newsId: 484D7CA7-5056-AF26-BEE1BD50214D3B20
Title: Lahiri Challenges Students with Experiential Learning
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: MGMT-458 is pragmatic and applied—two attributes Lahiri believes are essential to her students’ success.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/23/2017
Content:

Professor Lahiri's Strategic Management class exemplifies experiential learning. MGMT-458 is pragmatic and applied-two attributes Lahiri believes are essential to her students' success.

"It's critical to be able to translate theory to practice," she says. "The real world demands it."

Strategic Management, which serves as undergraduate seniors' capstone experience, teaches them how to make and implement strategic business decisions. They learn to think like a general manager, which means solving complex managerial problems. "This course deals with the world of experience," Lahiri says. "It helps students develop action-oriented management skills."

The class is structured around three hands-on projects: case studies, in-class exercises and a semester-long group assignment. Each experiential method tests students' critical thinking, a goal that Lahiri says is central to the curriculum.

Her priority, though, is teaching how to manage ambiguity. She intentionally challenges students to solve open-ended and unstructured problems, because, "that's how it is in the real world. The best managers are the ones that know how to handle incomplete information," Lahiri says.

The group consulting project is the perfect exercise in obscure thinking. Student teams work with a local business to develop a situation analysis and a strategic plan, ultimately recommending new business models. Each team is expected to come up with a different solution and present their findings to the company throughout the semester.

This year's company is the German automobile manufacturer Audi. The company plans to sell their cars in new markets, and wants students' help evaluating business proposals for each segment. Lahiri will use different theoretical frameworks to help students stay organized and manage the project's ambiguous nature. "It's an excellent chance to apply what we've learned in class to a real-life situation," she says.

Harvard Business School (HBS) cases provide additional opportunities for experiential learning. Students are required to complete in-depth analyses of two HBS cases during the course. These individual analyses are crucial, Lahiri says, because students must develop sound, structured arguments. They cannot simply posit a solution-they must back it up with logic.

"At work, if you have an opinion about how something should be done, your boss is going to expect you to support it with evidence," Lahiri explains. "This is a good exercise in this."

She also challenges students with self-designed, in-class exercises. They're less formal and seamlessly integrated into the curriculum, giving students "daily doses" of real-world problems. For example, when teaching business alliances and collaborations, she's designed a game on how to find an alliance partner and structure a collaboration.

"It's easy to listen to a lecture on these concepts, but applying them is a whole other story," Lahiri says. "In-class experiential exercises like these help students absorb the material."

Lahiri is looking forward to a semester of strategic thinking, applied learning and growth. She knows the road that lies ahead isn't easy, but is confident her students can tackle MGMT-458's challenges. She's excited to shape her students' experience-one that's grounded in real-world projects, as much as in-class theory. "It's going to be a busy semester, and I can't wait to see what my students come up with," Lahiri says."

Learn more about Kogod's undergraduate programs.

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Title: Doing it for the Story: WSP Alum Ben Thomas Helps Celebrate 20 years of Local Art in DC - One Storyteller at a Time
Author: Kelly Kimball
Subtitle:
Abstract: WSP Alum Ben Thomas is helping celebrate 20 years at DC-based Story District and 70 years with the Washington Semester Program. Here's his story.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 09/22/2017
Content:

If you were to ask Washington Semester Program alum Ben Thomas to tell you a great story, he'll likely tell you about the time he got a live cheetah into the U.S. Capitol Building, or the time he walked 500 miles in borrowed underwear, or the night he spent on Stonewall Jackson's grave.

At least, that's what his staff bio on Story District's website professes.

"At the core of storytelling," he explains, "is the chance for an individual to reflect on their own experience and share it in a way that distills it down to its universal themes." Ben Thomas, now the Marketing & Communications Coordinator for a local arts organization known as Story District, credits WSP for offering a much-needed foothold in Washington. That foothold granted him the skills and confidence to step into the working world.

Ben participated in the Washington Semester Program in the Fall of 2006 and took the Foreign Policy concentration taught by Professor Christian Maisch. From the get-go, Ben arrived with strong interests in community-building and applied it to a marketing and communications internship at the Inter-American Foundation. He worked under a program officer to write communication briefs and develop business support for communities in Latin America. After WSP, Ben went on to work for Barack Obama's 2008 political campaign, where he consequently fell in love with DC's local art scene and realized his interest in developing events centered on art-making.

"I realized I didn't necessarily like the front lines [of politics] and preferred organizing, putting together, and working with people to create big events," explains Ben. What brought him to making the jump and joining Story District's team was due to their values of "creating a venue for diverse voices to get on stage and tell true stories about their lives. [Our storytellers] are everyday folks...who have a creative outlook and want to share with a group of people who foster compassion and connection."

With a 20th Anniversary celebration at the Lincoln Theater just around the corner, Ben and his team members at Story District hope that this commemorative event will offer audience members "an understanding and appreciation of this local arts organization. [I hope] they know that we've been here [and that] we've bootstrapped our way through these 20 years to make a lasting impact on our storytellers and our audiences."

When it comes to making one's own foothold in Washington, Ben recommends that students " connect with work colleagues at your internship at a meaningful level, and contribute as much as you can." Indeed, while partaking in the Foreign Policy concentration, Ben was encouraged by Professor Christian Maisch to make those meaningful connections with folks at the Inter-American Development Bank, an organization that Professor Maisch himself used to work. Similar to his internship position he had at the Inter-American Foundation, "there is certainly a community development aspect to what I do now," he explains.

In an international and multicultural hub like Washington DC, living, learning, and interning here as a student is an unmatched opportunity. For Ben, such an opportunity brought it him to love the concept of sharing and listening to diverse individuals stories. In the case of Story District's 20th Anniversary performance, it's "a chance for our audience members to step outside of themselves, and it's a chance for our storytellers to present their experience in a really real and honest way."

"[At Story District], we're entertainers first," Ben continues. "Maybe they'll laugh, maybe they'll cry; but at the end, event-goers hopefully will have spent their night well."

--

Whether it be through its accredited certificates for working professionals or through its mentorship and internship programs for undergraduates, the School of Professional & Extended Studies (SPExS) provides world-class experiential learning for individuals across all stages of their career. To learn more about how the programs at SPExS can help students enhance practical skillsets at critical junctures in their careers, visit our website at http://www.american.edu/spexs/.

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Title: Megan Brew Joins KCCD
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: Kogod’s Career Center is on the up and up. Meet one of their new staff members who’s shaking things up.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/22/2017
Content:

This Fall, Kogod's Center for Career Development hired two new undergraduate career advisors: Megan Brew and Annie Yu (yes, their names rhyme!) We sat down with each of them to welcome them to Kogod, and get a better sense of their background and experience.

Megan comes to us from the University of Virginia, where she worked as a graduate intern with UVA's Career Center. At UVA, she developed mentorship connections for students interested in working internationally, while earning her master's in Higher Education Administration. She's also worked as Director of Operations for Armed Services Arts Partnership, and holds a bachelor's in business administration from the College of William and Mary.

Learn more about Megan below; click here to read about Annie.

Kogod School of Business: You have a master's degree in Higher Education Administration. What inspired you to pursue this path?

