newsId: B9D1A831-EE94-775B-8FD9F8D58D74FB22
Title: Internship Awards Allow Students to Broaden Their Horizons
Author: Antoaneta Tileva
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Abstract: Three years ago, Dean Jim Goldgeier  created the School of International Service Undergraduate Summer Internship Award  to allow students access to summer opportunities they might otherwise be unable to pursue.
Topic: International
Publication Date: 08/21/2014
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Three years ago, Dean Jim Goldgeier created the School of International Service Undergraduate Summer Internship Award to allow students access to summer opportunities they might otherwise be unable to pursue. The program provides a stipend for selected students with demonstrated financial need to support their participation in unpaid summer internships in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

The funds support students who otherwise would not be able to complete unpaid internships over the summer. Internships are meaningful and experiential educational activities that enable students to apply what they have learned in the classroom in a real world setting. They also provide substantive professional development opportunities and access to professional networks that are crucial for future job searches.

These SIS students participated in the internship program this summer: 

Jessica Agostinelli is a rising senior, focusing on foreign policy in the Middle East. She interned at the Brookings Saban Center, where she supported senior staff and assisted with research projects that enabled her to delve deeper into U.S. foreign policy and the politics of the Middle East. She is interested in pursuing work in the Foreign Service and/or at a think tank and this internship provided insight in both areas.  

Kristina Boichuk is a rising senior with interests in international politics and economics. She interned for the Economic Development Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce. She learned about economic development through a federal lens working under the Assistant Secretary for Economic Development and other senior officials. She hopes to bring the skills acquired through this internship back to her native Ukraine to help build a prosperous and sustainable democracy.  

Victoria Langton is a rising senior whose interests include national security, foreign policy, and Europe. She was a social media intern in the communication department at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She generated new content for various social media platforms and also assisted with photo and copy editing. Victoria aspires to be a photojournalist abroad and used this experience to hone her communication skills using new media platforms.  

Haili Lewis is a rising senior with interests in U.S. foreign policy and intercultural communication. As the partnerships intern at Voto Latino, she ran an initiative to partner with Latino student organizations across the country to promote and increase voter registration. She is open to pursuing a variety of careers and her internship at Voto Latino provided her with insight into the world of non-profit organizations.  

Brina Malachowski is a rising senior focusing on national security and Russian language. She interned at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), where she conducted research on a project commissioned by the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office. Her research involved profiling criminal and extremist organizations in the United States in order to determine their willingness and capability to smuggle nuclear or radiological material that might be used in a terrorist attack. This experience provided Brina with a stepping stone to future professional endeavors in this area.  

Casey Murphy is a rising senior with interests in environmental policy, Sub-Saharan Africa, and French language. She interned with the Bureau of African Affairs at the State Department, where her work involved outreach to foreign and domestic audiences in the lead up to two key events: the Presidential Summit for Washington Fellows and the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. In the future, she hopes to work on resolving environmental issues in Africa. Her internship equipped her with the skills needed to work in this area by providing her with knowledge of U.S.-Africa policy and strategies to engage with Africans at home and abroad.  

Mehmil Zia is a rising junior interested in U.S. foreign policy in South Asia. She interned at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute working in the South and Central Asia Studies division of the School of Professional and Area Studies. Her responsibilities included creating ambassadorial briefing books, syllabi, courses, and a webpage catered specifically to Foreign Service students. This internship provided Mehmil with insight into the Foreign Service and access to a network of professional contacts and mentors who can advise and assist her as she sets down the path to becoming a Foreign Service officer after graduation. 

Learn more about internship opportunities while at SIS.

Learn more about how to support student opportunities at SIS.

 

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Title: Eagles Rise: FSE 25 Years Later
Author: FSE Press Corps
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Abstract: American University’s Freshman Service Experience celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Topic: Student Life
Publication Date: 08/21/2014
Content:

Twenty-five years pass and a new generation of AU students works to serve the community of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Every year, American University freshmen travel all over D.C. to support and learn from communities across the city.

The Freshman Service Experience (FSE) was established in 1990 by Nanette Levinson, a School of International Service faculty member. Her goal of spreading passion for community involvement sparked a movement that has spread to colleges across the nation.

Since its initial composition of a few dozen students, FSE has matured into an army of servers nearly 700 strong. The selfless participation of more than 12,000 AU students during the past 25 years has provided more than 230,000 service hours to the D.C. metropolis.

The 25th annual Freshman Service Experience kicked off with powerful speeches from passionate individuals dedicated to the community of Washington, D.C., and the world. Alex Moore, a 2007 graduate of Ithaca College, spoke of the selflessness required in order to truly make a lasting difference. "Community service in America is often about the redemption of the giver and not the liberation of the receiver." Moore shared experiences he had while working in the DC Central Kitchen and his experience with other service-oriented non-profit organizations.

Meghan Rego, the program coordinator for community-based learning at American University, quoted Martin Luther King Jr. when she stated, "We often hate each other because we fear each other;we fear each other because we don't know each other;we don't know each other because we are so often separated from one another." She encouraged the 2014 FSE participants to communicate with community leaders in order to aid existing service efforts without hindering previous progress. Rego explained the value of calculated community work and the importance of working as a team.

Spanning across five neighborhoods and involving more than 50 community partners, the 25th annual FSE kept the ball rolling for community improvement. One group in the U Street/Shaw neighborhood travelled to Young Ladies of Tomorrow, an organization aimed to redirect the rocky courses of pre-adolescent and teenage girls who have become involved in the juvenile justice system. It offers young girls the resources and empowerment they need to become productive and healthy young women.

Founder and CEO Ms. Helen Wade established Young Ladies of Tomorrow to create a safe place for inner city girls. In an interview with an AU student, Wade emphasized the importance of collaboration with American University. Extending the radius of knowledge allows organizations like Young Ladies of Tomorrow to continue to grow.

Another group in the Northwest neighborhood visited Downtown Cluster's Geriatric Daycare. The center has provided therapeutic and support services to at-risk or disabled older adults since 1976. Much like Young Ladies of Tomorrow, the Geriatric Daycare provides a safe haven for those struggling with productive independence.

From public schools to churches to libraries to kitchens, the Freshman Service Experience has wound itself through the diverse neighborhoods of the DC metropolitan area. The snowball effect that resulted from the very first FSE shows no signs of slowing down. The Freshmen Service Experience: 25 years in the making—here's to 25 more.

