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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 4/23/10

Top story

A Focus on AU’s Soon to Open Green Building

The Northwest Current was among the first to cover AU’s new light-filled School of International Service building after a pre-Earth Day tour with architect William McDonough, dean Louis Goodman, and assistant dean Joseph Clapper. The project is McDonough’s first in D.C. McDonough selected AU because he was "enchanted" by the university’s philosophy. "They talk about 'waging peace' - what we're about on a material level, they're about on a pedagogical level," he said. The 70,000-square-foot, six-story building features a glass-wall entry, LED lighting in the garage, and three solar water heaters. “Every time we had a decision to make, we made the green decision,” said Goodman. (4/21/10)

Other Features

American University, Smithsonian Associates Partner for Series of Programs

The Associated Press reported about the new partnership between the Smithsonian Associates and American University to present a series of lectures and performances, including a talk with Pulitzer Prize-winning author E.O. Wilson and a discussion with White House correspondents. The story was re-published in seven additional news outlets including Washington Examiner and Newsday. (4/17/10)

American University a Gay-Friendly Nirvana

American University’s GLBTA Resource Center was featured in a Metro Weekly story about its role in making the university a gay-friendly campus. "Our policies are LGBT-friendly. We make sure to include queer content across the board. It's influencing a lot of different aspects of the AU community,” said GLBTA program coordinator Matthew Bruno. Student Rachel Lachenauer credits the center as one of the major reasons she chose to attend American. "I needed to be in a space where I wouldn't feel threatened expressing my opinion. It was definitely part of my decision making,” she said.(4/22/10)

OpEds and Editorials

North Korea Faces Resistance over the Radio Waves

In his opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, Peter Beck, professor of international business, discussed building resistance against North Korea through foreign radio stations and secret interviews that reveal a different side of the country to residents. “Pyongyang claims that foreign broadcasts are part of the Obama administration's ‘hostile policy,’ toward the North,” he said. “But North Koreans deserve to hear the truth—not only about their own country, but also the world at large.”(4/14/10)

Supreme Court Overturns Animal Cruelty Act

“Videos of defenseless animals cruelly victimized to excite the violent and sexual fantasies of certain customers have no place in our society, regardless of the free speech claims of their producers,” communications professor Chris Palmer and School of Communication graduate student Peter Kimball wrote in their opinion piece for the San Francisco Chronicle about the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the 1999 Animal Cruelty Act. “The court has gone too far in protecting the free speech of those who would profit from films depicting wanton and malicious cruelty to animals solely for customers' entertainment,” they asserted. “We believe that these types of videos deserve no legal protection whatsoever.” (4/23/10)

Expert Quotes

Supreme Court Justice Stevens Retires, AU Experts Provide Commentary

In addition to being the last Supreme Court Justice of the World War II Era, retiring Justice John Paul Stevens played a key role in terrorist cases, according to law professor Stephen Vladeck. “On terrorism, he has been not just the leading light on the left, but the master strategist. For the most part, as Justice Stevens has gone, so has gone the Court,” Vladeck told the National Law Journal.

In a related story, Stephen Wermiel, professor of law, was interviewed by Hearst Television, and discussed the obstacle President Obama faces in selecting a replacement. “Obama's liberal base is actually going to be worried about whether he is going to nominate someone who is liberal enough from their standpoint, [and] the Republicans are worried about whether he's nominating someone who is too liberal or progressive from their standpoint,” he said. Wermiel’s interview was broadcast on Hearst’s 26 participating television news stations. (4/14/10) (4/9/10)

Video Helps Interpret Situations, Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

Patricia Aufderheide director of the Center for Social Media, talked to the Associated Press about the use of video as evidence in reference to a New York City trial involving video footage of a police officer assaulting a bicyclist. “Clearly, (a video's) one piece of documentation is not everything that happened,” she said. “But it's a representation that, in general, people know how to read.” This article was re-published by more than 200 news outlets, including, Washington Examiner and the Seattle Times. (4/19/10)

