newsId: D06A6469-F1D1-E5EE-7C88A145064B8EB6
Title: Strathmore President Receives AU Alumni Achievement Award
Author: Carolyn Supinka
Subtitle:
Abstract: Monica Jeffries Hazangeles returns to AU as Alumni in the KNOW speaker on October 25.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 10/20/2014
Content:

Monica Jeffries Hazangeles is leading the way for arts and cultural leaders. 

She received the American University Alumni Achievement Award on October 18, 2014, for her accomplishments as a forefront leader in the arts. She will be returning to campus on October 25 as a speaker for the Alumni in the KNOW Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series. This event will be presented as part of the Arts Management Program 40th Anniversary ceremonies. 

A Leader in the Arts 

In 2010, Jeffries Hazangeles was appointed president of Strathmore, the renowned arts organization in Bethesda, Maryland, where she has worked for the past 20 years. Strathmore offers a wide variety of arts programming and educational experiences, ranging from art exhibitions to musical and theater performances. 

“As president, in service to Strathmore’s mission, my goals are to see what others don’t, to say what others won’t, to boldly explore future possibilities, to fearlessly drive Strathmore where it’s not always comfortable to go, to influence and inspire, and to enable the success of each and every member of my team,” said Jeffries Hazangeles about her new role. 

In 2011 and in 2013, Jeffries Hazangeles was named one of Washington’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian magazine for her work managing Strathmore’s performances and education programs. 

“She runs one of the most important arts organizations in the greater DC region, and really embodies a lot of the principles our program is funded on,” said Arts Management Program Director Ximena Varela. “Strathmore is deeply committed to cultivating cross-cultural understanding, and to promoting diversity in its audiences and programming.”

Back To Class 

Jeffries Hazangeles, who graduated from AU’s Arts Management Program in 1996, credits the program for providing her with the skills that helped her to pursue her passion for the arts. 

“The program helped me understand the breadth of the arts management field and the vast opportunities open to those wanting a career in arts management,” said Jeffries Hazangeles. “I was immediately connected to individuals with deep knowledge and experience, and organizations where I could gain hands-on skills.” 

AU’s Arts Management Program stood out from the rest to Jeffries Hazangeles when she was looking for a place to begin her studies and career as a leader in the arts. 

“It is the only program of its kind that includes an internship, comprehensive exams, and a thesis,” she said. “This academic rigor, combined with the program’s connections to arts institutions of all types, in the nation’s capital, distinguished the program from its peers.” 

She has maintained close ties with faculty and the AU campus, inviting current AU students to tour behind the scenes at Strathmore, and has acted as a guest speaker for several classes. 

“She is generous with her time, sharing her expertise both through her advisory council work with us, but also through workshops and serving on a number of important arts boards. She has served on our advisory council for several years,” said Varela.

Alumni In the KNOW, October 25 

Jeffries Hazangeles will share insights from her experiences at Strathmore as a distinguished alumni speaker for AU’s upcoming Alumni in the KNOW series. 

Her speech will take place on Saturday, October 25, at noon in the Katzen Arts Center Rotunda, as part of the 40th anniversary celebration for the Arts Management Program. 

Jeffries Hazangeles is looking forward to sharing perspectives from her career with students. Her advice applies to aspiring arts managers as well as students interested in pursuing a leadership position in any organization. 

“Say yes, more often than no,” she said. “Pursue joyful exhaustion in your work, and look for leadership that happens from within.” 

For more information, visit the Alumni in the KNOW series website or the anniversary website.

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Title: U.S. College Students Fare Better than U.K. Students on Key Health Measures
Author: Rebecca Basu
Subtitle:
Abstract: U.S. college students do better than their counterparts in the United Kingdom when it comes to physical activity, a healthy diet and less smoking, according to new research. 
Topic: Research
Publication Date: 10/16/2014
Content:

U.S. college students do better than their counterparts in the United Kingdom when it comes to physical activity, a healthy diet and less smoking, according to new research published in the latest issue of the journal Education and Health.

“Among U.S. students, we see greater consumption of fruits and vegetables, more participation in organized sports, and less smoking,” said American University Prof. Stacey Snelling, a lead study author. “Participation in organized sports and exercise could reflect the more formal focus on physical activity at the college level that we have in the U.S. The study shows that certain policies and laws in the U.S. are making an impact, particularly with regard to smoke-free campuses.”

More than twice as many college students in the U.K. identified as smokers -- 39 percent compared with 16 percent in the U.S. Tobacco- and smoke-free campuses are a growing trend in the U.S. There are 1,478 smoke-free campuses, according to the group American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. Of these, 976 are 100 percent tobacco-free, and 292 prohibit the use of e-cigarettes anywhere on campus.

Snelling and her colleagues examined data from a sample of self-reported health behaviors of university students in the U.S. and U.K. Data came from the American College Health Association, which collects survey information on student health behaviors, such as tobacco use, weight, nutrition and exercise, campus safety, and mental and physical health. Data was gathered in the U.K., using a survey with slight word changes in British English. Survey respondents were 23 or younger and mostly women. Snelling's colleagues included health economics Prof. Heather Gage and Peter Williams, a statistics consultant, of the University of Surrey, England.

Health education on campus

The health of college students is a growing concern in both countries. Increasing numbers of American students are reporting psychological problems to student counseling services. In the U.K., 29 percent of students have psychological distress that meets standards for clinical diagnosis.

An important takeaway from the study for both countries, Snelling said, is how to improve health education and wellness on college campuses.

“Health education programs on college campuses need to catch the attention of young folks. In the U.S. we have creative ways of reaching students through social marketing and peer-to-peer education, among other methods,” Snelling said. “But the study results raise the question of where we can improve, also in the U.S., on how colleges and universities can have more coordinated programming to address the whole student.”

Regarding fruit and vegetable consumption, college dorm policies in the U.S. are having an impact, the study found. Residence hall policies encourage nutritionally balanced meals, healthy eating and meal plans, for example. In contrast, students in England are more likely to prepare their own food, making eating healthy less convenient or more costly. U.K. students ate 1.5 fruits or vegetables per day compared with U.S. students who ate 3.5, the study found.

Both groups of students reported undertaking a breast self-exam at the same rate, but preventive care appointments, such as gynecological and dental, were greater for U.S. students.

Alcohol consumption and weight concerns

The sampling revealed similar findings for the numbers of students who consume alcohol and those with concerns about weight. More than half of students in both countries said they had exercised to lose weight in the last 30 days.

“Alcohol consumption remains a challenge for colleges and universities in both countries and continues to need addressing,” Snelling said. “The focus on weight is a reminder of the challenge in educating students that health is about fitness and nutrition and less about a number on a scale.”

In both countries, more students are entering higher education, with participation rates approaching 50 percent. Many students face financial pressures and concerns about succeeding in a competitive global job market. Struggle to follow health-enhancing behaviors affect the risk of chronic conditions in adulthood, as college is often the time in life where habits form that will continue through a lifespan.

“U.S. students in general reported better health, healthier lifestyles and more access to preventive services. This could reflect a difference in how the two countries approach health care,” Snelling said. “Regardless, academic achievement and health are highly related and healthier individuals are better learners. Universities need to work to create a culture that supports intellectual growth and promotes health.”

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Title: Alumnus Making DC History Come Alive
Author: Caitlin Friess
Subtitle:
Abstract: John Suau appointed executive director of the DC Historical Society.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 10/16/2014
Content:

John Suau was unanimously approved to become executive director of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., in March 2014, following a six-month search by the Society's board of trustees. 

Suau, who received his MA in arts management from AU, brings his range of international and domestic experience to a Society with a 120-year history of collecting, interpreting, and sharing the history of Washington, DC.

"John's innovative and problem-solving approaches embody the ethos of the AU Arts Management Program, where students learn to develop creative solutions to complex problems in all areas of the arts," said Ximena Varela, director of the Arts Management Program. "John's leadership in the Society heralds a new era in community engagement and exciting program development."

Suau says it seems fitting that he is back in Washington. "I am happy to return to DC, where I came in 1995 to complete my graduate studies at American University in arts management," said Suau. "While I have always benefited from my experiences in our nation's capital, it's of particular significance that my education and skills are being used to help rebuild one of the city's most important treasures, that of it's own history." 

 

A Career in Arts Management

Suau has served as executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, and as manager of meetings, professional education, and diversity for the American Alliance of Museums. His work has included the coordination of conferences on cultural tourism and sustainable communities;work with art galleries and publications;and the marketing of technology companies that assist museum, libraries, and archives with the shift to digital platforms. 

Suau is also the creator of two popular web publications of his own: Museum of the Day, which features global cultural institutions, and John the Museum Guy, which highlights visitor experiences. 

