newsId: 404D5242-F6AB-AFC1-047D3E308DBF8F77
Title: #SPA80for80: Erin Fuller, SPA/BA ’93 and SPA/MPA ’94
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Abstract: Erin Fuller, FASAE, MPA, CAE, is a leader in nonprofit management, and credits her experiences at AU's School of Public Affairs with preparing her.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 10/22/2014
Content:

Erin Fuller, FASAE, MPA, CAE, is a leader in nonprofit management, and credits her experiences at AU's School of Public Affairs with preparing her for her current work as president of Coulter, a nonprofit management and consulting company serving more than 20 global and national organizations via a team of 85 colleagues. She has served as the chief staff executive for organizations including the National Association of Women Business Owners, Alliance for Women in Media and the Community Associations Institute Research Foundation.

Fuller has appeared on programs including NBC Nightly News, CBS's MarketWatch, ABC News, Fox News, NPR's Marketplace, and BBC's America. She has been quoted in publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes, Fortune and Newsweek.

Fuller is an American Society of Association Executives Fellow – a distinction earned by less than one percent of its membership. She also received the 2011 Alice Paul Award from American University's Women and Politics Institute for her work advancing women's causes.

She served as the president of the American University Alumni Association Board from 2010-2012. In that role, Fuller not only encouraged fellow alumni to be ambassadors for AU, but also to serve as role models for new graduates, current students and prospective students. "It's really important that we continue to identify and promote people who have interesting stories to tell," she says. "We have a very diverse legacy."

#MySPAHistory

"My SPA experiences helped drive me towards a career in public service through nonprofit management. The skills I learned in undergrad, getting my MPA, and the alumni network I discovered upon graduation, all contributed to my career and development of my business. SPA graduates are everywhere - and being able to note that connection from the outset has helped advance a number of conversations critical to strategy and coalitions for the nonprofits I have led."

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Title: #MyMidTermFix with Chris Cillizza
Author: Jordan-Marie Smith
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Abstract: SOC, KPU organize conversation around American Forum on the topic of midterm elections and the issues that matter.
Topic: Journalism
Publication Date: 10/22/2014
Content:

American University students took to the quad to share their thoughts on issues they think Congress should pay attention to this mid-term season.

Participants shared their messages and photos via social media in advance of the American Forum with Chris Cillizza, reporter and founder of The Fix.

The forum, a joint effort between the School of Communication, AU's Kennedy Political Union, and the Washington Post, encourages students to join the conversation using hashtag #mymidtermfix.

Human rights, same sex marriage and gender equality are a few of the issues students have identified as their mid-term fix. SOC professor Jane Hall and Cillizza will continue the discussion Thursday at 8:15 p.m. in McKinley's Forman theater. The event will also be live streamed.


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Title: The Ebola Crisis: Social Science Insights
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Abstract: We asked SIS Professorial Lecturer Nathan Paxtonto explain how social science can contribute to an understanding of the Ebola epidemic.
Topic: International
Publication Date: 10/22/2014
Content:

More than 4,500 people have died in the deadly Ebola outbreak that began in West Africa in the spring, mostly in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. We asked SIS Professorial Lecturer Nathan Paxton, an expert on global public health who studies how political processes like war and democratization affect the burden of disease, to explain how social science can contribute to an understanding of the Ebola epidemic.

Q: Why has the disease been so difficult to contain and how can prevention strategies be improved in West Africa?

A: Many infectious diseases prove difficult to contain—think of “cold and flu season,” where we all seem to get the same infections, sometimes even if we take precautions. Ebola is particularly deadly, however, killing between 40 and 70 percent of those who get the virus, and it has no vaccination or cure. In the West African context, where lack of resources is particularly acute, concerted information and education campaigns may provide the best possibility for letting people know what is safe, what is not, and what is rumor. 

Q: Medical experts and politicians are grappling with the growing crisis. How can social scientists contribute to the solution? 

A: Epidemics are generally social events as much as they are biomedical events. Social scientists have two ways we can help. First, we study how people understand the world and make decisions about it. So some of us—medical anthropologists and sociologists, for example—can help physicians devise strategies to deliver care while better persuading people to access that care. Second, many of us study politics, policy, and mass society. We can help physicians and epidemiologists understand who controls which resources, as well as how to persuade decision makers to respond to health crises. 

Q: Why have international organizations like the United Nations and World Health Organization been so slow to respond? 

A: On the simplest level, because they lack the capacity! Neither possesses, nor could establish, an epidemic rapid response force. Both organizations have relatively inflexible budgets, and the WHO in particular has experienced funding and staff cuts, largely due to members failing to pay their assessed dues on time and in full. Most of what WHO can do, then, is to sound the alert, declaring the situation an epidemic. That said, WHO was overly slow in declaring this epidemic. Like armies fight the last war, however, WHO often reacts to the last epidemic, and the organization was criticized for overreacting to the flu in 2009. 

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

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Title: Celebrate LGBTQ History Month with These Library Selections
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Abstract: October is LGBTQ History Month and to celebrate we have highlighted some of the best LGBTQ books, films, and CDs in our collection.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 10/21/2014
Content:

October is LGBTQ History Month and to celebrate we have highlighted some of the best LGBTQ books, films, and CDs in our collection. The Gender and Sexuality Library at the Center for Diversity &Inclusion in Mary Graydon Center Room 201 is another excellent source for more LGBTQ related materials. Items from the Gender and Sexuality Library can be checked out just like books and movies at the Bender Library.

 

Books

A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski (HQ76.3 .U5 B696 2011)
The first book to cover the entirety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, from pre-1492 to the present.

The Gay Metropolis by Charles Kaiser (HQ76.3 .U52 N486 1997)
This collection of anecdotes is both serious and gossipy when it comes to chronicling gay life in New York City-and America-since 1945.

From "Perverts" to "Fab Five" by Rodger Streitmatter (HQ76.2 .U5 S87 2009)
This book, by an SOC professor, tracks the dramatic change in how the American media has depicted gay people. While the media has reflected the American public's shift to a more enlightened view of gay people, it has also been an instrumental player in propelling that change.

Lost Prophet by John D'Emilio (E185.97 .R93 D46 2003)
Bayard Rustin taught Martin Luther King Jr. the methods of Gandhi, spearheaded the 1963 March on Washington, and helped bring the struggle of African Americans to the forefront of a nation's consciousness. However, despite his incontrovertibly integral role in the movement, the openly gay Rustin is not the household name that many of his activist contemporaries are. Acclaimed historian John D'Emilio explains why Rustin's influence was minimized by his peers and why his brilliant strategies were not followed, or were followed by those he never meant to help.

Lives of Transgender People by Genny Beemyn and Susan Rankin (CDI Gender and Sexuality Library, MGC 201 HQ77.95 .U6 B44 2011)
A survey of nearly 3,500 participants on gender development and identity-making among transgender and genderqueer individuals. With more than 400 follow-up interviews, the quantitative and qualitative data offers a powerful glimpse into the lives of transgender people.