Megan Brew: I absolutely loved my experience as an undergrad at William & Mary. The summer after my freshman year I spent some time reflecting on potential internships for future summers. When considering future areas of professional interest, I kept coming back to one topic: my love for William & Mary. Knowing I could only stay on-campus as a student for four years, I quickly discovered that full-time professionals run the ship. I started learning more by asking questions of my mentors at the college and realized that a career in higher education could be my true calling.

KSB: You both also have a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. In what ways does this connect to what you're doing now?

MB: Earning my degree in Business Administration adds a level of connection with Kogod students. I took similar classes to those offered at Kogod when I was an undergrad, so I can relate when I have conversations with students about their coursework and future career aspirations.

KSB: Is there a professional experience or accomplishment that you're particularly proud of?

MB: I collaborated with two of my team members at UVA to structure an international mentorship program. Undergrads connected with alumni working internationally to learn the ins and outs of applying for jobs in other countries and building their networks abroad. Understanding the international focus within Kogod, I'd love to design something similar for students here.

KSB: Why did you choose career advising as your career path?

MB: I absolutely love working with people and strive to meet and engage as much as I can. (Can you tell I'm an extrovert?)

I derive great joy from hearing people's stories and, oftentimes, their career influences their path immensely. I saw career advising as an incredible opportunity to listen to students and coach them to reaching their goals.

KSB: What are you most looking forward to in your new role as a KCCD career advisor for undergraduate students?

MB: I'm looking forward to building new programs for students. I am particularly passionate about experiential learning and am hopeful to work with our employer relations team to plan professional treks around DC where students can learn more from professionals in desired fields (and right in their backyard!)

KSB: What attracted to you to Kogod specifically?

MB: When I applied for the role of Career Management Advisor, I took time to review the Kogod website and talk to a few students and professionals already in the building. From my various points of research, I particularly loved the interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum at Kogod. I appreciate how the Business School leverages the location near the capital to give students the best of both worlds: a valuable business education in an ecosystem of government and politics.

KSB: What do you hope to accomplish working at Kogod?

MB: I hope to build long-lasting relationships with students. I'm looking forward to connecting with students throughout their four years at AU and watching them progress into young adulthood. I can't wait to see all that the talented group of students at Kogod can accomplish personally and professionally in the coming years.

KSB: Anything else you'd like to add?

MB: I'm just excited to be here!

Interested in Kogod’s Center for Career Development? Learn more here.

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Title: American University Honored for Leadership in Sexual Assault Prevention Education
Author: Kelly Alexander
Subtitle:
Abstract: American University has been awarded the Prevention Excellence Award by EVERFI, Inc. for efforts to prevent sexual assault.
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 09/19/2017
Content:

American University has been awarded the Prevention Excellence Award by EVERFI, Inc., the nation’s leading education technology innovators. AU is among five universities in the U.S. to receive this high designation for its commitment to adopting the highest standards in sexual assault prevention education. AU’s campus leadership and community is dedicating a day to focusing on the work of sexual assault prevention education. The AU Community will gather on Monday, September 25—joined by President Sylvia Burwell—to celebrate the award, review the award-winning strategies, and discuss future initiatives that will help the university to remain an example of excellence in this area of education. The recognition ceremony will highlight some of the achievements and results of AU’s prevention efforts and will be followed by an invitation-only meeting of the AU Sexual Assault Working Group (SAWG). The event is from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. in Constitution Hall on East Campus (Rooms 1-3) with a reception immediately following the presentations.

Colleges and universities that have joined the Campus Prevention Network are eligible for consideration to receive the award through completing the Sexual Assault Diagnostic Inventory (SADI)—a comprehensive research-based assessment of a school’s prevention programs and practices grounded in a decade of peer-reviewed literature on best practices in prevention. American University joined the Campus Prevention Network in 2015. Awardees were selected based on their SADI scores, Campus Prevention Network staff interviews with campus professionals and a careful review of each institution’s effort.

“The commitment of the campus leadership, staff and students to the work of sexual assault prevention education is unwavering and energizing,’ said Assistant Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Students Rob Hradsky. “We are honored to receive this recognition and remain focused on this important work,” continued Hradsky who also chairs SAWG.

The Sexual Assault Working Group

The Sexual Assault Working Group (SAWG) is charged with reviewing the university’s efforts on issues of interpersonal and sexual violence, including sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking. SAWG is comprised of a Steering Committee of 40 faculty, staff and students, and five subcommittees with both Steering Committee members and members of the broader AU community. The subcommittees include: student advocacy and support, campus awareness and education, university policies and procedures, outreach and communications, and assessment. SAWG met weekly in 2016-17 and accomplished the following:

  • Conducted a comprehensive review of the current investigative and adjudication processes involving Title IX complaints with a focus on equity, fairness, and impact on students as it relates to trauma and distress.
  • Developed, reviewed and solicited critical feedback on a “Single Investigator” concept model; developed adjudication flowchart and proposed revisions to the Student Conduct Code.
  • Developed a proposal for a Respondent Support Program to ensure equitable treatment in the resolution of Title IX complaints.
  • Revamped and launched assessments for Empower AU and Step Up (including a pre-test, post-test and six-week follow-up survey).
  • Analyzed and disseminated data from Empower AU and Step Up assessments, and created an Empower AU infographic.
  • Held two town hall-style meetings: Fall 2016 Town Hall on data from the 2015 Palmer survey and Empower AU;
  • Spring 2017 “Title IX and Tacos” event to introduce proposed investigative model and to solicit feedback on campus prevention efforts.
  • Revised Palmer survey instrument; streamlined and launched spring 2017 administration.
  • Created “Coffee Talk” series to provide informal mechanism for students to connect with administrators around Title IX policies, procedures and supports.
  • Developed and delivered targeted training for the ROTC population in Washington, DC.
  • Researched Restorative Justice approaches to Title IX; attended conference on best practices in Restorative Justice.
  • Introduced the SAWG Awards to recognize the significant commitments of AU community members in preventing and responding to issues of interpersonal and sexual violence.
  • Relaunched the It’s On Us campaign including awareness posters and campaign video.
  • Developed the OCHO campaign to highlight confidential resources on campus.

    “With so much recent emphasis on the shortcomings in campus prevention and response efforts, EVERFI aims to shift the narrative by highlighting campuses doing exemplary work,” said Rob Buelow, EVERFI Vice President of Prevention Education. “The Prevention Excellence Awards give us the opportunity to share and celebrate the tremendous commitment these institutions are making and continue to make in comprehensive, data-driven, evidence-based, and researched informed prevention efforts to build communities that encourage students to thrive.”

    Of the eighty-nine colleges and universities that have completed the SADI, fewer than ten percent earned the distinction of being a Prevention Excellence Award honoree. Buelow further noted, “The Prevention Excellence Awards are particularly special because we do not ask schools to compete against each other, but rather to commit to doing the best work possible in the core areas of institutionalization, critical processes and policies, and programming, and to measure themselves against the highest standards in the field.”

    The Campus Prevention Network and EVERFI

    The Campus Prevention Network, is a nationwide initiative of over 1,700 institutions dedicated to creating safer, healthier campus communities. Any college or university may join CPN free of charge by agreeing to take a pledge to adopt the highest standards of prevention related to critical health and safety challenges, including sexual assault and alcohol abuse, and to assess the progress and impact of their efforts. Through the Campus Prevention Network, colleges and universities will have access to prevention best practices, regulatory compliance expertise, ongoing professional development, and groundbreaking prevention research. Campuses can join the network and take the pledge. EVERFI, Inc. is the education technology innovator that empowers K-12, higher education, and adult learners with the skills needed to be successful in life. The company teams with major corporations and foundations to provide the programs at no cost to K-12 schools. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. Learn more at everfi.com.

