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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 12/30/09

Top story


Doing the University Proud

In its January issue, Washingtonian Magazine named President Neil Kerwin a Washingtonian of the Year for his work in leading American University since taking the helm as interim president in 2005 and then as president in 2007. An AU alum, a former professor and dean, Kerwin says he gets inspiration from the students he encounters on campus. "They are not only academically strong - they want to change the world," he said. (January 2010)



Other Features


Campaigns & Elections AU Style

Class was in session for students as the Campaign Management Institute hosted its annual two-week class to train individuals for participation in local, state, and federal political campaigns. Students heard first hand from industry leaders including Neil Newhouse, David Winston, Sarah Simmons and others. The Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute, which provides an intensive exploration into the art and craft of the lobbying profession, was also in session. C-SPAN filmed both institutes. Sessions were broadcast LIVE on C-SPAN2 and re-aired on C-SPAN. (12/28/09)(12/29/09)


Committed to Finish

Senior wrestler Nick Pitas was featured in a Washington Post story about his commitment to the men’s wrestling team, although he has not competed as often as his teammates. Pitas said his endurance comes from a strong work ethic and a new-found toughness he previously didn’t know he had."I'm just not someone who quits," Pitas said. "So it's a personal respect, as well. I have to finish it because I started it." (12/19/09)



OpEds and Editorials



Better Town Hall Decorum

In his coauthored opinion piece for the Baltimore Sun, history professor Andrew Yarrow talked about how town hall meetings have evolved from engaging to loud and forceful. “Aside from being empowered as active citizens, people generally like meeting new people - including politicians - even those with whom they disagree,” Yarrow wrote “They also like having the opportunity to voice their opinions and, most importantly, helping solve problems facing their communities and the nation.” (12/21/09)


Health Care a Priority for Everyone

Law professor Kevin Fandl discussed the need for universal health care in his opinion piece for Virginia’s Daily Press. “Some of us can tolerate the high premiums, copays, and deductibles that private insurance companies charge because we have good jobs and savings. But what about family and friends who aren't so lucky?” he wrote. “The time for health reform is upon us, and Congress must shed the shackles of private insurance companies to let the government do what it was set up to do -- protect its people.” (12/21/09)



Expert Quotes



Playing it Safe

Lt. Rima Sifri, crime prevention coordinator for AU’s Department of Public Safety, offered safety tips for outsmarting a potential attacker in the January issue of Cosmopolitan. "You have to engage your mind to observe your environment," she offered. "With practice, you'll be an expert on your own itinerary." Sifri also suggested taking the same route when going home in order to become familiar with surroundings. "If something in your environment changes, your brain will pick up on it more quickly and you can be extra cautious," she offered. (January 2010)


Good Time for Lobbyists

Though the nation is in the midst of an economic recession, lobbyists are still on their way to breaking the previous year’s record in spending to lobby the federal government, according to James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies. “Lobbyists love it ... when you’ve got an activist agenda like this, and you’ve got serious problems like this, and people want to do something about it,” he told Politico. “It is the most active time that I have ever seen in the advocacy business — from 1973 on.” (12/22/09)


A Christmas Carol Evolution

Daniel Abraham, cochair of the Department of Performing Arts, discussed the history of Christmas caroling in a story for Time magazine. "The concept of carol in its origins has actually nothing to do with Christmas," he explained, pointing out how carols in the 12th and 13th centuries were reserved for processionals and differ from modern tradition. (12/21/09)


Cultural Training on the Job

Race relations expert Gary Weaver, professor of international relations, explained how the practice of intercultural training at many jobs that entail international business has begun to instill “realistic cultural empathy” as part of understanding and embracing diversity in a story for USA Today. "It means understanding how they (business associates in other countries) think and how they look at the world. So you can anticipate," Weaver says. (12/22/09)


Erasing Immigration Enforcement

History professor Alan Krauttalked about the impact of a House bill that would dismantle an immigration enforcement program used in some Virginia counties. “I think there has to be cooperation at different levels,” he told the Washington Examiner, agreeing with critics who say it creates opportunity for racial profiling. (12/28/09)


Defense Budget Increase

Gordon Adams, professor of U.S. foreign policy, was an in-studio guest on WUSA’s This Week In Defense News to discuss President Obama’s plans to increase defense spending for the war in Afghanistan. “The $100 billion is supposed to make the defense department more well than they had hoped to be in terms of pressures,” he explained during the six-minute segment. “What they've done now is a thorough scrub of what the program looks like over the next five years and these are meant to accommodate in part those requirements.” (12/21/09)