President Unveils Proposed Space Plan

Professor Howard McCurdy, an expert on space policy, discussed President Obama’s new plan for NASA in an article for Thomson Reuters. “I think Obama is going to come down and defend the decision that he's made,” he said. “I don't think he'll say, ‘Let’s put a human on an asteroid in 2029.' I'd be shocked if he did. My guess is that he will not go so far as to make a major space decision.” This article was re-published by more than 20 news outlets, including the Washington Post, U.S. Daily and Wired News. (4/13/10)

Wall Street Banks Hope to Benefit from Future Financial Reform Bill

James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, talked to Thomson Reuters about plans being made in Congress for a tough financial reform bill to prevent a future crisis in the banking industry, and Wall Street banks courting members of Congress who are critical to passing the legislation. “They're going to get a bill. The question is how rigorous, and it looks like it'll be a bipartisan bill that doesn't go after the industry like the original drafts. Wall Street’s winning that way,”  Thurber said. The story was re-published in 15 news outlets, including and the Washington Post. (4/22/10)

A Look at President Obama’s Effectiveness

James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, was a guest on WAMU’s Diane Rehm Show to discuss President Obama’s leadership style since taking office. “The preponderance of the suffering that Barack Obama has done in terms of the dissent of his polls from the 60s to the high 40s, has been because of the persistence of problems that he has not been able to solve, that he largely inherited,” he said during the 50-minute segment. (4/21/10)

Adopted Child Sent Back to Russia, Parent Cites Emotional Problems

Rita Simon, professor of justice, law and society, talked to the Christian Science Monitor about the case of a Tennessee mother who sent her adopted Russian child back to Moscow. “Russia and other countries could say, ‘We are not sending children to the U.S. anymore,’ ” said Simon. “This could be very hurtful to the thousands who will now remain in orphanages and temporary care facilities instead of stable homes.” (4/13/10)

Language Becoming More Informal to Appeal to the Youth

Thanks in part to evolving communication technology, language is becoming slack and words and terms are changing, according to a story by the Dallas Morning News. “The language we use to communicate is increasingly informal,” says linguistics professor Naomi Baron about the change in spelling and dialect. “Spoken conversation tends to occur on a teenage level because everyone wants to try to be younger, to lighten up. You don't want to use big words and sound stuck up. It's all about appearing cool and casual.” (4/12/10)

Finding Spirituality in the Boomer Generation

According to public communications professor Leonard Steinhorn, members of the baby boomer generation approach religion as a guide to a spiritual meaning and connection in their own personal way. “They have always tried to figure out what works for them,” Steinhorn told the Miami Herald. “They've been looking for a place to hang their spiritual or religious hat since the 1960s.”' (4/16/10)

Summer Reading is Fundamental for the MBA Student

Business professor Heather Elms spoke in favor of summer reading for MBA students in a story for BusinessWeek, adding that avid readers excel in leadership. “It will help you to understand the original motivations behind the institutions in which you'll study, the issues associated with management as a profession, and why it might be good for you if it were,” she said, naming From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and The Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession by Rakesh Khurana as one of her summer recommendations. (4/19/10)

Deciphering the Probability of an Attacker-Victim Relationship

After a high school student carjacked his teacher, the Washington Post asked Mary Gray, chairwoman of the department of mathematics and statistics, about the probability of a robbery victim knowing their assailant. “It's still very unlikely that he could have picked a teacher of his, but it's something closer to one in 1,000 versus one in 100,000,” Gray said. “It's more probable than you might originally think.” (4/21/10)

Explaining Environmental Issues to Children

When it comes to explaining the climate change debate to children Lauren Feldman, communications professor, suggests that educators start with breaking down science and policy terms.“One thing that could be effective that is in large part missing from school curricula is a science-literacy component—teaching kids how to interpret science and scientific policy information in media and how to make sense of it,” she told Philadelphia Weekly. (4/13/10)

Job Market Prompts More Students to Follow Passion, Become Own Boss

Arlene Hill, director of the Kogod Center for Career Development, talked to NewsChannel 8 about job opportunities and options for students graduating this spring and offered tips for success. Hill said, “Ten percent of Kogod’s MBAs last year ended up starting their own companies and that was a significant increase.” She followed up by suggesting that if students have a passion for something, then they should stay focused on what is of interest to them as they search for jobs. (4/20/10)