The Kogod School of Business, the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund, and the financial literacy education software company EverFi teamed up to teach underprivileged high school students from Washington, D.C., the ropes of personal finance. Nine Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund students capitalized on the opportunity to participate in an entertaining, interactive financial literacy workshop held in Kogod's new, high-tech Financial Services and Information Technology Lab. "Managing priorities, balancing things I need against things I want," Vivian Williams, a senior at HG Woodson High School, told WUSA-CBS 9 news reporter Audrey Barnes about what she hoped to gain from the workshop. The lessons come at a critical time for Woodson and the other eight students: this fall, all of them will head off to college. "Most of us have missed paying bills, or messed up credit cards," said Everfi CEO Tom Davidson who was on hand for the workshop. "We're trying to intervene and capture them before they make those mistakes." The workshop, along with Kogod's Washington Initiative and Making a Difference Is Our Business, demonstrates AU's commitment to serving the D.C. community. The WUSA-CBS 9 news segment aired during the 7 p.m. newscast. (5/27/09)
Following a historic United States Supreme Court nomination, our experts shared their verdicts on President Obama's choice.
Supreme Court Nomination History
American University faculty and staff discussed the historic Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, who, if confirmed, will be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Law professor Stephen Wermiel appeared on a WTTG-Fox 5 television news segment about the nomination, and said Sotomayor should prepare for tough questions from Congress. “This is the last conversation you have with someone who is about to be appointed for life,” he said. “There's value in either side.” Karen O’Connor, former director of the Women and Politics Institute, told the Washington Post that President Obama’s selection of Sotomayor was based on ethics and empathy more so than gender. “She was the obvious choice because she hits the twofer in a way that African American women formerly were considered,” she said. “And now that the Hispanic population has surpassed the African American population, he had to shore up his support in the Hispanic community.” Law professor Stephen Vladeck told the San Diego Tribune-Union that Sotomayor brings a new and different background to the Supreme Court. “She has a working-class background. She's the only one, if she is confirmed, who would ever have served as a district judge,” he said. “If the president was looking for someone who brought a different voice and a different view to the court, I think he found her.” (5/27/09)
Faculty & Quotes
And in other news, AU's community contributed to the national conversations about politics, global affairs, and other issues of the week.
A Defiant North Korea
Peter Beck, an expert in Korean affairs, was quoted in an Associated Press story about North Korea’s nuclear testing and missile launch, denouncing a 2006 resolution banning the country from conducting nuclear development. “We're heading for a full-blown crisis with the North,” he said. “Kim Jong Il is trying to demonstrate his virility and that they are a power to be reckoned with.” This story appeared in more than 140 news outlets, including the Washington Post, Houston Chronicle and the Sacramento Bee. (5/26/09)
Public Service Education
William LeoGrande, dean of the School of Public Affairs, appeared in an NBC television news segment about the launch of the United States Public Service Academy, a program created to provide full funding for a four-year undergraduate degree geared toward public service in exchange for a student's committment to a five-year job in the public sector, and the academy's effect on existing public affairs programs at colleges and universities across the nation . "Better to provide assistance to existing programs and to students to attend existing programs rather than to go out and create a brand new institution that will just duplicate efforts that are already underway,” he said. This story was picked up by more than 50 NBC affiliates. (5/26/09)
Leading in Changing Times
Howard McCurdy, a space policy expert, was a guest on NPR’s All Things Considered to discuss the appointment of former astronaut Charles Bolden to lead NASA. Bolden is the agency’s first black administrator and his appointment comes at a time of much change at the government agency. "NASA is in a period of transition,” he said. “It's not clear that the vision of space exploration that was announced in 2004 is going to be the future direction of the space agency.” (5/23/09)
The Future of Sri Lanka
John Richardson, a professor of international development, was quoted in a Montreal Gazette story about the aftermath of the death of Sri Lankan rebel army leader Vilupillai Prabhakaran and its effect on the Tamil movement in Sri Lanka. "Prabhakaran was draconian in eliminating Tamil moderates," said Richardson. "He (Prabharakaran) is one of the tragic militant leaders who was not able to move from militancy to normal political life." (5/24/09)
Steve Vladeck, a law professor, was quoted in a WUSA-CBS 9 story about the prevalence of homegrown terrorists after three of four suspects in a terrorist plot against two New York synagogues were found to be citzens of the United States. “Whatever the motive of the individual actors, the real crime is on the effect it has on all of us, more and above the effect it has on the potential victims," he said. (5/23/09)