Out in the Country by Mary L. Gray (CDI Gender and Sexuality Library, MGC 201 HQ76.27 .Y68 G73 2009)
From Wal-Mart drag parties to renegade Homemaker's Clubs, Out in the Country offers an unprecedented contemporary account of the lives of today's rural queer youth.

Nobody Passes edited by Mattilda (CDI Gender and Sexuality Library, MGC 201 HQ77.9 .N64 2006)
A collection of essays that confronts and challenges the very notion of belonging. By examining the perilous intersections of identity, categorization, and community, contributors challenge societal mores and countercultural norms.

Bi Any Other Name edited by Loraine Hutchins and Lani Kaahumanu (HQ74 .B5 1991)
In this groundbreaking anthology, more than seventy women and men from all walks of life describe their lives as bisexuals in prose, poetry, art, and essays

Films

Paris is Burning (Hone Use DVD 1650)
A documentary chronicling New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.

Milk (CDI Gender and Sexuality Library, MGC 201 M)
The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

Boys Don't Cry (CDI Gender and Sexuality Library, MGC 201 B)
The story of a young transgender person named Brandon Teena who moves to a small town in Nebraska in the early 1990's.

Aimee and Jaguar (CDI Gender and Sexuality Library, MGC 201 A)
A German Film based off of the true story of two women who fell deeply in love in Berlin during World War II. One is a model Nazi wife and the other a Jewish member of the underground resistance movement.

Music

Make sure to stop by the Music Library in Katzen to check out our massive collection of LGBTQ musicians from Elton John to Queen to musicals like Priscilla Queen of the Desert (DC 9087) and Kinky Boots (CDE 10203). 

And for more academic research, make sure to check out 5 LGBT Resources at the AU Library.

Special thanks to Matthew Bruno at the Center for Diversity & Inclusion for the recommendations.

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Title: Five Facts about the BA in Public Relations & Strategic Communication
Author: Paola Chavez
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Abstract: Newly revised BA in Public Relations & Strategic Communication degree allows for increased flexibility and learning opportunities.
Topic: Communications
Publication Date: 10/21/2014
Content:

The School of Communication is pleased to announce the BA in Public Communication has been renamed the BA in Public Relations & Strategic Communication. 

Public Communication division director Pallavi Kumar sees a huge advantage for students with this new degree option. "The newly revised degree offering will allow students the opportunity to further explore the major, with more flexibility for experiential learning and the ability to gain expertise in a specific concentration," said Kumar.

5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE REVISED DEGREE

WHAT:
The new BA is 48 credit hours compared with 40 credit hours for the BA in Public Communication. This allows students to take more communication electives and create concentrations around areas of interest.

How does it work?

Students may choose to unofficially concentrate their studies in one of six areas, ideally to develop an area of expertise.

  • Concentrations include: Political Communication; Health, Science & Environmental Communication; Corporate Communication; Social Change & Advocacy Communication; Lifestyle &Culture Communication and Digital Strategies. Full list of concentrations
  • These concentrations will not be listed on diplomas, transcripts or degree audits, but are a way for students to further brand themselves via LinkedIn and through online portfolios.

Why did SOC decide to make changes to this degree?

The newly revised BA in Public Relations & Strategic Communication degree allows students to take more electives, receive an additional three credits for internships (up to six total) and gives students a chance to concentrate in particular areas of interest.

When do I have to decide?

It is preferable students make the decision prior to the start of spring registration (11/3/14). SOC's academic advisors will work with students to complete a form confirming their choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here. Should you have any additional questions, please schedule an appointment with an SOC academic advisor.

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Title: Team USA dominates AU News Games
Author: Domanique Jordan
Subtitle:
Abstract: AU celebrates National News Engagement Day with first-ever News Games competition.
Topic: Journalism
Publication Date: 10/21/2014
Content:

On October 7, four teams came on stage and matched each other question for question over two rounds for a trophy that epitomized news knowledge dominance. 

The event, the first-ever American University News Games were held in celebration of National News Engagement Day.

SOC Dean Rutenbeck opened the games. 

"We are proud to host this campus wide challenge to honor National News Engagement Day. The news games will be an annual event at SOC. Through a little healthy competition we hope to spark a tradition of using news and journalism as mechanisms to bring the AU campus together," said Rutenbeck. "May the news be ever in your favor."

Professor John Watson, director of the News Games cited statistics how students who drift after college, not finding jobs or settling down, are also those least engaged with news.

"The book Adrift' After College: How Graduates Fail published by the University of Chicago Press, was reviewed in The Chronicle of Higher Education last week. It highlighted five basic characteristics of 2009 graduates still found to be adrift. One of them is: They rarely kept up with the news or current events: About one-third read newspapers online or in print on a daily basis. Only 16 percent discussed politics and public affairs with a family member or friend's daily."

The News Games structure resembled the popular American television game show Jeopardy!, where contestants chose questions from a game board covering different news topics, worth different point values.

Participants were presented with general knowledge clues, and delivered a reply in a short answer, as opposed to a Jeopardy-like question. No points were deducted for wrong answers.

“SOC Alisyn Camerota, CNN news anchor and notable AU alumna, asked one of the many video questions during the event.

A highlight of the Games were video questions from notable AU community members including alumni and nationally prominent journalists, including CNN's Alisyn Camerota. 

The overall theme of the event was centered on the popular book and movie series The Hunger Games. Even the graphic logo mimicked the Mocking Jay symbol from the books and movies, although instead of mocking jay and a flaming arrow, the News Games used an American Eagle carrying a pencil. 

That trophy is won by showing that one team knew the news better than their competition. 

In the first round, Great White Shark (Mariam Baksh and Pietro Lombardi) competed against SamSquared (Sam Mendelson and Samantha Hogan) tackled questions on U.S. politics, pop culture, world news, business and health and science. After the final question was answered, team Great White Shark beat their opponents by 70 points. 

In the second round, Team USA (Drew Bailey and Justin Parker) beat News2Share by a close 10 points on topics of education, "no he didn't," science, business and the LGBT community. 

In the final round, it was team USA that took the trophy, wiping out team Great White Shark by 110 points. 

If you're interested in playing in next year's News Games, Drew Bailey, member on team USA says the best way to prepare is to be a news consumer. 

"Read the headlines. Always keep up to date with the news in whatever form of communication you use. If Twitter your main source of news, stay on it," said Bailey. 

Anyone interested in next year's News Games should keep their eyes open for team registrations on the SOC website.