 

Looking Back, Moving Forward

Suau's work with the Society includes the redevelopment of the Society's headquarters in the Carnegie Library on Mt. Vernon Square—once closed due to expenses—thanks to a partnership with Events DC and the International Spy Museum. Plans are now in the works to transform the Society's former building into the new International Spy Museum, featuring new additions to the building as well as a visitor's center. Suau is also currently working with other partner organizations to make the Society more associated with the community, rather than a single building. 

"I am honored to have the opportunity to give back to the city that has always given me so much professionally," he said. "And I am pleased to report that the society is now working with AU's Kogod School of Business Administration to help it celebrate its 60th anniversary with a mural retrospective of businesses in Washington, DC."

 

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., is a community‐supported educational and research organization that collects, interprets, and shares the history of our nation's capital. Founded in 1894, the Society serves a diverse audience through its collections, public programs, exhibitions, and publications.

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newsId: 9865A197-D30C-0E93-50C8AD8B7F83271B
Title: Arts Management Program Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: AU and alumni mark the anniversary with events on October 24 and 25.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 10/09/2014
Content:

The Arts Management Program at American University is celebrating 40 years of training students to become successful arts and cultural managers in all areas of the visual and performing arts. AU will mark the program’s anniversary with a two-day celebration on October 24 and 25. 

On Friday, October 24, participants will explore the DC arts scene by visiting local theaters and art galleries. On Saturday, October 25, they will be greeted with a speech by alumna Monica Hazangeles, the president of Strathmore. The day continues with speed networking sessions, an interactive theater presentation, a tour of the AU Museum, and a cocktail party.  

For more information about this chance to connect, create, and celebrate the program’s 40 years of producing extraordinary arts managers, visit the event website.

Arts Management at AU 

The program offers a master’s degree and graduate certificate in arts management, as well as graduate certificates in international arts management and technology in arts management. Students benefit from collaborations with the likes of Sotheby’s in London, the U.S. State Department, major foundations, and executive education programs around the world. Closer to home, the program prepares students for internships and jobs at many of DC’s leading cultural institutions.

Arts management students take classes in marketing, fundraising, financial management, and cultural policy. “The reason programs like ours were founded is because people wanted to make sure arts organizations were being run effectively,” says director Ximena Varela. “It is not just about getting a degree in management. From the beginning, our program’s mission has been to serve the broader community.” 

Producing Extraordinary Leaders 

What best showcases the program’s strength, however, is the success of its alumni: nearly 100 percent of graduates find work within six months of graduation. With more than 450 alumni arts managers, AU has had a broad impact on the arts across the nonprofit, public, and private sectors and a presence in such organizations as the National Endowment for the Arts, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Strathmore, and IMG Artists. In the last seven years, six of AU’s arts management graduates received Fulbright scholarships, making the program a top Fulbright contender. “One of the things that attracted me to the program was that our students and alumni are driven,” says Varela. “They’re problem solvers and make ideas happen in the field— they are out there doing things.”

Art Management's Growth 

The program emerged out of a series of meetings between performing arts professor Valerie Morris and National Endowment for the Arts staff about the need for management training programs for nonprofit arts leaders. Morris directed AU’s program from 1974 until 1998, during which time it grew to nearly 80 students.

Though the program has experienced much growth and change over its four decades, one thing has remained constant: its commitment to innovation. “The curriculum and the program have adapted through time,” Varela says. “We are focused on innovation, which means we anticipate what will happen in the field and make sure the program is aligned and ready for these changes.” 

Innovation

One such innovation was a complete restructuring of the curriculum in 2010, resulting in more international arts management perspectives in the classroom and a new study-abroad program with Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. Participants take classes at the institute for a semester and receive a diploma from Sotheby’s in addition to a master’s in arts management from AU. This offers students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the nonprofit arts world outside the United States and in different cultural settings.

“The program has grown tremendously over the last 40 years in size, scope, and reputation,” says arts management senior professorial lecturer Sherburne Laughlin. “I look forward to its growth over the next 40 years.”

Tags: College of Arts and Sciences,Performing Arts,Performing Arts Dept,Art Dept,Arts Management,Arts Management Pgm
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Title: ISIS in Iraq and Syria: Three Questions for Joe Young
Author:
Subtitle:
Abstract: The United States is leading an international coalition against the extremist group ISIS, which has seized parts of Iraq and Syria.
Topic: International
Publication Date: 10/02/2014
Content:

The United States is leading an international coalition against the extremist group ISIS, which has seized parts of Iraq and Syria. We asked Associate Professor Joe Young, who focuses on political violence and violent extremism, for insight into the jihadist group.

Q: How did ISIS, also known as Islamic State, become so powerful so quickly?

A: ISIS has deliberately attempted to govern parts of Iraq and Syria, giving the group access to revenues from oil fields, smuggled goods, taxing locals, and raiding financial institutions. After taking the northern Iraq city of Mosul, its finances ballooned. With ready volunteers drawn from inside and outside of Iraq and Syria, and a flow of resources, its power has grown quickly, but it is also not surprising. 

Q: Beyond the military campaign, how can the United States and its partners weaken groups like ISIS and counter violent extremism? 

A: The best way to counter ISIS, which may be different than other groups, is to focus on better governance in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, by resolving the civil war and allowing the Syrian people to govern themselves, the United States and the rest of the world would benefit by hopefully reducing a safe haven and territory for resource extraction for ISIS. Of course, after years of brutal fighting in Syria, most moderate voices that might be able to govern Syria in a more democratic manner have been silenced. In Iraq, the trick is to empower the Iraqi state in such a way as to improve capabilities to counter ISIS, but also in a way that is inclusive and does not isolate Sunnis, who are the basis of ISIS support in Iraq. 

Q: ISIS is dangerous--and wealthy. What is the best way to cut off funding for “terror corporations” like ISIS? 

A: I’m not sure I like the term terror corporation. ISIS isn’t just trying to make a profit and scare people, ISIS is trying to be the state. Like the mafia in the United States in the early 1900s, it is using ugly and brutal methods to establish control over populations in the region. It is more successful, again like the mafia, in places where state control is lacking. Until Syria and Iraq build strong, responsive state institutions, ISIS, or groups like it, will battle for how to govern people in the region. The ultimate goal, however, is to build strong institutions that are also constrained in their use of violence. It took the United States and Western democracies generations to figure this out (and we are still working on it).

Follow Professor Young on Twitter @JosephKYoung. To request an interview, please call (202) 885-5943.

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Title: Women on the Verge Opening October 16
Author:
Subtitle:
Abstract: A Q&A with performing arts professor Carl Menninger.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 09/26/2014
Content:

Writer, director, playwright, and assistant professor of performing arts Carl Menninger talks about directing the upcoming AU production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. 

A musical adaptation of Pedro Almodovar's beloved film by the same name, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is a story about women and the men who pursue them . . . finding them, losing them, needing them, and rejecting them. 

The play runs October 16-25 at the Greenberg Theatre.

 

Why did you choose Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown?
Our theatre season is a "Passport to the Arts." We are presenting plays and musicals that are translations of or were inspired by non-American writers. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is an adaptation of Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar's 1988 film of the same name. 

 

Tell us a little bit about the staging and production of this play.
The play takes place in numerous locations, there is a car chase scene through the streets of Madrid, a woman jumps off a balcony, a bed catches fire, a character makes a blender of gazpacho on stage. 

The original production tried to show the chaos and confusion of the plot by employing a complex set with projections, motorized vehicles, conveyor belts that transported actors and scenery across the stage, and numerous realistic sets. 

In our production, we hope to show the chaos and confusion that the characters feel it, but limit the action to a unit set (a single, stationary set) so as not to overwhelm the audience. The shifts in location and movement will be achieved through lighting and shifting furniture. 

 

Tell us a little bit about what is involved in producing a play?
The process begins with the directing presenting his vision/concept to the design team. With that information they create their designs. The actors are auditioned and the sets, sound and costumes are constructed during the rehearsal process. It all comes together when during technical rehearsals which usually begin the week before the show opens. That's it in a nutshell. 

 

What advice would you give students who want to pursue a career in theater?
I wrote a book titled Minding the Edge: Strategies for a Fulfilling, Successful Career as an Actor. The first critical step is to figure out what makes you fulfilled and determine your own definition of success. 

The other major factor is discipline. Actors who manage their careers like a business have a better chance of success than those who don't think and operate like a small business owner. 

 

What are the performance dates and ticket information?
Performance Dates:
October 16-18, 8 p.m.
October 24-25, 8 p.m.
October 18, 25, 2 p.m. 

