old, Kathrein was attacked by a great white shark while surfing at a popular Northern California beach. As an adult, he raises awareness of sharks, advocating for these threatened animals. His biographical account of these experiences is inspiring.

Sea of Sharks: a Sailor’s World War II Survival Story by Elmer Renner and Kenneth Birks
During WWII, a small Naval minesweeping ship was capsized by a typhoon in the waters of Okinawa, Japan. Stranded for days without food and water, the powerful story of the survivors is told through Renner’s first-hand account.

Saving the Oceans: Shark Reef (streaming video)
This PBS program takes a look at the threats faced by sharks, particularly the shark fin trade, and the research efforts underway by marine biologists to collect data that may be used to protect these increasingly endangered fish.

Blue Urbanism: Exploring Connections between Cities and Oceans by Timothy Beatley (ebook)
Dive into the complicated relationship between urban areas and the oceans in this engaging book. While the movement to ‘go green’ becomes increasingly visible, Beatley provides a look at what it means for cities to ‘go blue’ and build a more sustainable connection to the world’s oceans.

Framing the Ocean, 1700 to the Present: Envisaging the Sea as Social Space edited by Tricia Cusack
This collection of essays tracks the shift in the cultural perception of the ocean, from the widely held 18th century view that the sea was a dark and empty place, to present-day connections between marine science and art. This volume pulls together works on an array of topics, employing a broad range of approaches, such as post-colonial and feminist theory.

How Many Sharks in the Bath? by Bill Gillham
Toddlers can get in on the fun of Shark Week with this colorful counting book.

Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton
Little ones will get a kick out of this story, in which two favorite toys go head-to-head in a series of competitions to see who comes out on top.

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy
This award-winning and beautifully illustrated book takes the reader to the Farallon Islands, only 30 miles away from the Golden Gate Bridge, to show a day in the life of great white sharks.

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Title: Once Upon a Library
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Abstract: June 24th is International Fairy Day. Delight your inner child with some of the Library’s fairytale-related material.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 06/23/2015
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June 24th is International Fairy Day. Delight your inner child with some of the Library’s fairytale-related material.

Cinderella, choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev
Filmed at the stunning Opéra national de Paris, this ballet interpretation of the beloved fairy tale will awe you with the dancer’s technical expertise, amuse you with hilarious depictions of the wicked stepsisters, and charm you with beautiful sets and costumes.

Into the Woods, directed by Rob Marshall
This star-studded musical fantasy film weaves together story lines from several Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales and gives them a dark twist. Meryl Streep took the Best Villain title at the MTV Movie Awards for her portrayal of the Witch in this movie.

Russian Fairy Tales, translated by Norbert Guterman & compiled by Aleksandr Afanasev
Explore the world of Russian folktales in this volume, which collects more than 175 works and enchanting illustrations. Discover the near-immortal Koshchei the Deathless, Baba Yaga, a powerful witch who lives in a hut supported by chicken legs, and a host of other intriguing supernatural figures.

The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales, by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth
As the title suggests, these fairy tales were unknown until 2009, when von Schönwerth’s collection of folklore research was discovered by a Bavarian writer. This collection brings together 72 of these stories, featuring key fairy tale components, such as magical animals, royalty, and quests.

Grimm Legacies: The Magic Spell of the Grimms' Folk and Fairy Tales, by Jack Zipes
If you are interested in a scholarly approach to fairy tales, this text provides an examination of the cultural influence of the Grimm Brothers’ work. Zipes also considers how adaptations of these stories have changed over time and how that reflects societal shifts.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Cathrynne Valente
Charming story, prose, and illustrations come together in this book, which tells the story of a 12 year old Midwestern girl, whisked away on an incredible adventure to Fairyland. Valente’s style calls to mind the whimsy and humor of Lewis Carroll.

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, by Gregory Maguire
Fans of Wicked with enjoy this retelling of Cinderella through the eyes of one of the stepsisters. Set in 17th century Holland, this tale blends elements of reality, such as Dutch mercantile culture and portraiture, with fantastic elements drawn from the fable.

Fables: The Deluxe Edition Book One, by Bill Willingham
A collection of fairy tale and folklore figures come to inhabit New York City, after being pushed from their magical homeland by a powerful foe. This volume collects the first two graphic novels in the enormously popular Fables series, giving the new reader an ideal jumping-off point.