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Title: Librarian Profile: Mary Mintz
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Abstract: This fourth article in our series of librarian profiles focuses on Associate Director for Outreach Mary Mintz. Mary’s background in Literature and Library Sciences allows her to support the academic growth of students during their time at AU.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 08/20/2014
Content:

A member of the American University community for thirty years, Associate Director for Outreach Mary Mintz developed a deep love of literature and learning early on, growing up as the daughter of a high school and college English teacher in her native North Carolina. Later, she knew that she wanted to "make a difference in the academic experience of college students" even before she completed her master's degrees in library science and English literature. After her own deeply rewarding college experience as a member of the first entering class to admit women at Davidson College, Mary knew that academia was the right fit for her. When Mary arrived at AU in the 80s, the university was in the early stages of an evolutionary process in terms of growth, reputation, and intellectual engagement. Mary describes the AU student of today as "committed, caring, and—simply awesome." As a member of the honors applications review process, Mary sees firsthand the "engagement, passion, and ideals" of the student body.

Where can you find her?

Mary is the Library liaison for about ten different undergraduate groups, including AU Honors students, AU Scholars, Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars, the University College, and the Washington Mentorship Program. Undergraduate support efforts put Mary in contact with a variety of students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

In addition to providing research assistance through personal appointments and work at the Reference Desk, Mary meets with the orientation leaders for incoming students to share information about the Library with freshman and new transfer students. She also encounters new students through her library instruction in College Writing and other courses. This puts her in the unique position of working with students to develop the fundamentals of research and writing and then, in her role providing capstone support for History and Literature students, seeing how their work has progressed. She is able to see the full circle of undergraduate progress from freshman to senior year. Mary considers this to be an extremely gratifying element of her job.

In addition to these ongoing efforts, Mary always is particularly happy to discuss literature and history, especially the work of Jane Austen and Austen's era. She is an enthusiastic member and officer of the Jane Austen Society of America.

Why she loves her job

Mary sees "student interaction and response in the classroom and the challenge of assisting students with sophisticated and complex projects" as just a few of the many rewards of Mary's work as a librarian. She is passionate about the emphasis librarianship places on service. In her instructional work, Mary strives "to create an engaging classroom environment" and enjoys working with faculty to plan successful class sessions. Mary also likes having the chance to connect with students on a more personal level.

In the Community

Mary long has taken a very active role in university life. In many years, she has served on the university's Faculty Senate, including serving as chair of that body for two years. She also served on the university search committee for the current University President.

Mary strongly encourages all incoming students to pay a visit to the Library to learn more about the research resources available to them—and to "ask a librarian" whenever they need assistance with research. Her hope is that AU students will take their research skills with them beyond the university, just as they take their engagement, passion, and ideals.

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Title: A Home Away From Home
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Subtitle:
Abstract: First-year students flock to living-learning programs.
Topic: Student Life
Publication Date: 08/20/2014
Content:

A Growing Trend

They're moving to a new city. They're living on their own. They're entering a world of academic rigor. In a nutshell, each student is embarking on a brand new life. As incoming freshmen gear up for the college experience, it's hard to overstate the life changes in store for them.

Yet American University has fostered special environments where like-minded, high-achieving students can live and learn together. An increasing number of AU students are enrolling in living-learning communities, such as the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program (FDDS), the newly revamped AU Honors Program, and the Three-Year Scholars bachelor's degree programs.

About one-third of all undergraduate applicants showed interest in these three programs, and many students submitted between eight to 14 essays as part of the process. While students have historically been invited to join the Honors Program, the number of applicants now dwarfs the number of available spaces. Some 2,400 students applied for FDDS, tripling the number from last year.

The university subsequently launched two new programs: AU Scholars and the Community-Based Research Scholars (CRBS). Now almost 70 percent of AU's class of 2018 will have the chance to participate in a living-learning program.

Opportunities Abound

Shyheim Snead is an incoming freshman in FDDS. Just before Welcome Week, he explained the appeal of this prestigious program: "One thing that stood out to me was the success rate of the students." The program has enabled scholars to visit with a number of dignitaries, such as Colin Powell. "You meet all types of people, icons in the country, to help you connect with your goals," Snead says. AU covers full tuition, room, board, fees, and books for FDDS students, as long as they maintain a minimum 3.2 grade point average.

AU Scholars is a program for first-year students. Scholars will take an Honors seminar and intellectually engaging supplementary modules. Those modules encourage scholars to collaborate with each other while pursuing controversial, historical, and societal questions. "These courses are based on what you are interested in, and that's why this was compelling to me," says new AU Scholar Luke Theuma.

The nascent Community-Based Research Scholars program is aimed at first-year students committed to forging partnerships with community agencies and organizations, in order to make research-informed contributions. Students in this program took part in this year's Freshman Service Experience (FSE).

A Range of Emotions

First-year AU students appear eager and enthusiastic about starting anew. "I feel like there are just so many new opportunities that I'll be able to have," says Meenal Goyal, who is in the Community-Based Research Scholars program. "I'm almost pressing the reset button on my life and getting to start all over."

But there is a process of acclimation and a fear of the unknown. Students describe a range of emotions as they descend on the nation's capital. "I think I can speak for a lot of students when I say that we are all nervous and excited, and we're simultaneously terrified and thrilled," says Theuma.

Yet many AU programs, such as living-leaning communities, help ease the transition for apprehensive students. "I think just coming into American as a Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholar, you have that kind of community feeling and you're automatically entering a family," says Snead.

"I'm really excited to have roommates who have similar interests," says KT Buckler, part of Community-Based Research Scholars. "We can have really intellectual conversations about what we're learning, and get other people's perspectives," adds incoming AU Scholar Abi VanPelt.

Unique Backstories

While living-learning programs can be cohesive, they also draw from a diverse talent pool. Students obviously possess their own unique backstories. And even at a young age, many of them have already demonstrated a commitment to public service.

Theuma was born on the island nation of Malta, lived in places like New Orleans and Minneapolis, and eventually settled in Des Moines, Iowa. His international experience has had an impact on his college plans: He's hoping to major in international studies, with potential minors in either Russian or Mandarin Chinese languages.

Buckler is from Marin County, California, and she was immersed in community service in high school. She got involved in an organization that raised money for a girls' boarding school in Afghanistan. "I have a huge passion for girls' education and human rights in general," says Buckler, who will major in international studies.

Goyal, a psychology major, comes from Hudson, New Hampshire. While in high school, she volunteered at a nursing home and played card games with some of the residents.