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Title: Jennifer LaFleur Joins American University as Data Journalist-in-Residence
Author: Lynne Perri
Subtitle:
Abstract: Jennifer LaFleur joins the Investigative Reporting Workshop as its new data editor and the School of Communication at American University as a data journalist-in-residence today.
Topic: Communications
Publication Date: 09/19/2017
Content:

Jennifer LaFleur joins the Investigative Reporting Workshop as a its new data editor and the School of Communication at American University as a data journalist-in-residence today.

LaFleur was previously senior editor for data journalism for the award-winning Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, which she joined in 2013, and where she worked as a senior editor, managing news apps developers, data reporters, investigative reporters and fellows. She also contributed to or edited dozens of major projects while at Reveal.

Jennifer LaFleur

"Jennifer LaFleur is one of the preeminent data journalists in the world," says Chuck Lewis, executive editor at the Workshop. "We are delighted she is joining us at the Investigative Reporting Workshop and the American University School of Communication."

LaFleur is also the former director of computer-assisted reporting at ProPublica and has held similar roles at The Dallas Morning News, the San Jose Mercury News, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was also the first training director for Investigative Reporters and Editors.

She has won numerous journalism awards, including for her coverage of disability, legal and open government issues, and spoken to and trained hundreds of journalists around the world for roughly a quarter century. She was part of a team of journalists that won the very prestigious Phil Meyer Award (in 2013) and her work and projects won Third Place honors in the Phil Meyer Award competitions in 2011 and 2012. With the late David Donald and other preeminent data journalists, she has been a data journalism trainer in London at the Center for Investigative Journalism Summer School conferences, and in numerous Global Investigative Journalism Network and other conferences in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

LaFleur has a master's from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and an undergraduate degree in computer science and journalism from Benedictine College. She will teach data journalism at American University and develop and lead data journalism at the Workshop.

"I'm thrilled to join American and IRW. I get to work with journalists I have long admired, work on important investigations that make a difference and teach the next generation of journalists," says LaFleur. 

This story first appeared on the Investigative Reporting Workshop website.

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Title: Humanities Lectures 2017
Author: Humanities Lab's fall 2017 lectures
Subtitle:
Abstract: Professor Arthur Shapiro kicks off the first in a series of Humanities Lab lectures this Wednesday, September 20, at 1 p.m. at 228 Battele-Tompkins. He will explore the difference between what we see and how we understand and interpret what we see.
Topic: Humanities
Publication Date: 09/19/2017
Content:

Professor Arthur Shapiro kicks off the first in a series of Humanities Lab lectures this Wednesday, September 20, at 1 p.m. at 228 Battele-Tompkins. He will explore the difference between what we see and how we understand and interpret what we see, by using examples from his current laboratory research and award-winning visual illusions.

"Illusions fascinate people because they create a conflict between perception and reality," says Shapiro, professor of psychology and computer science. His work explains the complex workings of visual illusions such as the Duck-Rabbit illusion. It is an image that people see and interpret differently, sometimes seeing the rabbit, sometimes the duck, sometimes both at the same time. Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein used this image to describe the problem of perception as "seeing that" (It's a rabbit) and "seeing as" (I see this picture as a rabbit). Shapiro's work reveals the complex ways in which eye and brain processes negotiate this difference between "seeing that" and "seeing as."

Shapiro is a vision scientist and an internationally acclaimed creator of visual illusions. His illusions have won more awards in the Neural Correlate Society's "Best Visual Illusion of the Year" contest. The National Geographic show Brain Games has featured several of Shapiro's illusions.

The event is the first in a series of four lectures this semester sponsored and organized by American University's Humanities Lab. This event is free and open to the public. Students are especially welcome. Guests are invited for lunch: refreshments will be served at 12:45 p.m.

 

The Lecture Series

The Humanities Lab's lecture theme for the year is Revolutions: Culture, Technology, Politics. Two historical events anchor the series: the 100 years of the Russian revolution in October 1917, and the 200 years of the publication of Frankenstein in January 1818. The lectures all involve bodies, technology, technological bodies, revolution, perception, and art.  

 

Revolutionizing Perception
Professor Arthur Shapiro
Departments of Psychology and Computer Science, American University
Wednesday September 20, 2017, 1 p.m., refreshments at 12:45 p.m.
228 Battele-Tompkins


Body Modern: Fritz Kahn, Medical Illustration and the Visual Rhetoric of Modernity 1915-1960 
Michael Sappol
Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala University
Wednesday October 4, 2017, 1 p.m., refreshments at 12:45 p.m.
228 Battele-Tompkins

 

100 Years Ago Today: The Russian Revolution
Eric Lohr
Department of History, American University
Wednesday October 25, 2017, 1 p.m., refreshments at 12:45 p.m.
228 Battele-Tompkins

 

Black Joy and Resistance: Black Feminist Discourse Online
Catherine Knight Steele
Department of Communication, University of Maryland
Wednesday November 8, 2017, 1 p.m., refreshments at 12:45 p.m.
228 Battele-Tompkins

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Title: A Foundation for Success
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle: Kevin Matthews, MST ’17, shares how Kogod propelled him forward
Abstract: Matthews says the program is the reason why he finally started his own company, Beta Solutions CPA. “It wouldn’t have happened without Kogod’s help,” he says.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/19/2017
Content:

Kevin Matthews, MST '17, doesn't have a lot of time these days. He's running his own company based in Reston, VA. He's an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland University College. And he's finishing a doctorate in human and organizational learning.

What's his secret? "I'm passionate about what I do," he says. "Every day is a different challenge. I love it."

He wholeheartedly credits Kogod's MS Taxation program with giving him the skills he needed to excel. The program bolstered his confidence, he says, and motivated him to take the next step in his career. "I finished my MST saying 'I know I can do this'."

The MS in Taxation, a 30 credit hour part-time or full-time program, develops students' competencies in the federal and state tax codes. It's perfect for business managers and accountants alike, offering an in-depth dive into one of the business world's key sectors.

"Our graduates work in some of the largest professional service firms in the world, lead the tax function for large corporations and have their own businesses, such as Kevin's. The variety of careers paths is limitless," says Don Williamson, Director of the MS Taxation program.

Matthews says the program is the reason why he finally started his own company, Beta Solutions CPA. His MST classes bridged the gap between what he knew and needed to know, and strengthened his resolve. "It wouldn't have happened without Kogod's help," he says.

Matthews founded Beta Solutions CPA, a consulting firm that does tax preparation, assurance services, compensation counseling and more, in October 2016. His goal was to have 50 clients at the end of his first year. He has 120. "It's my greatest professional accomplishment," he says.

He notes the program's emphasis on problem-solving is what's helped him the most. His classes were not about crunching numbers, he says. They were about learning to approach problems creatively, and developing the research skills necessary to do so.

"Our Graduate Tax Program fosters clear, concise, critical and creative thinking, while developing the technical skills that employers look for," Williamson says.

Before starting his business, Matthews served in the US Navy for ten years, where he also completed service members' taxes on a volunteer basis. He then worked for a number of CPA firms upon leaving the military, where he realized he still had a lot to learn.