Theatre: Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre
4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW

Tickets: For tickets and more information, call 202-885-ARTS or visit american.tix.com. Tickets are $15 regular admission and $10 for the AU community and seniors.

Tags: College of Arts and Sciences,Performing Arts,Performing Arts Dept,Theatre and Music Theatre
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Title: New Moves
Author: Carolyn Supinka
Subtitle:
Abstract: AU Dance Program partners with American Dance Institute.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 09/12/2014
Content:

American University’s Dance Program is setting things in motion with an exciting new partnership with the American Dance Institute (ADI). ADI is a Rockville-based performance venue for internationally renowned dance companies and choreographers, as well as a dance school. The Washington Post described it as “fast becoming one of the area’s leading presenters of choice experimental dance.” 

The partnership will offer free master classes for AU students, as well as opportunities to watch rehearsals and interact with ADI’s visiting dancers and choreographers. Melanie George, director of the American University Dance Program, will present pre-performance talks at ADI, and ADI will provide a venue for the AU Dance Program’s annual fundraiser. 

A Natural Partnership  

“An important part of being a student of dance is that you need to see multiple and varied dance performances. Dance is an art form that exists in the moment, and it never happens the same way twice, so seeing it live is critical for your understanding of the form,” said George. “The variety of artists they (the students) are exposed to will help them to cultivate diverse perspectives about dance. The palette from which they build their own aesthetic will be much wider because of that.”  

Steven Skerritt-Davis, director of institutional relations at ADI, said that his organization is thrilled to be partnering with American University. 

“When we had the idea to add an educational component to the incubator program, we thought the best way to do that was through a partnership with a university, and AU was a great pick,” he said. “AU is one of the premier institutions in the D.C. area, and we’re thrilled to be embarking on this partnership that aims to benefit dance students throughout the region.”  

As for what the partnership would bring in the future, Skerritt-Davis said, “We’re hoping it will give something to both dance students and the visiting artists. ADI is always evolving, so this is part of that…It’s a great synthesis of coursework and practical experience. We’re excited and we hope it continues and grows.” 

The partnership has three components: the Inside the Incubator series, master classes, and the Dr. Naima Prevots Guest Artist Fund.  

Inside The Incubator Series 

The Incubator at ADI is a unique dance residency program that gives visiting choreographers the time and space necessary to develop their work at ADI’s facilities. 

The AU partnership adds an educational component to the residency, giving AU dance students the opportunity to observe rehearsals and talk with the artists and choreographers. At the end of each residency, the choreographers will perform their work for the public, and Melanie George will present pre-show talks. AU students can receive a discount for all of the performances offered at ADI.

Master Classes  

As part of the partnership, AU will host a series of master classes taught by ADI’s visiting choreographers and dancers. Each of three master classes offered this fall will have room for about 25 students to attend. They will be taught by award-winning choreographers Vicky Shick and Aszure Barson, and by the Vertigo Dance Company. ADI will offer these classes on AU’s campus. They are open to students and the general public.  

Dr. Naima Prevots Guest Artist Fund 

ADI will provide the venue for the annual benefit performance of the American University Dance Program for the Dr. Naima Prevots Guest Artist Fund, in honor of Dr. Naima Prevots, the founder of the AU Dance Program. All proceeds go to bringing emerging and veteran artists to AU’s Dance Program. 

For More Information 

To read more about the upcoming performances at ADI, visit the ADI website.

To register for master classes, contact Melanie George at mgeorge@american.edu.

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Title: Announcing the 2014 AU Alumni Award Winners
Author: Traci Crockett
Subtitle:
Abstract: The AU Alumni Board announces the 2014 Alumni Awards recipients and the October 18 event details.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 09/10/2014
Content:

American University is known for its accomplished alumni. AU graduates are thought leaders, business leaders, and world leaders. This year, the university's Alumni Association celebrates five outstanding alumni for their achievements.The American University Alumni Board and the Office of Alumni Relations are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Alumni Awards. Selected annually from nominations submitted by faculty, staff, and alumni from around the world, these awards are the highest honors presented to alumni by the Alumni Association. The 2014 Alumni Award winners are as follows:

Alumni Achievement Award – Barry Josephson, SPA/BA '78
The Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through their professional accomplishments.

Barry Josephson is a film and television producer and is the owner and president of Josephson Entertainment, a production company. Mr. Josephson's producer credits include Life as We Know It, Bones, The Lady Killers, Like Mike, Enchanted, and Wild Wild West. He has earned two Golden Globe and three Oscar nominations plus a Critic's Choice Award for "Best Family Film." 

Prior to his film career, Mr. Josephson worked as a manager for musicians such as Paula Abdul, Patti Labelle, Morris Day, and Whoopi Goldberg. He also helped found Sandollar Films, whose productions included several of Dolly Parton's made-for-TV movies and specials and such feature films as Gross Anatomy and True Identity. Mr. Josephson is a member of the SOC Dean's Council, a member of the Entertainment and Media Alliance Leadership, and a former SOC Alumni Mentor;he previously taught as a guest lecturer in SOC's Summer in L.A. and Executive Suite courses. 

Alumni Achievement Award – Monica Jeffries Hazangeles, CAS/MA '96

Monica Jeffries Hazangeles was named president of Strathmore Hall in November 2010. She held several former positions with Strathmore, including executive vice president for administration, capital campaign director for the Music Center at Strathmore, and special events coordinator. Before joining Strathmore in 1994, Ms. Jeffries Hazangeles worked for The Smithsonian Associates and the Chamber Music Kansas City.

In 2011, Ms. Jeffries Hazangeles was named one of Washingtonian magazine's "100 Most Powerful Women." She has also served as a panelist for the Maryland State Arts Council. In addition to her MA in arts management from AU, Ms. Jeffries Hazangeles holds a BM in flute performance from the Florida State University, a MM in flute performance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Alumni Recognition Award – Mark Bergel, CAS/MS '87, CAS/PhD '96
The Alumni Recognition Award recognizes alumni who inspire the world around them through service to a philanthropic mission or the AU community.

Mark Bergel is founder and executive director of A Wider Circle, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that is dedicated to serving children and adults who are challenged by poverty, homelessness, and abuse by providing donated furniture and other goods, resources, and education. Prior to founding A Wider Circle in 2001, Dr. Bergel spent 15 years managing health and wellness initiatives and served as a part-time faculty member at AU. 

A nationally acclaimed speaker on poverty, health, and social connection, Dr. Bergel has been featured on national television and radio programs. In 2008, he received the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region's Linowes Leadership Award. He has also been voted one of People magazine and Major League Baseball's "All Stars Among Us" and has received the Dr. Augustus White III Award for Civic Engagement and Service, the Andrea Jolly President's Award, the Essence of Leadership Award at the Greater DC Cares Business and Nonprofit Philanthropy Summit, and in 2014 he was named a "CNN Hero."

Alumni Eagle Award – Jolene McNeil, SPA/BA '97
The Alumni Eagle Award recognizes alumni who have rendered outstanding service to the University and/or the Alumni Association.

Jolene McNeil is an associate director of meetings and conventions at the American Psychiatric Association. She was previously a meeting manager at Fernley & Fernley, a program and meeting planner at the Drug Information Association, a conference planner at the Child Welfare League of America, and a meetings and membership assistant at the General Federation of Women's Club. 

While a student at AU, Ms. McNeil was an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and president of the Black Student Alliance. She served on the reunion committee for her class and was most recently chair of AU's Black Alumni Alliance. She is also an Alumni Admissions Volunteer for the university.

Rising Star Award – Daniel Maree, CAS/BA '08
The Rising Star Award recognizes young alumni (those who received their undergraduate degree within the last 10 years) who are already making significant contributions to greater society through professional or philanthropic work.

Daniel Maree is the founder and chief executive officer of M-PWRD, LLC, the founder and executive director of the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, and the Grand Prize winner of the 2013 Do Something Awards. Mr. Maree created the Million Hoodies Movement in 2012 in response to the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Prior to launching M-PWRD and Million Hoodies he worked as a senior digital strategist for both Havas Worldwide and McCann-Erickson, where he had previously held the position of social strategy lead. He was also a communications consultant at The World Bank, special assistant to the founder of The Enough Project at The Center for American Progress, and special assistant to the executive vice president of Social Action and Advocacy at Participant Media.

Please join the Alumni Board and President Neil Kerwin, SPA/BA '71, in honoring these recipients at the 2014 Alumni Awards Dinner during All-American Weekend on Saturday, October 18 at 6 p.m. in the School of International Service Atrium. Tickets are $25 per person and include a cocktail reception and seated dinner. Special pricing is available for current AU students.