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Title: Event Examines ISIS and the Fight Against It
Author: Antoaneta Tileva
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Abstract: In an event at the School of International Service on October 15, a discussion occurred the prospects for the American-led campaign against ISIS.
Topic: International
Publication Date: 10/21/2014
Content:

Two months after President Obama launched air strikes in an effort to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the militant group known as Islamic State or ISIS, the operation now has a name—Enduring Resolve—a reference to the difficult task of “fighting” such an amorphous organization.

In an event at the School of International Service on October 15 convened by Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence David Gregory, Ambassador Akbar Ahmed of SIS, Politico’s Susan Glasser, and The Washington Post’s David Ignatius discussed the prospects for the American-led campaign against ISIS and broader U.S. policy in the Middle East. 

Moderator David Gregory began the discussion by asking how the war on ISIS is going. “It’s going badly. Wars often start badly,” said Ignatius, who underscored the need for the United States to form a strong coalition with other Arab nations. “Basically, we would have to tell them, ‘You have to put some skin in the game if you want American help.’” 

Ignatius also suggested that training CIA-style guerilla fighters in Syria to combat ISIS might be more efficient than just the air bombing campaign. Ignatius expressed concern about “whether we are walking into a trap that locks us into the kind of warfare our adversaries want and how can we mitigate that danger.” He believes that Iraq is “as sectarian as ever. It is badly fractured and I do not see a coherent strategy in our policy to pull it together.” 

Ahmed framed ISIS in the context of tribal Islam, the subject of his recent book: “ISIS has very little to do with Islam,” he said. “Its members are tribesmen from tribes that have imploded over the last few decades. We all tend to think of this as radical Islam without considering this is tribal Islam, which espouses a code that encourages revenge for wrong-doings.” One distinction he made is that this code has become mutated. Out of the tribal trifecta of “bravery, courage, and revenge,” revenge is the only thing now left. He also noted the creation of borders that split the tribes in forced ways, fanning the flames of conflict. The conflict is not “Islam vs. the West,” he said, but periphery versus center—societies left on the fringes fighting a central government they perceive as antagonistic to their interests. 

Glasser spoke about the policy side of the issue, calling Obama an “extremely reluctant warrior.” “We are seeing a fairly public debate between the president and the generals on strategy. We have a lot of generals saying the war plan will not work, that it is based on false theory, premised on the notion of an air campaign on guys in pick-up trucks,” she said 

All three panelists noted that ISIS is an aggressive, flexible, and adapting enemy and that there is tremendous trepidation among the American public about entering into yet another quagmire of conflict in the Middle East. 

Watch the event video here.

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Title: A League of Her Own
Author: Gregg Sangillo
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Abstract: Actor and activist Geena Davis appears at All-American Weekend.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 10/21/2014
Content:

"Well, darling, look out, 'cause my hair is coming down!" That was Thelma Dickinson—played by Geena Davis—breaking away from her cruel husband in the iconic 1991 film Thelma & Louise. As an actor, Davis has embraced strong, well-written female characters—from the tough-as-nails catcher in A League of Their Own to her Golden Globe-winning portrayal of the president on the TV series Commander in Chief. She won an Academy Award for her role in The Accidental Tourist.

Yet females are still woefully underrepresented in film and television, and she brings attention to this through the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. She's also a special envoy for women and girls in the field of technology for the United Nations International Telecommunication Union.

As part of American University's All-American Weekend, Davis recently spoke at a special event hosted by the Kennedy Political Union in Bender Arena. Jennifer Lawless, a School of Public Affairs professor and a nationally recognized expert on women in politics, moderated the discussion.

Against the Odds

Davis spoke about her journey from aspiring thespian to movie star. She decided to major in acting at Boston University. "Whatever the odds, I had this unshakeable, idiotic faith that I was going to be able to be in the movies," she said. In her first BU class orientation, the professor warned Davis and a hundred other freshmen that only about 1 percent of them would ever earn a living as an actor. "I swear to God I went, 'These poor kids!'" she recalled, to laughter.

Her first acting job came in the comedy classic Tootsie. Many more roles would follow. Getting cast in A League of Their Own challenged her to find untapped athletic ability. "I had to play the best baseball player anyone had ever seen," she said. "The problem being I didn't know how to play baseball, or any sport at all." She prepared for the role and eventually developed a knack for the playing field. "Sports dramatically improved my self-image," she added.

After that, she got involved with the Women's Sports Foundation and encouraged girls to pursue athletics. And she trained competitively in archery, qualifying as a semi-finalist in the Olympic trials for the 2000 games.

Role of a Lifetime

Thelma & Louise was a cultural phenomenon, and Davis and co-star Susan Sarandon graced the cover of Time magazine. "It changed the course of my life. It cemented my passion for empowering women, and it has driven my commitment ever since then," she said. Davis noted the controversy that the movie sparked, with commentators fretting over women with guns. "If I ever needed a lesson in the power of media images, I certainly had it now," she explained. "Ever since then, I've made choices with women in the audience in mind."

Gender in Media

It was while watching children's TV shows with her daughter when she noticed a scarcity of female characters. Then, Davis decided to get the data. She would form the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which has amassed a large body of research on gender in entertainment.

She shared the discouraging news with the audience. Female characters wear the same amount of sexually revealing clothing in G-rated, animated movies as they do in R-rated films. In family films, 81 percent of the job-holding characters are male, with females usually serving as "eye candy." In movie crowd scenes, just 17 percent of non-speaking characters are women.

"What message are we sending to boys and girls, at a very vulnerable age, if the female characters are one-dimensional, sidelined, stereotyped, hyper-sexualized, or simply not there at all?" Davis asked. "Think how dramatically different our world would be if children grew up and entered the workforce without these biases that we're unconsciously giving them."

Cracking the Ceiling

During the question-and-answer session with professor Lawless, Davis expressed frustration over the glacial pace of change on gender equity in media. Yet she's heartened by movies like Tangled and Frozen. "They're kind of re-telling the princess story, to have it not be that she needs the man to rescue her."

One student asked about breaking the glass ceiling while also getting married and having children. "Balance is overrated. I think that you can't really achieve balance. You can just do the best you can with what's going on," Davis said. "You just have to be ambitious in all areas, and try to make it work."

After the event, sophomore Sara Pierson said she was impressed with Davis. "She was a great speaker. She was very charismatic. And I loved hearing how she grew as a person with her athletics," Pierson said. She mentioned seeing the 2011 documentary Miss Representation, which included contributions from both Davis and Lawless.

"The thing I liked best was the way she combined blunt humor with statistics. So it appealed to all audiences," said Megan Crowley, also a sophomore.

Not Politics as Usual

This was a notable evening for the student-run KPU. "In our 46-year history, this is the first time the Kennedy Political Union has hosted an Academy Award-winning actor," KPU Director Tyler Bowders said at the event.

Bowders started as director in May, and he's hoping to broaden students' understanding of political activism. "It's not just your typical, white male senator," he said in an interview earlier this year. "Even an Oscar winner who does archery on the side can have things that are inherently political to talk about."