This drove him to AU's Kogod School of Business, who boasts the only MST program of its kind in the area. "After speaking with Don [Williamson], I knew I had to come here," Matthews says. "He was very passionate and encouraged me to follow my dreams."

In the future, Matthews hopes to transition to the business management side of business ownership. Though he won't be working directly with clients on their taxes, he believes his MST has given him "the expert knowledge I need to excel." That, in combination with his doctorate work and experience in the Navy, provide a solid foundation for success.

"My time at Kogod got me to where I am here today," says Matthews. "I'd refer anyone to the program in a heartbeat."

Learn more about Kogod's MST program today.

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Title: Ask the Expert: Professor Ernesto Castañeda Discusses the Latest on DACA
Author: Patty Housman
Subtitle:
Abstract: We asked Professor Castañeda to weigh in on DACA: what does it mean, what might happen next, and what he wishes would happen in terms of immigration reform.
Topic: Government & Politics
Publication Date: 09/19/2017
Content:

Ernesto Castañeda is an assistant professor of sociology at American University and the editor of Immigration and Categorical Inequality: Migration to the City and the Birth of Race and Ethnicity, a new book that gives insight into the rise of nativism in the United States and beyond.

We asked Professor Castañeda to weigh in on DACA: what does it mean, what might happen next, and what he wishes would happen in terms of immigration reform. 


What does Trump's pledge to end DACA mean for the 800,000 people known as DREAMers?

For the people currently under DACA, the termination of this program means a return to an undocumented status and the daily fear of deportation and separation from family members, friends, coworkers, and the lives they have built living in America for most of their lives.

This fear is multiplied, given that they have given their addresses and personal information to the US government. DACA created avenues for thousands of people to come out of the shadows, speak publicly about their undocumented status, attend college, stay in the military, work in the mainstream economy and apply their skills, buy houses, etc. Like the termination of Temporary Protection Status for Haitians and Central Americans, the end of the DACA could mean a return to a country they no longer know, a return to a clandestine life, the informal economy, or a detention center.

Of course, nothing would change if the budget of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was cut and people engaged in civil disobedience, or if the DREAM Act passed. 

 

At this point, do you believe Congress will act to give the DREAMers legal status or a pathway to citizenship?

A majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing DREAMers and fixing America's immigration system. To the point that we want to live in a true representative democracy, we must put pressure on our representatives to pass legislation that gives DREAMers citizenship, and provide a path to citizenship for the rest of people living in the country in a an undocumented status. For the very small percentage of people with a criminal record, the legal system can deal with them the way it deals with US-born criminals.

While it is unfortunate that DACA may end soon, and many youth will be back in limbo and experiencing intense anxiety because of that decision, there is an opportunity to push for a bipartisan bill to address immigration reform and create a pathway for citizenship for both the dreamers, their parents, and other undocumented immigrants. 

 

What would good immigration reform look like to you, for the DREAMers and other undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States?

I believe that America deserves comprehensive immigration reform, and a truly comprehensive immigration reform would:

-Give a blanket amnesty to everyone in the United States as of the day that the bill passes.

-Require applicants to keep paying taxes and pay back taxes in case they have not done so.

-Provide social security numbers and match new accounts with previous contributions made.

-Secure the border by increasing the checks of people leaving the country to reduce the numbers of guns being illegally smuggled into Mexico.

-Increase patrolling of unpopulated areas to secure that less people die of dehydration while walking through the desert for days.

-Keep the family reunification provision currently in law, while providing more resources for paperwork processing to decrease waiting times.

-Adjust current immigration quotas to allow more highly qualified workers, as well as agricultural workers, to come to the US with work visas.

-Adjust the current country-specific immigration visa quotas to reflect communities already in the United States and the populations of those countries.

-Have no racial, religious, or economic preferences in the immigrant VISA process.

-Increase or remove the refugee ceiling.

Only by taking on these number of issues simultaneously will we fix the problem of having undocumented people in the United States now and avoid a future population in such status in the future.

This wish list may same unrealistic to some. But the only thing needed is political will to overcome the opposition from a loud but small anti-immigrant minority. Only comprehensive immigration reform would provide a long-lasting solution to the broken immigration system by creating a path for future workers to come with working visas and thus eliminate the need to be undocumented.


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Title: Fast Facts on the Class of 2021
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Subtitle:
Abstract: Learn more about the newest American University students.
Topic: Student Life
Publication Date: 09/18/2017
Content:

As first-year students get settled into campus life, here’s a snapshot of the new class.

By-the-Numbers

Showing tough competition, just 29 percent of student applicants were admitted to this year’s class. That’s only the second time in American University history that the admit rate was below 30 percent.

Average GPA: 3.64.

Average SAT score: 1260.

Average ACT score: 28.

First-year students hail from 45 states (plus Puerto Rico). The top four states represented are New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and California.

Female: 64 percent. Male: 36 percent.

Hispanic: 15 percent. Asian American/Pacific Islander: 10 percent. Black/African American: 9 percent. Total underrepresented minorities (Native American, Black, Hispanic, and Multiracial): 25 percent. International: 4 percent. Excluding the U.S., there are 54 nationalities represented.

*Editor’s Note: These numbers are taken from May enrollment deposits. Updated numbers based on official enrollment this semester are not yet available.

Then and Now

The typical AU first-year student was born in 1999. Here’s a look at news and what was popular—the term “trending” wasn’t used in the internet stone age—that year. For sake of comparison, we’ve got an update on 2016–2017.

1999: After the House drafted articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, the Senate acquitted him in February 1999.

Now: Hillary Clinton lost a bitterly contested presidential election, and she’s just starting a much-publicized book tour promoting What Happened.

1999: On Larry King Live, Donald Trump announced his presidential exploratory committee to run for president as a Reform Party candidate in 2000. He polled poorly and withdrew his bid.

Now: Donald Trump is president.

1999: Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace was the highest grossing film that year.

Now: Star Wars remains incredibly relevant. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was one of the biggest moneymakers in 2016, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi is due out in December 2017.

1999: The Backstreet Boys’ album Millennium was the biggest selling album of the year.

Now: Drake’s album Views—when factoring in hard copy sales, downloads, and streaming—was the number one album in 2016.

1999: The first episode of The Sopranos aired in January on HBO, spurring a “Golden Age of Television” and challenging network TV.

Now: HBO’s Game of Thrones is a pop culture phenomenon in 2017.

1999: Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam title, defeating Martina Hingis in the US Open Women’s Singles final.

Now: Serena Williams won the Australian Open in 2017, marking her record-setting 23rd Grand Slam victory.

1999: Sports legends Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky retired. Jordan would return in 2001.

Now: NBA stars Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett all retired in 2016.

1999: Former Pro Wrestler Jesse Ventura became governor of Minnesota.

Now: Rapper-singer Kid Rock is considering a run for the US Senate in Michigan.

1999: Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos was named Time magazine’s Man of the Year.

Now: Bezos owns The Washington Post. Amazon continues its vast expansion, announcing plans to acquire Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.4 billion.

1999: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 10,000 mark for the first time.

Now: The Dow Jones hit 22,000 in August 2017.

1999: The euro was established as a nonphysical currency in January.

Now: The euro is the common currency for 19 of 28 European Union countries.

1999: Discovery became the first space shuttle to dock at the International Space Station.

Now: This month, Expedition 53 launched a mission to ISS, where crew members are expected to conduct experiments in biology, biotechnology, Earth science, and physical science.