For more information about the 2014 Alumni Awards Dinner, contact Carlita Pitts, director of alumni programs, at 202-885-5921.

To learn more about the 2015 Alumni Awards nomination process, contact Isaac Thweatt, director of alumni outreach, at 202-885-5930.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,Alumni Weekend
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Title: American University Museum Early Fall Exhibits

Author: Rebecca Basu
Subtitle:
Abstract: Six new exhibitions open starting September 6.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 09/05/2014
Content:

Starting Saturday, September 6, six exhibitions open at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center—including works specially selected from the estate of the late gallerist H. Marc Moyens to be auctioned during American University's annual Fall for the Arts event.

From Russia with Love

Memorial Modeling, an installation exhibit, was made possible with support from AU's Initiative for Russian Culture. Artists Peter Belyi and Petr Shvetsov, two of the most important and original artists working in Russia today, encountered the collapse of the Soviet empire in their youth. As a result, they acquired a certain unifying view where they are suspicious of any new doctrine, instinctively sensing its instability and ephemerality. On display through Sunday, October 19.

Celebrating Marcel Duchamp

Readymade@100 is a juried exhibition of submissions by contemporary artists of "new" readymades that significantly expand upon Duchamp's original idea. The exhibition will be juried by Corcoran College of Art and Design Professor Mark Cameron Boyd. Readymades are ordinary, constructed items modified slightly, or joined with another item. Duchamp started the concept with his choice of commercially available objects for exhibit, such as "Bottle Rack" and his infamous "Fountain" urinal. It was Duchamp's location of these objects within the "art context" that began a century of debate about the definitions of art and established his influence on contemporary art. On display through Sunday, October 19.

Cuba Libre?

Bridging the Past, Present, and Future: Recent Works by Sandra Ramos showcases prints, video, collage, and installations by Cuban artist Sandra Ramos. Ramos reflects on the conflicting experiences of living in her beloved homeland with all of its many challenges. Viewers will be given a look at Cuban life today and some aspects of the impact and interaction of that country with the United States as seen through the sensitive eyes of one of its top creators. On display through Sunday, October 19.

Dangerous and Intriguing

Steel Sculpture: Anxiety and Hope, a sculpture exhibition by Sam Noto, is both serious and playful. In his large steel constructions, largely made of found materials, Noto allows his materials to generate form and occupy space in a dynamic way. Noto creates pieces of welded steel that are sometimes literally dangerous as well as formally intriguing.On display through March 15, 2015.

Photography by Washington Artists

Some Uses of Photography: Four Washington Artists continues AU Museum's fine tradition of showcasing Washington artists. The work of four artists—Jenn De Palma, Ding Ren, Siobhan Rigg, and Sandra Rottman—represents an ongoing dialog about craft, authenticity, the role of the artist, and other concerns that embody today's definition of photography. The exhibition curator Phyllis Rosenzweig was formerly curator of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. On display through Sunday, December 14.

Surrealist Art from the Estate of H. Marc Moyens

Estate Art of H. Marc Moyens is an exhibition and auction of items specially selected from the estate of the late gallerist H. Marc Moyens. Moyens and his partner, Komei Wachi, ran a gallery that bucked trends. When pieces of their collection exhibited at Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1969, one reviewer described the show as "creepy and menacing." It was not until 2006 that items from the collection were shown again at the AU Museum. By this time, the tone of critics had changed, and they embraced the provocative content. On display through Saturday, September 20—the date of the auction.

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Title: Meet New Art History Professor Ying-Chen Peng
Author:
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Abstract: Ying-Chen Peng is a new assistant professor in the Department of Art.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 09/04/2014
Content:

Ying-Chen Peng is a new assistant professor in the Department of Art.

Degrees
PhD art history, University of California—Los Angeles
MA art history, Graduate Institute of Art History, National Taiwan University
BA Japanese language and literature, National Taiwan University

 

Areas of research
Late imperial and modern Chinese art history, globalization in art, gender studies, Asian material culture


What initially sparked your interest in art history?
"An image or object does not only offer visual pleasure to the viewer. It also gives clues to a world significantly different from what we know from written words. My interest in art history germinated from my desire to decipher intriguing visual and material clues."


What honed your interest to your specific areas of research?
"Globalization has largely reshaped the cultural, national, and ethnic boundaries of art since the fifteenth century. I am deeply interested in how China interacted with other cultural traditions in this world phenomenon. As a woman, I am also enthusiastic about gaining a better understanding of women's role in art in the past and present."

 

What brought you to AU?
"A strong focus on feminist art history in the art history program and the open, supportive environment for both faculty and students at AU brought me to this exciting university."


What are you hoping to accomplish at AU?
"My goal as a teacher is to enrich our students' visual literacy in reading art and to broaden their understanding of Asian cultures to prepare them for a globalized world. As a researcher, I wish to help strengthen East Asian art research for AU as a hub of feminist art history. "

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Title: A Passport to the Arts
Author: Allison Byers
Subtitle:
Abstract: This fall’s arts season is filled with international art, theatre, music, and dance.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 08/28/2014
Content:

There's no need to pack your bags for an expensive international trip this fall. Instead, let American University Arts bring art from around the globe to you. This season's Passport to the Arts calendar is packed with vibrant performances, thought-provoking exhibitions, and exciting events that celebrate, interrogate, and illuminate our relationship with the world. The events showcase the talent of our students, faculty, and esteemed guest artists, performers, and speakers. 

 

Art Exhibitions

Our season begins with a celebration of the Bicentenary of Adolphe Sax, Belgium's Illustrious Inventor of the Saxophone. The exhibit, created by the Embassy of Belgium and on view from August 19–September 11, gives insight into the life and work of this groundbreaking Belgian musician. The AU Museum Artists' Reception on September 6 will feature a performance by Noah Getz, AU musician in residence. Other exhibitions exploring our international theme include Memorial Modeling: Peter Belyi and Petr Shvetsov, heavily influenced by the artists' shared experience of the collapse of the Soviet Union during their youth, and Bridging the Past, Present and Future: Recent Works by Sandra Ramos, in which the Cuban artist reflects on the conflicting experiences of living in her beloved homeland. Both exhibitions open at the American University Museum on September 6. 

 

Theatre and Musical Theatre

The Theatre and Musical Theatre Programs begin their international programming with Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, a new musical adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar's beloved film. The musical dramatizes the rich tradition of Spanish melodrama, music, and romance, while exploring universal themes of family, identity, and desire. It runs from October 16–25. 

Next up is The Rez Sisters, a play by Cree Canadian writer Tomson Highway, which focuses on seven adventurous women on a Native American Reserve. It runs from November 13–15.

The programming also offers the NO BOUNDARIES series of new works and readings by faculty and guest artists. 

 

Music Performances

The Music Program will present a wide range of performances from across the globe. Internationally acclaimed concert pianist Yuliya Gorenman will perform some of the great works by French master composers Franck, Ravel, and Debussy for The Gorenman Piano Project: French Edition on October 18.

The AU Chamber Singers will prepare for their spring 2015 international tour by exploring music from the Balkans, European Renaissance, Romantic, contemporary, and spiritual choral spheres in Voices Heard from Abroad on November 1 and 2. Other musical performances include the AU Symphony Orchestra on October 25 and 26, the Symphonic Band on November 7, the AU Chorus on November 15 and 16, the Jazz Orchestra on November 21, and the AU Workshop: 50 Years In C on November 14. 

 

Dance Performances

Dance performances include Choreolab 2014: Ph(r)ases on November 12, the culmination of a two-month mentored creative process, and the Friends and Family Benefit Dance Concert at the American Dance Institute on November 8, which will support the Dr. Naima Prevots Guest Artist Fund at AU. 

 

Art History and Arts Management

The Art History Program is proud to present the Fifth Annual Feminist Art History Conference October 30-Novemebr 2, which builds upon AU's legacy of feminist art-historical scholarship and pedagogy. The program will also host the AU/GW Graduate Art History Symposium on September 20.

This fall marks the 40th anniversary of AU's Arts Management program, which will be celebrated in October. 

 

Fall for the Arts Celebration

Finally, AU Arts and the AU Museum welcome local residents and neighbors, the AU community, and other arts lovers to an afternoon of fun and merriment on September 20 for Fall for the Arts. The event will feature lectures, hands-on workshops, and classes, and will be capped off with a cocktail reception and live and silent auction. 

 

Tickets and More Information

For more information and tickets to these performances, please visit www.american.tix.com.