Snead was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The FDDS mission—supporting students dedicated to assisting underserved communities—is one Snead has fully embraced. In high school, he worked with the anti-poverty organization buildOn. He's tutored young students and helped out at food pantries and community gardens.

Both of VanPelt's parents served in the Coast Guard, and her father was involved in the cleanup of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. She's an international studies major now, and she's contemplating a future of service in either the Coast Guard Reserve or the Peace Corps.

Incoming AU Scholar Zoey Salsbury took a trip with her Girl Scouts troop to Costa Rica last summer. During their stay, they lived on a sustainable ranch and repainted a local school. Salsbury, who hails from Seattle, will major in political science.

Home at AU

Even before the beginning of classes, some living-learning students have made meaningful connections here. This summer, VanPelt started helping out as a manager for the AU wrestling team. Theuma already got to know plenty of students through orientation and a Facebook group for the incoming AU freshman class. "The people, honestly, are what made the school worth it for me," says Theuma. "They were the kinds of people I could see myself spending a significant portion of the next four years with. So, ultimately, that's why I chose AU."

Beyond the living-learning programs, AU continues to be a popular destination. One-third of this year's freshman class is comprised of students admitted early decision.

Tags: AU Scholars,College of Arts and Sciences,Community-Based Research Scholars,Frederick Douglass Scholars Program,Media Relations,School of International Service,School of Public Affairs,Undergraduate Students,University Honors Program,Featured News
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Title: The Ebola Outbreak: Three Questions for Susan Shepler
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Abstract: West African nations are currently grappling with the worst-ever outbreak of the Ebola virus.
Topic: International
Publication Date: 08/19/2014
Content:

West African nations are currently grappling with the worst-ever outbreak of the Ebola virus. Associate Professor Susan Shepler, an expert on youth and conflict, was in Ebola-affected areas this summer, conducting research funded by the Spencer Foundation in Sierra Leone and Liberia in July and August.

Q: The current Ebola epidemic has claimed over 1,200 victims. Where are the hardest-hit areas? Why has the outbreak been so difficult to contain?

A: The outbreak started in the Forest Region of Guinea. From there it spread to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. The epicenter is the region where the three countries meet. Pre-existing weaknesses in the public health systems of all three countries have meant serious challenges. As I wrote in a blog post in July, “The Ebola virus and the Vampire State,” people had reasons to doubt whether the virus was real. It took months for people to really start taking the threat seriously. Now, the numbers have skyrocketed, which makes it more difficult to track and quarantine people exposed to the virus.

Q: The World Health Organization recently agreed to use untested medications in the Ebola outbreak, although supplies are limited. Why hasn’t an effective Ebola vaccine been developed?

A: The pharmaceutical industry is profit-driven, and until now there has not been much demand. The so-called “secret serum” was in development when it was tested on two American health workers in Atlanta. I’m happy that it’s being sent to Africa now to help treat doctors and other frontline health workers.

Vaccine development is a separate process, and reports are that Canada is sending an experimental vaccine to West Africa. There are issues of medical ethics here, but to me, the potential benefits of a weapon in the fight against Ebola outweigh the potential risks.

Q: Could Ebola spread outside of West Africa? What should Americans understand about the illness?

A: It’s possible, though highly unlikely. One only gets infected through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. It’s not highly contagious, but it is highly deadly. The United States has far more advanced facilities and other capacities to deal with infections like these. Americans shouldn’t be afraid that they will get infected, though they should remember how much people are suffering in West Africa, and help if they can. For example, medical personnel are in need of simple protective gear. Doctors Without Borders is doing excellent work in the region.

To request an interview with Professor Shepler, call (202) 885-5943. Follow her on Twitter @SusanShepler.

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Title: Congratulations to 2014 Alpern Scholarship Winner, Luefras S. Robinson
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Abstract: Congratulations to Luefras S. Robinson on her selection as the 2014 Anita F. Alpern Scholarship winner.
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 08/18/2014
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The Anita F. Alpern Scholarship, named after one of the first eight women to be appointed to a GS-18 level at the IRS, is a prestigious award that carries not only a cash price of $2,500, but a stellar list of recipients. The operative guidelines for the Anita F. Alpern Scholarship is that it be awarded to dedicated and committed public servants.

The Key Executive Leadership Program is pleased to announce Luefras S. Robinson, a member of the Key MPA cohort 46, as the 2014 Anita F. Alpern Scholarship winner. "I am so honored and thankful to have been selected for the Anita F. Alpern Scholarship. Ms. Alpern was such a great leadership example, so to have received this award in her name gives me more of an impetus to strive for excellence" shared Luefras.

Currently, Luefras supports a Department of Defense contract as a communications and engagement strategist and team lead at the Joint Staff J7 (Joint Force Development). In her role, she provides expertise to senior military and civilian leadership as a part of a task order Northrop Grumman administers. Luefras is also a well sought out professional Christian jazz saxophonist, motivational speaker and freelance writer. Additionally, she volunteers her time mentoring individuals who require job coaching and life skills expertise. She is also a member of Northrop Grumman's Veritas Employee Resource Group for which she volunteers as the Communications Chair. This program assists military veterans and wounded warriors at Northrop Grumman, and provides support to various community activities that support veterans. Luefras is also a member of Women in Defense, Virginia Government Communicators and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

This year Luefras was also nominated for the Northrop Grumman Technical Services Women of Color award for professional achievement, a distinguished enterprise-wide honor. Luefras was also a recipient of a Community Service Award from the he Smart Set Club of Suffolk, Virginia in 2005.

Congratulations to Luefras S. Robinson on her selection as the 2014 Anita F. Alpern Scholarship winner.

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Title: Study Abroad in Israel: Beyond the Conflict
Author: Ariel Ehmer
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Abstract: We asked SIS student Ariel Ehmer to share her experience on the summer abroad program, Israel: The Prospects for Peace, with us.
Topic: International
Publication Date: 08/15/2014
Content:

We asked SIS GGPS'15 student Ariel Ehmer to share her experience on the summer abroad program, Israel: The Prospects for Peace, with us.

After participating in the SIS summer abroad program in Israel, my outlook on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been completely transformed. From May 27 to June 15, ten of us embarked on an adventure around Israel, led by Assistant Professor Guy Ziv. The 2014 study abroad program, entitled Israel: The Prospects for Peace, was designed to explore the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the prospects for a peace deal, in addition to learning about Israel today. 

Our visit began in Tel Aviv where we spent time touring the quaint cobblestone sidewalks of Jaffa, haggling over souvenirs and knick-knacks at the Carmel Market, and gobbling up delicious falafel, hummus, and shawarma. While this portion of the trip was not solely focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this vibrant and progressive city offered a glimpse into the identities of the younger Israeli generation. 

