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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 11/13/09

Top story

U.S.-Syria Relations

American University welcomed Imad Moustapha, Syrian Ambassador to the United States, who discussed developing ties between Syria and the United States while working to achieve peace with Israel. "We in Syria also believe that the Palestinian issue is the core issue of the Arabs in the conflict," he said. "Despite the difficulties, there is a way for reform in our region." The 2-hour event was covered by C-SPAN and re-aired twice on C-SPAN and C-SPAN2, respectively. Moustapha’s visit to AU was cited in an Associated Press story republished by more than 180 news outlets, including USA Today, Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. In addition, Voice of America News and Voice of America–Asia covered the speech. (11/11/09)

Other Features

Young, Willing and Able

Chris Golden, a senior in the School of Public Affairs, was featured in’s new community column for creating the site The article, which was the most read article of the day on the site, explored his drive to connect young Americans involved in community service and give them an outlet to demonstrate the impact of their efforts. "Now, I don’t know all that much about social media or volunteerism," wrote reporter Angela Hopp. "But, I do know about ambition and drive. And Golden has both."

Satirical Success for SOC Student

In another Washington Times feature, Jack Douglass, a senior visual media major, was profiled because a Web parody he created about the infamous Snuggie commercial has gone viral on YouTube. "You will still have big pictures, but you now have a whole generation of filmmakers who are coming out of film schools, or simply out of YouTube, who are making films for the small screen," said film and video adjunct professor Greg Smith, who added that Douglass represents a growing trend among young filmmakers. (11/8/09)

Faculty and Quotes

A Long Legal Road for Fort Hood Shooting Suspect

Michelle Lindo McCluer, director of the National Institute of Military Justice at the Washington College of Law, discussed the Fort Hood shootings and the suspect’s potential court case on Wall Street Journal .com. "It's really going to be a long road, even if he's convicted and receives the death penalty," she said. "The appeals in the military realm, as well as the civilian appeals, stretch for decades." (11/10/09)

The Paperless Chase

While online statements are fine for retrieving specific information, internalizing broader spending habits is a different story. "The reality of what you're spending isn't nearly as strong," says Naomi Baron, a linguistics professor at American University who studies the impact of technology in a story about the growing reliance on Web banking.

Easing Restrictions for Cuba

Although two bills in Congress support lifting restrictions to Cuba, Cuba may not be prepared for the political cost of major changes, international relations professor Robert Pastor said in World Politics Review. "There are many smaller issues that cry for a more imaginative approach that would meet both countries' needs," Pastor says. (11/13/09)

Decreasing Concern for Climate Change

Political communication researcher Matthew Nisbet discussed the dwindling concern for climate control on Capitol Hill in Science magazine. "Given the complexity of climate change, any one event will be downplayed [by partisan critics]," he said. "I think the real long-term challenge is public education, to prepare people. What does it mean to be an American in an era of climate change?" (11/13/09)

U.S. Citizen Detained Abroad

Law professor Stephen Vladeck spoke to the Washington Independent about the American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against U.S. officials who arrested and interrogated Amir Meshal, a U.S. citizen. "[Meshal being a U.S. citizen] practically, could make a difference to judges," he said of the accused, who was arrested as he tried to leave Somalia to return home. "It would just highlight how wrong those other decisions are." (11/10/09)