newsId: 9174390B-5056-AF26-BE13D799EE247C62
Title: American University’s Kumar Is a Power Player Says PR Week
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Abstract: AU Professory Pallavi Kumar is recognized by PRWeek in their 2017 Global Power Book
Topic: Communications
Publication Date: 07/24/2017
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American University (AU) professor Pallavi Kumar was just named to the PRWeek Global Power Book 2017, which it calls a listing of the world's most influential PR professionals. Kumar, who directs the Public Communication division in the AU School of Communication is one of only two professors on the list.

In an interview with PRWeek, Kumar says she would love to launch an in-house communication agency within AU's School of Communication. “We would bring together all of our disciplines from strategic communication to digital storytelling, persuasive gaming, data-driven journalism and social media analytics to help solve communication challenges or identify new opportunities for the industry by tapping into the unique thinking of our Millennial and Gen Z students.”

Prior to teaching full time, Kumar gained more than 20 years experience in the public relations industry having worked as a vice president in Fleishman Hillard's social marketing practice in Washington, DC, a vice president/account supervisor in Ketchum's healthcare practice in New York as well as associate director of international public relations at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Philadelphia.

She began her career in environmental communication at Ruder-Finn in Washington, DC. Kumar co-authored the ninth edition of Public Relations Case Studies published by Cengage. Her articles and commentary have appeared in The Washington Post, USA TODAY and PRWeek.

Learn about our MA in Strategic Communication and BA in PR and Strategic Communication.

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Title: Brussels Opens New Doors for MBA@American Students
Author: Jamie McCrary
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Abstract: This June 16-18, 2017, MBA@American students traveled to Brussels, Belgium for their first international immersion.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 07/22/2017
Content:

Brussels, Belgium: what comes to mind?

Do you think of a capital city with a vibrant cultural scene? Or perhaps its thriving, innovative business community? Maybe you’re focused on its political clout—a city known for its strong connection to the European Union.

This June 16-18, 2017, a group of Kogod students experienced all of this and more. Their journey—both an academic and a cultural experience—placed them in the heart of the city for a weekend of business site visits, group presentations and sightseeing.

“It was incredible,” says Candace Applewhite, MBA ’17. “I’ve never been to Europe before, which I’ve had on my bucket list for ages.”

The trip marked the MBA@American program’s first international immersion, bringing online students together from across the US to explore Brussels’ business landscape. Nearly 60 MBA candidates attended, 29 of which also completed a London extension course following the end of the weekend.

“The immersions are eye-opening opportunities because they get students out of their day-to-day lives,” says Maureen Breslin, Director of Partner Facing Online Programs. “They offer the opportunity to network with classmates, learn, and have cross-cultural experiences.”

A Political Hot Spot

The MBA immersion kicked off with a visit to the European Parliament, seat of the European Union and hub for some of the region’s most important political debates. While touring, students learned about the EU’s decision-making process, which parties participate and how the Parliament is structured. “It was surreal to stand in the room where the Parliament actually convenes,” says Danielle Balmelle, MBA ’17.

For Applewhite, the most impactful part of the visit were the presentations. Staff lectured on some of today’s hottest topics, such as Brexit and T-tip, and discussed how the EU plans to address the issues moving forward.

Applewhite says the experience introduced her to new perspectives, and encouraged her to consider opinions she hadn’t thought of before. “I went in with lots of biases. Hearing local viewpoints, rather than just reading about issues from afar, was really eye-opening,” she says.

An Innovative Business Ecosystem

The cohort also visited MindGate, a business region located in Leuven, a city about 25 kilometers east of Brussels. The trip offered MBA@American students the chance to explore the intersection of different local and international organizations, introducing them to various tech, healthcare and educational institutions. “It was fascinating to see how they’re merging all these fields to create an innovative business ecosystem within the city,” says Balmelle.

Students split into groups and toured different businesses, then met with company representatives to brainstorm solutions to problems affecting their enterprises. Balmelle’s group met with Imec, a R&D healthcare technology company that produces microchips. The company’s major issue? Attracting—and keeping—talent.