Jerusalem, Tel Aviv’s more conservative and traditional grandparent, was the epitome of religiosity, history, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jerusalem’s Old City, with its labyrinth-like streets, is a place from another time. It was here that we walked in the footsteps of Jesus on the Via Dolorosa on our way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We gazed at the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. At the Western Wall, we stood next to Orthodox Jewish men and women as they prayed. 

Despite the fact that each of these three religions has its roots planted in Jerusalem, there is tension in the air. The separation wall (also known as the barrier or fence) between Jerusalem and the West Bank serves as proof that the ongoing conflict is far from being solved. The lesson that we learned on this trip is that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for Israeli and Palestinian peace. The problem is just too complex. 

Dr. Ziv did a phenomenal job introducing different perspectives into our daily activities. Lecturers included Knesset members from the Yesh Atid and Ra’am-Ta’al-Mada parties, Foreign Service Officers serving at the U.S. Embassy, soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), renowned professors, and activists from several organizations. The topics ranged from water governance, archaeology, religious fundamentalism, settlements, and the peace process. 

What we did not learn in the classroom, Dr. Ziv ensured we experienced firsthand. We were able to float in the Dead Sea, wander the exhibits at the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum, view Israel’s border with Syria at the Golan Heights, navigate through caves in Rosh Hanikra, hike up mountains, and eat lunch with both Bedouins and Druze. Our papers for the course allowed us to delve deeper into an issue of our particular interest. 

Although I do not have an answer for how to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I do have a much more profound understanding about what this struggle entails and I feel extremely privileged to have had a chance to see this for myself.

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Title: Come Celebrate the Arts at AU
Author: Patty Housman
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Abstract: Fall for the Arts takes place on September 20 in Katzen Arts Center.
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.

Tags: Art Dept,Art History,Arts Management,Arts Management Pgm,Arts, Fine,Arts, Performing,College of Arts and Sciences,Dance,Museums,Music,Theatre and Music Theatre,Performing Arts Dept
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Title: 2014 Writer as Witness Colloquium
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Abstract: The featured book is The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone.
Topic: Literature
Publication Date: 08/15/2014
Content:

Brooke Gladstone, author of The Influencing Machine, will discuss her work with AU students on September 3 as part of the 17th annual Writer as Witness Colloquium in Bender Arena. 

Sponsored by the Department of Literature and the College Writing Program, this event gives students the opportunity to discuss a common text and meet with its author.  

Classmates will discuss The Influencing Machine and write about the book in College Writing courses. The College Writing Program and the Campus Store are sponsoring an essay contest to honor the best writing inspired by the community text. Essays must be submitted by Tuesday, November 11 and the top prize receives $200. 

 

About Brooke Gladstone's The Influencing Machine 

In The Influencing Machine, Gladstone's incisive analysis of the media—its history, its controversies, and its technological transformation—is presented largely through illustration by alternative cartoonist Josh Neufeld whose visual rhetoric conveys the complexities of Gladstone's critique. But if this is a sort of comic book, it's one with "zest and brains—and it just might help a reader understand the brave new world" (The New Yorker). Gladstone's research is comprehensive, but her analysis leaves room for readers to consider the nature of bias and power. Finally, The Influencing Machine invites us to reflect on our own responsibility to shape our world(s). 

Co-host of NPR's On the Media and senior editor of All Things Considered, Brooke Gladstone is also the recipient of two Peabody Awards, a National Press Club Award, and an Overseas Press Club Award. Among her other accomplishments, she was an NPR Moscow-based reporter, its first media reporter, and the senior editor of Weekend Edition with Scott Simon.  

Biographical information from www.onthemedia.org.

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Title: 10 Signs It’s Back-to-School at AU
Author: Patrick Bradley, Lisa Boms & Maggie Barrett
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Abstract: What do Eagles expect to see on campus this time of year? Bagpipes.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 08/15/2014
Content:

1. Books Here! Get Your Books!

At the start of each year, the Campus Bookstore’s front display highlights books about the higher ed experience. You can find everything from advice on the first year for students and parents to the book selected as this year’s community text for freshmen: Brooke Gladstone’s The Influencing Machine. Want to sport your AU colors? Pick up some fresh university apparel while you’re there to pick up your books for class.

Sprucing Up Campus'En Serio'

2. Extreme Makeover, Campus Edition

Is campus quiet over summer? Nah! That’s the best time to spruce up the joint. This summer, the tunnel underwent extensive (and exquisite!) renovations to enhance pedestrian and vehicular traffic, lighting, and overall appearance. Keep an eye out for the fancy new tile and stone look on AU’s new “Mainstreet.”

3. FSE, Discover DC, and Explore DC

Welcome Week offers a host of programs designed to orient new Eagles to their home in the nation’s capital. This year, AU’s Freshman Service Experience celebrates 25 years of bringing students into the community through service. Both Discover DC and Explore DC take groups across the city and away from tourist sites, with Explore DC groups focusing on specific themes from food and science to communications in Washington.

Bender Blue Out'

4. Blue Tide Rolls into Bender

The roar of the crowd. The squeak of sneakers on the arena floor. The ocean of blue shirts. The set, spike, and SCOOOORRRRRRRE! That’s AU’s Bender Blue Out! This year’s annual sporting event will feature AU’s women’s volleyball team taking on rival Georgetown on Friday, Aug. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Come out to Bender Arena dressed in your best AU blue and join the campus’ raucous Blue Crew to cheer on your fellow Eagles! You will also have a chance to see AU’s soccer teams during Welcome Week.

Capitol Steps'

5. Capitol Steps

Speaking of AU traditions, the irreverent political comedy of the Capitol Steps returns to the Woods-Brown Amphitheater on Sunday, Aug. 24. Think of it as Schoolhouse Rock meets Stephen Colbert. Plus, other Welcome Week nighttime entertainment includes standout performances by hypnotist Tom DeLuca and the sketch comedy group Upright Citizens Brigade.

Students Rub the Talon'

6. New Eagles, Unite! In an Orderly Queue.

Freshmen flock to the quad to participate in a procession across campus that ends in Bender Arena for Opening Convocation. Led by bagpipers, the procession marks the beginning of the students’ journey at AU and will be a sentimental reminder of their first days as Eagles when years later—after rubbing the Eagle statue’s talon for good luck once more—bagpipers lead them into Bender for Commencement.

