newsId: E18C2A32-5056-AF26-BE2609C700C01E16
Title: AU Museum Summer Exhibits Open
Author: Rebecca Basu
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Abstract: Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition, Washington Masters, and Non-Conformist Latvian Art On Display
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 06/11/2015
Content:

Summer exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center open June 13.  

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, AU Museum presents Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition. The exhibit will showcase 25 artifacts collected from the debris of the bombings, six large folding screens that depict the horrors of the bombings, and a collection of drawings by Japanese children created two years after the war ended. 

The cornerstone of the exhibit, the folding screens, will be on display in Washington, D.C. for the first time. Beginning in 1950, husband-and-wife artists Iri and Toshi Maruki created a total of 15 screens over 32 years depicting the horrors of the twin bombings and other nuclear disasters of the 20th century.

In 1947, Arthur Powell Davies, a minister with All Souls Church Unitarian (Washington, D.C.), asked the children of the church's school to collect art supplies to donate to Honkawa Elementary School in Japan. As a gesture of gratitude for the supplies, the Honkawa students made drawings for the All Souls children that tell a story of peace and connection between the two countries

The exhibition organizers hope this thought-provoking exhibition deepens viewers' understanding of the devastation wrought by nuclear weapons and inspires peace. Exhibition sponsors include AU's Nuclear Studies Institute, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, Maruki Gallery, and All Souls Church Unitarian. The exhibit opens June 13 and closes Aug. 16.

Exhibits Opening June 13 and Closing July 26

Travels in the Imagination shows the work of Visvaldis Ziediņš, a Latvian artist who lived and worked during the Soviet era but was not discovered until 2009, two years after Ziediņš' death. 

The work changes the perception of the nature of Latvian art during the Soviet era, and refutes the commonly held idea that Latvia did not produce non-conformist art. Ziediņš resisted the formulaic Soviet realism mandated by Soviet officialdom, instead creating personal, poetic and playful work. On display are sculptures, installations, paintings and collages. Most of the works were fashioned using found objects.

Realism Transformed: John Winslow's Wild New World presents the first comprehensive survey of the later works of Washington artist John Winslow. Winslow, one of Washington's foremost realist painters, underwent a transformation as an artist in the 1980s. In his work, defined spaces became ambiguous, right angles became swooping curves, and once-static figures left gravity behind to dance gracefully and crazily through the air.  

Michael Gross: Abstraction features the vibrant paintings and monoprints of Washington artist, Michael Gross. According to curator Myrtis Bedolla, "Gross invites us into his world and it is easy to succumb to the magnetism of his acrylic paintings. His rhythmic brushstrokes, punctuated with mark-making and intentionally laid drippings of paint are hypnotic. Through spatial separation and planes of color, Gross achieves a dynamism and lyricism in the work that is enticing."  

The exhibit Outliers: Kurt Godwin and Betsy Packard is intended as a "sampler" of three decades' worth of work of two Washington artists, Betsy Packard and Kurt Godwin. Each artist has worked in a variety of media, from painting to quilting, from found-object sculptures to printmaking, all of which are featured in this show. Both Packard and Godwin practice a kind of speculative symbolism and what's most vital is their instinctive commitment to their own free imaginations, very much on display at AU Museum.

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Title: Dean Peter Starr Delivers Annual Address
Author: Patty Housman
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Abstract: Sixth annual address to College of Arts and Sciences faculty
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 05/06/2015
Content:

In his sixth annual address to faculty and staff, Peter Starr, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, reviewed the highlights of the past year, discussed upcoming challenges and opportunities, and shared his vision for the future of the College. 

“It was a very, very good year for the College,” said Starr, pointing to new tenure-line faculty hires, innovative new curricula, and growth in student enrollment. College of Arts and Science faculty continued to win recognition for their work: they published critically acclaimed books, served as presidents of national scholarly organizations, and won millions of dollars in grants from prestigious organizations including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. 

Starr shared other good news: the cutting-edge Don Myers Technology and Innovation Building is scheduled to open in fall 2016, and plans are in the works for a new 75,000-square-foot life sciences building. Fundraising numbers are at their highest in a decade, and the College was ranked sixth in the nation for a major in the social sciences, according to USA Today.  

 

New Faculty Awards and Recognition 

“We’ve had several years in a row of hiring extraordinary faculty,” said Starr. In the fall, four new tenure-track faculty will join the College: Ernesto Castaneda (sociology), Juliana Martinez (WLC), Kendra Salois (performing arts), and Isaiah Wooden (performing arts). In addition, Shouzhong Zou (chemistry) will join the College as a tenured professor.  

Starr also highlighted the accomplishments of current College faculty. Over the past 18 months, six faculty members were named or served as presidents of major scholarly organizations: 

  • Michael Brenner (Israeli studies), Leo Baeck Institute 
  • Terry Davidson (psychology), Eastern Psychology Association 
  • Dolores Koenig (anthropology), Society for Economic Anthropology
  • Alan Kraut (history), Organization of American Historians
  • Robert Lerman (economics), President of the Society of Government Economists
  • Martha Starr (economics), Association for Social Economics

At the same time, American University honored three College faculty members for their outstanding scholarship and teaching. Terry Davidson (psychology) won an Outstanding Scholarship, Research, Creative Activity, and Other Professional Contributions Award. Kate Gunthert (psychology), received the Outstanding Teaching in a Full-Time Appointment Award, and Betty Malloy (mathematics and statistics) won the university’s Morton Bender Prize. 

 

New Curricula, Expanding Enrollment 

In the last year, the College launched a series of new curricula, said Starr, including a new BS in neuroscience, the CAS Leadership and Ethical Development program, an MA in game design with the School of Communication, and online master’s degrees in economics, nutrition education, and teaching English as a foreign language. 

In addition, the College graduate program enrollment has risen by nearly 2,000 credits in just one year. Master’s degree applications have also grown appreciably. 

 

External Funding 

College faculty built on their strong record of winning—and spending—prestigious research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Health and Human Services. 

This year, Starr focused on grant spending, a key metric for evaluating how researchers are using large multi-year grants. In the past year, major research funding was spent by Mark Laubach (biology), Kim Blankenship (sociology), Jon Tubman (psychology), Paul Winters (economics), Colin Saldanha (biology), Terry Davidson (psychology), and Martha Starr (economics), among many others. 

Starr noted that pre-tenure faculty won a large number of significant grants, particularly in the sciences. “Junior scientists thrive here at American University in a way that is heartening, both for ourselves and for their future careers,” he said. Grantees include John Bracht (biology), Naden Krogan (biology), Michael Robinson (mathematics and statistics), and Catherine Stoodley (psychology). 

 

Departments Brought Together, New Science Facilities 

Starr announced that work is ongoing to house historically fragmented departments in a single building in upcoming years, an effort that will increase collaboration among departmental colleagues. 

He also discussed progress made on the Don Myers Technology and Innovation Building on the new East Campus. “This is going to be the home of physics, mathematics and statistics, computer science, and the gaming program: two floors, two buildings, state-of-the-art structural spaces. And all through the building you are going to see science in action: you will see the visual life of science.” 

Starr presented a mock-up of a new life sciences building, which has a proposed 2019 opening. Its 75,000 square feet will house biology, environmental science, chemistry, and neuroscience. Faculty will be clustered in functional groups, rather than by department, based on access to specific equipment and technology. 

 

What’s Next: Ecology of Innovation and Learning Through Making 

In the future, said Starr, the College will continue to build on its historic strengths: 

  • Liberal education, which fosters flexibility, confidence, and an innovative spirit;
  • A commitment to service; and
  • A philosophy of learning by doing, exemplified by the hands-on learning in science labs across campus and the wide range of internships undertaken by AU students each year.