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Title: #SPA80for80: Pablo Sanabria, SPA/PhD ’12
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Abstract: Sanabria's path of public service has him educating Colombia's future leaders and continuing on a mission to modernize Colombia's public sector workforce.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 10/20/2014
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Pablo Sanabria is educating Colombia's future leaders and is on a mission to modernize Colombia's public sector workforce.

In 2012, after finishing his PhD in three years, Sanabria joined the faculty of the Alberto Lleras Camargo School of Government at the University of los Andes, Colombia's top-ranked university and one of South America's top five. Last year, Sanabria won a $700,000 grant from the government of Colombia to design the framework of a comprehensive policy that promotes innovative and effective human resource management in the public sector.

Sanabria knows firsthand the lessons and challenges of a service-driven career path. After earning a master's degree at the London School of Economics, he spent several years in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors before returning to academia, where he felt he could have the greatest impact.

"I realized that I could have a multiplying effect, especially by helping educate Colombia's future leaders," said Sanabria, who is designing a brand new master in public management at the university and serves on the board of directors of the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM), and the Inter-American Network of Public Administration Education (INPAE), in addition to teaching and research.

Sanabria hopes to have the same impact on his students that AU had on his career trajectory and beliefs about public service.

#MySPAHistory

"SPA's ideals of serving society and putting ideas into action have shaped me personally and professionally. SPA is a unique place to learn and produce knowledge, with passion and rigor, about public affairs."

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Title: Nominations Open for William K. Reilly Award for Environmental Governance and Leadership
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Abstract: The Center for Environmental Policy is soliciting nominations for the William K. Reilly Awards for Environmental Leadership, given on March 26, 2015.
Topic: Environment
Publication Date: 10/20/2014
Content:

The Center for Environmental Policy's William K. Reilly Awards for Environmental Leadership recognize individuals in environmental careers who demonstrate the qualities of leadership, innovation, engagement of diverse interests, effective problem solving and contributions to future generations of environmental leaders. These awards, named in honor of one of the most respected leaders in U.S. environmental policy, will be given at a ceremony to be held at American University on March 26, 2015.

Two awards will be given—one for an individual in government (local, state, tribal or federal) and the other for an individual in the non-profit or business sector.

Award nominations will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Provided effective leadership over a sustained period of time in environmental, energy, or sustainability issues in the United States
  • Contributed to innovations in environmental solutions or new approaches to environmental or energy policy
  • Demonstrated the ability to engage and inspire others in achieving significant results
  • Worked across the public, private, and non-profit sectors to solve problems in an inclusive and bi-partisan manner
  • Inspired or mentored early-career professionals

The Center for Environmental Policy is soliciting nominations for these awards. Nominations can be submitted by clicking here and completing the application by January 9, 2015. Decisions about the Awards will be made by a subcommittee of the Program Advisory Board of the Center for Environmental Policy. The awards will be presented at the March 26, 2015, program at American University.

Under the direction of Daniel J. Fiorino, the Center for Environmental Policy is focused on improving environmental governance in the United States and finding innovative approaches to the most pressing environmental challenges. The Center sponsors lectures and programs to promote the exchange of ideas, convenes forums to encourage dialogue, and conducts research on how institutional approaches, policies, strategies, and collaborative models improve environmental outcomes. Most importantly, it engages a range of people, interests, and organizations in more effective environmental problem-solving. It is the only university-based institute focused on the intersection of environmental policy and governance in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. More information on the Center and its activities may be found at www.american.edu/spa/cep. For questions about the award, please contact Danielle Miller Wagner at 202-744-6506 or djmwagner@american.edu.

For individuals wishing to submit a nomination but who prefer to use a Word document instead of a survey tool, please email a document with the information available here (page 2) to djmwagner@american.edu by the nomination deadline of January 9, 2015.

Nominate now »

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Title: Strathmore President Receives AU Alumni Achievement Award
Author: Carolyn Supinka
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Abstract: Monica Jeffries Hazangeles returns to AU as Alumni in the KNOW speaker on October 25.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 10/20/2014
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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: Two “Nifty Fifties” at AU
Author: Caitlin Friess
Subtitle:
Abstract: Professors Arthur Shapiro and Matthew Hartings hit the road to spread their love of science.
Topic: Science
Publication Date: 10/20/2014
Content:

Over the next two academic years, 200 of the country's most inspiring scientists and engineers will be traveling to middle and high schools in DC, Maryland, and Virginia to share their passion and expertise with young students. They are known as the "Nifty Fifty (times 4)," and among this collection of Nobel Laureates, chief scientists, and top experts in their fields, will be two American University professors—Arthur Shapiro and Matthew Hartings.

Nifty Fifty Inspiring a New Generation  

The Nifty Fifty (times 4) speakers work in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math. Nominated by their peers and chosen by the USA Science and Engineering Festival, they are called upon to help re-invigorate the interest of K-12 students in STEM careers. Nifty Fifty Speakers talk about three things: their field of science or engineering, their career paths (including the rewards and stumbling blocks), and where they see opportunities for young students in the sciences.  

Visual Sciences and Illusions Make Science Come Alive 

For Psychology Professor Art Shapiro, those opportunities are in the visual realm. Shapiro is a vision scientist and a creator of visual illusions that challenge the brain at the intersection of art, psychology, and computer science. His internationally acclaimed illusions have won awards in the Best Visual Illusion of the Year contest held by the Neural Correlate Society. 

"What an honor," Shapiro said of his nomination, "What more can you say, when you're invited to participate with a group of people like this?" 

For Shapiro, the study of visual sciences and illusions resides at an interdisciplinary crossroads. In helping us understand the brain and the visual system, illusions prove to be an engaging way to involve students in STEM—or STEAM—related activities (STEAM includes the arts). "I've given talks at high schools, junior high, elementary schools," he said. "And students are always very engaged in discussions of what illusions are and how you make a phenomenon that tricks you, and pulls you out of your comfort zone." 

Using Chemistry to Understand the World Around Us  

Chemistry professor Matthew Hartings, who teaches a popular chemistry of cooking class at AU, will use food to introduce challenging chemistry concepts to the students. 

"Chemistry is one of those subjects that many people shy away from. I have found that food is one of the best platforms for discussing some really complex chemistry with people who would otherwise be turned off by the subject," he said. "This is true for the students who take my chemistry of cooking course at AU. And, I am sure it will be true of the young students I interact with through the Fifty Nifty program. The depth with which you can engage in complex science is only limited by someone's fascination or interest in the topics you discuss."  

Harting's ultimate goal is to make science fun for young people. "With the Fifty Nifty program, I am not actively trying to proselytize that people become scientists. What I'm hoping to share is a contagious enthusiasm for using science to understand the world around us. And, if that enthusiasm is paired with a sampling of caramel sauce, then all the better!"  