Her group tackled the challenge head-on, making recommendations for how Imec could better incentivize employees to work for the company. Ideas included helping spouses find jobs in the area, or finding ways to better integrate employees in the community. Students researched and analyzed their suggestions, assembling a presentation that they presented the final day of the trip.

“This was important because I really learn best by doing. This experience helped bring everything together–knowledge from our online classroom, and knowledge gained on the trip,” Balmelle says.

Cultural Exploration

The trip, while centered on academic experiences, wasn’t all knowledge-focused. Students still found time to visit local cultural sites and explore the city. They did walking tours of Brussels, visited a Stella Artois brewing company in Louvre—even toured an authentic Belgium chocolate factory (complete with a full-spectrum tasting, of course).

What struck Applewhite most during their outings were the social differences. Walking through the city, she noticed how attuned people were to each other. Conversations were quiet and intimate, and people seemed fully present in the moment. “No one had their cell phones out,” Applewhite says. “Everyone was talking to each other. They were engaged.”

Experiencing a different culture was just as meaningful as visiting the European Parliament and Mindgate, says Applewhite. The trip’s extracurricular outings helped put everything into context, and showed her a different way of life.

“It definitely gave me more of a global perspective,” she says. “I’m excited to take that knowledge back with me to the States.”

New Perspectives, New Possibilities

Both Balmelle and Applewhite endeavor to work internationally—either for a US-based international organization, or for a foreign company abroad. They’re excited to apply what they learned in Brussels to their professional lives. “Globalization is big—we’re not going backwards, we’re going forwards,” Balmelle says. “I want to take this experience and work it into my career.”

Both students agree that the Brussels immersion was an all-encompassing experience—one that was equally educational and inspirational. It exposed them to Brussel’s vibrant business landscape, and encouraged them to embrace new perspectives. The trip was a doorway of sorts—a passageway to new possibilities.

“Seeing how other people are exploring business' opportunities and challenges gets students thinking about the amazing opportunities out there,” says Breslin. “I can’t wait for what’s to come for our students.”

Learn more about the MBA@American program and its upcoming immersions.

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Title: American University One of Top Ten Places to Study Broadcast Journalism
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Abstract: College Magazine says AU's School of Communication is one of the best places in the nation to learn broadcast journalism.
Topic: Journalism
Publication Date: 07/21/2017
Content:

American University (AU) is one of the top ten colleges in the U.S. for students to learn to practice broadcast journalism, according to the latest College Magazine rankings. The report cites the fact that AU students "master everything from TV and radio production writing. That way, they can figure out whether they prefer writing, anchoring, directing, editing or producing. Students write stories and create multimedia classes in reporting classes, and they get to work with zoom audio records and Canon video equipment in Digital Skills, Reporting and Digital Audio Production."

AU's Journalism and Public Affairs MA program, offered through the School of Communication (SOC), uses the nation's capital as its classroom, sending students into the nearby halls of Congress and leveraging long-standing relationships with the likes of NPR, NBC, Vox, Bloomberg BNA, The Washington Post, and USA Today.

Students in the program build their professional practice on top of strong foundations in basic digital skills, writing and reporting across audio, video and mobile platforms. Industry-leading faculty also teach courses from the heady to the hands-on, from advanced web design to Race, Ethnic and Community reporting.

American University’s Media Production Center features digital video and audio editing suites, a computer-based newsroom system featuring Associated Press’ ENPS, an HD-equipped television studio, and the Ed Bliss Broadcast Newsroom. The McKinley Building, home of the School of Communication, a second HD studio as part of its state-of-the-art Media Innovation Lab.

The MA in Journalism and Digital Storytelling and BA in Journalism also have access to the same cutting edge equipment and facilities, with an emphasis on real-world experience and opportunities for mentoring and networking to boost students professionally.

This is the second year in a row SOC programs have scored high marks from College Magazine, which ranked SOC's journalism programs ninth in the nation in 2016.

"Rankings such as this help raise our visibility, but the real measure of our success lies in the tremendous accomplishments of the students, faculty and alumni who are associated with SOC's journalism programs," said Dean Jeffrey Rutenbeck.