“At the same time, we are increasingly striving to exemplify an ecology of innovation,” said Starr. One example is CAPRI, the new Collaborative for Applied Perceptual Research and Innovation, which brings together faculty from across the university to investigate how new technology can revolutionize our understanding of perception in science, culture, and daily life. “CAPRI represents precisely the kind of intriguing, interdisciplinary cutting-edge work that we want to foster at the College,” said Starr. 

Other examples of the College’s work to build an ecology of innovation are collaboration spaces featuring virtual tutoring; state-of-the-art online degrees; partnerships with corporations in the education and gaming fields; and a Mellon Foundation-funded project to develop new ways to support student success across the University. 

The College is also working on new ways to teach students how to “learn through making” – from developing interactive social interaction games in the Game Lab, to using the proposed Humanities truck to document the stories of local communities, to embedding geocaches filled with historical materials, stories, and art. The goal of these curricular innovations, said Starr, is to break down barriers between disciplines and provide students with interactive opportunities to learn about the world.

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Title: College Connections
Author:
Subtitle: College of Arts and Sciences magazine now available online
Abstract: College of Arts and Sciences magazine now available online
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 04/27/2015
Content:

The spring issue of Connections magazine, the biannual magazine focusing on AU’s College of Arts and Sciences, is now available on campus and online. 

This issue of Connections focuses on women in science; how technology is radically changing education; and the myriad of accomplishments of College students, faculty, and alumni. You can read about the upcoming Alper Initiative for Washington Art at the Katzen Center; the graduation of our first cohort of Public Health scholars; and an impressive array of books published by the literature department. 

You’ll also read about alumnus Harjant Gill, an anthropologist and award-winning documentary filmmaker; alumna Irene Glowinski whose career at the NIH was launched in an AU chemistry lab; and economics professor Paul Winters, who never dreamed of studying economics until an inspirational encounter with a Nobel Laureate. 

 

Stories 

Women in Science
Prominent roles for women scientists at AU

 

From AU Lab to NIH
Alumna Irene Glowinski, BS chemistry ’75, leading nation’s fight against pandemics

 

Gift Funds Home for DC Art at AU Museum
New art initiative established by alumna Carolyn Alper, BA studio art ’68

 

Pixels or Pages?
Linguistics professor Naomi Baron on the art of reading in the digital age

 

A Call to Action
Historian Max Paul Friedman’s welcome to the Class of 2018

 

Passages from India 
The journey of visual anthropologist Harjant Gill

 

Book Club
New books by literature faculty

 

A Day in the Life 
From class to classroom with special education student teacher Avery Luck

 

AU’s Public Health Pioneers
First class of public health scholars preparing for graduation

 

The Power of Data
Economics professor Paul Winters making research relevant with real-world data

 

Sound Games
Valerie Rennoll, BS audio technology and physics’16, training US Navy sonar operators

 

CAPRI: Pushing the Limits of Technology 
New initiative changing the way students experience and learn  

 

 

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Title: School's out
Author:
Subtitle: College of Arts and Sciences students share summer plans
Abstract: College of Arts and Sciences students share summer plans
Topic: First Person
Publication Date: 04/27/2015
Content:

Though finals week is almost upon American University, it's hard not to think about the summer months lying just ahead. The cherry blossoms are in bloom, the sun is shining, and students are beginning to finalize their plans for the next few months.


Whether it's classes, travel plans, or internships, students in the College of Arts and Sciences have big things in store for them this year. 


"We will be job searching—we're going to move to Alexandria. We might get some cats. It's great. We will be exhibiting in the MFA thesis show on Saturday April 25, and in a show in Lithuania this October."

Jenny Wu and Michael Patrick Holt
MFA studio art '15




Blake Teres

"I don't have a job over the summer, but I'm going to Israel on Birthright, and I'm lead sound technician for my friend's documentary about Appalachian folk music.

Blake Teres
BA audiotechnology and computer science '17




Jenna Cataldi

"I'm planning on getting an internship at Georgetown Hospital and working with art therapy in the pediatric ward."

Jenna Cataldi
BA studio art '18







Sara Periera da Silva

"I'll be doing an internship at the American Dance Institute and attending the Fulbright seminar in Philadelphia, and if I have time after that, I'll visit family and friends in Portugal and Hong Kong."

Sara Periera da Silva
MA arts management '16





Gabriel Resstack

"I started a company called Skirmos with six other guys. We started a Kickstarter and raised a lot of money last year. We're trying to develop a customizable laser tag game. People can make their own adjustments to the equipment. This summer, we're going to focus on manufacturing opportunities and getting the product out there."

Gabriel Resstack
BA psychology '16





Rebecca Lindenfeld

"For the first half of the summer, I'm taking two classes: The Function of the Human Body and Roots of Racism. For the second half, I'll be doing an internship in DC.

Rebeca Lindenfeld
BA audiotechnology '17






Toby Amodeo

"I'm trying to get an internship in a public health field this summer, hopefully in mental health.

Toby Amodeo
BA public health '16

 

 

 

 


Hannah McNamara

"I'm planning a road trip through the southwest with a friend and her mom to look at colleges for my friend. Then I'm going to spend a week at Lake Tahoe, and then a week in Hawaii to visit an old friend."

Hannah McNamara
BA undeclared '18




Elizabeth Harrison

"I'll be doing an internship with Enterprise Community Partners. They advocate and work for affordable housing. We will be looking at HOPWA, an organization that provides housing for people with AIDS. We will be interviewing people in this housing and evaluating the program itself. Then in September, I’m going to join the Peace Corps in Cameroon.”

Elizabeth Harrison
BA anthropology '18





IRC Moscfilm event

"I'm graduating this semester—I've applied for a couple of jobs in DC, but I've also bought a plane ticket to go to California at the end of May. If I don't get a job, I'm going to go there and hang out, hike, travel to Mexico, and try to figure it out.

Beverly Ronses

Certificate, spanish translation '15






Bartol Bashri

"I'll be working a part time job in Virginia until the end of July. Then I'm going to Sudan to visit family."

Bartol Bashri
BA psychology '17









Victoria Kim

"I'm graduating in May—the internship I've worked with this past year might hire me again. It's the National LGBTQ Task Force. I'm also looking for another part time job in the city. I love DC, and my plan is to stay here for a while."

Victoria Kim
BA psychology '15

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Title: Gift Funds Home for DC Art at AU Museum
Author: Carolyn Supinka
Subtitle:
Abstract: New art initiative established by alumna Carolyn Alper, BA studio art ’68
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 04/27/2015
Content:

Thanks to a generous donation by Carolyn Alper, BA studio arts ’68, local art will soon have a home of its own at American University.

Alper’s gift to the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center will fund the Alper Initiative for Washington Art. It will support the creation of a space on the museum’s first floor for display of work by DC artists and for a digital archive of Washington art. The initiative will also sponsor lectures, films, and other events. Construction will begin in August 2015, and the space will open in January 2016.

Alper, a native Washingtonian, is committed to preserving the heritage of local art and to supporting artists working currently in the region.

An artist herself, she studied painting under Morris Louis and Gene Davis, both from DC. That formative artistic experience, she says, made her fall in love with Washington arts. In 1971, she and three fellow students cofounded the Foundry Gallery, a cooperative art space that is still showcasing the work of new and emerging artists.

She envisions the Alper Initiative for Washington Art as a meeting space for members of DC’s thriving arts community. “I hope it will encourage Washington artists and become a place where artists can convene and talk. Art talk is the most creative stuff in the world,” she says.

Jack Rasmussen, curator and director of the American University Museum, believes the Alper Initiative will bring some much needed attention to Washington art.