Convocation'

7. Opening Convocation: #AUWelcome

Once the bagpipes quiet down, students will file into Bender Arena to the sound of applause from AU staff, faculty, and community members. This warm welcome features speeches by AU President Neil Kerwin, vice president of Campus Life Gail Hanson, and 2014 AU Scholar-Teacher of the Year Max Paul Friedman. It’s a look ahead at what to expect and what to strive for while at AU. New students will show their fledgling Eagle pride by learning the AU Fight Song.

8. All American BBQ

A cookout on the quad for new students featuring summer staples such as hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, and ice pops. This year, students can meet friends for a dinner with all their baseball favorites before heading out for AU Night at Nationals Park. Tickets to the Nationals Game can be purchased during select Welcome Week at Night activities.

AU at the Nats'

9. AU Night at Nationals Park

Play ball! On Aug. 22, students, alumni, faculty, and staff will gather at Nationals Park for an evening of Nationals baseball and AU fun. Generations of Eagles will enjoy a picnic alongside two birds of a feather: Clawed Z. Eagle and Screech, the Nationals’ mascot. Free t-shirts, an AU celebrity first pitch, and in-game WONK challenges round out this AU back-to-school tradition.

Celebrate AU'

10. Celebrate AU

Celebrate the first day of classes with President Kerwin and other members of the campus community. Enjoy a midday break with music and free food—a great way to connect with old friends and make new connections! Event sponsored by the Office of the President.

Bonus Sign: Make sure you have a technical foundation for success by attending the Tech Fair to set up all your connections, and check out the Working at AU session to help you with the hiring paperwork for your campus job.

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Title: Political and Journalism Pros Bring Expertise to AU Faculty
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Abstract: New School of Communication faculty appointments augment core strength in data journalism, political and polling analysis.
Topic: Communications
Publication Date: 08/15/2014
Content:

The School of Communication welcomes three outstanding individuals at the top of their professions to faculty this fall. David Donald, an award-winning data journalist at the Center for Public Integrity will join SOC and its Investigative Reporting Workshop; Molly O'Rourke, a partner at Hart Research, brings a high level of experience in political polling as Executive in Residence and Director of the Political Communication program; while Ron Elving, Senior Washington Editor at NPR, joins SOC as a Visiting Distinguished Journalist.

"It is exciting to bring three high-profile professionals into our classrooms, "says Dean Jeffrey Rutenbeck. "Their expertise builds on our core strengths in political communication, data-driven journalism and political journalism."

Molly O'Rourke joins AU as co-director of the MA in Political Communication and Executive-in-Residence. Molly brings high-level professional experience as well as teaching experience to the position. Her impressive 18-year career in public opinion research and communications includes 12 years at the prestigious Hart Research firm where she has held a number of senior level positions including most recently as partner. She has worked with a diverse portfolio of high profile, national clients such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, League of Conservation Voters, NBC News, Prevention Magazine and MTV's Choose or Lose Campaign.

She is a well-respected expert within the field of political communication and has co-written a column for The Hill newspaper and has appeared as a polling expert on a number of television programs including NBC Nightly News, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and WRC-TV DC's local NBC station.

Molly also has proven teaching experience. She has served as an adjunct instructor at Johns Hopkins where she taught both in person and online Polling for Strategic Communication and Research and Writing Methods.

David Donald Courtesy /The Center for Public Integrity

David Donald joins us from the Center for Public Integrity where he has served as the Data Editor since 2008. He is a revered leader in his field and brings more than two decades of experience in investigative reporting, data journalism, and statistical analysis. David's recent accolades include the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for his May 2011 report "Sexual Assault on Campus," and the Philip Meyer Award in 2013 for the best examples of use of social science methods in journalism for "Cracking the Codes." He has taught as an adjunct at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism as well as Savannah State University and has extensive experience training thousands of journalists through his work with the nonprofit Investigative Reporters and Editors. David received an M.A. in English from Cleveland State University and an M.A. in Journalism from Kent State University.

Ron Elving Doby Photography /NPR

Ron Elving, Senior Washington Editor at National Public Radio, will be a Visiting Distinguished Journalist in an expanded adjunct appointment. Elving, who has nearly 40 years of experience specializing in political affairs, has been at NPR since 1999, managing a full-time staff of 15 journalists who cover the White House, Congress, Federal Judiciary, Executive Branch, and national politics. He provides frequent on-air analysis and commentary. He has also worked at USAToday, Congressional Quarterly, and the Milwaukee Journal. He is the author of Conflict and Compromise: How Congress Makes the Law and has contributed a number of book chapters, including some for publications edited by SPA's Jim Thurber. He received a BA in English from Stanford University, an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago, and a MJ from the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Title: Art Auction in the AU Museum
Author: Jamie McCrary
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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: Greetings from Chip Griffin
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Abstract: Greetings from Chip Griffin
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 08/13/2014
Content:

It's hard to believe that students will soon be returning to campus for the start of another academic year. Of course, that will being alumni back as well, as many of us volunteer to help with events like Move-In Days and Convocation.

Unfortunately, we have some sad news to share in this month's newsletter. Dotty Lynch, a pioneering woman in the field of political survey research who later became a journalist and a Professor in the School of Communication, passed away earlier this month. She was a powerful force on campus who helped introduce countless students to the field of public communication and will be missed.

On a more upbeat note, AU found itself named to the Princeton Review's seventh annual "Green Ratings" and in Sierra magazine's "Coolest Schools" list. It's always good to see our alma mater on lists like these.

We're also just two short months away from All-American Weekend. As usual, there will be a variety of events for Eagles and their families, with fun for all ages.

I look forward to seeing many of you back on campus for All-American Weekend and other activities this fall. If you can't make it all the way to Washington, D.C. from wherever you live now, be sure to check out the latest activities in your local chapter -- including the newest one in Austin, TX.

- Chip

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update
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Title: New Alumni Communities - Connecting Alumni around the World
Author: Melissa Bevins ’02
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Abstract: AU has launched a new alumni chapter and recruited two new area representatives.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 08/13/2014
Content:

Eagles across the world have been busy over the past several months, working with the Office of Alumni Relations at AU to strengthen alumni communities in their cities.

In July, volunteers and staff in Austin met to share ideas and explore the feasibility of launching a new alumni chapter in Austin. With strong support from committed volunteers, the American University Austin Alumni Chapter will hold its inaugural event on Saturday, September 27. Alumni, family, and friends from across the region will gather on the grounds of the Andy Roddick Foundation for a picnic. Anyone interested in reconnecting with AU and offering suggestions for future programming is encouraged to attend. 