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Title: 10 Epic Summer Blockbusters Available at the AU Library
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Abstract: Summer is the season for big budget blockbuster releases and a great time to re-watch some of your favorites, or see some classics that are new to you. Stop by AU Library Media Services to borrow one of these titles.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 06/11/2015
Content:

1979—Alien DVD 885

It may be hot outside, but you’ll get the chills watching this classic sci-fi horror film, as the crew of the spacecraft Nostromo discover something dangerous on a seemingly empty planet. Sigourney Weaver takes on the ground-breaking role of a female action star as LT. Ripley.

1986—Top Gun DVD 2959

If you’re feeling the need… the need for speed, check out this action-packed movie about Navy pilots in training. Featuring Tom Cruise as “Maverick,” Val Kilmer as “Iceman,” and a soundtrack with some major 80s hits, this is an iconic summer blockbuster.

1987—RoboCop DVD 8164

A cyborg cop cleans up the streets and seeks revenge in this dystopian action sci-fi movie—sound over the top? It is. This summer blockbuster also has a subversive side, weaving in satire and dark humor alongside the explosions and one-dimensional villains.

1988—Who Framed Roger Rabbit? DVD 1096

When cartoon star Roger Rabbit is framed for murder, he hires a down and out private detective (Eddy Valiant, played by Bob Hoskins) to clear his name. Winner of four Oscars, this film was the first of its kind to blend live action and animation.

1989—Batman DVD 4701

Directed by Tim Burton, this take on Batman is dramatically different than the more recent Dark Knight trilogy. The scene of Jack Nicholson’s Joker unleashing chaos on Gotham, set to the music of Prince, is reason enough to borrow this blockbuster.

1990—Die Hard 2: Die Harder DVD 446

Bruce Willis returns as John McClane, a tough and sarcastic New York cop, saving the day on Christmas Eve yet again. This movie brings all the action, explosions, and one-liners of the original to the Washington Dulles Airport. Yippee ki yay.

1991—Terminator 2: Judgment Day DVD 4989

This sequel pits robot against robot, as the T-800 Terminator, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, goes up against the more advanced T-1000 model. The stakes are high, as the Terminator attempts to protect the future leader of the human resistance movement from assassination.

1993—Jurassic Park DVD 4901

Refresh your memory before going to see this summer’s Jurassic World with the first film in the series. Directed by Stephen Spielberg, based on a book by Michael Crichton, and packed full of animatronic dinosaurs, this film actually premiered right here in DC—at the National Building Museum.

2001—Moulin Rouge! DVD 297

Romance, excitement, spectacle, and style all converge in this Baz Luhrmann film, set in Paris during La Belle Époque. This Oscar-winning musical features Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor as star-crossed lovers and holds nothing back in terms of dazzling sets, costumes, and musical numbers.

2008 - Iron Man DVD 2763

Robert Downey Jr.’s wit and charisma make for an ideal Tony Stark in the movie that launched the Marvel Universe cinematic onslaught of recent years. Start at the beginning of this saga and watch genius playboy billionaire Stark become a superhero.

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newsId: 273CC2D6-5056-AF26-BE1ADC861C5783E3
Title: AU Alumna Recalls Powerful Katrina Experience
Author: Ann Royse, SIS/MA '14
Subtitle:
Abstract: This month, AU is honoring the anniversary by remembering and sharing the firsthand experiences of alumna Rebecca Callahan, SOC/MA ’91, an American Red Cross public affairs liaison.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 08/11/2015
Content:

The news today is filled with images of treacherous weather patterns all across the country—from raging wildfires in the west to blizzards, floods, and storms in the east. Ten years ago, however, it was a single, violent storm covering the news outlets, a storm now infamously referred to as Hurricane Katrina. Whether you watched the horror unfold on television, responded to the national call for help, or actually lived amidst the chaos, the devastation Katrina caused will forever remain etched within the nation’s memory. This month, AU is honoring the anniversary by remembering and sharing the firsthand experiences of alumna Rebecca Callahan, SOC/MA ’91, an American Red Cross public affairs liaison.

As a communications student in both her undergraduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and graduate studies at AU, Rebecca’s venture at the Red Cross began with a simple volunteer role updating the organization’s database. However, due to her strong communications background, she found herself at a disaster relief call center the week of August 23, 2005, warning anxious Gulf Coast residents to immediately head inland. As the date of the hurricane’s landfall drew closer so did the intensity of calls and questions from residents frantically wondering where to go, what to do, and how to leave—even as many said, their instinct was to remain in their own homes.