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Title: Partnering for Success
Author: Raheem Dawodu Jr.
Subtitle: The Market, AU’s Food Pantry, Aims to End Food Insecurity for AU Students
Abstract: American University opens The Market with the hopes of ending student hunger for AU students.
Topic: Announcement
Publication Date: 09/18/2017
Content:

Imagine you are seated in class. You are engrossed in your professor's lecture and taking notes to prepare for a paper, a mid-term, and a final. Imagine that work multiplied by several classes. Then add on co-curricular activities with your student organization or an internship downtown. Imagine all of that while being unsure of where your next meal will come from. That could be the reality of someone sitting next to you in class.

According to a December 2016 survey of 700 AU students conducted by Emily Dalgo, CAS-SIS '17, 44% of AU students at some point have dealt with food insecurity - the lack of reliable access to sufficient qualities of affordable, nutritious food. Another 59% of AU students were aware of another student who did not have enough food. This aligns with a national survey data reporting that 48% of students surveyed at colleges and universities across the U.S. did not have enough food in the prior 30 days.

"I wanted to take action to try to change the conversation and help students who have struggled with food insecurity feel heard and understood," Dalgo said.

One person who studied the survey closely was Vice of President of Campus Life Fanta Aw. "During my time in Campus Life, I met with students who struggled to afford food," she said. "I was particularly struck by the lived experience of a transfer student from the West Coast who worked 35 hours a week, while taking a full course load, who was put in the position of choosing between purchasing books and having decent meals." Aw and several departments under the Office of Campus Life umbrella helped individual students with their food crises in the past, but this instance struck a strong cord with her.

"Listening to the student and seeing the impact this was having both emotionally and physically, I understood then and there that I could no longer be silent and had to act," Aw said.

The Market

Aw and Dalgo collaborated to determine what AU could do to end student hunger on campus. They researched and consulted other colleges and universities. Through those talks, research, and observations, The Market, AU's food pantry, was born. The Market's objective is to prevent any student from having to skip meals and go hungry because they cannot afford enough to eat.

"Working with Dr. Aw was such a positive experience," Dalgo said. "She truly became a friend and mentor in my final semester at AU; we would meet at least once a month to talk about the pantry and to update each other on the steps we had taken since we had last spoken."

"Student hunger can be a barrier to learning, and we wanted to remove that obstacle for our students," Aw said. She took great care in envisioning every aspect of The Market, from maintaining the privacy of the students who access it, to partnerships across campus and the D.C. region, to even the name itself.

"The name 'The Market' is inspired by the fact that we want to be sure that those who use the food pantry are able to preserve fully their dignity. We want to mirror the experience of going to a market," Aw said.



Tony Hollinger

The Market opened on Sept. 5, launched by Tony Hollinger, Director of Student Engagement & Diversity Initiatives for the Office of Campus Life. Hollinger will oversee the pantry and will be engaging student staff and volunteers to make it a truly student-focused effort.

"The Market is one of the most important and gratifying projects I've been involved with," Hollinger said. He has been busy managing a unique coalition of campus partners internally, and securing food externally from vendors and community partners like The Capital Area Food Bank. Hollinger also rolled up his sleeves to physically prepare and stock the pantry. "It gave me a good chance to get a workout," Hollinger said with a smile.

Only the Beginning

AU students are committed to engaging with and mobilizing around important issues and concerns. Sometimes these causes reside outside the institution, and sometimes they are in support of the person sitting next to you. The Market is a unique opportunity for Eagles to help fellow Eagles succeed.

Bringing key stakeholders from different parts of the AU community together to realize The Market is something that cannot be understated. "What is gratifying and unique about The Market is that it is reflective of us at our best as an institution-working together to find solutions," Aw said. Despite the successful launch of The Market, Aw does acknowledge that there is still more work that needs to be done to end student hunger at AU.

"The Market is one aspect of a larger issue related to food insecurity. It is a first step. We look forward to working in partnership with faculty and programs that are engaged in research and identifying systemic solutions to the problem of food insecurity in communities," Aw said.

One person that is happy about this first step is Dalgo. "I'm incredibly happy that the food pantry came to fruition and is now open to students. It has been remarkable to see how quickly AU came together to make this need a reality," she said.

"When I first decided to launch my survey, this is exactly what I hoped for-the opening of a necessary resource on campus for students in need. I'm humbled to have played a part in a project that has involved so many resourceful and compassionate minds," Dalgo said.

AU community members are encouraged to help those in need connect with the food pantry. The Market is open daily between 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., and is located in Letts Lower Level, Room 2. Any AU student may request access by filling out an online form. Access is granted within 48 hours, and students can enter the space using their One Card. If you have any questions, please email TheMarket@american.edu.

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Title: New Book Highlights Stories Behind Most Significant Legal Rulings in Europe
Author:
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Abstract: A new book written by SPA Professor Bill Davies and AU Law Professor Fernanda Nicola highlights some of the most significant EU rulings ever made.
Topic: Research
Publication Date: 09/18/2017
Content:

Monopoly over a trade, constitutional power, and landowner disputes. These are just a few of the landmark court cases that changed the course of legal history in Europe. Now, in a new book written by SPA Professor Bill Davies and AU Law Professor Fernanda Nicola, you can read some of the most significant EU rulings ever made.

The book, "EU Law Stories: Contextual and Critical Histories of European Jurisprudence" was published by Cambridge University Press in June. More than 30 historians, political scientists, international relations experts and lawyers contributed to the 656-page volume, which analyzes some of the most significant rulings made by the Court of Justice of the European Union. The chapters include stories from cases affecting civil rights, democracy, economics and external relations.

EU Law Stories book coverIn writing the book, Davies, who is originally from the United Kingdom, and Nicola, who is from Italy, used their understanding of Europe and applied their insight from the American system of justice. The book aims to retell stories in an accessible way, adding "color and texture" to the cases, to appeal to a broad audience from academic researchers to students, says Davies.

"We thought it was important to look at cases in a more contextual way to see what was really going on behind the scenes," says Davies, an associate professor in their School of Public Affairs.

Nicola is director of the Program on International Organizations Law and Diplomacy at Washington College of Law. The authors came into the book project - which took three years to write - from different perspectives.

"Once we found each other on campus, we would talk about the exact same cases but in completely different ways," says Davies. "I was interested in the history of the case, where she was interested in the precedent of the case law or the reasoning."

The result of the interdisciplinary approach was a deeper look at the evolution of EU law through a collection of famous and not-so-famous cases, says Davies.

The co-authors presented their research at Law and Society in Minneapolis in 2015, EUSA in Philadelphia in 2016, and European University Institute in Florence 2017. They will host a book launch on campus this fall, and will travel to Luxembourg to share their work at the European Court of Justice.



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Title: American University Earns First ENERGY STAR Certification
Author:
Subtitle:
Abstract: Battelle-Tompkins Building recognized by EPA for “Superior Energy Efficiency”
Topic: Environment
Publication Date: 09/16/2017
Content:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded American University recently with its first ENERGY STAR certification for the Battelle Tompkins building. The EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification recognizes buildings that have reduced greenhouse gas emissions through commitments to use more energy-efficient products and implement energy savings practices.

Battelle-Tompkins received an ENERGY STAR score of 84, ranking it in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide in its energy practice and efficiency. Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. According to the EPA, 75 percent of greenhouse gases in Washington, DC come from buildings.

