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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 3/20/09

Top Stories

Back to the Dance

For the second year in a row, and the second time in the university’s history, American University's men's basketball team is competing in the NCAA tournament after defeating Holy Cross for the Patriot League Championship. The Eagles will face Villanova in Philadelphia, PA, on March 20, as the No. 14 seed. Coverage of the Eagles victory and their second trip to the tournament was featured in more than 500 news outlets. The Eagles' road to the Big Dance, was featured in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, ESPN, and on all local television news outlets. (3/13/09)

Academics and Athletics

AU President Neil Kerwin was a guest in a 12-minute radio segment for WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show to discuss the scholar athletes at AU and how a team appearance in the NCAA tournament can affect a university’s profile. “I don’t think there’s any question that the NCAA tournament has become a national event that’s almost unparallel in terms of its reach,” he said. “We insist that our student athletes are fully integrated in the life of our university both academically and co-curricular. I think that message is one that we enjoy bringing, along with other conferences around the country, and I think the NCAA tournament gives you a very special venue to send that message strongly to audiences that might otherwise not hear it.” (3/18/09)

Short and Superior

AU senior Derrick Mercer was featured in a New York Times story about his dominance on the court in spite of his height. “I’m 5-foot-7,” he said. “I’m proud of my height. God blessed me to be 5-foot-7, healthy, with a nice athletic, strong body. It’s no problem with me.” (3/19/09)


Faculty, Programs, & Quotes

Inner Divisions?

James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, was quoted in a Reuters story about some Democrats’ discord over President Obama’s budget plan. "The inevitable is happening," he said. "We face crises but narrow issues are coming forward to cause divisions." This story was picked up by 15 news outlets. (3/15/09)

Getting the Message Across

Leonard Steinhorn, an expert in political communications, was quoted in a St. Petersburg Times story about the GOP talking points in opposition of President Obama’s budget and stimulus package. “You need repetition, and you need constant familiarity to get it into people's head,” he said. “They're hoping to nick it to death. Put in enough little cuts, put in enough little doubts that it's going to weaken the Democratic position.” (3/16/09)

Sizing up Banks’ Health

Wendell Cochran, associate professor of print journalism and senior editor at the Investigative Reporting Workshop in the School of Communication, was quoted in a Poynter Online story about the workshop’s BankTracker project, which examines banks' financial statements and provides insight on the current conditions of banks nationwide in the midst of the financial crisis. “The bottom line is that most journalists don't know this data exists and is publicly available. It also is complex and takes some effort to grasp the language and connect the dots,” he said. “I hope [readers] will be armed with better information that permits them to ask questions about what is going on with the banks they use and, ultimately, better understand the complex policy debates going on in Washington.” (3/17/09)

Actors More Bankable

Patricia Aufderheide, a communications professor, was quoted in a Washington Post story about how actors are viewed as more profitable than actresses. "It's called the entertainment industry for a reason," she said. "Hollywood isn't in the business of social change. It's not in the feminist industry. It's in the business of maximizing its sales. . . . You don't look to Hollywood to buck a tide or tradition."(3/15/09)

The Art of Haggling

Roger J. Volkema, an associate professor of management, was quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune story about haggling businesses for better deals. “The golden rule of haggling is that people will not negotiate unless they think you can either help them or hurt them,” he said. “When it comes to haggling with retailers or hotels or service providers, you can help or hurt them by taking your business elsewhere.”(3/13/09)

On the Move

Jack Rasmussen, director and curator for the American University Katzen Arts Center, was featured in DC Modern Luxury magazine’s 2009 Best of the City for his work with the American University Museum. "The creative set's going to have to work this year," he said. “But there's much that can be done with a lot of energy and a little cash." (3/1/09)