While Rebecca worked with a range of people on the ground—from parents to children to soldiers and reporters—her skills were truly put to the test. However, she soon found herself particularly concerned with the psychological trauma and effects on the younger children, specifically the six- to 12-year-olds.

One young girl’s struggle to process the unfolding events inspired Rebecca to communicate and connect. Rebecca provided the girl with a job, instructing the 10-year-old to stand at one of the Baton Rouge River Center's entrances with a large bottle of medical grade sanitizer, ensuring that everyone entering or exiting was thoroughly disinfected. The job soon became too large for one person so, under Rebecca’s direction, the young girl led a team of purpose-seeking children to help guard and sanitize multiple entrances of the Center. As Rebecca explained, “People need that sense of empowerment…if you have all of your control taken away, one of the most therapeutic things is to give them a sense of control over something, even if it’s in the smallest, most unexpected ways. For kids, that was easy. For everyone else, that was hard.”

This story is only a sampling of the profound experiences Rebecca endured during her time volunteering with the Red Cross in New Orleans. From assisting in the search for family members, to counseling children, to being thrust in front of the cameras on behalf of the Red Cross, it is apparent how vital Rebecca’s communications skills were to her survival and success in such treacherous environments.

Today, Rebecca continues her passion for public and strategic communications as a public affairs strategist at Booz Allen Hamilton. She also continues work with the Red Cross as a public affairs liaison for the National Capital and Greater New York regions. Her time at AU prepared her for a much greater purpose, and she says that purpose lives on in the memory of those she aided during one of the most tumultuous disasters in recent American history.

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Title: Alumni Board Member Shares Passion for Giving Back
Author: Patricia Rabb
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Abstract: Amy Lampert is an AU Alumni Board member and active volunteer
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 05/19/2015
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 "I fell in love with the campus when I visited. What an exciting place to live and study," says Amy Lampert, SOC/BA '94, about her first visit to AU during her senior year of high school. "As soon as I saw the campus, I knew that I wanted to be there. There's nothing quite like Washington, DC," she adds. 

After arriving on campus, Amy was involved with the American University Resident Hall Association (serving as vice president during her junior year), worked at the Anderson/Centennial Hall front desk for three years and participated in many leadership development opportunities on campus. She also worked on the yearbook and The Eagle newspaper and was active with "AU Students for Choice."  

Her most memorable AU experience occurred during her junior year when President Bill Clinton came to campus. "I was able to sit in the second row and shake his hand," says Amy. Not long before that, she stood along the inaugural parade route while the Clintons walked past. "That's not something you get to do anywhere else in the world. It has to be one of the coolest things I've ever done," she adds.

During her time at AU, Amy secured internships at locations as varied as the House Majority Leader's office, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, US Weekly magazine in New York City, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "My internships gave me invaluable work experience that I know contributed to being able to get a job right out of college," Amy adds. 

Amy's first job was in the development office at Sidwell Friends School where she worked on publications. "I was able to immediately put my journalism degree to work," reports Amy. "My ability to write and edit as well as multi-task have been essential in everything I've done since graduation whether it's been professionally or in graduate school," says Amy. 

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Amy earned two masters of arts degrees since leaving AU. One degree is in writing and publishing from Emerson College and the other is a business management degree from Webster University. Amy is currently vice president at Time Square, Inc., a family business where she works in real estate and investment management. She manages investments as well as a wide-ranging portfolio of residential and commercial properties. Amy is pleased this position provides her with the flexibility to spend time with her 10-year-old son, describing herself as "a very hands-on mother." She continues to reside with her family in St. Louis and also spends time at a second home in Florida.

An active volunteer, Amy is enthusiastic about giving her time to AU as well as to her local community. She can be found volunteering at her temple, at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, and in many other activities in her region. As an alumna, she enjoys giving back as a member of the AU Alumni Board and as an Alumni Admissions Volunteer. As an AAV member, Amy enjoys welcoming incoming freshmen and their families to the AU community by hosting summer send-off events at her homes in both Missouri and Florida. "I've really enjoyed meeting prospective students and their families over the years and sharing my passion for such an exciting place with people who are as excited about AU as I still am," she adds.

Amy observes that much has changed at AU since she attended in the 1990s. She finds herself wishing she could go back to AU and take advantage of all it has to offer. "As beautiful as I thought AU was back in the 1990s, it's even more beautiful now," she adds. She also remarks upon what she sees as an evolution of the student body. "Everyone was active and passionate when I was there, but today the students are more impressive than ever. They all are so driven, ambitious, devoted, and passionate about everything in life. They have lofty goals that I know they will achieve," she says.