“It will allow us to have tightly focused exhibitions,” he says. “We want it to be the place you go to when you want to learn about your city and its history and what came before you as an artist—a place to understand and reevaluate your heritage. We are working very hard on building a great collection of Washington art, and we are bringing in curators to put together exhibitions that will be of interest to artists in the community.”

Though Washington has no shortage of cultural institutions, Alper believes the AU Museum is the perfect location for her initiative. “I think it’s the only place,” she says. “Where else would be more appropriate?”

Rasmussen agrees. “We are committed to our community, and I think that’s what’s made us a success so far,” he says. “When you come to the museum, you’re greeted by a member of the community. Our volunteers are members of the community—and in our programming, we always include Washington artists. This is something that no other museum does.”

 

Tags: Alumni,Arts, Fine,College of Arts and Sciences,Connections Newsletter,Katzen Arts Center
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Title: Late Spring Exhibits Open at AU Museum
Author: Rebecca Basu
Subtitle:
Abstract: Sy Gresser’s sculpture, ancient Chinese stone rubbings, and a cultural exchange with Vilnius, Lithuania, on display
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 04/24/2015
Content:

Late spring exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center include sculpture from the estate of area artist and poet Sy Gresser and a brief, not-to-be-missed showing of stone rubbings dating from the Han Period (206 B.C.-220 A.D.).

Cultural Treasures from Shandong province: Ancient Chinese Pictorial Stone Rubbings contains more than 60 kinds of rubbings of stone inscriptions taken during the Qin and Han Dynasties. The Chinese used a method of stone rubbing with paper and ink and made multiple copies of these inscriptions. The rubbings (also known as inked squeezes) preserved the inscriptions better than the stone itself. The rubbings were taken from stone inscriptions in the Shandong province of eastern China and reveal scenes of everyday life. An opening reception takes place 6 p.m. Tues. May 19. The exhibit opens May 19 and closes May 31.

AU Museum presents Sy Gresser's powerful and poetic legacy of stone carvings from April 25 through August 16 in Stone, Silence, and Speech: Sculptures by Sy Gresser. Gresser absorbed and re-articulated diverse visual vocabularies into his own, unique style. He balanced figurative and abstract technique to conceive sculptures that evoke memories of family and friends as well as literary and historic narrative. The blend of finished, smoothed surfaces and rough texture call upon the viewers' hands as well as eyes. A reception takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. on opening day, and Gresser's longtime curator Ori Z. Soltes will give a gallery talk 6 p.m. Thurs. May 7. 

Lost and Found: Young Art from Lithuania, open from April 25 through May 24, is the product of an educational and artistic exchange between AU and the Vilnius Academy of Arts. Curatorial practice students from both universities are developing their skills in the management as well as the presentation of the art of their fellow students through this international exchange of exhibitions. 

Young Lithuanian artists exhibiting in Lost and Found are working in a wide range of media varying from traditional craftsmanship to unique technological solutions. They demonstrate the varied influence of the Vilnius Academy of Arts on the creativity of its students. In return, Director Jack Rasmussen's Curatorial Practice Students will curate a show of AU students and recent alumni that will be exhibited at the Vilnius Academy of Arts in October 2015.

BLUEPRINT, opening April 25 and closing May 10, features the thesis exhibition of students who will graduate this spring with Master's of Fine Arts degrees. The students are Nathan Mullins, Ayad Almissouri, Angelina Samudre, Jenny Wu, Mandy Cooper, Michael Holt, Robert Yi, and Tim Hoyt. The exhibition showcases a range of techniques, including painting, sculpture, collage and material studies, photography and new media. A gallery talk will be held from 5 to 6 p.m., Sat. April 25.

Early spring exhibits are also continuing. To find out more, visit http://www.american.edu/media/news/20150401-Early-Spring-Exhibits.cfm

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Title: Creative Connections
Author: Carolyn Supinka
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Abstract: The 8th Annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 04/16/2015
Content:

For the 8th annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium (EALS), 200 students, arts leaders, and young professionals from across the country converged at the Katzen Arts Center for an opportunity to meet some of today’s most innovative leaders in the field of arts management.

The Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium connects young professionals with experienced arts professionals for a day of learning, networking, and reflection. The symposium traditionally kicks off Arts Advocacy Day, a nationwide event that highlights the importance of arts in America.

 

Movers and Shakers  

This year’s keynote speakers were Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and Howard Herring, president and CEO of New World Symphony.  

Chu called upon the audience to “provide a creative way of leading that synthesizes different perspectives” in their careers, and Herring shared videos of the innovative blending of music and interaction that New World Symphony creates for its audiences. 

This year’s speakers represented major arts institutions including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, OPERA America, Springboard for the Arts, and Washington Performing Arts.  

Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, offered closing remarks that sent the audience out of the symposium ready to jump into Arts Advocacy Day.  

 

Relevant and Redefining  

Through speeches, panel discussions, and networking events, arts leaders impart knowledge to students and young professionals who are preparing to enter the arts management field themselves.  

The theme of this year’s EALS Symposium was ArtREDEFINED, exploring the ways that arts organizations have adapted to address the issues facing them today. Panel topics included “Back to Black: Achieving and Maintaining Financial Stability,” “Arts In Post-Crisis Areas,” “Outreach Outcomes: Engagement that Matters,” and “Founder’s Stories: Entrepreneurship and Arts Startups.”  

“It was incredible how we had really influential arts leaders from prominent arts organizations all in one place at one time,” said Laura London (MA arts management ’15), a member of the EALS planning committee.  

 

For Emerging Leaders, By Emerging Leaders  

The symposium was originally proposed in 2008 by Michelle Grove (MA arts management ’08), and has since grown to an annual event that draws participants from all across the country. This year, participants included students from Columbia University, Savannah College of Art and Design, Drexel University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Carnegie Mellon University, and other universities. 

The event is organized by a committee of nine students in AU’s Arts Management Program. Throughout the year, they work to produce the symposium, by conducting fundraisers and developing relevant and timely panel discussions.  

Participants say that the event is a valuable opportunity for students and arts professionals at any stage in their careers. “EALS is unique because no other gathering for arts managers offers such an intimate setting for young leaders to dig into the hard questions with the leading voices in our field,” said Erin Quinlan (MA arts management ’15), who served as this year’s committee chair. “On top of the typical conference experience, EALS also offers time for networking and camaraderie with the up-and-coming leaders of the art world who will be your colleagues for years to come.”  

 

Lasting Impressions  

"This was my third EALS in a row, and it was honestly the best EALS yet. And I say that even though I served on the EALS committee last year,” said Jessica Ferey (MA arts management ’15). “It was really nice to sit back as an audience member this year and soak in all the knowledge from a truly incredible roster of speakers.”  

“It was thrilling to see the concepts and ideas we learn about in the classroom being discussed by professional arts managers with such passion,” said Jared Chamoff (MA arts management ’16). “It was also great to feel a sense of community after spending time alongside emerging arts leaders from so many different programs.”

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Title: Professor Johnson’s BleakHouse Publishing Releases Powerful Poetry Collection
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Abstract: The independent press recently released a collection of poems deconstructing delusions of race in the criminal justice system.
Topic: Liberal Arts
Publication Date: 04/14/2015
Content:

BleakHouse Publishing, an independent press founded by School of Public Affairs professor Robert Johnson, recently released a collection of poems deconstructing delusions of race in the criminal justice system.

Black Bone: Poems on Crime and Punishment, Race and Justice is the first published work by AU undergraduate senior Alexa Marie Kelly. Her work is striking a chord among readers.

“Each poem brings us face- to-face with hurt and loss, open wounds for everyone - and especially persons of color - touched by crime and punishment,” Johnson wrote of the collection.

Playwright and AU Professor Caleen Jennings also reviewed Black Bone. She praised Kelly for her ability to empathize with those who have been “incarcerated and forgotten.”

