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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 3/6/09

Top Stories

Most valuable players

The Patriot League named American University men's basketball coach Jeff Jones Coach of the year, and senior Derrick Mercer was named Player of the Year. The story was covered by WTTG-Fox 5, WRC-NBC 4 and WJLA-ABC 7. (2/28/09)

March madness at Bender Arena

The race to the Big Dance has begun as the men's basketball team advanced to the semifinals in the Patriot League tournament after defeating Lafayette University. The win was covered by the Washington Post, Washington Examiner, Washington Post Express, Washington Times, WTTG-Fox 5, WUSA-CBS 9, WRC-NBC 4 and WJLA-ABC 7. Keith Gill, director of athletics, and AU men’s basketball coach Jeff Jones were also guests on a 7-minute segment for WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Showto discuss the goal of making a second appearance in the NCAA Tournament. "I didn’t want our guys thinking in terms of 'we're supposed to do this or that,'" Jones said. "What I wanted them to do, and what they’ve done a pretty good job of doing, is going out and trying to be the best team and accomplishing as much as we can. And that way you don’t get distracted with things that aren't really important with what the objective is." Gill said the Athletics Department is doing its best to prepare to honor the team and support all campus efforts should the Eagles be fortunate to enter the NCAA tournament this year. (3/5/09)

Repeating history

Junior wrestler Mike Cannon was featured in a 3-minute WRC-NBC 4 news segment about his athletic ability with the AU wrestling team, and hopes of capturing the title claimed by AU alum and assistant wrestling coach Josh Glenn, who became the school’s first wrestling champion. "Wrestling is a lifestyle. You eat it, you sleep it and live it," he said. "I think everybody's goal should be to be a national champion, [and] knowing that someone with the same coaching and same practice room, same practices, going through the same motions can win a national title, it definitely makes a believer out of anybody." (2/28/09) (3/2/09)


Faculty, Programs, &Quotes

A truth commission?

Kenneth Anderson, a law professor, was quoted in a New York Times blog about the development of a truth commission, a panel to explore the alleged abuse of power by the Bush administration. “A truth commission to investigate actions by former Bush administration officials is a terrible idea from the standpoint of both law and policy,” he said. “If Congress were serious about criminalizing waterboarding or other interrogation tactics, all it has to do is draft a specific law. It can raise its hands and vote, and declare waterboarding to be torture — no argument, no interpretation — and establish the criminal penalties.” (3/2/09)

The aging infrastructure

George Guess, director of the Center for Public Finance Research and a professor of public administration and policy, was quoted in a MarketWatch story about the Obama administration’s plans to focus on the country infrastructure, and the fight for a national consensus on the topic. "These are old issues," he said. "Somehow it never happens." (3/4/09)

Creative learning

In a commentary piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Gail Humphries Mardirosian, past chair of the department of performing arts, wrote about Imagination Quest, a program created in part by Mardirosian to teach schoolteachers how to use the visual and performing arts to help students at academic risk for failure to learn successfully. “Imagination Quest is an example of how colleges, arts organizations, donors, schools, and parents can work together to improve education,” she wrote. “With arts-integrated instruction, the gateway to opportunity and equity — one that will afford all children the chance to succeed academically — can be opened.” (3/6/09)

Journey into Houston

American University professor Akbar Ahmed, and his current project, Journey Into America, was highlighted in a Houston Chronicle feature story which followed Ahmed and a group of students as they visited Houston, Texas, to observe the city’s Muslim culture. “This is a very ambitious project, because I’m not only looking at the Muslim community, I’m looking at the way we have to live in the 21st century,” he said. “Are we going to live in a world where we are able to think of the global problems that are mutual, like global warming, poverty, violence between religions and the population explosion? Or are we going to be living in a world where we look at our neighbors with suspicion and point fingers at each other? We are all suffering from this.” The project takes Ahmed and the students across the country to study Muslims in America and the American opinion of them. Follow the journey at (2/28/09)

Darfur developments

Nick Clooney, a distinguished journalist in residence at American University and the Newseum, discussed the latest development in the Darfur situation: the swearing out of an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir. "They are the lonliest people in the world," said Clooney on the WTTG-Fox 5 morning news about the people of the war-torn region of Sudan. "It seems no one will take a stand for them." In 2006, Clooney and his son George produced the documentary A Journey to Darfur to shed light on the violence perpetrated by the janjaweed. Clooney also spoke about Darfur with Politico, and was interviewed by WRC-NBC 4 for a pretaped story to air on March 12. (3/5/09)

El Salvadorian elections

An American University student delegation was featured in a 1-minute WAMU-FM news segment about their upcoming Alternative Spring Break trip to El Salvador to observe the country’s elections. “They’re an extremely incredible and diverse people, open-mined and really looking forward to this as much as I am,” said law student law student Francisco Medina-Rodriguez of the residents and the upcoming election, the first to include competition after decades under control of a single political party. (3/6/09)

Setting new standards

William LeoGrande, a Cuba expert and dean of the School of Public Affairs, was quoted in a Christian Science Monitor story about Raul Castro making his place known as the new leader of Cuba. "Raul is putting his stamp on the government, in terms of personnel and restructuring," he said. "If anyone had a doubt about who is in control, with this it can be put to rest." (3/4/09)