Although she is undoubtedly busy with both work and family, it is clear that Amy is passionate about volunteering in both her hometown as well as for the alma mater with which she fell in love 25 years ago. "I want to do whatever I can to help AU continue to grow and thrive," she exclaims.

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Title: SOC Alumna Reports Breaking News for ABC
Author: Nicole Mularz, SPA/BA ’14, and Megan Olson
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Abstract: Cecilia Vega, SOC/BA ’99, discusses her career in journalism and shares advice with students.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 04/09/2015
Content:

As anchor of "World News Tonight" Saturday and senior national correspondent for ABC News, Cecilia Vega's, SOC/BA '99, office is wherever the news takes her. Although she spends much of her time traveling back and forth from Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area to New York, Cecilia says her time in Washington, DC and at American University gave her a start in the journalism field and provided the foundation for her success.

For Cecilia, there is no routine day in the office. Breaking news takes her all over the world. She could start her day in one city and be on her way to another continent by evening. Cecilia has reported from the bottom of the Arctic in a submarine and in London's Olympic Village. She has also covered midterm elections, interviewed Heads of State, and more recently reported on cases of Ebola in the United States. Regardless of where an assignment leads her, Cecilia says that her work gives her a sense of fulfillment as she shares information with the public to ensure they make better decisions as citizens.

After growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Cecilia moved to the nation's capital to attend American University's School of Communication, where she earned a degree in French and print journalism. Her busy schedule today is reflective of her experience as a student. Cecilia remembers balancing studying, working, and interning during her time on campus. Though all of these commitments were hectic at times, Cecilia says that her hard work at AU paid off.

Cecilia's job in broadcast journalism came as a total accident. She started her career as a newspaper reporter and worked for publications including the San Francisco Chronicle. When the opportunity to move from print to broadcast at KGO-TV ABC7 in San Francisco presented itself, Cecilia jumped at the chance. Though she had no formal broadcast journalism training, she quickly learned the ropes. Six years later, Cecilia is an Emmy-winning broadcaster and has appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America," "Nightline," and "20/20."

Reminiscing about her time at American University, Cecilia shared advice for students today saying, "Utilize what you have at your disposal. Being in Washington, DC, you have so much at your fingertips. Your professors are in the newsroom in the morning and teaching classes at night –it is an invaluable education. The ability to capitalize on these opportunities separates AU students from other students."

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Title: Ron Nessen, Press Secretary for President Ford, Gives Back to AU
Author: Megan Patterson, SIS/BA '11
Subtitle: Ron Nessen reflects on his career in politics and broadcasting, and still loves to come back to his alma mater.
Abstract: Ron Nessen, Press Secretary for President Ford, reflects on his career in politics and broadcasting, and still loves to come back to his alma mater.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 04/09/2015
Content:

"I love American University. I wanted to stay and get my degree. No matter what I was doing, I always arranged it so I would have time to go to AU." 

Even from the way Ronald H. Nessen, CAS/BA '59, speaks as we sit in an alcove of SOC's McKinley Building, it is evident that he loves his alma mater. Ron has had a distinguished career in broadcasting and journalism –going from a radio journalist in Arlington, Va. to television news correspondent in Vietnam, to Press Secretary for President Gerald Ford. 

Ron put himself through American University by working part time and going to school in the evenings. He knew more than anything that he wanted to get a degree from AU. He graduated in 1959 with a bachelor's in history.

After a several years of news, writing, and reporting, Ron became a television news correspondent for NBC News. He served as the White House correspondent from 1962 to 1965, and then spent time as foreign news correspondent, including five tours covering the Vietnam War. "In war," he says, "you see terrible things that you will never forget." 

After getting seriously wounded by a grenade in July 1966, Ron recuperated and chose to go back to Vietnam and finish his assignment. In 1974, White House Press Secretary Jerald terHorst resigned after President Gerald Ford gave Richard Nixon a presidential pardon. President Ford asked Ron to join the administration as Press Secretary. Ron served as White House Press Secretary until the end of the Ford Administration in 1977. He went on to be a writer, lecturer, and public affairs specialist in Washington. His book, It Sure Looks Different on the Inside, speaks of his time in the White House. 

