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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 7/24/09

Top story

Mars or Bust

Howard McCurdy, an expert on space policy, was a guest on CNN’s Campbell Brown to discuss the necessity of a space trip to Mars for more research. "Nothing will serve more to organize our skills than an objective of this sort," he said. "It would be a transitional change for us, and it would ultimately give us the capability to move around the solar system. We need that capability if we’re going to be a long-lived, technological civilization." McCurdy also wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post about the technology advancement of space travel. "When it comes to space, we've outsourced the jobs to machines," he wrote. "We did not anticipate the incredible advances in machine technology that the second half of the 20th century would bring." (7/19/09, 7/20/09)

More Features

The Kogod School of Business’s building expansion project was highlighted on the Web site of a popular higher-education trade publication, and a national outlet explored the allure of dirt and mud according to an artist whose works are at the American University Museum.

A Sense of Community

The expanded Kogod School of Business was featured in "Sense of Place," a University Business magazine column focused on newly-completed facilities on campuses across the United States. Completed in April 2009, the new, 20,000 square-foot addition includes a financial services and information technology lab that simulates a Wall Street trading-room floor. It is the first building project on campus to be funded entirely by donations. Richard Durand, the Robert and Arlene Kogod Dean of the school, said he is pleased to see students and faculty engaged together in learning and social activities. "That’s what I think a business school should be," said Durand. The column will also be published in the print edition of the magazine. (July/August 2009)

Playing in the Mud

The works of area artist Margaret Boozer, currently on display at the American University Museum at that Katzen Arts Center, were featured in a Washington Post story about the artist's use of dirt and mud to form her creations. “I enjoy the temporal quality of it,” said Boozer. “You missed it yesterday? Now it’s different.”(7/24/09)

Opinions & Editorials

In national and online news outlets, AU professors discussed the legacy of news icon Walter Cronkite, what it means to be an American, and the importance of investment for personal wealth.

And That’s the Way It Is

In her opinion piece for, Jane Hall, an associate professor of print journalism, wrote about her memories of the late news anchor Walter Cronkite, and his influence on broadcast journalism and the media. "Walter Cronkite stood for the best in journalism, in challenging times, before the media --rightly or wrongly --were questioned daily," she wrote. "It was a time when a TV anchor with Cronkite's talent and news organization behind him could be called--un-ironically—'the most trusted man in America. '" (7/19/09)

What Defines a True American?

In his opinion piece for the Huffington Post, Akbar Ahmed, Chair of Islamic Studies, wrote about the state of America and what defines a true American citizen. "Today, American culture appears much more fragmented," he wrote. "The question of defining a large country, indeed a continent, is a challenge." (7/20/09)

A Penny Saved

In an opinion piece for the Baltimore Sun, history professor Andrew Yarrow discussed the idea of automatic enrollment in investment and savings plans to help Americans build wealth and survive future financial crises. "After the vertiginous drop in American personal savings from the 1980s to the mid-2000s, the current economic crisis has reminded some people of the virtues of saving," he said. "By creating pro-saving institutional infrastructure and 'nudging' people into it, policymakers could significantly boost levels of saving and investment and pave the way for more a sustainable financial future." (7/19/09)

Faculty & Quotes

And in other news, AU's community contributed to the discussion of political, national, and international issues:

Follow Me!

Naomi Baron, a professor of linguistics, was a guest on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer to discuss the phenomena behind social networking websites like Twitter and other modern forms of communication. "One of the things that we know about Americans is when a new technology comes online, we tend to go a little haywire with it," she said. "[Twitter] isn’t really communicating. It’s sort of a cover for what should be done face to face." (7/22/09)

The Six-Month Check-Up

James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, was quoted in a Bloomberg News article about the public approval of President Obama on his handling of the current economic crisis. "We’re at a turning point in respect to judgment on him," he said. "He’s inherited the economy but it’s his economy now." (7/21/09)

Committee Hearing Report Card

Karen O'Connor, founder and former director of the Women & Politics Institute, participated in a roundtable discussion for Forbes magazine about the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. "History will confirm that this was not the Committee's finest hour," she said. "The Republicans used the hearings as a forum for their views and as an opportunity to send a message to the president that a jurist nominated by two Republican presidents still was 'too liberal' for them." (7/17/09)

A Return in a Recession

Gerald Martin, a professor of finance, was quoted in a Bloomberg News story about billionaire Warren Buffet’s $2 billion profit after buying shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. amid the deepest period of the financial crisis. “It must feel good to be Warren Buffett,” he said. “That number just flies in the face of people who like to say he’s lost a step.” (7/23/09)

Disillusioning Perception

Peter Beck, a professor of international business, was quoted in an Associated Press article about the diminishing control of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il amid reports of banned goods being smuggled across the border from neighboring countries. The article was picked up by 40 news outlets, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Denver Post, and the Omaha World-Herald. "The control of information is one of the powers that Kim Jong Il has wielded over the last 15 years," he said. "His control on flow of information is weakening, and that I think poses a serious threat to his power."(7/23/09)