AU improved its energy performance in Batelle-Tompkins by managing its energy-related practices and reporting the collected data in the Portfolio Manager tool provided by the EPA. Portfolio Manager benchmarks each building on campus and tracks usage and energy-related costs. AU also purchased ENERGY STAR or energy-efficient products. Additionally, the Facilities Management Department addressed energy usage by educating and engaging staff and students on methods of curtailment and other energy-saving initiatives, and by improving maintenance practices.

Washington, DC currently leads the nation with 480 ENERGY STAR-certified buildings. The buildings include offices, banks, hospitals, schools, resident halls, and more. ENERGY STAR products and facilities have proven to be more energy efficient, lower the cost for facilities, and help to protect the environment by lowering the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted every year.

According to the EPA, during the past 20 years, homes and businesses have saved more than $200 billion on utility bills. Additionally, more than 1.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions have been prevented. The Energy and Engineering team is committed to the university’s goals of becoming carbon neutral by 2020, reducing greenhouse gases emissions, and continuing to identify opportunities to achieve certifications such as ENERGY STAR.

For more information about how you can get involved with saving energy, contact the Energy Team at energyteam@american.edu or through the website at american.edu/energy.

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Title: September is Hispanic Heritage Month
Author:
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Abstract: September 15th marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, which first began as a week-long celebration in 1968. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, check out these titles from our collection!
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 09/15/2017
Content:

September 15th marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, which first began as a week-long celebration in 1968. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded the week to a month to celebrate the history, culture, and contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx community. Additionally, several Latin American Countries celebrate their independence during this time including Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Mexico. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, check out these titles from our collection!

The Witch of Porobello by Brazilian author Pailo Coelho tells the story of a mysterious woman named Athena, from the vantage point of those closest to her. Coelho is also the author of the best-selling book The Alchemist.

Harvest of Empire: History of Latinos in America by Puerto Rican author and journalist Juan Gonzalez spans 500 years and takes a deeper look into the political and social conditions that lead to the immigrations of several real-life families. The book also examines how Latinos have helped re-shape American culture. Harvest of Empire was also turned into a feature-length documentary in 2012.

Reportero directed by Bernardo Ruiz follows reporters at Tijuana based newspaper Zeta, as they cover drug cartels and corrupt government officials during a time when violence plagued journalists in Mexico.

Quest for a Homeland is part one of a four-part docuseries Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement. Based off the eponymous book written by F.Arturo Rosales, Quest for a Homeland examines the beginning of the land grant movement and profiles activist Reies Lopez Tijerina.

Amor Prohibido is the fourth studio album by the late singer Selena. Released in 1994, the album spent 97 weeks at number one on the Billboard Regional Mexican Charts. The album was also the first Tejado record to hit number one on the U.S. Latin Billboard Charts.

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Title: Alumni Board Seeks New Members
Author:
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Abstract: Interested in helping make key decisions about programming and outreach to fellow Eagles? Apply for the Alumni Board!
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 09/15/2017
Content:

Looking for ways to reconnect with your alma mater? Interested in helping make key decisions about programming and outreach? The American University Alumni Board is accepting applications for its 2018-2020 term. All AU graduates are encouraged to apply. 

Here are the details:

• Each term of office lasts two years, and each member can serve up to two consecutive terms.

• Board members must attend four meetings in DC per year, and serve both as stewards to and for the general alumni body.  

• Members are expected to represent the board at AU alumni events, positively promote the university, and financially contribute to the university with a gift of at least $1,000 per year.

Joining the Alumni Board is an excellent way to hone your leadership skills, help shape the future of AU, and most importantly, give back to the university. While the nominations process for the board is extremely competitive, membership is very rewarding. Members play an active role in guiding the efforts and initiatives of the Office of Alumni Relations and serve as regional, national, and international AU ambassadors.

A nominations committee reviews applications, presenting a slate of nominees to board president Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA ’08, for approval and appointment. New board members will assume their responsibilities in January 2018, following a welcome celebration. 

To nominate yourself or a fellow alumnus/a, submit an application and a current résumé online by Wednesday, October 11, 2017. Contact Raina Lenney, assistant vice president of alumni relations, at lenney@american.edu or Amy Jones, chair of the nominations and governance committee, at amrjones08@gmail.com with questions. 

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Title: Kogod Welcomes Annie Yu
Author: Kogod School of Business
Subtitle:
Abstract: Meet Annie Yu, one of Kogod's Center for Career Development's undergraduate career advisors!
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/15/2017
Content:

This Fall, Kogod’s Center for Career Development hired two new undergraduate career advisors: Annie Yu and Megan Brew (yes, their names rhyme!). We sat down with each of them to welcome them to Kogod, and get a better sense of their background and experience.

Annie comes to us from the University of Virginia, where she earned her Master’s in Higher Education Administration. While at UVA, she worked as a Career Development Counselor and Academic Advisor. She’s worked for KPMG (she has a master’s in accounting, too), and holds a bachelor’s in business administration from the College of William and Mary. She’s also a killer soccer player—she’s got the credentials from William & Mary to prove it!

Learn more about Annie below, and stay tuned next Friday for our interview with Megan.

Kogod School of Business: You’ve got a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. What inspired you to pursue this path?

Annie Yu: Before pursuing my master’s, I was a federal auditor for KPMG. What pushed me to make a career change was when I started speaking with potential students and incoming associates at recruiting events. I wanted to develop a purpose for what I was doing every day, and I fell in love with guiding students toward accounting careers. After many informational interviews, I felt higher education best suit my skills and goals. Getting my master’s was the first step in helping me start this new chapter in my life.

KSB: You also have a bachelor’s degree in business administration. In what ways does this background connect to what you’re doing now?

AY: Getting a BBA in accounting and master’s in accounting has helped me connect with a lot of Kogod students. I understand the stress and the challenges that come with being a business student both academically and professionally. I thoroughly enjoy meeting students where they are the best way that I can, and I think my accounting background allows me to do so.

KSB: Do you have a professional experience or accomplishment that you’re particularly proud of? Why?

AY: I’ll always be proud that I worked for a Big 4 Firm. It was a difficult yet rewarding road to get there. I vividly remember interviewing for multiple externships and internships while balancing school and soccer in college. Although I no longer work for KPMG, I still have fantastic memories and connections that will last a lifetime. It has prepared me to help Kogod students have the chance to experience the same events I did.

KSB: Why did you choose career advising as your career path?

AY: I wanted a role where I felt I could impact a student’s life. I believed and still believe career advising fits that role. I love being able to share my background and experiences to lessen a student’s anxiety and stress regarding the future. I also like to challenge students to critically think, analyze, and ultimately make decisions on their own about their careers, because it is something I wish I had more exposure to when I was a student.

KSB: What are you most looking forward to in your new role as a KCCD career advisor for undergraduate students?

AY: Just getting to know them personally and professionally. I want to be more than just a career advisor. I want to be someone that the students can come and talk to whenever they need help or they just need to talk. I believe every student is unique and has their own story, and I want to get to know who they are so I can help them the best way that I can.

KSB: What attracted to you to Kogod specifically?

AY: The culture, 100%. Everyone knew each other, and it felt like a big family. I also felt at Kogod and at the KCCD I could be myself, and so far, this has held true.

KSB: What do you hope to accomplish working at Kogod?

AY: I want to show up every day and work hard for the school and for the team. I also want to be available to help as many students as I can with their career development, and to provide them with the resources to do so.