“Reading her work one can’t help but share her sorrow, outrage and compulsion to change things for the better,” Jennings wrote.

Kelly’s poems address topics such as racial profiling, the death penalty, and mass incarceration. Each first-person poem humanizes America’s institutions and their inhumane consequences.

BleakHouse Publishing, founded by Johnson in 2006, is devoted to providing creative space for social justice. Primarily American University students staff the press, and Kelly began working with BleakHouse Publishing three years ago. Its mission is to publish works that shed a humane light on the nether world of penal institutions, as well as other repressive settings, practices, and beliefs.

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Title: Eagles Helping and Hiring Eagles
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Abstract: SIS offers many ways for alumni to engage with students and help them with their careers. Alumni are found in all parts of the world and in many different career sectors. Several new initiatives allow students to tap into this valuable global network.
Topic: International
Publication Date: 04/06/2015
Content:

The School of International Service offers many ways for alumni to engage with students and help them with their careers. SIS alumni are found in all parts of the world and in many different career sectors. Several new initiatives at SIS allow students to tap into this valuable global network.

SIS Alumni Relations and Development partnered with the AU Career Center in early March to offer the first SIS Resume Review Week at the Davenport Coffee Lounge for graduate students. More than 160 students participated and had the opportunity to have their resumes reviewed by and submitted to the nearly 20,000 alumni in the SIS global alumni network.

Alumni who are interested in hiring students for fellowships, internships, and jobs can view the students’ resumes on SIS Resume Books, which is hosted by AU CareerWeb, a career management system that provides students and alumni access to career resources. The resumes are categorized by interest area:

Intelligence & Security
International Development
International Education
Economics
International Communication
International Peace & Conflict Resolution
Consulting

Stephanie Block, associate director of SIS alumni relations, underscores that the investment students have made in their degrees connects them to the SIS global alumni network.

“We rely on our alumni to volunteer, mentor, lecture, teach, inspire, recruit, and hire -- and as a result of this effort we want to easily connect our SIS global alumni network to our amazing students,” Block says. “To do this, we are providing alumni access to seven different resume books that do not require registration.”

SIS students and alumni often share stories about how they were hired by SIS alumni. Block and the SIS Alumni Relations and Development team hope the SIS Resume Review Week will result in many more such tales of Eagles helping and hiring Eagles.

Students and alumni who participated in the SIS Resume Review Week are encouraged to e-mail success stories to sisalum@american.edu

The American University Alumni Association provides a variety of valuable resources to alumni. SIS alumni are encouraged to reach others in their SIS global network by using LinkedIn in conjunction with the AU Alumni Online Directory. Additionally, the AU Career Center offers an array of networking tips and resources as well as career advising appointments for alumni. Schedule an alumni career advising appointment online or by phone at 202-885-1804.

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Title: Early Spring Exhibits: Collage, International Art, Installations and More
Author: Rebecca Basu
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Abstract: Spring exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center offer visitors an eclectic mix, from surrealist collage to drawings that depict sound.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 04/03/2015
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Spring exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center offer visitors an eclectic mix, from surrealist collage to drawings that depict sound.

Exhibits from April 4 through May 24

Collage comes to AU Museum with YES! Glue: A Half-Century of Collage by Bruce and Jean Conner.The Conners sustained separate but related explorations within the tradition of surrealist collage. Jean began to create her wry combinations of images from popular magazines in the mid-1950s. Bruce embraced and then abandoned complex expressionist assemblages in the early 1960s in favor of witty, often grotesque, and sometimes spiritual compositions built from 19th-century engravings. Collage found fertile ground in the San Francisco Beat scene of the late 1950s. It was into this milieu that Bruce and Jean Conner moved from Lincoln, Nebraska, after their marriage in 1957, and it is here their art flourished.

AU Museum Curator and Director Jack Rasmussen said: "Bruce Conner is one of the most important artists of the 20th century. We are so fortunate to have this show at American University Museum before his retrospective next year at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the New York Museum of Modern Art. Our title 'YES! Glue: A Half-Century of Collage by Bruce and Jean Conner' refers to the brand of glue favored by the Conners for their collages. Obsessive about every detail of his art, Bruce Conner advanced the medium of collage, long favored by the Avant-Garde from Synthetic Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism right up through the San Francisco Beat Generation to today. The mostly unknown collage work by Jean Conner appears in this exhibition as a revelation."

Transcription of Blue: Guy Goldstein is a mixed-media exhibit in which Goldstein, both a visual artist and musician, investigated "colors of noise" by converting graphite drawings into sounds and then converting them back into printed images using a mid-century Russian ANS synthesizer. To convert from drawing to sound and vice versa, Goldstein utilizes software based on an old cumbersome machine from 1940s Russia, which made it possible to obtain a visible image of a sound wave, and the reverse (the sound of a visual image). The exhibition is sponsored by the Outset Contemporary Art Fund and the Embassy of Israel.

Remembrances of Voices Past features paintings by Indian artist V. Ramesh, for whom an act of devotion, or Bhakti, seems not only an apt social response to existential tragedies, but also a quest for freedom. Painting primarily with oils on large-scale canvas, his oeuvre reveals a preoccupation with meditative terrain, incorporating voices from medieval poetry and images culled from mythology to explore the relationship between states of transcendence and the realities of culture and personal experience. The exhibition is sponsored by the Institute by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Threshold Gallery. 

Drawings: Walter Kravitz features a large installation and smaller works by Chicago-bred artist Walter Kravitz. His work has evolved into an exploration of the way events happen in the natural world. His lines become edges, continuously organizing and shaping the air into solids, then dissolving them again into unpredictability.  

Exhibits from April 25 through May 25

Lost and Found: Young Art from Lithuania is the product of an educational and artistic exchange between American University and the Vilnius Academy of Arts. Curatorial practice students from both universities are developing their skills in the management of art as well as promotion of the artistic ambitions of their fellow students through this international exchange of exhibitions. Young Lithuanian artists exhibiting are working in a wide range of media varying from traditional craftsmanship to unique technological solutions, and demonstrate the varied influence of the Vilnius Academy of Arts on the creativity of its students. In return, AU Museum Director Jack Rasmussen's curatorial practice students will curate a show of AU students and recent alumni at the Vilnius Academy of Arts in October 2015.

Exhibit from April 4 through April 19

AU's Department of Art presents the work of current Master's of Fine Arts candidates from their first year in the Studio Arts program in an exhibition titled [Insert non-pretentious title here]. Collectively the group represents research, experimentation, and reflection, while simultaneously offering a window into each artist's individual practice. Artists are: Sara Caporaletti, Sarah Dale, Carey Francis, Jihee Kang, Jean Kim, Zack McGhin, Calli Moore, Joumana Mourkarim, Samantha Sethi, Katelyn Wood.

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Title: Tessa and Telly: From Friendship to AU Sweethearts
Author: Rebecca Vander Linde
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Abstract: For AU Sweethearts Tessa and Saliou Telly, it was friendship at first sight, not love.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 02/13/2015
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For AU Sweethearts Tessa and Saliou Telly, it was friendship at first sight, not love. But during their first two years at American University, that strong friendship blossomed into love.

Tessa hails from St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Saliou (who goes by Telly) was born and raised in Mali in West Africa. The couple first met in 1997 at STEP, AU’s Summer Transition Enrichment Program. STEP is a residential summer program that introduces incoming multicultural and first-generation college students to the AU community and helps them make the transition to college life.

When they met, Tessa says she was struck by Telly’s height. Telly came to AU on a full basketball scholarship, and at 6’8”, he certainly stood out in a crowd, but it was his silliness and similar culture that solidified their friendship.