The chapter leadership team consists of alumni with a broad range of graduation years as well as schools and degrees. Dave Buckman, CAS/BA '94, describes himself in his student years as a fun-seeker and troublemaker, once running for student council in a stunt campaign to get alcohol back on campus. Dave's AU legacy is starting an underground improve troupe that still exists today. Alexa Loken, SIS/BA '10, runs a cause-based marketing firm in between walking her dog around Town Lake and trying as many food trucks as possible. Alexa said she is interested in supporting a chapter in Austin because, "Most alumni live on the coasts, so having a chapter in Austin will be great. We can share our DC and AU experiences together in our new 'third coast' home." 

This summer also saw the addition of two cities to the growing list of places supported by area representatives. 

Steve Meyer, SPA/BA '09, will serve as an area representative for Columbia, S.C. During his time at AU, Steve was an actively involved brother of Sigma Chi and served as the Inter-Fraternity Council's vice president of recruitment. Currently in his final year at the University of South Carolina School of Law, Steve is editor in chief of USC's Journal of Law and Education, a peer mentor, a student member of the John Belton O'Neall Inn of Court, and a volunteer Guardian ad Litem. After graduation from USC, Steve plans to take the South Carolina and Georgia bar exams and hopes to practice law in the low country.  

Faisel Irshad, SIS/BA '14, will serve as an area representative for Singapore. A Singapore native, Faisel worked for the Singapore Civil Defence Force for more than two years prior to coming to study at AU.

In addition to all these newly formed alumni communities, the office of alumni relations has been working in several other cities to identify volunteers in several key cities to broaden its reach. If you are interested in launching an alumni chapter or serving as an area representative in your area, don't hesitate to contact us at auchapters@american.edu.

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Title: American University Recognized As One Of The Greenest And “Coolest” Schools
Author: Joshua Kaplan and Ravi Raman
Subtitle:
Abstract: American University’s dedication to environmentally-friendly practices has earned it a place in The Princeton Review’s seventh annual “Green Ratings” and in Sierra magazine’s “Coolest Schools” list.
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 08/13/2014
Content:

American University's commitment to sustainability has garnered national accolades once again. The university's dedication to environmentally-friendly practices has earned it a place in The Princeton Review's seventh annual "Green Ratings" and in Sierra magazine's "Coolest Schools" list.

For the fourth consecutive year, AU attained the highest possible score on the "Green Rating's" scale of 60 to 99. Of the 861 institutions tallied for their environmental practices, policies, and academic offerings, only 24 received the highest possible score. In recognizing AU's efforts and achievements, The Princeton Review bestowed particular praise to the university's series of practical steps to equip its students in the pursuit of sustainability. AU also drew praise for being a signatory of both ACUPCC and the Talloires Declaration; its status as a STARS Charter member; the Green Teaching Certification Program; the LEED Volume Existing Building certification project; and for having the largest solar energy system in DC after the installation of more than 2,150 solar photovoltaic panels and more than 200 solar thermal panels on eleven buildings on campus.

"These honors serve as reminders that we need to continue doing what it takes to earn them," observed Chris O'Brien, AU's Director of Sustainability.

AU placed second in Sierra's eighth annual ranking of America's greenest colleges which spotlighted the university's deep commitment to protecting the environment, addressing climate issues, and encouraging environmental responsibility. AU vaulted to the second-place ranking after placing ninth last year in a field of more than 150 competing schools. Echoing The Princeton Review, Sierra also cited AU's solar photovoltaic panels as well as the student-led Adopt-A-Tree program and divestment movement as reasons for its improved ranking.

The Princeton Review is a leading test preparation and college admission services company. Additionally, it helps college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals by ranking schools on the basis of various criteria, including their green efforts.

Sierra is the official publication of the Sierra Club, America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. The Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of communities, protect wildlife, and preserve remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, go to www.sierramagazine.com.

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Title: Dotty Lynch Leaves Legacy of Political Communication
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Abstract: The SOC community is mourning Lynch, a journalist and pollster who infused students with a love of politics and the political process.
Topic: Communications
Publication Date: 08/12/2014
Content:

The School of Communication and American University are mourning the loss of Dotty Lynch, a journalist and pollster who infused students with a love of politics and the political process. Professor Lynch died Aug. 10, 2014, after a year-long battle with melanoma.

Lynch joined SOC as an Executive in Residence after a two-decade long career with CBS News.

SOC Dean Jeffrey Rutenbeck called Lynch “a giant in her field. We will miss the energy she brought to each endeavor, and the generosity with which she shared her considerable knowledge and network with both students and colleagues."

Former students and a legion of prominent media strategists, pollsters and journalists took to social media to share their shock and sadness upon hearing the news.

“Remembering Professor Lynch as the vibrant, caring, and dedicated woman we all knew,” Allison Terry, a former student, posted on Facebook.

Lynch Campaigns A small sampling of the many elections Lynch worked on, including the press pass covering her very first election in 1968 for NBC, presented as a retirement gift in May 2014.

Lynch’s professional contacts were legion, ranging from Hillary Clinton to Dan Rather to Mike Wallace, and she often used those contacts to help students understand the ins and outs of politics.

Lynch was a driving force in creating a class with other SOC faculty that offered students the opportunity to examine the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaign. As part of the class, students and faculty traveled to New Hampshire in the January cold to cover that state’s all-important primary. Lynch leveraged her extensive network to get students front-row access to debates and connect them with professional reporters and politicos on the ground.

Lynch recalled that in 2008 New York Times’ reporters were staying in the same hotel as the AU group, with a newsroom set up just like the students were using, “except ours was bigger,” Lynch said, laughing as she recalled the scene.

The experience, and Lynch herself, were influential for many students. “She continued to support, sass, and educate me well after the NH class was over,” said Meagan Shamberger.

Lynch had decided to retire at the end of the 2013-14 academic year, and she talked before her recent illness about how she got into the business of politics and how she incorporated her experiences into the classroom.

Virtual Dinner AU students at the filing center in St. Anselm's College covering the 2012 New Hampshire primary.

Lynch, who taught research methods and polling in the Public Communication Division, began her fascination with politics while watching President John F. Kennedy deliver his landmark 1963 speech calling for a nuclear test ban. Ironically, that speech was given at commencement ceremonies at American University, which became Professor Lynch’s home in 2006.