KSB: Anything you’d like to add?

AY: I am looking forward to this year! I have a feeling it's going to be a lot of fun.

Interested in Kogod’s Center for Career Development? Learn more here.

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Title: 'A New Presidency and the Press' Gives Students Context
Author: Amanda Nyang'oro
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Abstract: SOC professor reintroduces "A New Presidency and the Press" course which examines how the White House and the news media, traditional and new, are not only interacting but also working on behalf of the American people.
Topic: Communications
Publication Date: 09/15/2017
Content:

When we come to learn at a university, we hope to be taught by the best professors who are experts in their fields and who strive to continue to learn and be responsive to the changing dynamics of their respective fields.

Professor Richard Benedetto does exactly this with his class “A New Presidency and the Press”. The course examines how the White House and the news media, traditional and new, are not only interacting but also working on behalf of the American people. The class was first introduced in the spring semester of 2009 with the Obama administration but has been re-introduced in light of the new administration.

Professor Benedetto believes that a course like this is needed now more than ever as the relationship between the Trump administration and the news media has been “chaotic and rocky”.

“It is increasingly necessary for serious scholars of politics and the media to intellectually examine that relationship as it is unfolding, analyze the performance of both sides and develop some recommendations for improvement.”

He thinks that high quality academic institutions such as American University have a responsibility to students to offer academic programs that are not only timely in the issues studied, but also thinks this is a better step towards improving our reporting and analysis of the new administration.

The course will help students examine and re-examine the philosophies and responsibilities that both the news media and the government have to society. “Both sides have responsibilities to the public, and right now it appears that both sides need to brush up on how to shoulder those responsibilities better.”

Professor Benedetto is a retired White House correspondent and columnist for USA Today and political columnist for Gannett News Service. He began teaching at AU in 2006 and continues to write political commentary for publications such as Politico.

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Title: Announcing the 2017 AU Alumni Award Winners
Author: Carlita Pitts
Subtitle:
Abstract: Five honorees will be celebrated at a dinner on October 20.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 09/14/2017
Content:

American University is known for its accomplished alumni. AU graduates are thought leaders, business leaders, and world leaders. This year, the university’s Alumni Association celebrates five outstanding alumni for their achievements. 

The American University Alumni Board and the Office of Alumni Relations will honor the recipients of the 2017 alumni awards on Friday, October 20. Selected annually from nominations submitted by faculty, staff, and alumni from around the world, these awards are the highest honors presented by the Alumni Association. 

This year’s winners are:

Alumni Eagle Award – Ann Kerwin, CAS/BA ’71

The Alumni Eagle Award recognizes alumni who have rendered outstanding service to the university and/or the Alumni Association.

Ann Kerwin, CAS/BA ’71, has been associated with American University since arriving as a freshman in 1967. She holds a degree in art history and is married to Dr. Neil Kerwin, President Emeritus of American University.

Ann was part of the team that produced the book American University Arboretum + Gardens: The First Ten Years, published in November 2013. In recognition of her efforts on behalf of the Arboretum and the Library, the Ann Kerwin Garden was dedicated earlier this year. 

Ann is a member of the AU Library Advisory Council, served on the CAS Arts Advisory Council, and is a former honorary board member of AU Hillel.

Ann and Neil Kerwin established and continue to support the Kerwin Family Emergency Financial Aid fund, which the Board of Trustees endowed in their names in 2017. They also established and are longtime contributors to the Neil and Ann Kerwin Doctoral Fellowship Fund, which supports dissertation research that is deemed by the School of Public Affairs faculty and dean to be of the highest quality and likely to lead to publication in a major peer-reviewed journal or press.

Alumni Recognition Award – Penny Pagano, CAS/BA ’65

The Alumni Recognition Award recognizes alumni who inspire the world around them through service to a philanthropic mission or the AU community.

Penny Pagano received her BA from AU and a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1967. Her career as a journalist included newspapers, magazines, radio, and television.

Penny covered Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, and other news for Fairchild Publications, was a reporter for the Washington Bureau of the Los Angeles Times, and served a TV host for C-SPAN. As a freelance writer, Penny contributed to a number of publications, including American Journalism Review and Discovery Communications.   

An interest in local politics led her to a job as chief of staff for the Ward 3 Councilmember on the DC City Council, and from 2008-2012, she worked as AU’s director of community and local government relations.  She was involved in the planning and city zoning approval for the university’s most recent 10-year campus plan, which included the new Washington College of Law and student residence halls.

Penny served on the Alumni Board and is currently co-chair of the AU Women’s Network. She is also a member of the AU Library Council and the Community Liaison Committee. As a Golden Eagle, Penny cochaired her 50th class reunion in 2015.

Neil Kewin Alumni Achievement Award – David Aldridge, SOC/BA ’87

The Neil Kerwin Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through their professional accomplishments. 

David Aldridge has covered the NBA for nearly 30 years as a print, broadcast, and digital journalist, and was recognized for his work in 2016 with the highest award a reporter covering the league can receive: The Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. 

Aldridge is the “insider” for TNT, covering breaking news both for that network and for NBA TV and NBA.com, and serving as a studio analyst on NBA TV programs. He also serves as a sideline reporter for TNT, appearing both on game broadcasts and on Inside the NBA. 

David writes the popular weekly “Morning Tip” column for NBA.com. His career has included stints at The Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he covered most of sports’ biggest events, from the Super Bowl to the World Series, and the 2016, 2012, and 1992 Summer Olympic Games.

A longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists and of NABJ’s Sports Task Force, Aldridge was the recipient of NABJ’s 2016 Legacy Award, given annually “to a black print, broadcast, digital, or photo journalist of extraordinary accomplishment who has broken barriers and blazed trails.” Aldridge is also a past winner of the Sam Lacy Award as Journalist of the Year from the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

Aldridge graduated from American University in 1987 with majors in print journalism and history.

Rising Star Award

This award recognizes recent American University alumni (received their undergraduate degree within the last 10 years) who are making significant contributions to society through their professional or philanthropic work.

Andy MacCracken, SPA/BA ’11, SPA/MA ’14

Andy is executive director and cofounder of the National Campus Leadership Council, a nonprofit that empowers student leaders to shape higher education decision-making. Since its 2012 launch, NCLC has built the country’s most expansive and engaged network of student government leaders. Andy has worked with more than 2,000 student body presidents on a wide range of critical issues facing students and higher education, including campus sexual assault, college affordability, mental health, diversity and inclusion, free speech, and environmental sustainability. 

In 2014, Andy introduced President Obama at a White House event announcing executive action to support struggling student loan borrowers. He also played a key role in building the White House’s It’s On Us campaign to end campus sexual assault and spoke at its 2014 campaign launch event. 

Andy regularly consults organizations and institutions on higher education policy and student engagement. Andy grew up in western Colorado but left to study government at American University where he earned a BA in 2011 and an MPA in 2014. While at AU, he served as AU Student Government president, assistant director of the Campaign Management Institute, teaching assistant for the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program, and graduate student representative on the SPA Dean’s 2012-13 steering committee.

Tara Palmeri SOC/BA ’08

Tara Palmeri is a White House reporter for POLITICO. She is also a CNN analyst and was previously a CNBC contributor. 

Before joining POLITICO’s DC team, Tara reported for its European edition, where she covered the Paris and Brussels terror attacks, the Greek financial crisis, and the British referendum. 