Telly says he was first drawn to Tessa because she was modest, funny, and a “pretty Caribbean girl with sparkling silver wires in her mouth.” Those sparkling wires were Tessa’s braces, something Telly had never seen before.

Tessa says, “Through STEP we became very good friends… We shared very similar cultures. He also made fun of me, saying that I didn’t speak English because of my thick Caribbean accent. In fact, he would often joke that he taught me English. At the same time, I would say I taught him English because he was actually learning the language.”

Telly adds, “Being from a French speaking country, I was actually learning English at the time; however, others often asked me to interpret what Tessa was saying in her ‘slang’ or with a strong Caribbean accent. Needless to say, I spent most of that summer teasing her about that.”

Almost accidentally, their friendship turned into something more. One of Tessa’s homework assignments for her sophomore performing arts class was to see “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at Arena Stage. But by the time the assignment was nearly due, all of Tessa’s classmates had already seen the play, so she asked Telly to accompany her as a friend – or so she thought.

Telly understood the invitation differently. “I was told much later that this was not necessarily a date as I interpreted at the time; nonetheless, I still think it was a date,” he recalls.

To Tessa’s surprise, Telly made his first move and rested his hand on hers during the performance. “I thought, hmm, this is interesting,” Tessa says, adding, “When we left and entered the Metro, he stood directly behind me. I thought, hmm, even more interesting. One thing led to another, and we began dating.”

Telly says, “I can’t remember one thing from the play we saw but this was one of the most memorable dates we have had. It ignited the love that we have shared for more than 15 years now.”

Tessa and Telly spent the rest of their time at AU together. Some of their favorite memories are of late night walks on campus when they would discuss anything and everything. “We had a tradition where anytime there were fireworks in the city, we would go on the very top of the Butler Pavilion parking garage and watch the fireworks. We had great conversations and enjoyed spending these great moments with each other,” Tessa says.

Tessa and Telly have now been married for more than 10 years and are the proud parents of two beautiful girls, Alexa and Raquel. Alexa is almost six and Raquel is three, and they attended All-American Weekend with their parents in 2014. “It was great to bring them back to AU and show them where mommy and daddy met, and to introduce them to our fellow classmates and professors,” Tessa says.

Tessa, CAS/BS '01, CAS/MS '03, is the director of the Wellness Center at American University, where she interned as a student. Telly, CAS/BS '02, is a mechanical engineer and works for the Navy while pursuing his PhD at the University of Maryland. He says he will always be grateful to AU. 

“As a student athlete on full scholarship, AU has given me so much, and I owe many of my life successes to the school. However, meeting Tessa is without a doubt the best thing that the university has given me and I am most thankful for that.”

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Title: AU Pep Band Appreciation Day
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Abstract: Pep Band Appreciation Day takes place on Saturday, February 14.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 01/23/2015
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The American University Music Faculty and the Department of Athletics invite all alumni and friends of CAS and the AU Music Program to attend American University's 2nd annual Pep Band Appreciation Day basketball game, Saturday, February 14 at 2:00 p.m. in Bender Arena. 

The defending Patriot League Champion AU Eagles men's team will tipoff versus the Lafayette College Leopards. 

Pep Band Day is a fun opportunity to support both AU's talented music and band students, as well as cheer on our Eagles during their Patriot League play!

Student tickets are free with an AU ID.

All CAS alumni and friends can take advantage of a money-saving ticket discount for this game, saving up to $5 per ticket, by using the code BANDDAY15 at checkout at aueagles.com/tickets.

For more information, call 202-885-2617.

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Title: New at AU Museum: Argentine Glass and ‘Locally Sourced’ Art and More
Author: Rebecca Basu
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Abstract: Winter exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center open Jan. 24, 2015 and close March 15.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 01/22/2015
Content:

Winter exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center open Jan. 24, 2015 and close March 15.

Identidad showcases the work of Argentine glassmaker Silvia Levenson, featuring 116 intricate pieces of cast glass baby clothing, an homage to the social movement of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. The grandmothers lead a campaign to reunite missing grandchildren with their families following the Dirty War, a dark chapter in the country's history. In March 1976, after the overthrow of President Isabel Perón, a military dictatorship took hold for seven years. Many young pregnant women, believed to be political dissidents, were kidnapped, tortured and killed. Their children disappeared after birth and were later stripped of their identities and given up for adoption.

Levenson, who was 19 in 1976 and pregnant with her daughter, but not kidnapped, identifies as a survivor. She channels that identity and her emotional connection to the grandmothers to push the bounds of her skills as a glassmaker and produce the refined glass works of Identidad. "I feel that glass is the ideal medium for conveying this mixed feeling of beauty, fragility and tensions that represents our human condition," Levenson said.

Locally Sourced is the first exhibit in the four-part series "Do You Know Where Your Art Comes From?" curated by Victoria Reis, executive & artistic director of Transformer, a D.C.-based non-profit that promotes emerging artists. The exhibit, which features more than 300 small works in a variety of mediums, showcases the work of artists supported by Community Supported Art (CSA) and Flat File programs. Selected artists utilized silk, paint, sculpture, digital prints, collage, and other means. This exhibition will span the 2nd floor of the American University Museum. See more at http://www.transformerdc.org.

Phyllis Plattner: Gods of War! is a painted meditation appropriating images of war and religion to contrast the opposing drives of violence and peace. Plattner draws upon images of war from art history and photojournalism to capture the rationale of those who wage battles in God's name. This solo exhibition features monumental, highly narrative altarpieces from Plattner's Legends and Chronicles of War series.

Photoworks: Presence of Place brings together works of the past and present by members of the Photoworks community at Glen Echo Park in Washington, D.C., including faculty and students who have distinguished themselves by the quality and integrity of their art. Photoworks is a collaboration of artists started 40 years ago by four young photographers with a shared mission of seeing, shooting and printing images of lasting beauty and artistic integrity in their daily work. AU Museum Director and Curator Jack Rasmussen curated the exhibit, which is in memory of Elsie Hull Sprague, an artist who received an M.A. in Film from AU's School of Communication.

Dean Byington: Building Without Shadows is a collection of paintings composed of a dense profusion of original and appropriated images. Pieces reflect the 1950s and 1960s art culture of the San Francisco Bay Area, where Byington has lived and worked since the mid-1980s. His work recalls surrealist collage and the assemblage and psychedelic aesthetic of that time to envelope the viewer in an enigmatic narrative that hovers between history, mythology, sociopolitical observations and autobiography.

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Title: Book Notes: Leonard Bernstein and His Young People's Concerts
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Abstract: Performing Arts Professorial Lecturer Alicia Kopfstein-Penk publishes new book.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 01/20/2015
Content:

This month Rowman & Littlefield will publish Leonard Bernstein and His Young People's Concerts, a new book written by Performing Arts Professorial Lecturer Alicia Kopfstein-Penk. 

Kopfstein-Penk describes herself as an enthusiastic postmodernist. She has taught musicianship, guitar, music history, and general education classes at American University since 1998. As a performer, she has sung Bernstein at the Metropolitan Opera, Beatles at clubs, and classical guitar at the Kennedy Center. She is also a contributor to Soundboard and a podcast producer for the Washington National Opera. 

 

Leonard Bernstein and His Young People's Concerts  

Leonard Bernstein touched millions of lives as composer, conductor, teacher, and activist. He frequently visited homes around the world through the medium of television, particularly through his fifty-three award-winning Young People’s Concerts (1958-1972), which at their height were seen by nearly ten million in over forty countries. Originally designed for young viewers but equally attractive to eager adults, Bernstein’s brilliance as a teacher shined brightly in his televised presentations. And yet, despite the light touch of the “maestro,” the innocence of his audience, and the joyousness of each show’s topic, the turbulence of the times would peek through. 