Reflecting on his career path, Ron says, "Nobody really knows where they are going to go in life. Things have unfolded in a way that I never expected." In one of many interesting twists in his career, Ron was Larry King's boss at Mutual Radio Broadcasting Network, where ran the news department for many years. 

Throughout his career, Ron always had a special place in his heart for AU. He currently gives back as a volunteer for the SOC Mentoring Program, and he enjoys seeing his old stomping grounds. His favorite memory of his time in college, though, is uniquely AU: "When Willard [Scott, NBC News's "Today" weather-person], Eddie [Walker, radio personality and first blind student at American University] and I worked at WAMU. We all wanted to go into broadcasting, and we all ended up in broadcasting."

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Title: Producer-Director Adam Friedman Discusses Documentary Featuring Meryl Streep
Author: Traci Crockett
Subtitle:
Abstract: Friedman is wrapping up work on a film called “Shout Gladi Gladi,” which Streep narrates.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 03/12/2015
Content:

"I like to say it was like painting the Mona Lisa without the smile." That's how producer-director Adam Friedman, SOC/BA '79, describes his latest film –before Meryl Streep signed on. "For four months, I had a movie I couldn't proceed on too much because I didn't have my narrator in place," Friedman says. 

In February, Friedman says, he got very lucky when his sister, a New York newscaster, somehow got a rough cut of the movie in front of Streep. "I got an email from Meryl's assistant saying 'hey, Meryl would love to do your movie. She thinks it's great,'" he says. And, the rest, as they say, is history.  

Friedman, owner of production company Vertical Ascent, is wrapping up work on the documentary called "Shout Gladi Gladi." It's a film about one woman's drive to help save African mothers suffering from fistula. That woman, Scottish philanthropist Ann Gloag, a former nurse turned businesswoman, now runs medical facilities in three African countries.

"We recorded her at nine o'clock in the morning on Saturday, the day before the Oscars," Friedman says of Streep. "That's how cool she was." Having booked a studio for six hours to do the voiceover, Friedman says, "she was in and out of there in 56 minutes…She was amazing." 

Not everything went so quickly, of course. The project began with a visit to Scotland to discuss it with Gloag. Then came trips to Malawi, Kenya, and Sierra Leone, where Friedman and his crews filmed what he calls an "immense" amount of footage. Friedman says they visited some "horrific" slums during their time in Sierra Leone, and he believes his was the last crew filming in the country before the Ebola outbreak. 

A lot of time was spent working on the film before the first cut was finished in September. Still, one key piece was missing. Enter Meryl Streep. "Obviously she changes the movie completely because of the way she reads. We were all just blown away," Friedman says. "Before we had a movie about fistula…a subject that most people will turn away from." But, he says, with Streep on board, he thinks the movie will reach "an incredibly large and wide swath of humanity." 

Friedman says he wouldn't be where he is today without AU. "I'm in this business because of AU and particularly because of my mentor, Larry Kirkman…I think differently than most producer-directors, and it's all because of what I learned at AU," he says.

Friedman tells a story about "lying his way into ABC" during his time as a student and working on an Emmy-nominated documentary. "But I didn't want to do documentaries then," he says. "There was a new thing happening at the time called music videos." Music video interested Friedman, so he wrote one for Darryl Hall and John Oates. They liked it and hired him to do more. He continued working in the industry, producing videos for the Rolling Stones and other musical acts. 

Since then, Friedman has gone on to do lots of different kinds of work, including a recent television show about the CIA for National Geographic. "AU gave me a lot of opportunities to play with a lot of toys, and you need that," he says. 

Friedman remains involved with AU, serving as a mentor for the School of Communication and as a volunteer leader with the Entertainment and Media Alumni Alliance. "What AU taught me was a really strong notion that there's nothing you can't do if you really want to," he says. "I met the best people in the world there." 

Friedman says he thinks what's happening with film online is going to change everything about his business so that's where he will turn his focus next. 

And, he says, "Obviously we're aiming for the Oscars next year."

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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
Subtitle:
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."

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,Communication,Journalism,Journalism (SOC),School of Communication
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newsId: 887218AE-014D-DABD-698CF56DB248F9A2
Title: Keosha Varela: Journey Through Digital Space
Author: Kristena Wright
Subtitle:
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.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,School of Communication
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newsId: 3831F1B2-EEBA-1613-3AF966FAECEFF341
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.”

Tags: Donor,Giving,Kogod School of Business,School of Communication
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