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Title: Fall for the Arts: September 20
Author: Patty Housman
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Abstract: Come Celebrate the Arts at AU: Tickets Available Now
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 08/15/2014
Content:

Have you ever wanted to join a band, perform in a Shakespeare play, or become a landscape photographer for a day? If so, you’ll have your chance at the College of Arts and Sciences’ annual Fall for the Arts celebration, held this year on September 20 at the Katzen Arts Center.  

Each year, Fall for the Arts brings together neighbors, students, faculty, and friends through a day devoted to the arts. The event features nearly 20 workshops and sessions on acting, music, writing, and visual art, as well as a behind-the-scene tour of the museum and surprise performances throughout the day.  

This year’s workshops include Drawing in the Italian Renaissance, No-Fear Shakespeare, Fundamentals of Color, Writing the 4-Chord Song, and many more. Participants will learn how to age creatively, use acting methods to improve public speaking, and unlock their inner playwright. Children can build their very own cabinets of curiosity, learn how to interpret musical recipes, and experience the 13 movements of Schumann’s Scenes from a Childhood.  

Reception and Auction

The day concludes with an early evening reception in the Katzen Arts Center and an art auction featuring 34 items from the estate of prominent art collector Marc Moyens. Auction works include paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces from artists including James Bumgardner, Alan Stone, Maureen McCabe, and Carlos Gomez Bal, among many others.  

When H. Marc Moyens founded Gallery Marc in 1969, he quickly became a central figure in the Washington, DC, arts world. Gallery Marc was part of the District's first "gallery row" on P Street Northwest, establishing Moyens as a serious arts collector and one of the first major gallery owners in the city. He later opened Gallery K with his partner Komei Wachi in 1975, which bucked current trends by focusing on photorealism and surrealism at a time when the Washington Color School was favored. Upon his death in April 2003, Moyens' collection contained nearly 2,500 pieces, encompassing art from New York, California, and all around the world. 

Paul Richard, in his Washington Post review of the H. Marc Moyens Collection at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1969, hit the nail on the head when he described the works as "realistic spooky things that have the originality of nightmares." Richard went on to note that "Moyens' taste is at its best when it is at its weirdest."  

Details and Ticket Information 

Fall for the Arts is a fundraiser for the arts at American University. All proceeds benefit the arts at AU. It is open to the public, local residents, patrons of the arts, parents of AU students, and the entire AU community. Tickets are $25 and $10 for students and those under 18. For workshop schedules, online tickets, and auction information, visit the Fall for the Arts website.

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Title: Art Auction in the AU Museum
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: Fall for the Arts auction features artwork from the Estate of H. Marc Moyens.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 08/15/2014
Content:

When H. Marc Moyens founded Gallery Marc in 1969, he quickly became a central figure in the Washington, DC, arts world. Gallery Marc was part of the District's first "gallery row" on P Street Northwest, establishing Moyens as a serious arts collector and one of the first major gallery owners in the city. He later opened Gallery K with his partner Komei Wachi in 1975, which bucked current trends by focusing on photorealism and surrealism at a time when the Washington Color School was favored. Upon his death in April 2003, Moyens' collection contained nearly 2,500 pieces, encompassing art from New York, California, and all around the world.

Paul Richard, in his Washington Post review of the H. Marc Moyens Collection at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1969, hit the nail on the head when he described the works as "realistic spooky things that have the originality of nightmares." Richard went on to note that "Moyens' taste is at its best when it is at its weirdest." 

This year, American University's Fall for the Arts auction will feature 34 items from Moyens' estate, featuring works by artists James Bumgardner, Alan Stone, Maureen McCabe, and Carlos Gomez Bal, among many others. Auction works include paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces from the mid to late 21st century. 

The auction will take place in the AU Museum on Saturday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m., with all proceeds benefiting the arts at AU. 

The auction marks the end of a jam-packed afternoon of arts exploration at the Katzen Arts Center. An annual AU event, Fall for the Arts features arts courses and workshops, offering sessions in Drawing in the Italian Renaissance, Fundamentals of Color, and Behind the Scenes of the Auction, among others. The event is open to the public. 

Though arts enthusiasts can wait to place their bids at the live auction on September 20, they can also place bids early at the AU Museum in the Katzen Arts Center. Works from Moyens' collection will be on view and available for pre-auction bidding from September 6 through September 20 at the AU Museum. Bidders may also e-mail their offer to museum@american.edu. 

In order to place a bid, all participants must register for Fall for the Arts. Once registered, bidders may participate in the silent auction before the event, or place their bids at the live auction on September 20. 

Whether you are an avid art collector or someone who simply appreciates a beautiful painting or sculpture, this year's arts auction is not to be missed. Be sure to mark September 20 on your calendar as a day of experiencing the arts, and for the life and legacy of Marc Moyens. 

For more information about the auction and about Fall for the Arts, please visit the Fall for the Arts website.

 

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Title: AU Museum Receives Gift to Support Washington Art
Author: Rebecca Basu
Subtitle:
Abstract: Alumna and art advocate Carolyn Alper’s gift will establish the Alper Initiative for Washington Art.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 07/18/2014
Content:

Washington is fortunate to have a thriving arts community. Now, thanks to a major gift from AU alumna and art advocate Carolyn Alper, BA/CAS '68, to the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, more resources will be allocated to the study and exhibition of Washington art.

Alper's gift will establish the Alper Initiative for Washington Art at the American University Museum. The initiative will dedicate space for displaying the work of Washington artists, including more tightly focused, historical shows; development of space for archives of Washington art (available for both members of the public and AU students); an endowment to support more programming of events, gatherings, lectures and films; and digitization of AU's growing collection of Washington art.

"Carolyn's gift provides American University Museum the funds necessary to elevate Washington art to the place of prominence it deserves," said AU Museum Curator and Director Jack Rasmussen. "All of Washington should be grateful as Carolyn has put her contributions where her heart is."

Rasmussen has made Washington art a priority with two "Washington Art Matters" exhibits and opportunities for regular displays of works by Washington artists. A reviewer with Washington City Paper recently wrote: "For almost a decade, the de facto museum of D.C. art has been at American University… The case has been made: Washington art does matter. All we need is the wall space to display it."

Five of the six exhibits on display at the museum through Aug. 17 feature Washington artists and collectors: Mynd Alive by B.K. ADAMS/I AM ART; Syzygy by William Newman; Continental Drift (Being Here and Being There) by Judy Byron; Passionate Collectors: The Washington Print Club at 50, with prints curated from Washington collections; and The Franz and Virginia Bader Fund: Second Act, with art by grant recipients from the region.

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Title: Day in the Life of a Musician
Author: Nancy Jo Snider
Subtitle:
Abstract: Music Program Director Nancy Jo Snider gives insight into the duties of a professional musician.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 07/17/2014
Content:

Music Program Director Nancy Jo Snider, ‘cellist, educator, and administrator, is a full-time senior professorial lecturer in the Department of Performing Arts.  

A multi-faceted career is “de rigueur” for artists. Playing my ‘cello in everything from period instrument performances of French Baroque music at the Opera Royal in the Palace of Versailles, to avant-garde solo playing with a Czech theatre company in South Africa, is all part of a day’s work.  

The joy of sharing the training and knowledge that has made this possible is what informs much of my teaching. Additionally, my teaching philosophy remains grounded in meeting my students where they are and helping them to their appropriate next step. Organization and communication are essential to juggling such a rich life, and it is here that my administrative talents are put to the test.  

But directing a program is not just about these details. There is a constant striving for excellence in the AU Music Program that requires vision, leadership, and the ability to engage all of the program’s components to keep it moving in a positive direction.  

 

There is no such thing as a daily task list—besides always checking email—but...

7:30 a.m.
The two E’s: espresso and e-mail.  

9:00 a.m.
Meetings with faculty, my Director’s Musicians of Accomplishment, other students, and members of the community to discuss new Music Program and Department of Performing Arts ventures and options for upcoming performances. 

11:45 a.m.
Time to teach University College Understanding Music, an introduction to musical language, to a group of 15 students. I love having the opportunity to share something I am passionate about with those who are also interested and to see their understanding grow as a result. That is the best!  

1:00 p.m.
Cortado at the Dav!  

2:00 p.m.
Afternoons are spent teaching ‘cello lessons and directing the chamber music ensembles. The ensembles perform around the DC area, and we always want to be ready for the next performance. 

4:00 p.m.
Student advising is an important part of directing the Music Program. We serve hundreds of students, and I want to make sure all of them reach their goals after graduation—whether that is attending graduate school, performing, or entering the work force. The best of our music majors are competitive with the best majors anywhere!  

5:00 p.m.
Time to exercise—either going biking, swimming, walking, or visiting the gym. 

8:00 p.m.
I make time to practice in the evening, typically 15 to 20 hours a week.  