In this first in-depth look at the series, Alicia Kopfstein-Penk’s Leonard Bernstein and His Young People’s Concerts illustrates how the cultural, social, political, and musical upheavals of the long sixties impacted Bernstein’s life and his Young People’s Concerts. Responding to trends in corporate sponsorship, censorship, and arts programming from the Golden Age of Television into the 1970s, the Young People’s Concerts would show the impact of and reflect the social and cultural politics of the Cold War, Vietnam, the Civil Rights and Women’s Movements, and the Counterculture. Bernstein cheerfully bridged classical and popular tastes, juxtaposing the Beatles with Mozart even as he offered personal, televised pleas for peace and unity. At the same time, the concerts reflect Bernstein’s troubled relationship as a professional musician with the dominance of atonality and his quest to nurture American music. 

 

Praise 

“Alicia Kopfstein-Penk has written a thrilling and vivid account of the element in Leonard Bernstein's work that touched more Americans than anything else he did: the musical education—and inspiration, too—of an entire generation.”
— Humphrey Burton, producer, director, and Bernstein biographer  

“Alicia Kopfstein-Penk is a master of archival research. In her recent study of Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts and their cultural significance she has painstakingly gone through a large body of material in rich detail. Her study is exhaustive and extensive, and will form the foundation for future scholarship on Bernstein and this important cultural legacy.”
— Elizabeth Wells, Mt. Alison University, author of West Side Story: Cultural Perspectives on an American Musical  

“For the general public, the Young People’s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic were one of the highest-profile parts of Leonard Bernstein’s remarkable career. The broadcasts have been considered by scholars for their educational content and value and as part of Bernstein’s work with the orchestra, but, until now, little work had been done in terms of putting them in the broader contexts of Bernstein’s life or the larger musical world. Alicia Kopfstein-Penk has done this beautifully in this study, combining dogged archival work in the Bernstein Collection at the Library of Congress with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bernstein bibliography and knowledgeable handling of related topics in American music, modern music, cultural contexts, and the medium of television.”
— The University of Kansas, Paul Laird, Director of Musicology Division, The University of Kansas, author of Leonard Bernstein: A Guide to Research 

 

For More Information 

Visit the Rowman & Littlefield website

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Title: Share Your AU Happily Ever After
Author: Rebecca Vander Linde
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Abstract: Add your story and photos to our AU Sweethearts Social Media Project!
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 01/16/2015
Content:

Every new American University student begins their journey expecting to find lifelong friends, make lasting memories, and – of course – get a world-class education. A lucky few find their soulmates along the way. In fact, we know there are at least 2,500 happy AU alumni couples.

Each February, we ask these couples to share their love stories as part of our AU Sweethearts Social Media Project. Below are some highlights from previous years. If you found your mate at AU, tell us your story and send us your photos. We will feature you and other AU couples in the next issue of Alumni Update and on social media. You can fill out this form or share stories and photos on Twitter and Instagram using #AUSweethearts.

Sarah Cooper, SPA-CAS/BA ’12, and Sam Miller, SOC-CAS/BA ’12, notably got engaged at commencement. The video of the proposal went viral and was even featured on the Today show.

Robyn (Slagle) Showanes, SOC/BA ’08, and James Showanes, SPA/BA ’08, met on Tenley Campus and now have a beautiful daughter named… Tenley!

Gerry Sommer, CAS/BA ’66, and Joni Palew Sommer, CAS/BA ’67, returned to Mary Graydon on the 50th anniversary of their meeting there.

Adam Dunn, SIS/BA ’07, and Mary (Turkowski) Dunn, SIS/BA ’07, were married on campus in Kay Spiritual Life Center.

Together for over 50 years, Dot (Murray) Waugaman, CAS/BA ’62, and Paul Gray Waugaman, CAS/BA ’61; SPA/MA ’66, love attending All-American Weekend together.

Lacey Yoder Phillips, SIS/BA ’08, and Landon Yoder, SIS/BA ’07, spent one Valentine’s Day together at a program on nuclear weapons and terrorist states, and they hadn’t even started dating yet. “So romantic... so SIS,” Lacey says.

Tyler Budde, CAS/BA ’10, and Ezree Mualem, CAS/BA ’09, went to the Founder’s Day Ball together for their first date. “Who knew we would be practicing for our first dance [at our wedding]?” says Ezree.

Read about more AU couples:

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Title: Top 5 Ways to De-Stress Now
Author: Patrick Bradley
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Abstract: Last fall stress you out? De-stress early in the semester with these recs!
Topic: Student Life
Publication Date: 01/16/2015
Content:

Spend a lot of time feeling stressed out last semester? Anxious? Hands shaking, hard to sleep, sweating, worried about so much you couldn’t stand it? You’re not alone; other AU students may be feeling the exact same way. What can you do? So many things!

The university has loads of stress-reducing options for the entire AU community. So, consider making a New Year’s resolution to tame your stress early this semester before midterms and finals roll around. 

Apart from keeping your academics and physical health in order, check out some of these great options to bring some more zen into your life:

1. Counseling Center

AU’s Counseling Center now offers far more than one-on-one counseling sessions, though they still do plenty of those as well. On Thursday afternoons from 3-3:45 p.m., the center opens its doors for its Relaxation for Mind & Body drop-in group. No need to sign up in advance, just come by for guided meditations, breathing exercises, and visualizations to calm your nerves.

Student in counseling session;

The Counseling Center also organizes group therapy on topics including stress management and self-insight. Of course, if you’re looking for a solo debrief with a counselor, they can help with that too. Just call or drop by to set up an intake appointment with one of their trained clinicians. For emergencies, the center also holds walk-in hours, weekdays from 3-5 p.m.

Additionally, the Counseling Center has a lot of helpful resources on their website, including a self-help library, anonymous mental health screenings, and videos that give you a glimpse into their center and services.

2. Fit to be Swell

Whether you’re into hitting the treadmill alone or hitting the court for an impromptu basketball game, Recreational Sports & Fitness has you covered for stress-reducing exercise. Interested in group exercise? Both the Jacobs and Cassell Fitness Centers host a number of group classes, ranging from yoga and Pilates to high intensity interval training and even a Bollywood dance cardio workout.

Group of yoga practitioners;

Classes not your thing? Then hop into the pool for some laps, grab some free weights at the gym, or shoot some hoops in Bender. If you’re looking for something more competitive, try out any of the club and intramural sports coordinated through rec fit. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to find your endorphins up and stress levels down.

3. Meditation Stations

Hoping to bring your thoughts to a higher, calmer plane of existence? Then grab a cushion, sit down, and meditate! AU offers several, weekly meditation sessions, two of which take place in the Kay Spiritual Life Center main sanctuary. Tuesdays at noon offer Juniper-style meditation, with discussion and practice facilitated by AU staff and faculty.

Group meditates;

On Wednesday afternoons from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Buddhist chaplain Bhante Katugastota Uparatana leads AU community members in traditional, Buddhist meditation that soothes the body and mind as well as the soul. Beginner and seasoned meditators alike are welcome at either session.

Alternately, the Jacobs Fitness Center now also holds weekly one-hour meditation sessions, Tuesdays at noon. Learn the principles and techniques of seated meditation along with walking meditation and mindfulness training.

4. The Flaming Cupcake

Aside from great meditation options, the Kay Spiritual Life Center offers a lot of what it’s named for—spirit. Need some religious guidance or prayer to find grounding? Kay houses chaplains from more than two dozen faith groups. Whether you’re Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, or Secular Humanist, you’ll find someone to connect with for a heart-to-heart or soul-to-soul chat.

The Kay Center sanctuary with gospel choir at front and audience in pews;

What’s more, the Quad’s “flaming cupcake” also hosts a number of student-led spiritual groups that cook up potluck dinners with a healthy serving of community—both of which are sure to fill anyone’s spirit. Plus, the center is just a downright peaceful place to be between breaks in classes for a quiet moment or for an evening religious service.