Prior to moving to Europe, Palmeri reported on local politics for the New York Post. She started at the newspaper as a reporter for “Page Six,” NYC’s premier gossip column. The John Edwards trial, the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions, and the Newtown, Connecticut massacre are among the high profile assignments she has covered. 

During President Obama’s first term, Palmeri co-authored The Washington Examiner's “Yeas & Nays” column on people, power, and politics in Washington, DC. She started her career as a news assistant for CNN shortly after graduating summa cum laude from American University in 2008. 

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Title: Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow
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Abstract: Calling Future Alumni! Get involved with Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow!
Topic: Student Life
Publication Date: 09/14/2017
Content:

Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) is a student group that plays an important role in student philanthropy and engagement at American University. Members of STAT acquire real work experience in fundraising, marketing, event planning, project management, and more. 

STAT is open to all class years, and members join for various reasons. Some include wanting to meet people, expanding their networks, planning fun events, and bringing together students to give back to AU. Senior Lex Arnell joined STAT because she wanted to help build relationships within the AU community. Lex says, "I love STAT because it's a way to build my network and better prepare me for when I enter 'the real world.'" 

Last year's STAT co-chair, Alison Donovan, SPA/BA '17, remembers Senior Celebration, an event that she planned. "Last year, when we were at Breadsoda for the Senior Celebration, I remember meeting so many people with interesting stories and futures ahead of them... and that would not have been possible if STAT had not been there to plan that awesome tradition," Alison recalls. 

Are you looking to get involved at AU while gaining practical and marketable skills? Are you looking to have networking access to AU alumni, administrators, staff, and fellow students? To join STAT, please visit www.austat.american.edu. There you'll find more information on the various leadership opportunities available, as well as an application form. And like our Facebook page to receive updates on upcoming info sessions we're hosting on campus. 

We're excited to meet you!

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Title: An AU Soaring Eagle: John Ampiah-Addison
Author: Elizabeth Hammond
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Abstract: Alumnus John Ampiah-Addison is giving a voice to the voiceless by fighting stereotypes of communicative disorders in Ghana.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 09/14/2017
Content:

Alumni of American University are doing great things in the world. One such alumnus is John Ampiah-Addison, CAS/BS '12, Kogod/MBA '17. John received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from AU and is using his degrees and personal experience to make a difference in the world, specifically in his home country Ghana.

John is working on a campaign in Ghana to fight the stereotypes and unfair treatment of people who stammer. On August 19, 2017, John hosted the inaugural Stammering Conference 2017: Giving Stammerers a Voice in collaboration with The Ghana Stammering Association (GSA), which attracted government officials, parents, business leaders, educators, and students. His team was invited to work with the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection to develop the country's first disability act that will include people with communicative disorders. 

The next phase of John's work is to identify children between 13 and 15 years-old who stammer and whose parents cannot afford speech therapy. His goal is to help them get the resources they need by covering transportation and appointment costs. He explains that, even though there are only three speech therapists in Ghana, his organization is willing to find ways to connect children with speech therapists. 

In an effort to create greater awareness of this issue, John is using October 22, International Stammering Day, to debut a new documentary called I Stammer, which will be broadcasted on every television station in Ghana with the help of the Ghanaian government. He will also use social media to further the campaign with the hashtag #IStammer to share the documentary and generate dialogue with the rest of the world.  

While a student at AU, John recalls the great help that he received from faculty, staff, and alumni. He says he was mentored by alumni who helped him become a successful consultant. He was a member of the DC Reads program where he honed his leadership skills and mentored young members of the organization. John says, "I felt like I was making an impact in the lives of the young children." He also has very fond memories of all the other international students he met during his studies and how his relationships with them opened his eyes to see things from other parts of the world. 

Outside of his current work, John's hobbies include singing, playing basketball and soccer, and travelling. John's advice to current students is to strive to make a difference in the world around you. He encourages students to "be yourself and don't limit your dreams based on your limitations."

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Title: A Message from the Graduate Leadership Council
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Abstract: A message from the Graduate Leadership Council.
Topic: Student Life
Publication Date: 09/14/2017
Content: Hello, AU grad students!

We hope you had a great summer and are ready to jump into the new semester.

This fall, we're welcoming not only new students but also a new president to the university in Sylvia Mathews Burwell. The Graduate Leadership Council and Student Bar Association met with President Burwell during the first week of classes. We discussed AU's strengths in community and commitment to service and how we can strengthen our community through more effective communication and support.

As you settle into your new course loads, make sure you're following the GLC on Facebook and Twitter to see events and resources that will assist you throughout your academic and career endeavors. Here are a few upcoming student-alumni networking opportunities offered by the Office of Alumni Relations.

MCAR Speed Networking and Kick-off Reception - October 20

CELEBRATE! Multicultural Student-Alumni Reception - October 21

Toast to Graduates - December 16

Dinner with Alumni Program - ongoing

Also, if you want to plan your own event to connect with alumni, check out the Alumni Engagement Award. The award offers opportunities for financial and marketing assistance to bring students and alumni together with special events and programs.

If you have questions or suggestions, or want to get involved in graduate leadership, email us at myauglc@gmail.com.

The AU Graduate Leadership Council

Mina Kato
President

Veronica Charles
Vice President of Management

James Lagasse
Vice President of Finance

Kate Schaefer
Vice President of Communication

Portia Polk
Vice President of Programming

Briana Richardson-Jones
Vice President of Alumni Affairs

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Title: A Message from AU Student Government
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Abstract: A Message from AU Student Government Executive Team
Topic: Student Life
Publication Date: 09/14/2017
Content: Dear Fellow AU Students,

As another academic year kicks off, we are reminded of the great benefits of attending American University. From our location in the nation's capital, to every detail that enhances our learning experience, we are receiving an education like no other. As President Kerwin said, students at AU are exposed to a laboratory for learning.

As we embark on our journey to write the next chapter of American University history with our new president, Sylvia Burwell, and a newly minted part of campus across Nebraska Ave., it is crucial that we take the time to recognize those that came before us at this institution.

AU alumni are among the most engaging individuals we're exposed to as students, as interns, and eventually as young professionals entering the workforce. The chunks of knowledge and streams of networking that are afforded to us not only through our actual education but also by those educated before us are priceless. 

As student leaders, we're able to fight the fights that we engage in today for the student body of 2017 because of students who helped set the baseline years ago. We have legs to stand on when we advocate for more and more diversity because of the work that students over the years have done to commit our university to being fundamentally diverse. We can focus on student issues that other universities haven't even started to think about because students before us already fought those fights. 

The advice that each of us have received from AU alumni thus far in our college careers as junior and seniors has been indispensable as we plan out our year. We encourage all students to utilize the thousands of alumni here in Washington and around the world—they give back because someone believed in them one day. Through programs like Dinner with Alumni, movers and shakers that have their roots at AU share their experiences in the world beyond American University, as well as their specific college experiences prepared them for time after TDR. 

We often tell students to take every opportunity that presents itself in order to maximize their AU experiences. Take this opportunity - to interact with someone who stood in your shoes with the same ambitions one, five, twenty years ago. You won't regret it. 

We wish everyone an engaging and successful academic year. 

Best, 

Taylor Dumpson, AUSG President

Solomon Self, AUSG Vice President

Christine Machovec, AUSG Comptroller

Kris Schneider, AUSG Secretary

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