USA Science and Engineering Festival   

The Nifty Fifty is a signature program of the USA Science and Engineering Festival, the nation's largest celebration of STEM. The festival, held in DC, was founded by entrepreneur Larry Bock and Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Lockheed Martin. It features more than 3,000 exhibits and 150 stage shows focusing on science and engineering. AU is an exhibitor at the biannual festival. 

The next festival takes place on April 16 and 17, 2016.

 

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Title: #SPA80for80: Allison Bawden, SPA/MPA ’04
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Abstract: Alumni like Allison Bawden help the School of Public Affairs maintain a connection to its original mission as a training ground for federal employees.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 10/17/2014
Content:

SPA was established in 1934 as a training ground for federal employees. Today, alumni like Allison Bawden help the School of Public Affairs maintain a connection to that original mission.

Bawden now serves as an assistant director with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), where she focuses on important national security issues, specifically nuclear security and cleanup. She has also helped SPA develop its MPP practicum and meets regularly with students to discuss career opportunities in the federal government.

Her role at GAO keeps Bawden focused on important national security issues, specifically nuclear security and cleanup. Her expertise in public administration translated into extensive program evaluations and audits of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), an agency within the Department of Energy (DOE). Established in 2000 by Congress, the NNSA is responsible for the management and security of U.S. nuclear weapons, U.S. naval reactor programs, and international nonproliferation issues.

Bawden's work has contributed to numerous reports on nuclear security, critically examining current policies and providing recommendations to improve those policies. Her most recent contributions were to a pair of reports focused on greater transparency in both the Department of Defense's budget estimations regarding nuclear weapons programs and the DOE's method of valuing uranium transactions.

Bawden began her career at GAO on the Acquisition and Sourcing Management team, and completed additional graduate coursework in national security studies at the United States Naval War College. During a break from evaluating the NNSA between 2010 and 2012, she served as the strategic planner within the GAO's Natural Resources and Environment team.

#MySPAHistory

"I truly enjoyed my experience at SPA and have continued to benefit from the concepts to which I was exposed by professors who challenged me and set expectations for the highest quality work.Similarly, the breadth of experiences and interests of my fellow students inspired me to co-found with other classmates the student journal The Public Purpose, which I am so proud to see continues to flourish. It was an AU and SPA alum who hired me at GAO, and I aim to continue to pay it forward!"

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Title: Leading-Edge Learning Spaces—the Geospatial Research Lab and Idea Space
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Abstract: Learn more about the new Geospatial Research Lab and Idea Space, a joint venture between Academic Technology and Research, Teaching, and Learning located in the Anderson Computer Complex.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 10/17/2014
Content:

During Summer 2014 the Library was busy constructing a new space and team to enhance our support for faculty in the areas of geospatial research and instructional technology. The new lab is located in the Anderson Computer Complex. The room features 6 desktop computers, one 70 inch monitor, two 42 inch monitors and a projector with wireless projection capabilities. The tables and some walls feature dry erase paint, allowing users collaborate freely around the room.

On the green side of this space, the Geospatial Research Lab will support the research and teaching programs of the university using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies and resources. The lab will help build and curate American University's spatial data collection and provide services in support of robust geospatial research. The lab will support AU scholars who work in fields that have not historically used geospatial analysis as they explore how geographic visualization can assist them in examining relationships and causalities, uncovering patterns, and making predictions.

The blue side is the Idea Space, an instructional technology training lab, which creates a designated space for faculty classroom technology training. Maintained by the University's Audio Visual (AV) Services group, the Idea Space will contain mock classroom arrangements, experimental classroom configurations, and a collection of new technologies allowing faculty to test out new devices or practice integrating new technology into the classroom. With this space, AV Services can also provide one-on-one training for faculty members specific to the University's classroom technology.

Join the grand opening celebration, tour the lab, and meet the coordinators on October 21, 2014 from 3–4:30pm. The lab is located in the Anderson Computer Complex, room B-16 and is available by appointment starting October 22, 2014. For GIS users contact Meagan Snow at msnow@american.edu. For instructional technology contact Katie Kassof at katiek@american.edu. For audio visual training contact av@american.edu.

Tags: Library,Library Science,Library Services,New at the Library,University Library
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Title: Kogod Hosts Global Experts at Sovereign Wealth Funds Conference
Author: Alexa Marie Kelly
Subtitle:
Abstract: Kogod hosted an international discussion on sovereign wealth funds, featuring executives from around the world.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 10/17/2014
Content:

The Kogod School of Business hosted an international conference on Oct. 9 to discuss sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), investments owned by governments.

The one-day-conference, The Contributions and Impact of Sovereign Wealth Funds, allowed experts to share their views on the shifting global economic climate.

"Academics must start vital conversations about SWFs," said Kogod Executive-in-Residence and event organizer Ghiyath Nakshbendi. "Their impact on the global economy cannot be overlooked."

Nakshbendi also noted the crucial timing of the conference. As the annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings begin, now is the time to explore pressing business issues, he said.

Speakers at the conference included Carol Bertaut, chief of the Global Financial Flows section in the International Finance Division of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Mohammed Jaham Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, ambassador of the State of Qatar; and former U.N. analyst Celeste Lo Turco.



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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.”

Tags: College of Arts and Sciences,Health,Health Promotion,Media Relations,Obesity,School of Education, Teaching and Health,Featured News
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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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Title: Q&A with Literature Professor Kyle Dargan
Author:
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Abstract: The poet muses on his work, his process, and teaching.
Topic: Humanities
Publication Date: 10/16/2014
Content:

Kyle G. Dargan is a professor of creative writing in the Department of Literature. He is the author of three collections of poetry published by the University of Georgia Press, most recently Logorrhea Dementia: A Self-Diagnosis (2010). His debut work, The Listening (2004), won the Cave Canem Prize, and his second, Bouquet of Hungers (2007), won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for poetry. Dargan’s work has appeared in Callaloo, Denver Quarterly, jubilat, Newark’s Star-Ledger, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, and theroot.com. He is the founding editor of Post No Ills magazine and postnoills.com and recently served as managing editor of Callaloo

In addition to writing and teaching at AU, Dargan has partnered with the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities to produce poetry programming at the White House and Library of Congress. He runs poetry workshops for DC high school students in conjunction with 826DC, a nonprofit organization that supports young writers ages 6 to 18 and their teachers. He recently returned from a two-month trip to China as a guest of the Chinese Writers Association. 

 

Are you working on any new projects? 

My new poetry collection [Honest Engine] will be published in [March 2015], and I am working on another book-length project, Panzer Herz, which is a personal exploration and deconstruction of contemporary masculinity. I’m also editing an anthology with Wondaland [Arts Society] producer Chuck Lightning [Charles Joseph II] titled I Have a Scream: An Imagination Proclamation, which we envision to be a post-Obama snapshot of the cultural and sociopolitical zeitgeist.