5. Holistic Centre

Outside of the stressors of class, work, and internships, college can present various other barriers to healthy living. If you’re struggling with issues around alcohol, drugs, nutrition, sexual health, or body image, the Wellness Center is here for you. Located just beyond the Student Health Center in McCabe Hall, the staff there focuses on a holistic approach to wellness.

The Wellness Cabana student crew;

They have countless resources to help you with healthy choices and a more positive lifestyle so that you can perform to your optimal, stress-reduced self. Can’t visit their office? Then keep an eye out for their Wellness Cabana, bringing resources to you across campus.

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Title: Featured Database: Met Opera on Demand
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Abstract: Our featured database, Met Opera on Demand offers an extensive catalog of more than 500 performances, all available to watch instantly.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 12/09/2014
Content:

Whether you're a classical music buff looking for something new –or simply curious about opera, the AU Library has your daily dose of drama. From Aida to Die Zauberflöte, Met Opera on Demand offers an extensive catalog of more than 500 performances, all available to watch instantly. Since 2006, the Met has been filming select performances in high-definition (HD), meaning that some of the newer additions are available in this format. You'll be able to catch every detail of those glorious costumes and sets!

All of the Met Opera on Demand videos contain English subtitles, so you won't need to worry about missing any important details. Also, many recent HD additions to the Met Opera on Demand catalog contain subtitles in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

See iconic performances such as Wagner's Ring Cycle, without leaving your apartment (or spending hundreds of dollars on a ticket!) This collection includes operatic interpretations of Shakespearean works, like Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth, classic productions featuring the famous Luciano Pavarotti, and even contemporary works, such as Doctor Atomic.

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Title: CAPRI Initiative Launches at AU
Author: Patty Housman
Subtitle:
Abstract: Collaborative for Applied Perceptual Research and Innovation brings together science, art, and technology.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 11/19/2014
Content:

With the launch of the Collaborative for Applied Perceptual Research and Innovation (CAPRI), American University now has one central interdisciplinary research hub where science, art, and experimental technology can come together. 

Founded by the College of Arts and Sciences, CAPRI breaks down traditional walls between university departments and disciplines. It provides opportunities for faculty in different fields to collaborate on new interactive technology tools in multimedia art, scientific research, and advanced data representation. 

 

Changing the World 

CAPRI is dedicated to the belief that developments in interactive technology over the next 30 years will change the world as much as the Internet has shaped the last 30 years, said Psychology Professor Art Shapiro.  

Interactive technology is already being used in research and teaching across American University. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The interactive experiences of the future will entertain us, educate us, keep us healthy, keep us safe on the roads, and help us manage nearly every aspect of our daily lives. 

At the same time, this technology is becoming accessible to more and more people. “You no longer have to be an engineer to use interactive technology,” said Shapiro. “So the goal of CAPRI is to help faculty and students push the technological envelope in their individual fields. We want to build up a culture of cutting-edge technological innovation across American University.”  

 

Across Departments and Disciplines 

Shapiro believes that one of the biggest questions for 21st century academics is “Are we going to organize ourselves by content or by methodology?” 

He believes it will be the latter. “The methodology and new technologies cut across disciplines in ways that could not have been imagined 50 years ago,” he said. “CAPRI is betting that the new interactive technology will cross our previous divisions. Faculty and students in different fields will come together to develop new tools and technologies to help their research and teaching.” 

Shapiro points to the work of Michael Bader, assistant sociology professor, who is mapping data about the civil rights movement and neighborhood demographics. Bader is using GIS (Geographic Information System) tools to identify this information and present it in the most engaging way. 

“The interactive mapping tools used by professor Bader,” said Shapiro, “can also be used by scholars in other disciplines. Once we see tools working in one field, we can adapt them for our own fields.” 

 

Inspiring Creativity and Innovation 

CAPRI will also offer events and demonstrations to showcase its new projects, spark creativity, and inspire new ways to collaborate using technology. 

Its first event, Magic and the Brain, drew more than 200 participants. Renowned neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde discussed how magicians’ techniques can help neurologists better understand brain functions.  

The talk was followed by interactive demonstrations of cutting-edge AU projects that blend scientific research, art, and experimental technology. Shapiro presented interactive visual illusions. Performing arts professor William Brent focused on sound: visitors could control the brightness, loudness, and richness of sounds with their hand movements. And in physicist Jonathan Newport's demonstrations, visitors explored auditory illusions and created laser light shows using their voices. 

At the next event, Sounding Movement: Cross-mappings in Music and Dance, Brent, dancer Mirenka Cechova, and 'cellist NJ Snider will discuss how they use technology to create relationships between physical movement, acoustic/computer-generated sound, and video. This event takes place on December 7, at 3 p.m. in the Katzen Arts Center Studio Theatre.  

 

The Future: Projects and a New Home 

CAPRI will ultimately become an incubator for cutting-edge software and interface development for digital musical instrument design, medical testing, improved training procedures, and educational tools.  

It will also be a place for innovating technical solutions for real-world applications in a range of industries, ranging from museums and performing arts to assistive technologies for the partially disabled. 

In fall 2016, the university's state-of-the-art Don Myers Technology and Innovation Center will officially open, becoming home to CAPRI and also the Departments of Computer Science, Physics, and Mathematics and Statistics, and the new program in game design, offered jointly with the School of Communication. 

“In the new building, CAPRI will become an open collaborative laboratory, hosting students and faculty from departments across AU campus, as well as visiting researchers from around the world,” said Brent. “The work will be exceptionally public and visible—creating a space of interactive demonstrations and installations that the general public can freely explore. CAPRI’s exhibits will illustrate both what we know and are still exploring of human perception.”  

For More Information For more information about CAPRI, visit its website.

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Title: Five Questions for Art History Professor Helen Langa
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Abstract: Helen Langa discusses the fifth annual Feminist Art History Conference at AU.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 11/10/2014
Content:

American University’s Art History Program sponsored its fifth annual Feminist Art History Conference (FAHC) from October 31 to November 2. The conference brought together scholars and students from all over the world to share their research on art history, feminism, and gender studies.

Helen Langa was the director of the American University Art History Program from 2008 to 2014. Currently she teaches American and contemporary art at AU. Her research addresses women’s art, political art in the 1930s, and queer identity and representation.


This is the fifth year of the FAHC. How has the conference grown and evolved since 2009?

For our first conference, we received 70 proposals for scholarly papers, and this year we received 178.

We invited major scholars in varied fields of feminist art history as keynote speakers, ranging from Renaissance to recent African American Art. Each year we have had a strong number of international presenters and some international attendees. This year, there are 16 people speaking or attending from countries including Canada, South Africa, China, Japan, Israel, Italy, and Scotland, as well as several international scholars who are teaching this year in the United States.


Can you tell us a little about the keynote speaker?

This year’s keynote speaker, Lisa Gail Collins, is a professor of Art History at Vassar College. Professor Collins earned her PhD in American studies from the University of Minnesota and has taught at Vassar since 1998. Her talk, “Here Lies Love: Feminism, Mourning, and a Quilt from Gee’s Bend,” is drawn from her current book project on history, memory, creativity, and community.

The keynote this year was very moving and interesting because Professor Collins took a single quilt image and demonstrated how much you can do with the cultural contexts of a single work. This really illustrates how writing art history is not only the result of doing archival research, but can go much deeper by exploring a work’s social and cultural meanings. 


How is this conference unique amongst other art history conferences?

The opportunity for networking with other scholars in one's field who share feminist interests is very important. Younger scholars are able to connect with more established speakers and participants, and some professors who attend have encouraged their students to come to the conference or to apply to our graduate Art History Program.

