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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 5/15/09

Top Story

Post-Graduate Optimism

American University celebrated the Class of 2009 during commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 9, and Sunday, May 10, in Bender Arena. The ceremonies were covered by WTTG-Fox 5 and WRC-NBC 4, and WTOP-FM aired a radio segment about the graduating students' optimistic job outlook and growing opportunities in public service. “There’s a little bit of anxiety, but I think that’s natural when you graduate,” American University graduate James Valvo told WTTG-Fox 5. “[Commencement] is the only time for this to happen, for all of us to be in one place and celebrate one thing. Don’t worry about the thing that’s coming next.”  The Associated Press article quoted Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, who addressed the School of Public Affairs graduates by advising them to look further into the future rather than worry most about the present.  (5/9/09)

Other Features

In national and international print outlets, the AU community discussed the role of bullying amidst a decline in school violence, accepted an award of achievement, and showcased a powerful art exhibit:

School Violence Goes Down, Other Peer Pressures Continue

Lynn Addington, an associate professor of public affairs and an expert on the quality of crime data, school violence and the fear of victimization, was featured in a Washington Post story about the consistent reports of theft and bullying in schools, in spite of the decrease in school violence. "With regards to schools and the 10th anniversary of Columbine, it is important for parents to understand that extreme violence is very rare at school," she said. "The more prevalent type of crime [and abuse] is theft and bullying or peer harassment. That is much more common in schools, as it is in society in general."(5/11/09)

Art of Serbia

The works of the "On Normality: Art in Serbia" exhibit, currently on display at the American University Museum were listed as one of the Washington Examiner’s top 5 Best Galleries this week, and were also featured in an InTowner story about the works, which portray the state of Serbia during the reign of former president Slobodan Miloševic. The exhibit has been mentioned in more than 15 news outlets, including international news. (5/14/09)

American Honors

American University alumnus David Nason was featured in the Washington Business Journal as a recipient of the Community Leadership Award, given by the Kogod School of Business. Nason, who is currently a Managing Director for Promontory Financial Group, was previously a principal policy adviser to former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. (5/8/09)


Faculty & Quotes

And in other news, AU's community contributed to the national discussion on politics, global, and other issues:

Attack of the Cyberbully

Wendy Seltzer, a law professor, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal blog about the nature behind cyberbullying and the idea of legal intervention. “It’s not the law that I think is the problem,” she said. “There are slimy characters that are out there and unfortunately some of them have found ways to amplify their horrible activities on the Internet.” (5/12/09)

Taliban Appeal?

Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies in AU's School of International Service, was a guest on NPR’s Talk of the Nation to discuss the influence of the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as the two countries engage in conflict for control. “There is a great sense of frustration and anger against the government itself,” he said. “If there is no justice, if there is no law and order, if there is no government, you are going to be looking around for anything that provides you some kind of support, and this is what you’re seeing with the Taliban, who are promising that kind of Islamic justice and Islamic law and order, and that’s why a lot of ordinary people turn to them.”(5/12/09)

Positive Thoughts on the Job Outlook

Sheran Deng, a recent graduate of the Kogod School of Business, was quoted in a Diverse Issues in Higher Education story about the job outlook and what graduating students are facing following commencement. “It all depends on how far you can stretch yourself. I don’t think it’s necessarily that bad,” he said. “If you can find a job in a tough time that means you are really good. I think this is a test.” (5/11/09)

A More Approachable VP

James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University's School of Public Affairs, was quoted in a Syracuse Post-Standard story about the personality and strong influence of Vice President Biden in comparison to former vice president Cheney. “Cheney was very secretive," he said. "He was not very open. On the other hand, Biden has a lot of openness, with humor. And he's very approachable." (5/10/09)