11:00 p.m.
Reading the novel du jour. I’ll read (almost) anything, but particularly value the classics. Proust, Faulkner, and Joyce are my top three favorite authors. I also have a deep connection to the novels from the American South and follow the Booker Prize winners with special interest. 

My days also include rehearsals and performing (or attending performances). There is no typical “day in the life” for a teaching musician, only the certainty that the day will be very full with all of the wonderful opportunities we are so lucky to have.

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Title: Favorite Summer Activities in the DC Area
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Abstract: College of Arts and Sciences faculty and staff share preferred summer activities.
Topic: In the Community
Publication Date: 06/30/2014
Content:

Summer has arrived in the Washington, DC, area! And with that brings a range of summertime opportunities. This could mean checking out the thousands of lotus flowers at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, enjoying BBQ at the National Building Museum, listening to jazz in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, or taking advantage of DC museums to learn something new—and stay out of the heat. 

Interested in additional recommendations? College of Arts and Sciences faculty and staff shared some of their favorite summer pastimes.

 

Photo courtesy of Karl Kippola.

Karl Kippola
Theatre/Musical Theatre Professor

My summer will begin by playing Brutus in Julius Caesar and Malvolio in a musical version of 12th Night at the Virginia Shakespeare Festival in Williamsburg (June 25-July 20). After that is finished, I can enjoy the numerous summer theatre opportunities in the DC area. I love the Capital Fringe Festival (July 10-27), which presents an enormous spectrum of new work—tending toward the cutting edge, avant garde, or downright bizarre. The Page-to-Stage Festival at the Kennedy Center (late August, dates TBA) offers free readings of works under consideration for future seasons. I am also looking forward to the Shakespeare Theatre's Free For All (August 19-31). They are presenting The Winter's Tale, one of my favorites. (Photo courtesy of Karl Kippola.)

 

Photo by Thor.

Anne L'Ecuyer
Arts Management Professor

In the category of cheap therapy, consider Rocky Gorge Batting Cages up Columbia Pike just past the T. Howard Duckett Watershed. The short drive is enough to leave the city behind, and the bat is a satisfying tool to send your worries sailing. A quick search will turn up a few other batting cages in the region, but I'm partial to Rocky Gorge, with a put-put course past its prime and the grubby goodness of the old orange cages. They have a driving range too. Open every day until 11 p.m., no appointment necessary. (Photo by Thor.)

 

 Photo of Kathy Franz near a wooden Hungarian Puli at the 2013 festival.

Kathy Franz
History Professor

I love the Smithsonian Folklife Festival because it's a chance to do something rare—talk to people from different cultures and communities, and learn more about their food, dress, craft, technology, and music. Yes, you can learn about these things in books, online, or even traveling, but the folklorists bring it all to you at the National Mall. It's right in our backyard, and it's an amazing cultural experience. I like it so much that I volunteered last year. Anyone can volunteer and help the folklorists document and preserve these cultural traditions for the Smithsonian collections. (Photo of Kathy Franz near a wooden Hungarian Puli at the 2013 festival.)

 

Photo by Daniel Lobo.

Michael Robinson
Mathematics and Statistics Professor

I discovered that bicycle riding in DC is wonderful—there are lots of fun trails in the area that are both pleasant and scenic. For instance, I recently got back from a ride from Bethesda to the Lincoln memorial on the Capital Crescent Trail. Last week, my family rode the Sligo Creek Stream Valley Trail, the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, and others! (Photo by Daniel Lobo.)

 

 

Photo by Tim Evanson.

Thomas Husted
Economics Professor and Department Chair

I really like to go play some golf at the East Potomac Golf Course in DC and wish I could go more often. It allows me to get some great views of the monuments. Open year round, the East Potomac Golf Course has three courses, a driving range, and miniature golf. (Photo by Tim Evanson.)

 

 

Photo courtesy of Marla Boren.

Marla Boren
Undergraduate Advising Director

Hopping on the Metro and going to National's Park to see a ballgame is definitely my favorite summer pastime. The park has great views of the Capitol, you can watch the racing presidents, and pick up some great AU wonk trivia. If you are a real fan of the game, you'll have an opportunity to see an up-and-coming team with some terrific young players: Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg. Whether you want to hang out on the red porch for happy hour and watch the game from the outfield on a Friday night, or take in a day game and enjoy a traditional hot dog on a lazy Sunday afternoon, it's a good time. If they don't win, it's a shame. (Photo courtesy of Marla Boren.)

 

Photo by Scott Frances.

Tim Doud
Studio Art Professor

I recommend checking out Glenstone in Potomac, MD. The museum features work from the collection of Mitchell and Emily Rales, and there is a great exhibition by collaborative artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss on display this summer. The exhibition includes a tour de force piece of work that resembles a workshop/studio, but the entire room is constructed from painted styrofoam—it takes a moment to realize that you are looking at art. Overall, the artists' practice is broad and sometimes very humorous. 

The museum is private, so you have to call ahead and make reservations. They allow only small groups into the museum, which is a real benefit, and you will be shown the exhibition spaces by a knowledgeable guide. The museum recently acquired a living piece by Jeff Koons, it should be blooming by now (It is an enormous cartoon-head topiary). There are several pieces on the road to the museum, one by Charles Ray near the entry gate—including a toy tractor that looks plastic, but it's actually several tons of steel—and several enormous Richard Serra sculptures. The museum is located in a beautiful area, it is a nice drive to get there, and it is free! (Photo by Scott Frances.)

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Title: Alumna Awarded Bosch Fellowship
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: Arts management and art history alumna won a prestigious Bosch Fellowship.
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 06/20/2014
Content:

When Laura Hagood, MA arts management and art history ’04, decided to apply to the prestigious Bosch Fellowship program, she knew the competition would be fierce. “They receive between 200 and 300 applications, and they only accept 15 people. I knew the odds were against me,” Hagood says. “All along, I thought, ‘This isn’t going to happen.’”  

A cross-cultural professional development program, the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship offers U.S. professionals the opportunity to work as consultants at leading institutions in Germany. The program includes intensive German language training, customized work placements, and professional seminars, with the goal of creating a network of American leaders with firsthand experience with Germany’s cultural environment. 

In past years, the Bosch Foundation has awarded fellowships to individuals working in business administration, journalism, law, public policy, and urban planning. This year, the foundation added a new field to the mix—cultural management. “When I got the acceptance e-mail, I was in shock for a full two weeks,” says Hagood. “As one of their first cultural management fellows, this is a major professional development opportunity for me. I’m hoping this will distinguish me from my peers and allow me to take a bold step forward.” 

Though the program offers many benefits, Hagood is most excited about gaining a different perspective on her field. A fundraising professional, she hopes that working in a German cultural institution will deepen and broaden her practice. “When you’re doing your job, it can be hard to step back and really analyze what you’re doing,” she says. “Working in Germany will give me the opportunity to see what development and philanthropy look like there, and will give me a unique vantage point that I can bring back to the States.”  

Every Bosch Fellow is asked to select a topic to research and write about while working abroad. Hagood chose museum revenue diversification strategies as her focus, with hopes of expanding her knowledge and helping German institutions to better understand effective fundraising. “In the United States, the role of private fundraising is key for almost any nonprofit, but in Germany and most of Europe, it’s different because governments have traditionally funded cultural organizations almost completely,” Hagood says. 

Recently, however, German and European government funding has been trimmed, forcing some organizations to merge with others, or even close their doors. Now that their primary source of support is becoming less secure, German cultural institutions are looking at U.S. philanthropy as a possible model. Because cultural managers in Europe have never needed to fundraise before, many organizations are unsure of how to tackle this new challenge. “The biggest obstacle to the development of fundraising is the fact that there are few trained European fundraisers,” Hagood says.  

Hagood feels that her years of experience will help inform her research and work, and hopefully contribute to the professionalization of fundraising in Germany. “There is a real societal benefit to philanthropy, and I feel like I’ve been in my profession long enough that I can be useful in another cultural setting,” Hagood says. “I also think I know what questions to ask. If I had done this program ten years ago, I’m not sure I would have known what to do with it.”  

Though she worked hard to win the fellowship, Hagood also believes that without the support she received from American University, she would not have been successful. A key individual she credits is Sherburne Laughlin, an AU arts management professor and former director of the program. Not only did Laughlin send her the initial opportunity, but she connected Hagood with her husband, a former Bosch fellow, and spoke with the Foundation to find out if it was worthwhile for Hagood to apply. “She was incredibly encouraging and helpful,” says Hagood. “If it hadn’t been for her, I don’t think I would have applied.”  