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Title: Exploring Social Entrepreneurship While Climbing Mountains in Norway
Author: Seth Shapiro
Subtitle: Eight AU MGMT-396 Students Join International Participants for Two-week Summer Program
Abstract: For two weeks this summer, the undergraduate course MGMT-396: Non-profit and Social Entrepreneurship was taught like a graduate-level seminar--in Norway.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 07/20/2017
Content:

For two weeks this summer, the undergraduate course MGMT-396: Non-profit and Social Entrepreneurship was taught like a graduate-level seminar.

From June 19-30, Dr. Siri Terjesen, Associate Professor of Management and Interim Director of the AU Center for Innovation, brought eight AU undergraduate students to the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) in Bergen, Norway, for a two-week intensive session.

Of the 25 students who participated (who were from ten countries and universities all over the world), AU’s cohort represented the only undergraduates—the rest were postgraduate students pursuing master’s degrees.

“It was a neat stretch for our AU students,” Terjesen says. “They really rose to the challenge.”

Many AU students were also pursuing majors other than business. “It was a very steep learning curve,” says Victoria Holton, a rising junior studying international relations. “But I enjoyed it.”

Learn. Climb Mountains. Repeat.

Certainly, the opportunity to visit Norway was a good motivator for the students to participate in the program.

David Peters, CLEG ’19, was excited to visit the country for the first time, particularly since it’s where much of his family is from, “Most days I would go for a hike up one of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen,” he said. “Since it stays light out well past 10 o’clock, there was plenty of time to do longer hikes without fear of it getting dark.”

The students also regularly played pick-up soccer games with the other participants, played cards in the dormitories, and explored other parts of Bergen and the surrounding areas.

But that was only after class ended each day. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an hour break for lunch, the students were busy with their studies. Terjesen and her co-professor Bram Timmermans, Associate Professor at NHH, lectured on topics like the ethics of social entrepreneurship and how to measure social value in non-profits.

Class time also involved a variety of other activities, like guest lectures from local social entrepreneurs and a computer simulations in which students operated new start-ups in the clean-energy sector. During this in-class activity, students were responsible for overseeing the growth of their technology by setting prices, making hiring decisions, and more. The winning teams were determined based on the company’s final market value and the satisfaction level of the employees.

Holton says the classroom sessions provided the students with the “theoretical knowledge” they would need. She appreciated the opportunity to find “a real-life application for the theories we learned.”

Experiential Learning with Real-World Benefits

Students also had the opportunity to apply their knowledge to a real Norwegian business. Each AU participant joined a group project, where they helped a local non-profit become financially viable. Their final assignment included writing a report outlining their recommendations for the business.

Holton’s group worked with a company called Papillon, named after the French word for butterfly, which helps recent female refugees integrate into Norwegian society by providing emotional and career counseling, music therapy for those that have endured trauma, language classes to improve their job prospects, and sewing workshops.

“We determined that the sewing workshops could most easily be monetized,” Holton says. “We put together a plan for them to create a product that could be sold in the stores in downtown Bergen.” The students also created a plan for Papillon to create a website so refugees could find information on its programs, and customers could easily purchase the company’s products.

For some of the students, the learning continued even after the program ended. Three of the AU students stayed in Norway to intern with a social venture for the duration of the summer, an arrangement made possible by a Norwegian government grant through its Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU). Also, two NHH graduate students came to AU to intern for the AU Center for Innovation incubator venture MEANS Database, a start-up that disseminates extra food to those in need. Travel and accommodation expenses for all five students was covered by the SIU grant.

Learning Different Perspectives—and Sharing Their Own

Students learned about the differences between American and Norwegian businesses during the program. “This provided them with a chance to appreciate the differences across countries and how people can start and grow their businesses,” Terjesen says.

Lauren Lane, BSA ’19, said she learned about regulations placed on Norwegian businesses, and about how many of the country’s non-profits receive substantial government financial support.

In addition to learning about business in Norway, the AU students also learned about other countries from the international students in the program.

“It was interesting because I didn’t know about specific laws in Argentina,” Lane says, citing one example of an Argentine business that builds houses for low-income people.

Lane said she appreciated the chance to learn about other perspectives and share her viewpoints as well. Despite being an undergraduate accounting major in a master’s program, “I still brought another point of view to the table,” she says. While her background was different from many of the other students, Lane used the fundamental accounting knowledge she learned at AU to offer insightful ideas for her group project.

