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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 3/05/10

Top story

Focus on Alternative Spring Break

U.S. News and World Report featured American University in an article about alternative spring break programs. This piece ran on the U.S. News and World Report website as the top story in their education section.  The piece highlighted AU’s focus on innovative social justice issues, including a recent trip to Nepal to discuss the rights of the Dalit. “We encourage students to ask deeper questions and to ground their proposals in the framework of a larger social movement,” said Shoshanna Sumka, who oversees AU’s alternative break programs. (3/2/10)

Other Features

Trainer’s Death Opens Debate on Animal Captivity

“The best, most compassionate way for us protect, learn about and appreciate the beauty of wild animals is to watch them from a distance, but never, ever touch,” Chris Palmer, director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, wrote in his OpEd about the recent death of a Sea World trainer. Palmer also discussed the tragedy with the Christian Science Monitor and in a segment for WUSA-CBS 9. (2/25/10)

Expert Quotes

Video Interviewing on the Rise for Employers

Arlene Hill, director of career services at the Kogod School of Business, talked to the Wall Street Journal about the benefits recruiters gain by video interviewing MBA students. "Virtual interviews provide a way for companies to pull from multiple schools without draining all their recruiting resources," she said. (2/23/10)

Cap and Trade Prompts Debate

Matthew Nisbet, an expert in science communication, said cancelling cap and trade efforts has created an opening for better public debate. “I think what's happening politically is we're moving from a very narrow limited focus on just one option,” he told The New York Times Greenwire blog. “Most of the discussion is not on substance, but rather political viability and the game or jockeying in order to win support.”(3/3/10)

Unbiased Panel for Pentagon’s Strategic Plan Is Possible

School of International Service professor Jordan Tama talked to USA Today about resolving conflicts of interest between defense contractors and panel members selected to review the Pentagon’s four-year plan. "There are retired military officers or Defense officials who don't have defense industry ties. If you wanted to find these people, you could," he said. (3/1/10)

Google Buzz A Privacy Threat?

Public communication professor Kathryn Montgomery discussed the new social networking tool Google Buzz—which like Facebook, allows public and private interaction—and its implications for children with the Los Angeles Times.  "Google Buzz is a new danger zone for children," she said, adding that she’d requested the Federal Trade Commission address the risks to children. This story was re-published by more than 20 news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (2/23/10)

Smartphones: A Saving Grace from Awkward Silences

In today’s age of modern technology, not only are smartphones a major distraction, but they also fill in the silent gaps in relationships, according to linguistics professor Naomi Baron. "You can't assume we always have something to say to each other," she told the Washington Post. "Why do restaurants play music in the background? Because otherwise there's the uncomfortable dead silence." (2/22/10)

Taxing U.S. Banks Abroad

Robin Lumsdaine, professor of finance, discussed the idea of taxing large U.S. banking companies to create assistance funds for failing firms with American Banker. "From a systemic perspective, I can understand why there's interest in having some kind of cross-border resolution plan," she said.  "The largest, systemically important firms have operations across the globe — making it difficult to ring-fence an ailing subsidiary and prevent contagion to other parts of the firm.” (2/23/10)

Senate Minority Leader Opposes Health Care Reform

James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, talked about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s role in the health care reform debate in a story by McClatchy News Service. “He's not the best spokesman for the party, but he listens to them and gives them what they want,” Thurber said. The story was re-published by 30 news outlets, including the Miami Herald, Charlotte Observer, and the Sacramento Bee. (2/25/10)

Did Baby Boomers Cause the Financial Crisis?

A new film is stirring conversation by suggesting the current financial crisis dates back to the days of Woodstock. Leonard Steinhorn, author of The Greater Generation: In Defense of the Baby Boomers, told the Christian Science Monitor that baby boomers are not all to blame for the economic collapse. “As a conservative, if you can trivialize what boomers have done, to create a false hippie-to-yuppie paradigm, then your goal is to trivialize all these remarkable changes to our society in the last forty years.”(2/25/10)

The Role of Athletics in Higher Education

Men’s basketball coach Jeff Jones was a guest on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show to discuss the role of athletics in higher education.  He also spoke about his team’s rebuilding process this season after clinching back-to-back Patriot League titles and bids to the NCAA tournament. “Anytime you are going through a difficult season, regardless of what those expectations are, it can be tough,” Jones said. “Hopefully we’re at a point where we’re playing our best basketball of the season.”(3/1/10)