Hagood also received an incredible amount of support from the AU Office of Merit Awards. The office connected Hagood with a School of International Service professor, Aaron Bosenecker, who helped with the application; it also set up a mock interview to help her prepare for the final phase of the application process. “It was like having a cheering squad or coaching team helping me every step of the way. It’s amazing that after you graduate, there’s this whole network of support for you, just by virtue of having a degree from AU,” Hagood says. “The level of resources that were devoted to helping me get this fellowship was really exceptional.” 

Currently, Hagood is completing four hours of weekly German language training here in Washington, DC. In early August, she will travel to Berlin to continue one month of full-time language study, during which she will determine where she will be placed for her six-month work assignment. Though she is uncertain of what lies ahead, Hagood is thrilled to embark on a journey of personal, cultural, and professional growth. 

“When you have an experience with something very different, you never look at where you came from quite the same way,” she says. “This experience will prompt me to ask questions I never would have thought to ask before. Having the opportunity to develop that outside perspective—that’s worth its weight in gold.”

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Title: College Alumna Appointed NEA Director of Literature
Author: Patty Housman
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Abstract: Amy Stolls selected for new leadership role at the National Endowment of the Arts.
Topic: Literature
Publication Date: 06/20/2014
Content:

Amy Stolls has been appointed the new director of literature at the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA). Stolls, who received an MFA in creative writing from AU in 2000, also served as an adjunct literature professor at the College, teaching classes on contemporary literature. 

“I was a journalist in Seattle when the faculty at American’s MFA Program in Creative Writing took a chance on me and changed the course of my career,” said Stolls. “In many ways, I am who I am today because of the support and inspiration and continuing friendship of many creative writers and literature professors and colleagues I met at AU. My heart expands when I think back to the days of sitting in workshops, chatting with colleagues, and (later) watching my students get excited about good literature. I am tremendously grateful to American for enriching my life.” 

Professor of literature Richard McCann was Stolls’ thesis advisor at AU. “This is wonderful news, and so well deserved,” he said. “Amy has published two critically well-acclaimed novels, and she’s always had a deep interest in fiction that goes beyond her own work. We’re grateful that she has come back to the College many times over the years to talk to our MFA students, and to share her deep understanding of writing.” 

In her new appointment, Stolls will oversee the NEA's grant awards in literature.  

“To be part of the literary community—that passionate, wonderful lot of writers, teachers, publishers, editors, presenters, librarians, translators, and more who work tirelessly on behalf of books and reading—is an honor. To be in a position to help this community is a gift,” said Stolls. “I have always believed deeply in the NEA’s mission; I look forward to carrying out that mission as best I can in my new role.” 

Stolls first joined the NEA's literature office as an intern in 1998 while she was in the creative writing program at AU. As a literature specialist and later as the literature program officer at the NEA, she has been an integral part of the organization’s grantmaking process. She has spoken on the topic of literature at conferences and festivals around the country and abroad, including the Moscow Book Festival. She spearheaded the NEA's involvement in the National Book Festival and advised on the NEA's Big Read program.

Stolls is the author of the young adult novel Palms to the Ground (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), winner of the 2005 Parents' Choice Gold Award, and the novel The Ninth Wife (HarperCollins, 2011), as well as more than a dozen personal and literature-related essays. She currently writes a blog about the Old Post Office of the United States, which has been home to the NEA for 30 years.

Tags: College of Arts and Sciences,Literature,Literature Dept
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newsId: DC139F93-9205-8B0B-8015DBCE15F37711
Title: Big Year for Science at AU
Author: Patty Housman
Subtitle:
Abstract: College students awarded competitive science fellowships, scholarships, and internships.
Topic: Science
Publication Date: 06/13/2014
Content:

It was a banner spring awards season for College of Arts and Sciences students in the sciences, who won Fulbright and National Science Foundation grants for graduate work, as well as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Fellowships, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships, an Environmental Protection Agency Fellowship, and a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention for undergraduate study. 

“What makes this year so special is the range of recipients we had for prestigious science awards,” said Paula Warrick, director of the office of merit awards. “Our science faculty did a great job of mentoring students and encouraging them to apply for these opportunities.”  

In addition, dozens of AU students are spending the summer conducting science research. Their work will be supported by a wide range of institutions: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the National Science Foundation, Applied Research in Acoustics LLC (ARiA), the European Commission, the Max Planck Institute in Germany, and the University of Tokyo.  

“With the support of the College’s stellar faculty, our students continue to win prestigious science awards and internships,” said Dean Peter Starr. “It’s a testament to the excellence and hard work of our students, and to the College’s dedication to the sciences.” 

 

Alyssa Frederick Braciszewski (BS marine biology ’12)
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

The National Science Foundation has awarded AU grad Braciszewski a stipend of $32,000 a year for three years, along with $12,000 towards graduate school tuition at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on the nutritional physiology of marine organisms.  

While at AU, Braciszewski received a 2012-13 Fulbright Grant to New Zealand. “Alyssa possesses a unique combination of intelligence, curiosity, and focus,” said professor of environmental science Kiho Kim, who assisted her with the Fulbright application process. “I felt incredibly fortunate to have worked with her and look forward to seeing how far she will go in her research career.”

 

Ben Derby (BS physics ’15)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Boulder
Honorable Mention, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Derby, a physics major minoring in economics, will spend the summer in Boulder, Colorado, building a Raman spectrometer to measure graphene, a newly discovered “wonder material” that is expected to revolutionize the next generation of electronic devices.  

“Ben is a spectacular student,” said Nathan Harshman, chair of the department of physics. “He has a bright future in material sciences, and he’s already put together a portfolio of skills and experiences that will make him a formidable candidate for graduate school— and a great researcher once he gets there.”  

 

Ben Gamache (BS biology ’13)
Fulbright Grant to Spain

Gamache will travel to Spain where he will study the enzyme telomerase, and how it relates to aging and cancer, at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centers. While at AU, he worked with the National Cancer Institute to study genetic pathways in blood cancer, and after graduation he received a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health to continue this research.  

“Ben is an amazing student and well deserving of the Fulbright. He applied for two prestigious scholarships: the Fulbright to Spain, and a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) scholarship to study in Germany,” said professor of biology Katie De Cicco-Skinner. “He won both, and he decided to accept the Fulbright. In addition to his academic and research accomplishments, Ben is a natural teacher. He can explain complicated material to others, and he makes sure that his students understand the principles behind laboratory techniques.”  

 

Daniel Pasquale (BS environmental studies ’15)
Environmental Protection Agency Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship

The fellowship, one of approximately 40 of its kind awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency this year, will provide $50,000 to Pasquale for tuition and travel as he works to monitor bacteria levels in the Potomac River. His goal is to determine the impact of combined sewer overflow events on the river’s health.  

After graduation, Pasquale plans to continue his research and advocacy work on environmental issues. “He just doesn’t give up,” says Joan Echols, who helped Pasquale with his application essays in her capacity as Office of Merit Awards associate director. “And that’s a really impressive quality, because there are so many distractions as a student.” 

 

Valerie Rennoll (BS audio technology and physics ’16)
NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship

Rennoll’s scholarship will provide her with an $8,000 stipend annually during her junior and senior years, as well as financial support for a summer research internship with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She will study underwater audiology and marine acoustics, as well as other areas of applied audiology. 

“I was thrilled to learn I had been selected as a NOAA Hollings scholar,” says Rennoll. “This opportunity will enable me to extend my learning beyond the classroom while also being part of a unique research experience.” 

Also this summer, Rennoll will be interning at Applied Research in Acoustics LLC (ARiA), a DC firm of scientists and engineers involved in applied research for the development of prototypes and field-ready software and systems. She is working on the final development stage of WaveQuest, ARiA’s underwater-acoustics education and training video game. 

 

Lindsay Wylie (BA international studies and mathematics ’16)
NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship
 
Wylie, who is majoring in international studies and mathematics, is interested in international environmental policy and its potential to prevent and mitigate natural disasters and extreme weather events such as Hurricane Sandy, which devastated her hometown in New Jersey. She hopes to eventually pursue a master's degree in environmental public policy. 

“I want to study global environmental politics in the future, and I am thankful that the Hollings Scholarship committee recognized my combination of majors as unique and relevant to NOAA's mission,” says Wylie. “I hope to work on climate change, and I hope this experience will broaden my knowledge in the field and help me narrow down my career interests.” 