 

Can you tell us a little about your writing process?

I jokingly tell people that being a poet means I notice stuff for a living. To write is to first see or hear some element of the world and then attempt to render it with language, be that in a realist or fantastical manner. So the most important aspect of my writing process is the seeing; after that, there’s just a lot of tinkering and questioning what, aesthetically, the piece of writing needs in relation to its subject. 

 

Do you think DC is a good place for poets and poetry?

Any place is a good place for poetry—especially the places where free voices are repressed. These are the places where poetry’s disregard for the status quo is needed. DC has a great poetry infrastructure—the Library of Congress and the poet laureate, the Folger Shakespeare Library, etc.—but it is important that we do not allow those major institutions to overshadow all the ground-level poetry activity that (in the best sense) agitates this town. 

 

What is the best part of teaching creative writing? 

Creative writing is a pedagogically pleasing discipline. In a creative writing class, we are all studying the ideas and experiences students bring to the class as well as their ability to frame and communicate them creatively, so being privy to that self-discovery and artistic evolution is always rewarding. Every student is different, and they all can’t be pushed with the same intensity. It is a delicate dynamic.

Tags: College of Arts and Sciences,Faculty,Literature,Literature Dept
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Title: Greetings from Chip Griffin
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Abstract: Greetings from Chip Griffin
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 10/15/2014
Content:

We're just hours away from the start of All-American Weekend. It's one of my favorite times of the year since I get to see so many old friends.

This year will be particularly special for those Eagles who are able to make their way back to campus for a visit. In the last 12 months, we have seen the opening of a new residence hall (Cassell Hall) and the re-opening of the McKinley building, now the freshly renovated home for the School of Communication.

And who doesn't remember the Nebraska Avenue parking lot? Much of that blacktop is now in the process of being replaced by some beautiful new buildings (not to mention trees and grass!). It will provide more space for classrooms, research, faculty, and student residences.

On your way back to 4400 Mass Ave, don't forget to drive by the Tenley Campus -- or gander out the window of the shuttle bus if you go that route -- and see how the new law school building is coming along.

It's truly a time of change on campus. I hope to see you there.

- Chip
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Title: Ready to Launch
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Subtitle:
Abstract: American University is a place for budding entrepreneurs.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 10/15/2014
Content:

The Kogod School of Business recently launched a new Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative. It’s a way to cultivate entrepreneurial minds and ventures dedicated to economic, environmental, and social progress. A key component of this initiative is the new Entrepreneurship Incubator in Mary Graydon Center. To celebrate the Incubator’s official launch, there was a ribbon cutting in late September with AU President Neil Kerwin, Provost Scott Bass, Kogod Dean Erran Carmel, and AU alum Mark Bucher, a restaurateur who helped finance the remodeling of the Incubator space.

American University has a variety of great programs for budding entrepreneurs, and this new initiative reflects a campus-wide commitment to innovation.

Kogod and the New Initiative

In an interview, Kogod Professor Stevan Holmberg details the evolution of entrepreneurship education at AU. The business school had its first entrepreneurship course in 1987, with many more courses added in the decades since. By 2012, the School of Communication and Kogod forged a partnership with a master’s program in media entrepreneurship. In 2013, AU schools (Kogod, SIS, and SOC) announced a strategic partnership with 1776, a startup hub in downtown D.C. Kogod offers an entrepreneurship MBA concentration, and it recently added a minor in entrepreneurship for non-business majors.

AU’s curriculum on entrepreneurship is already experiential, with students practicing business pitches. But there was room to do more through this new initiative.

Holmberg_Ribbon_Cutting_NOID

“We were looking to expand the student learning experience by moving even further down the road towards having students actually live entrepreneurship and create new ventures,” says Holmberg, director of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative. He also says that AU students—typically passionate, with the desire to enact change—gravitate towards entrepreneurship. “It can be a business venture, or it can be entrepreneurship in terms of a nonprofit or social venture,” he explains.

Kogod’s Tommy White and Bill Bellows are co-directors of the nascent Incubator. Student teams trying to devise their own startups submit applications for an initial review, and White and Bellows will provide feedback for all applicants. Teams with more fully developed startup proposals will then present to a larger panel. Selected teams would have access to working space, a faculty coach, an outside mentor, and legal assistance. Through an entrepreneurship fund, AU faculty and business advisers will help students explore opportunities for seed capital and other sources of revenue.

“It’s great that we are getting a mix of applications from all the different schools, since the purpose is to make the Incubator an American University initiative,” says White.

AU is an ideal setting for cross-unit collaboration on a multifaceted subject like entrepreneurship. “It allows you to tap into multiple skill sets around the university,” Holmberg says. “So if we have a team doing a technology app, they could go to somebody in computer science for help with coding. Or they could go to somebody in film who might be doing video clips or documentaries.”

AU Pipeline

Young student entrepreneurs have received crucial guidance from professors in the past. While earning his MBA here, Tommy White took an entrepreneurship course on managing small and growing businesses taught by Kogod Professor Barbara Bird. “I just loved it, and it was exactly what I needed. I was in the middle of my startup, called the Institute for Public-Private Partnerships,” he says. The business succeeded and was sold to the infrastructure services firm Tetra Tech in 2008. Now he’s a full-time AU faculty member in Kogod’s Management Department.

Media Entrepreneurship

At the School of Communication, Amy Eisman discusses her role as director of the MA program in media entrepreneurship. “It is the intersection of media and business,” she says. “This is media defined broadly—it can be entertainment, sports; it can be an app.”

American University School of Communication Professor Amy Eisman

Since media companies are struggling mightily to navigate the current economic landscape, the startup culture in Washington, D.C. has exploded, she says. This makes the program attractive to mid-career professionals, who take classes in both SOC and Kogod.

“What we learned is that a lot of entrepreneurs are actually serial entrepreneurs. So they really like the game. They like to try new things,” she says. The projects in this program have run the gamut, with one student establishing an Indonesian cooking website and another student creating DeafTV.com.

Eisman explains the philosophy faculty members convey to students. “Let’s try, rather than think it’s not going to work. And let’s be able to change up if something is not working,” she says. “We’re perfectly fine if somebody discards an idea. That means the student has learned something.”

Social Enterprise

Robert Tomasko heads the social enterprise MA program at the School of International Service. Started in 2011, the program merges management with the study of social change and innovation. He says about half the students in the program have business backgrounds, while the other half are liberal arts-oriented. “Each of them comes to the program wanting to know what the other side knows. And there’s a lot of sharing.”

At the beginning of the SIS program, student pairs take a “plunge” by getting assigned to help a D.C.-based nonprofit or social enterprise. They’re tasked with helping this organization solve a pressing problem. Some organizations keep coming back each year to work with SIS students, he says.