Many art history conferences focus only on one specialized time period, or are not particularly welcoming to feminist research papers. The Feminist Art History Conference provides an invigorating and scholarly atmosphere, but also one of camaraderie, support, and opportunities for academic networking, and has drawn numerous participants to come back multiple times.


How does feminist art history fit into the curriculum or mission of the Art History Program?

Feminist theory is central to the curriculum of the Art History Program. When you look at the course catalog, there are very few courses focused specifically on "women artists." Rather, all of our courses include women's professional achievements and feminist feminist scholarship as an inherent component of the curriculum.


What might you say to young scholars interested in joining this field?

There are many kinds of scholarship possible within the realm of art historical research and writing, and the varied kinds of papers given at this conference serve as a great illustration that there is no one way to do art history.

For more information about the Feminist Art History Conference, visit the conference website.

For more information about AU’s Art History Program, visit the program website.

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Title: Rare Showing of Diebenkorn Works Among Late Fall Exhibits at AU Museum
Author: Rebecca Basu
Subtitle:
Abstract: Rare showing of Diebenkorn works on paper, pioneering land art, installations, sculpture, and 'Eugenic Minds' featured.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 11/07/2014
Content:

Late fall exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center open Nov. 8 and close Dec. 14.  

The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper 1949-1992 features more than 40 works by American painter Richard Diebenkorn, whose early work is associated with Abstract expressionism and the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. In what is the first show produced by the Diebenkorn Foundation, with AU its second museum stop in the country, the selected works —pencil and ink drawings on paper, collages of town paper, and watercolors —portray a richly intimate glimpse into the artist's evolution spanning more than 40 years. According to Museum Director and Curator Jack Rasmussen, "To see these intimate Diebenkorn drawings is to understand the core artistic values taught by AU's Art Department in the 50s, 60s, and 70s."

Prague, The City of Eugenic Minds, is made up of a documentary by Pavel Stingl, animations and paintings by Xénia Hoffmeisterová, and literary artwork by Patrik Ouředník. The show strives to offer timeless meditation upon the abuse of the human pinnacles of science and education. Secondly, it addresses the question of academic careerism, which under totalitarian regimes reaches self-destructive proportions. The exhibit was coordinated by Czech NGO Shoah Memorial Prague.

Sculpture Now 2014: WSG 30th Anniversary is a celebration of the Washington Sculpture Group's 30th anniversary. The notion of sculpture has evolved dramatically in the last 30 years. In 1978, the art theorist Rosalind Krauss declared that sculpture as a discipline had collapsed because of the wide range of practices. More recently Johanna Burton remarked that the category of sculpture had not collapsed but was rather "a state of being." This exhibition endeavors to respond to Krauss and Burton's speculations and prejudices with a selection of contemporary sculpture that highlights the vibrant state of sculpture today. Sculptural materials include steel, bronze, wood, stone, plastic, drywall, fabric, and more. The show is curated by Jack Rasmussen.

My Oyster #7: Michelle Grabner & Brad Killam is a collaboration of husband and wife Michelle Grabner and Brad Killam. For their My Oyster series, Grabner and Killam employ a large hanging support system to display a selection of their works. The project includes other artifacts that demonstrate their familial relationship to a life of art, including sculptures, working drawings, and other material. Grabner received the prestigious honor of having served as one of the curators for last year's Whitney Biennial in New York. The show was organized by AU art professor Tim Doud.

Ad Infinitum brings together the work of Clifford Borress, Ian Pedigo, and Letha Wilson, all asked to create new, site-specific works for this exhibition. Each artist will explore the relationship between form and context to investigate the possibilities of meaning embedded within aesthetic experience. They explore the space between discursive research-based practice and formal or heuristic approaches to installation, exhibition, and display of ideas. This exhibition was curated by Lauren Rice and Brian Barr.

Lay of the Land: Alan Sonfist & Karin F. Giusti. In 1965, Alan Sonfist began to create Time Landscape, a work of art that magically brought to life a primeval forest that once had what is now Manhattan. On the 50th anniversary of Time Landscape, Alan presents Surface Memory, paying homage to his original masterpiece and continuing to elucidate his childhood memories of the destroyed forest of his youth. Karin Giusti's Three Seasons at Black Forest Farm is a monumental, six-component installation utilizing sculpture and photography to meld both environment and time into a singular experience. Void of figures, except the artist's shadow, these photographs appear as kaleidoscopic membranes that embed love and loss into the context of an environmental, photographic experience.

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Title: Eighty Years of Music
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: The AU Choral Program celebrates its 80th anniversary.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 11/03/2014
Content:

The AU choral program is celebrating 80 years of singing, touring, and entertaining audiences across the nation, and the world.


Impacting the Field of Music

Since its founding by Professor James McLain in 1934, the AU choral ensembles have made a big impact in the Washington community. Many of the directors of the AU Chorus and AU Chamber Singers have had leadership roles in DC choral arts organizations, including the Cathedral Choral Society (founded in 1941 by Paul Callaway), The Choral Arts Society of Washington (founded in 1965 by Norman Scribner), and the Master Chorale of Washington (formerly the Paul Hill Chorale, founded by Paul Hill in 1967).   

“The ensembles’ directors have played an incredible part in building these groups,” said Daniel Abraham, director of choral activities since 2000. “I think this shows AU’s commitment to hiring excellent directors, and it also shows that AU faculty are striving to make their mark in the greater artistic community.”


Growing the Program

During his first semester as director, Abraham auditioned nearly150 singers, expanded the chorus, and chose a small group to become the new chamber singers. “It’s been so fulfilling to see the ensembles grow and evolve,” he said.

Abraham believes that the program has achieved a good balance. Students can participate in a large, symphonic-oriented chorus or a smaller, more intimate ensemble. “The AU Chorus has settled into a nice mix of undergraduates, graduate students, community members, alumni, and faculty. This bigger, mixed chorus juxtaposed against the smaller, more select chamber singers group ensures we can do large scale choral works, as well as more intimate works with a smaller, advanced group,” said Abraham.   

Abraham has no shortage of ideas for growing and advancing the program. In the future, he would like to expand the chamber singers and start a women’s chorus. “In chamber singers, having one or two more singers per part would help students learn more quickly and encourage them to sing out as an ensemble,” he said. “Founding a women’s chorus would create a group for students who could not find a place in AU chorus, and provide an opportunity to explore a different set of repertoire.”


Chamber Singers: On the Road

The chamber singers have a long tradition of cultural diplomacy through international performance. They have toured in South America and Mexico, Hungary and Romania, Spain and Portugal, and, most recently Russia.

Closer to home, they have performed at the Washington, D.C. Choral Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; the 25th and 30th Anniversary of Mothers Against Drunk Driving “Celebration of Life” at the Ronald Reagan Center; and with the National Philharmonic.

 

Ambassadors and Life-Altering Experiences

Abraham points out that the ensembles act as ambassadors of the university—no matter where they perform. “Not only do our music ensembles tour and do outreach in the community, but there’s also an internal reach that’s really important,” he says. “The fact that students can see their classmates creating incredible music is an opportunity we need to continue to cultivate and promote.”   

More than anything, said Abraham, the chorus and chamber singers help AU create well-rounded, versatile students. Participating in high-quality music-making encourages students to develop new skills and perspectives, challenging them to question themselves and the world around them.   

“What a university does in terms of its arts says a lot about its character. I think universities who shy away from putting forward their artistic selves are not creating the most whole people they can,” he said. “These ensembles enable students to explore the arts in an interactive, experiential way, and give them experiences that can be really life-altering.”


For More Information

For more information about the American University Chorus and the American University Chamber Singers, visit the Choral Program website.

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