 

Students also received the following awards: 

  • Anand Adhikari (BS biology ’16) Killam Fellowship
  • Billie Case (BA environmental studies ’16) NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship
  • Benjamin Friedel (BS biology ’16) Killam Fellowship
  • Jessica Hirtenstein (BS mathematics and physics ’14) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Gaithersburg
  • Nadya Khapochkina (BS physics ’14) National Science Foundation S- STEM Sustainable Engineering Graduate Scholars Program (SEGUE)
  • Chenoa Lee (BS environmental science and international studies ’15) Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship
  • Matthew Makowski (BS biology ’12) European Commission Marie Curie Actions Fellowship, Netherlands
  • James Schwabacher (BS chem ’15) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Gaithersburg
  • Rachael Somerville (BA international studies and environmental studies ’15) Udall Scholarship
  • Mark Verdi (BS applied mathematics ’14) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Gaithersburg
Tags: Audio Technology,Audio Technology Dept,Awards,Biology,Biology Dept,Chemistry,Chemistry Dept,Environmental Science,Environmental Studies,Mathematics and Statistics,Mathematics and Statistics Dept,Physics,Physics Dept,Students
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newsId: D918EBF6-BFE1-145D-DF232781B7E82D17
Title: Prints, Photos, and Paintings at the AU Museum
Author: Rebecca Basu
Subtitle:
Abstract: Printmaking exhibit includes work by Picasso, Durer, and Pissarro.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 06/13/2014
Content:

Exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center this summer ruminate on the nature and nurture of art in Washington, D.C., and beyond. Exhibits open June 14 and run through Aug. 17.

Passion for Prints

Passionate Collectors: The Washington Print Club at 50 features almost 150 prints selected from Washington collections. The collection reveals a diversity of techniques from relief printing by celebrated masters Durer, van Dyck, Carracci, Pissarro, Picasso and Chuck Close to monoprints by contemporaries Richard Estes, Ventura Salimbeni, Thomas Frye, Adolphe Appian, Reinhard Hilker and Keiko Hara.

Among the contemporary works is a print involving buckshot, and one created with 4,225 small black dots.

"Viewers will be surprised there are no dominating genres or periods or artists represented in this show, but rather a huge range of works that are national, international and local," said AU Museum Director and Curator Jack Rasmussen. "We share our location in the nation's capital with most international diplomatic missions to the United States. Washington is a community with diverse interests and affiliations and may well provide the most diverse group of collectors in the country."

The show will also feature Midwest Matrix, a film study of post-World War II printmaking to present, produced and directed by Susan Goldman.

The Washington Print Club was established in 1964 as an independent, nonprofit volunteer organization consisting of both collectors and practicing artists. This biennial exhibition celebrates the club's 50th anniversary.

Lives Devoted to Art

The Franz and Virginia Bader Fund: Second Act features paintings, sculptures and works on paper by Richard Cleaver, Emilie Brzezinski, Fred Folsom and other artists who received grants totaling $670,000 over the last 13 years from the Bader Fund. Legendary Washington art dealer Franz Bader and his wife, Virginia, started the fund, which continues to support the arts long after the couple's deaths in 1994 and 2001, respectively. The fund committee awards grants for artists 40 and older who live within 150 miles of the U.S. Capitol.

The first exhibition of Bader Fund artists took place a decade ago. Second Act provides another viewing of the range and quality of work supported by the grants.

Franz Bader was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1903. Bader and his first wife, Antonia, were fortunate to escape Vienna after the takeover of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938, arriving in Washington in early 1939 with few possessions and little money. But, as is true of so many émigrés from Hitler's Europe, their arrival was America's good fortune—Washington's, in particular.

Working at first with the Whyte Bookstore and Gallery and then, from 1953 to 1985, at his own art and book shop, Bader was a pioneer and creator of a vibrant art scene in his adopted city.

Personal Drifts of Culture

Continental Drift surveys the work of Washington artist Judy Byron, and invites the viewer to consider the visual and auditory environment that informs identity. The exhibition acknowledges the artist's drifting of visual influences between three specific countries: Brazil, China, and Ghana.

From 2010 through 2012, Byron traveled abroad and photographed details of sidewalks, toys, products, netting, foliage, clothing and detritus. Images from her travels formed the point of departure for 18 color pencil drawings. Accompanying the drawings are the voices of three women from Brazil, China, and Ghana who now live in the Metro D.C. area and have established roots while maintaining strong identification with their places of birth.

Three smaller drawings—Memories of Home—are based on photos Byron took of objects in their homes that remind the women of the homes they left behind. The sound of ocean waves lapping the shore can be heard throughout the exhibition space.

Rasmussen observed:"I don't think any artist has communicated so beautifully the interaction of community and environment in the construction of culture."

Nature's Fleeting Beauty

Syzygy, William Newman's series of 19 oil paintings and digital images, and two metal sculptures, is a vibrant investigation of temporality, subjective freedom, and natural splendor. The photographs, photorealist paintings and stainless steel sculptures present striking natural forms and places holding personal resonance for Newman, including Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, and the cosmos.

For his sculptures, Newman had natural artifacts from his farmhouse in Shenandoah County duplicated in welded, polished stainless steel by craftsmen in Beijing. The resulting forms gracefully blend elements of abstraction with Newman's mastery of representational expression.

This tactile sensibility is also evident in Newman's conjunction of paintings and photographs. The central subjects of his paintings are round forms from nature, which Newman and his assistants meticulously recreated from photographs that he took himself or appropriated from NASA's public archives. Newman then conjoined the objects with photographs using rare-earth magnets. Photographs that took just a click to create and paintings that took years to make join to represent nature's fleeting beauty, its life through memory and desire, and its timeless eternal renewal.

Continuing Exhibitions

Also on view through Aug. 17: An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan and Their Circle; Brink and Boundary; and MYND ALIVE / BK ADAMS. I AM ART.

Tags: Arts, Fine,AU Museum,College of Arts and Sciences,Featured News,Media Relations,Katzen Arts Center
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Title: AU History and Music Student Pursues Passions
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: Zachary Kopin is making the most of his time at AU—both on and off campus.
Topic: Research
Publication Date: 06/05/2014
Content:

Zachary Kopin is making the most of his time at AU—both on and off campus. He is a bachelor’s degree candidate in music, and a candidate for the combined BA/MA in history, with a resume full of high-level work experience, scholarly awards, publications, and community service. “I know it seems like I’m doing many different things, but when I’m working, I feel like I’m contributing,” Kopin says. “There are some late nights, but at the end of it all, hopefully I’ll know I’ve helped people.”

Kopin started at AU as a music major, but quickly recognized his passion for history, and shifted his degree path to include both fields. Kopin feels that studying history will best prepare him for the world outside academia. “What you learn in school you need to be able to apply to life, and there are many lessons in history that enable you to do so,” he says.

Of all of his endeavors, he is most excited about his current work with AU’s Nuclear Studies Institute. Directed by history professor Peter Kuznick, the Nuclear Studies Institute offers classes, programs, and study abroad trips focused on different aspects of nuclear history, from the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to current efforts to curb the spread of nuclear weapons. As director of programming and outreach, Kopin is working to expand the Institute’s web presence and program offerings, with hopes of adding more classes and hosting a symposium next school year.

“We’re trying to make it into something that really reaches and affects people,” he says. “I’m proud of the work, and I’ve had a lot of ownership over it. I feel like I’ve been able to make something from nothing.”

Kopin has also worked with a wide range of history-centric organizations. Currently he serves as president of the AU student historical society, and he was a former teaching assistant in AU’s Department of History, and a former research intern at both the Smithsonian’s Wilson Center and the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command. “I’m interested in how different people think,” Kopin says. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that you should just apply to everything, even if you don’t think you’re going to get it. Ultimately, you need to trust your work. The worst thing you can do is limit yourself.”

Kopin acknowledges that his professors’ mentorship and guidance have been key in helping him reach his goals. “My professors have invested in me as an individual,” Kopin says. “And because AU’s class sizes are relatively small, I’ve been able to get to know pretty much everyone in the department, which is wonderful in terms of networking. It teaches you how to relate to people, and also how to relate to your professors on a human level.”

Kopin also feels AU’s size has been beneficial, giving him the opportunity to take on leadership roles, while still offering chances for collaboration with his classmates. “I think the school is exactly the right size,” he says. “It presents enough opportunities for exploration and leadership. It’s not too small to limit this, or too big to make it impossible for an individual to make an impact.”

After graduation in 2015, he hopes to pursue a doctorate in history, and possibly an additional advanced degree in public policy. More than anything, he hopes he can continue to find ways to combine and pursue all of his interests—and continue working to benefit others.

“There’s a quote by Harold Washington, a former mayor of Chicago, that I really try to live by,” Kopin says. “He said, ‘We have not just a right, but a responsibility to give the best that we have to our society.’ If I keep using this to guide my work, then hopefully what I do really can make a difference.”

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