Social enterprise is now an emerging sector of the economy. Tomasko says frustration with both the public and private sectors led to greater interest in the nonprofit world. “But there are issues with nonprofits, too. Many people flee to that sector because they don’t want anything to do with money. But if you talk to people who work at nonprofits, they spend all their time raising money,” he says. “With those three areas of discontent, I think social enterprise is offering students a way to pick some of the best from each of the sectors to try to remedy the problems.”

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

If you’ve plowed through the Steve Jobs biography or watched re-runs of Shark Tank, you might get an itch to start a business. But what makes somebody go the extra mile to actually do it?

Barbara Bird has studied entrepreneurial behavior, and she identifies certain attributes most entrepreneurs possess. “You can’t start a business if you don’t have high energy level, and if you don’t have a certain tolerance for risk. And it really isn’t even necessarily just tolerance of risk, it’s tolerance of ambiguity.”

Barbara Bird ID

Thomas Kohn argues that while the risk is undeniable, it’s a personal investment worth making. “I’ve mentioned to students that, in my opinion, there’s not as much risk associated with startups as some of them think there is. Right out of school, you can make almost as much in salary as you can with a big company,” says Kohn, an executive-in-residence in the Management Department. “Once you are an owner of a company—even if it’s just stock options—you feel totally different. You have a lot more incentive to work hard and to care.”

White adds that while entrepreneurship may not be innate to some students, it can certainly be taught. “Someone may really be a good idea person. But you might need someone to help shape that, manage that, and execute that,” he says.

And the goal of making money is within reach. “I do believe that entrepreneurship is one of the most likely pathways to wealth,” Bird says. “True ability to rise above the social and economic status you were born into is likely to come from starting a business.”

Brave New World

Advances in technology have made becoming an entrepreneur much easier. You don’t need to make huge capital investments and, say, open up a factory. You can run a profitable company with one laptop.

“I wish I had these tools 25 years ago when I was starting my company. It was expensive to start companies then,” White says. Now, he says, you have many different modes of communication, analytics, and social media tools to understand the marketplace and identify potential customers.

But as several professors warn, lower barriers to entry equals a lot more competition. “There are a lot of companies that won’t make it,” Kohn says. “But fortunately in this country having a failure—or two or three—under your belt is almost a badge of honor. It’s not a negative. And you learn a lot.”

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Title: Dean's Picks: Shaping the Future of Media Innovation
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Abstract: SOC debuts JoLT Disruptive Leadership Initiative with the Knight Foundation,
Topic: Communications
Publication Date: 10/15/2014
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Latest Stories


Katie Couric

AU Unveils Disruptive Leadership Initiative

With $250,000 from the Knight Foundation, collaboration looks to game design practices and process to shape media leadership innovation. Read more.



Katie Couric
 
Want Diversity in Docs? Look to Public TV

A new study from Professor Pat Aufderheide and the Center for Media & Social Impact shows public television remains the leading source of programming that represents diverse creators and characters. Learn more.

 

Katie Couric

McKinley Milestone

AU community celebrates SOC's new home in the McKinley Building. Learn more.




In the News

DREAM Act Exemplars, Stereotypical Selection, and American Otherness
Journalism professor Angie Chuang co-authors "Beyond the positive-negative paradigm of Latino/Latina news-media representations: DREAM Act exemplars, stereotypical selection, and American Otherness." Read more.

Hong Kong Protesters in Cyberwar
Journalism professor Andrew Lih's Quartz op-ed was quoted on CNN.com to describe the sophisticated use of technology by the activist of Hong Kong's Occupy Central Movement, aka the Umbrella Revolution.

Fort Bliss Is a Favorite with Military Audiences and Deserving of Wider Success
The Washington Post featured a glowing review of School of Communication Film and Media Arts professor Claudia Myers' new film "Fort Bliss", a drama about the impact deployment has on military families. Read more.

Go-Pro Shark Photo Goes Viral
Public & strategic communication professor Scott Talan spoke to the BBC.com about what makes a picture go viral on the Internet and analyzed the trending image of a great white shark off the coast of South Africa.

 

Awards & Achievements

SOC professor and award-winning filmmaker Carolyn Brown will host the California premiere of The Salinas Project documentary film at The Carmel International Film Festival on Saturday, October 18. The documentary follows the lives for four young Latinos from immigrant farm working families as they face social, political and economic obstacles. Read more.

The Mama Sherpas, a feature documentary produced by SOC professor Brigid Maher, selected to screen rough cut at Docs in Progress at the Utopia Film Festival. Read more.

MA in Media Entrepreneurship alum Dena Levitz named 1776 Challenge Cup reporting fellow. Read more.

 

Upcoming Events


Human Rights Film Festival—The Supreme Price Screening and Q&A
October 15, 7:00 p.m. Learn More.

International Cinema Series—Viewing China
October 17-24 Learn More.

Coffee & Conversation with Dean Rutenbeck
October 21 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Learn More.

Moving Beyond the Obituaries: From Doom and Gloom to #Oceanoptimism
October 21 7:00 p.m.
Learn More.

ONA DC Meetup, with Vox.com
October 23 6:00 p.m.
Learn More.

American Forum — #MyMidTermFix
October 23 8:15 p.m.
Join SOC, Kennedy Political Union, and the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, founder of "The Fix," for a discussion on mid-term elections, the media, and issues of interest to youth voters in 2014.
Learn more.




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Please send your suggestions for Dean's Picks to Dani Rizzo.

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newsId: A775946C-BE26-99F8-F3BCFAFAB8B5203E
Title: Juggling NBC, SOC All in A Day’s Work for Grad Student
Author: Adrienne Frank
Subtitle:
Abstract: Aspiring filmmaker juggles classes, career.
Topic: Student
Publication Date: 06/03/2009
Content:

Joe Bohannon grew up on environmental films.

“I would travel from Antarctica to outer space – all from my seat in the theater. I would get woozy from the aerial shots, but I also fell in love with film and filmmaking,” he recalls.

Now, as a grad student in the School of Communication (SOC), Bohannon, 41, is making his childhood dream a reality.

“This is the next chapter in my career evolution and my personal journey,” said the MFA student.

Bohannon works as an operations manager and producer for NBC News in Washington – a gig that not only informs his work in the classroom, but allows him the flexibility to juggle classes and extracurricular activities.

“I wanted to continue to work while I learned,” said Bohannon, who’s been with the network since 1993, covering everything from the Emmys to the White House. “I wanted to learn the theory, while still refining my skills. You can always learn how to light things or do audio a little better.”

The Fairfax, Va., resident has also honed his skills through SOC’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking (CEF). Along with CEF director Chris Palmer, Bohannon has shot a documentary on the Chesapeake River for Maryland Public TV; mingled with alligators in the Florida Everglades; and shot atop glaciers in the Alaskan wilderness.