Lynch began her career in 1968, working as a researcher for the Election Unit at NBC. In 1972, she joined Cambridge Survey Research, becoming a vice president in 1976. At Cambridge, she worked on the presidential campaigns of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter as well as a number of congressional and gubernatorial campaigns.

Chris Matthews Chris Matthews, host of NBC's Hardball, was part of the speechwriting panel that kicked-off AU's 50th anniversary celebration of JFK's speech on nuclear proliferation.

It was as Director of Survey Research for the Democratic National Committee in the early 1980s that Lynch first developed the concept of a “gender gap,” showing the disparity in political behavior between men and women. She began her own firm in 1983 and was the first woman pollster in a presidential campaign. She joined CBS News as Political Editor, later being named Senior Political Editor, and worked with reporters including Lesley Stahl, Bob Schieffer, Ed Bradley, and Diane Sawyer.

Even after joining AU, Lynch remained a political consultant for CBS News doing on-air radio analysis and serving as a member of the CBS News Election Decision Desk. She said having one foot in both the academic and professional worlds made a difference in the classroom.

“I was always up to date, minute to minute,” she reflected just before her retirement, noting that while she was discussing election exit polls, her students were in the field, actually doing exit polling.

The 2012 election marked her 22nd election cycle in congressional and presidential campaigns as a professional journalist and pollster.

Lynch Clinton Lynch and her husband pose with President Bill Clinton, who received AU's inaugural Wonk of the Year award in 2012.

Lynch worked with Professor Lenny Steinhorn in SOC as well as faculty from AU’s School of Public Affairs to help launch the new master’s degree in Political Communication in 2010.

“It grew from the ground up: Communication students wanted more politics and SPA students wanted more communication,” said Lynch, who served as the program co-director with Professor Candy Nelson in SPA.

Speakers in Professor Lynch’s classes included political consultants, pollsters, media advisors and communication directors. Students heard from former Bill Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry, Mandy Grunwald, who directed media relations for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, and Obama advisor Jim Margolis.

Lynch said that she had two criteria when deciding whom to invite to class: “They need to be experts, the best in their field. And they must be ethical and have good values. Democrat, Republican – that doesn’t matter. I want people who care about more than money.”

Lynch said she wanted to let students experience what people have to say about the challenges of doing the job, for example, how to handle a crisis. Not just war stories, but educational – principles that can be applied from school board to the presidency.

“So much of American politics today is built on two essential pillars: knowing how the political system works, and appreciating the subtleties and strategies of political communication,” Lynch said.

Tags: Communication,Politics,Public Communication,Public Relations,School of Communication,Faculty,Featured News
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Title: New Adviser Announced to PPL Scholars Program
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Abstract: Lara Schwartz, professorial lecturer of government at the School of Public Affairs, has been announced as the faculty adviser for the PPL scholars program.
Topic: Government & Politics
Publication Date: 08/12/2014
Content:

Lara Schwartz, professorial lecturer of government at the School of Public Affairs, has been announced as the faculty adviser for the school's Politics, Policy, and Law (PPL) Scholars program.

Schwartz, who has worked in DC for more than a decade, will co-teach the program's Washington lab course that integrates PPL scholars into the nation's capital and informs the study of politics, policy and law.

"I'm honored to join PPL as a faculty advisor because it's more than major," Schwartz said. "It's a learning community where scholars challenge themselves and each other."

Students will meet with lawyers and policy professionals from government, nonprofit, and private organizations. The lab will also include an alternative dispute resolution training course modeled after the Harvard Mediation Program. In the spring, Schwartz will teach the PPL lab as a moot court, in which students will brief and argue an appellate case before a panel of experienced attorneys.

"As someone who has worked in politics, law, and policy in DC for most of my career and mentored dozens of young professionals in addition to teaching at AU, I'm excited to help these scholars get the most out of their classroom education and the opportunities DC has to offer," she added.

Prior to joining SPA, Schwartz served as director of strategic engagement at the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy. She also served as courts matter director at Media Matters, legal director at the Human Rights Campaign, and vice president of external affairs at the American Association of People with Disabilities. Schwartz practiced securities litigation at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom and Gilbert, Heintz, and Randolph. She also served as a law clerk to Judge Ronald Lee Gilman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

The PPL program is a rigorous three-year BA program that allows highly motivated students to experience Washington, D.C., as a laboratory for learning inside and outside of the classroom. It is designed to prepare them for successful careers in politics, policy and law.

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Title: Tobias to Analyze State Department’s OIG
Author: Will Pittinos
Subtitle:
Abstract: Bob Tobias was recently appointed to the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) Academy Panel, which will conduct an organizational analysis of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of State.
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 08/12/2014
Content:

Robert Tobias, director of the Key Executive Leadership Programs at the School of Public Affairs, will serve on a panel that will provide organizational analysis of the Department of State's Office of Inspector General (OIG).

The panel will review OIG's existing structure, provide recommendations for process improvement, and develop a roadmap for high-level implementation.  

"The panel will provide preemptive recommendations and a high-level implementation plan to the State Department Inspector General Steve Linick who is eager to successfully fulfill his statutory responsibilities," Tobias explained.

OIG contracted with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to conduct the study, led by five-member panel of academy fellows, including Tobias.

"I am honored to be a member of a NAPA panel," Tobias said, "providing advice to Inspector General Linick on how best to use his resources to achieve his important goals and objectives."

OIG provides oversight of the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to improve management, strengthen integrity and accountability, investigate and deter fraud, and ensure the most efficient, effective, and economical use of resources. This oversight extends to more than 72,000 employees, 280 missions, and other facilities worldwide.

Established in 1967 and chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) is a non-profit, independent organization of top public management and organizational leaders who tackle the nation's most critical and complex public management challenges. With a network of nearly 800 distinguished Fellows and an experienced professional staff, the Academy is uniquely qualified and trusted across government to provide objective advice and practical solutions based on systematic research and expert analysis. The Academy helps federal, state and local governments respond effectively to current circumstances and changing conditions.


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Title: Students Explore Diversity in International Affairs
Author: Giselle Lopez
Subtitle:
Abstract: This summer, Humanity in Action, an international educational organization, launched the Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship, a one-month program that brought together a group of twenty-three graduate students from across the United States and Europe.
Topic: International
Publication Date: 08/11/2014
Content:

SIS graduate students Giselle Lopez, IPCR ’14, and Kia Hall, Ph.D. candidate, were selected as inaugural Diplomacy and Diversity Fellows. We asked Giselle to share her experience with us.

