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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 2/6/09

Top Story

Drawing the line

James Thurber, founder of American University's Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, was quoted in a Time magazine story about President Obama’s ability to work with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats. “All marriages have ups and downs, but Obama will ultimately win,” he said. “He is President with significant political capital, and he must build cross-party support, something Pelosi does not excel at.” (2/4/09)

Faculty, Programs, & Quotes

Bank regulation

Robin Lumsdaine, a professor and former associate director in the Federal Reserve's banking supervision and regulation division, was quoted in an American Banker story about investment banks turning into financial holding companies, and the likely pressure the federal government make may receive from investment to take on projects in order to bring in profit. "There will always be some give and take, and regulators will face pressure from firms to allow them to take on additional activities," she said. "Part of the regulators' responsibility is to be prudent and exercise caution in allowing those activities to go forward." (2/2/09)

The tax factor

Donald Williamson, chairman of Kogod’s accounting and taxation department, was a guest on WTOP-FM to discuss President Obama's three cabinet nominees that faced scrutiny for tax problems. “I hope these cases don’t encourage playing games,” he said. “I’m as outraged by these issues as the general public. I just don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that this is pervasive throughout our system and through all taxpayers.” (2/4/09)

Bush to stand trial?

Stephen Vladeck, an American University constitutional law professor, was quoted in a Boston Globe story about the public demand for former President Bush and members of his administration to be held accountable for alleged illegal actions during his administration. "Based on what is in the public record thus far, the allegation that would have the most teeth is the one having to do with torture," he said. "There is a clear prohibition under both domestic and international law on torture. It clearly applied on the executive branch. And it's pretty clear that the executive branch disregarded it on several occasions." (2/3/09)

Keeping score and making the grade

AU Athletics director Keith Gill was a guest on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show to discuss the progress of the AU sports teams in the Patriot League, and the concept of scholar athletes. “We have outstanding achievement in terms of our student athletes for this year,” he said. “We’re really excited about what our students are doing on the field, but they’re really achieving off the field as well.” (2/5/09)

The journey goes to Tennessee

American University professor Akbar Ahmed was featured in a Commercial Appeal story about the Muslim population in the city of Memphis as part of his Journey into America project, where he and a group of students travel across the country to study the current state of Muslims in America and the American opinion of them. .” Follow their journey at (2/1/09)

Super disappointment

Wendy Melillo, a professor of public communication, appeared on a WRC-TV news segment to discuss this year’s Super Bowl commercials and their appeal to the public. “I feel like we've seen this before. You know, it's a downer literally,” she said of an H&R Block commercial that featured Death and a man who’d had his taxes prepared. “And it just leaves you with that sense of, oh, why? Why associate these two themes with the Super Bowl? Particularly in this kind of an economy; you want something entertaining and uplifting.” (2/2/09)

Forgotten history

Alan Kraut, professor of history, was featured in a PBS documentary, "Forgotten Ellis Island," which takes a look at the former port of entry for immigrants to the United States. The film, which aired nationally on February 2, will is scheduled to re-air on WETA-TV in March. (2/2/09)