“I experienced things I never would’ve imagined – things I couldn’t have learned just sitting in a classroom,” says Bohannon, who also traveled to five states to help a classmate shoot a documentary about parrots, A Place to Land. He served as director of cinematography and sound technician on the film, which won a Student Academy Award.

And while he says it’s tricky to juggle school and work – “it’s difficult to wear so many hats when you’re just one person” – Bohannon wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

“Being able to go to untouched areas of the world to practice your craft is just amazing.”

Tags: Students,School of Communication,Center for Environmental Filmmaking,Film and Media Arts,American Today
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newsId: AA1092CC-B2AC-A672-86893E068F4707D1
Title: When Eagles beat the mighty Hoyas
Author: Mike Unger
Subtitle:
Abstract: Before he become an NBA coach, Ed Tapscott led the Eagles to a historic win over the Hoyas.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 02/24/2009
Content:

Before he was one of the 30 coaches at the pinnacle of professional basketball, Ed Tapscott '80 led AU to one of its biggest basketball wins.  

Tapscott, now  head coach of the NBA's Washington Wizards, was on the sideline 26 years ago when his unheralded Eagles shocked the college basketball world by taking down the mighty Georgetown Hoyas.  

Despite coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons, AU was a prohibitive underdog to a Georgetown team ranked fifth in the nation and stocked with future NBA all-stars. Those Hoyas teams didn't just beat their opponents, they scared them into submission. But AU refused to be intimidated.  

"We knew we could play with them," says Gordon Austin, who scored some huge buckets for AU that night. "Coach Tapscott treated it like it was a normal game. He made the point to respect them, but not to fear them. We started off playing very well, and they were not. They were playing right into our hands, shooting long jumpers—and we were getting all the rebounds."  

AU took a double-digit lead into the locker room, but Georgetown mounted an expected second-half comeback that AU scrambled to hold off. When the final buzzer sounded, the scoreboard read American 62, Georgetown 61. 

 "I was happy to see that clock wind down to zero, that's for sure," says Tapscott, who went on to a long and distinguished career as an NBA executive before taking over the Wizards head coaching job earlier this season. "It was a wonderful moment for our program. I think it gave us some sense of appreciation at AU that basketball could play a significant role on campus."

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newsId: 904CB299-B701-6AFB-82BEFC5174731C76
Title: Marine ghostbusters
Author: Sally Acharya
Subtitle:
Abstract: Biology professor  provides solutions for marine debris.
Topic: Research
Publication Date: 02/19/2009
Content:

This is a ghost story that starts with a fishing net that gets loose from its moorings. It drifts in the ocean, entangling sea turtles, trapping seals, snagging fish that act as bait to lure other fish, which are trapped in their turn. Or maybe it damages a fragile coral reef.

Fortunately, that's not the end of the story. Science has its ghostbusters, and they're in pursuit of these derelict nets known as ghost nets, along with the wildlife-killing garbage dumped at sea by freighters and fishing fleets.

The ghostbusters are people like marine biologist and AU environmental science professor Kiho Kim, who goes after marine debris as a member of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council. Their weapons are data, meetings, long hours analyzing research, and ultimately, a national report and testimony to Congress on the changes needed in marine policy and regulations.

The sight of marine debris is familiar to Kim, who spots it whenever he dives around the coral reefs that are the focus of his research. "Every time I go diving, I come back up with a pocket full of weights and lines," he says.

Some of it washes into the sea. A plastic bottle chucked into a clump of water weeds by a Georgetown fisherman can end up in a sea turtle's belly. "Plastic can lacerate intestines. Animals can choke, or their intestines can be blocked up so they can't eat any more," Kim says.

On weekend cleanups at a seemingly pristine Georgetown park he's led AU students to do what they can, in practical ways, to stop trash on the shoreline from washing into the seas.

 But the debris problem, particularly in the ocean, is too big to eliminate with weekend actions. That's why Kim and his colleagues have spent almost two years examining the situation and, in the end, proposing specific solutions.

The National Research Council is, in essence, the research arm of the federal government. Its Ocean Studies Board includes experts in a variety of areas, such as lawyers who looked at regulations, along with some leading marine biologists—including Kim.

The council's report called for the United States and the international maritime community to adopt a goal of zero discharge of waste, a goal that could be closer to reality thanks to a series of policy and regulation changes recommended by Kim and his colleagues.

And that could make a real impact in saving the seas from the specter of wildlife-killing debris.

Adapted from the article "Report to Congress: Tackling Marine Debris," American magazine, Winter/December 2008.

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Title: Saving the Dead Sea in Israel
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Abstract: Gidon Bromberg is restoring an ecosystem with Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Topic: International
Publication Date: 02/19/2009
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 The Dead Sea is dying.

With each passing year the sea's depth drops by 1.2 meters, almost 4 feet, yet Gidon Bromberg refuses to consider its demise inevitable. His goal: the ecosystem will be restored, and it will be done by Jews, Christians, and Muslims working in concert.

In a part of the world with no shortage of problems, the environment often takes a back seat. It has a champion, however, in Bromberg, WCL/LLM '94. Working from a blueprint he developed at AU, he has devoted his life to restoring the Jordan River valley.

"There is no place on the planet similar to the Dead Sea," Bromberg says from his office in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he runs the organization EcoPeace. Stunningly beautiful, the Jordan valley has desert, mountains, green oases, and a heritage 12,000 years old. "For all three religions the river has a high importance, and yet we've completely destroyed it."

The sea's main water source is the Jordan River, today in a great state of peril. Littered with sewage, agricultural runoff, and pilfered of its water primarily for use in farming by Israel, Jordan, and Syria, the river's diversion is directly responsible for 70 percent of the Dead Sea's water level decline. The rest stems from mineral mining.

The Dead Sea was 80 kilometers long a half-century ago, about 50 miles. Today, it's only 31 miles long and shrinking fast.

Bromberg's Washington College of Law thesis on the environmental implications of the Middle East peace process intrigued many people around Washington, leading to a conference on the topic in Egypt and the founding of EcoPeace.

Today, its 38 staff members and hundreds of volunteers work in offices in Tel Aviv, Bethlehem in the Palestinian West Bank, and Amman, Jordan, lobbying governments to adopt environmentally favorable policies and trying to stimulate public awareness of the ecosystems at the grassroots level.

"He's committed to bringing Palestinians, Jordanians, and Israelis together to see how they can cooperate," says Nader Al-Khateeb, EcoPeace's Palestinian director. "He's a citizen of this region and cares for its future."

Like the obstacles to peace, the prospects of rejuvenating the Jordan River and the Dead Sea are daunting, yet Bromberg is convinced both can be achieved.

"The environment is a great impetus for peace building," he says. "What we do in our work is turn things around and look at how we could all benefit if we cooperate."

Adapted from the article "Saving the Dead Sea," American magazine, spring 2007.

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