This summer, Humanity in Action (HiA), an international educational organization, launched the Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship, a one-month program that brought together a group of twenty-three graduate students from across the United States and Europe to engage in a series of seminars in Washington, D.C. and Paris. The program was designed to provoke intense discussions among speakers and fellows about complex issues of diversity across a range of disciplines and encompass both domestic and international issues. 

Through the program, we met with a wide range of experts and practitioners from across the field of international affairs, including academics, diplomats, government officials, NGO representatives, and journalists. Following our seminars, we met with other fellows and members of the HiA community. 

In Washington, we began by exploring the foundations and evolution of race politics in the United States through a tour of the exhibition , “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963.” From initial discussions on slavery and the civil rights movement, we launched into seminars on the importance and experience of diversity in immigration, the professional field of international affairs, and democratization efforts. 

At renowned centers and institutions of international affairs in Washington, we discussed struggles for inclusion, efforts to prevent and respond to violent conflicts, and the role of non-state actors in international affairs. At Howard University, one of the premier Historically Black Universities in the United States, we engaged in discussions on issues including expanding diversity in the Foreign Service, the use of technology, and emerging issues in transatlantic relations. 

Following our two weeks in Washington, D.C., we traveled to Paris, France. During our time in Paris, we explored differences in European versus American perspectives. For instance, France has a policy of “color-blindness” and a constitutional article that forbids distinguishing racial and religious groups. For example, it is unlawful in France to collect data on racial and religious minorities. We had heated debates on this issue and its implications for addressing discrimination there. We also had discussions with guest speakers on new and non-traditional actors in international affairs, the role of media organizations, and the influence of European institutions in foreign policy. 

During a day trip to Brussels, Belgium, we met with members of the European Parliament and the European External Action Service to discuss transatlantic perspectives on multiculturalism and diplomacy, and we visited the Parlamentarium to learn more about the history and current events of the European Union. 

Being immersed in a diverse group of intelligent, curious, and passionate graduate students was a challenging and exhilarating experience. With such a broad range of topics, the series of seminars challenged each of us to open our minds and gain knowledge. Yet, we, too, challenged the speakers to think about their work in a new light and from other perspectives. 

This fellowship has been an opportunity to understand and grapple with issues of diversity and draw from our own diverse backgrounds to encourage a paradigm shift in how diversity is addressed in the field of international affairs.

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newsId: 292EF942-F37C-1F2A-AC74BC6FD7544763
Title: Dramatic Weight Loss a Win for AU Shuttle Bus Driver
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Abstract: Three years ago, Kevin Wyatt, an AU shuttle supervisor, had a wake-up call to make some significant changes to his lifestyle.
Topic: First Person
Publication Date: 08/08/2014
Content:

AhealthyU offers faculty and staff programs and tools to achieve their health and fitness goals including health screenings, diet and nutrition programs, and group exercise classes. It is important that you also have regular check-ups with your primary care physician to evaluate your health and make recommendations that suit your individual needs.

Three years ago, Kevin Wyatt, an AU shuttle supervisor, had a number of back-to-back personal losses that served as a wake-up call to make some significant changes to his lifestyle. In August 2011, one of Kevin's nephews died suddenly, followed by a number of close friends, all due to issues exacerbated by unhealthy lifestyles.

At 265 pounds, Kevin challenged himself and his siblings to adopt healthier lifestyles that included weight loss, a more nutritious diet, and regular exercise. Although Kevin lost 15 pounds over the next year, Kevin's doctor told him that he had borderline high blood pressure at his biannual physical in 2013. He also knew that there was room for improvement in his physical health because he got winded and experienced back pains after walking around the block at home. "That's when I became determined to change the way I ate and set out to walk at least 10,000 steps a day," explained Kevin.

Kevin joined AhealthyU's 2013 Pedometer Challenge and attended Zumba class twice a week at Jacobs Fitness Center. He set reasonable goals for himself and decided that, "No weight gain was considered a victory for me."

In the past year, Kevin has lost 45 pounds and keeps track of his weight at home every morning using his Wii Fit. He has also increased his target number of steps per day to at least 12,500 –often walking instead of riding the AU shuttle. Kevin recently completed his first 5K walk.

"I still have a weakness for Oreos and Chips Ahoy cookies and milk, but these days I limit it to one or two cookies instead of the whole row," said Kevin.

Kevin's determination to improve his health are now paying dividends. "At AhealthyU's last Wellness Fair, my blood pressure range was so good that the nurse said that it was no longer an issue. I also went from a pant-waist size of 42-44 to 36-38, and my shirts have gone from a 2XL to XL. But my greatest motivation to stay healthy is my 10-year old daughter. I would like to see her graduate from AU and plan on walking her down the aisle when she gets married."

When asked how others can adopt similarly healthy habits and achieve success, Kevin advises, "To quote the Nike slogan, 'Just Do It,' and remember, you didn't gain this weight in one day, so don't expect to lose it in one day."

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Title: Meet New SETH Professor Kathleen Holton
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Abstract: A Q&A with new SETH professor Kathleen Holton.
Topic: Education
Publication Date: 08/08/2014
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Kathleen Holton is a new assistant professor in the School of Education, Teaching, and Health.


Degrees
PhD nutrition, MPH epidemiology, and BS marketing, University of Arizona 



Areas of Research

Nutritional neuroscience, excitotoxins, fibromyalgia, ADHD, cognitive function, epidemiology


What initially sparked your interest in neurobiology?
"I initially became interested in education while teaching about health in the fitness industry in high school and college. During graduate school, I taught undergraduate nutrition courses which I absolutely loved. I knew then that I definitely wanted to work in education."


What honed your interest to your specific areas of research?
"During graduate school I became very interested in nutritional neuroscience, and more specifically, the role of dietary glutamate in neurological symptoms. My interest was sparked by anecdotal reports of people with a wide range of neurological symptoms which improved when the people removed certain additives from their diet. I began researching these food additives in depth and created a diet which limited the consumption of the additives. I have tested the diet in individuals with fibromyalgia and ADHD, with very promising results. Optimizing diet may have profound effects on the ability to learn, and may be especially crucial in those with disorders like ADHD and autism."

 

What brought you to AU?
"American University offers a unique blend of opportunities, including the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, connections to DC area schools, and a location which facilitates communication with important groups like the NIH."

 

What are you hoping to accomplish at AU?
"I am hoping to expand upon my research to identify what makes certain groups more susceptible to food additives, and the extent to which underlying nutrient content of the diet affects this risk. I am also hoping to expand my research to assess how optimizing diet affects learning."

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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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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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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
Content:

 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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