“I am really pleased that our AU undergraduates were able to make meaningful contributions to a graduate-level course and to the Norwegian social ventures’ strategic planning,” Terjesen says. This was the first time the program in Norway was offered to AU students, but she hopes there will be more international, experiential learning opportunities for students in the future.

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Title: Greetings from Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA '08
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Abstract: A message from the Alumni Association President
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 07/19/2017
Content:

Hello to my fellow alumni!

Summer is often a time to refresh, renew, and (candidly) to relax. To that end, I hope you're enjoying a fantastic summer.

This month's Alumni Update features a recent story from The Eagle about our new president. In the interview, President Burwell talks about her first weeks on campus and how she wants to engage with the community, and that, of course, includes alumni.

You'll also meet this year's Alumni Association Scholarship winner, incoming student Alex Li. Alex's mom is a graduate of Kogod and CAS, and he plans to study business and global economics through SIS.

Speaking of scholarships, I'm thrilled to share with you all that the Black Alumni Alliance Book Award has been fully endowed. This means that the award will be offered to students in perpetuity, making significant impacts each year on several students' experiences at AU.

Finally, please save the date for All-American Weekend! It's right around the corner, taking place October 20-22 this year. We have a jam-packed calendar of events that will be announced shortly so mark your calendar and stay tuned for more details!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Once and Eagle, Always an Eagle,
Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA '08

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update
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Title: The Trump Effect: Despite Increase in Political Activism, Few Women Seek Office
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Abstract: A new study by AU School of Public Affairs Professor Jennifer Lawless, and Loyola Marymount University Professor Richard Fox, found that despite an increase in political activism, women continue to lag behind men in political ambition.
Topic: Research
Publication Date: 07/17/2017
Content:

A new study by AU School of Public Affairs Professor Jennifer Lawless, and Loyola Marymount University Professor Richard Fox, found an increase in political activism among women after the 2016 presidential election. However, the researchers also found that women continue to lag behind men in political ambition.

Lawless, who is the director of SPA's Women & Politics Institute, said they surveyed more than 2,000 employed, college-educated women and men of both political parties.

The survey findings were released by Politico and at a recent event held at the at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The survey assessed feelings about Trump's election, his policy goals, and his character. Overall, negative perceptions dominated, which have prompted an increase in political activism, particularly among female Democrats. In fact, the number of Democratic women who said they signed a petition or political letter more than tripled after the election - from 11 percent to 39 percent. Those who donated money to a Democratic candidate or cause also increased - from 6 to 24 percent. Prior to the election of Trump, only 4 percent of Democratic women had participated in a march or rally. Compare this to post election, when 19 percent reported attending the recent Women's March or a similar event.

When surveyed, 23 percent of women said they have "considered" seeking office, while 38 percent of men said the same. That 15-point gap is nearly identical to the 16-point difference Fox and Lawless found in similar surveys from 2001 and 2011.

"Is Donald Trump's presidency really pushing women everywhere to throw their hats into the political ring?" asked Lawless. "No. That would be quite a feat, as the gender gap in political ambition has gone on for decades. Women are significantly less likely than men to be interested in running for office."

The survey did reveal a small difference between political parties. Among Democratic women, 24 percent said they'd considered running for office, while 20 percent of GOP women said the same. Additionally, among respondents who have considered it, more than a quarter of Democratic women said the idea first occurred to them in 2017-potentially a result of the Trump presidency.

"The Trump effect has the potential to boost women's candidate emergence, at least on the Democratic side of the aisle, over the long run," the report states. "If more women become politically active because of Donald Trump, then there's a larger pool of potential candidates from which gatekeepers can recruit."

The survey was administered in 2017 by GfK. The full report, which was funded by AU School of Public Affairs, Loyola Marymount University, and Politico, can be found online here.


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Title: Authors of Best-Selling Book “Shattered” Visit SPA to Talk About Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Campaign
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Abstract: Journalists Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen give some compelling explanations in their recent best-selling book, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.
Topic: Government & Politics
Publication Date: 07/14/2017
Content:

 It is not easy to understand what exactly led to the defeat of Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election, but journalists Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen give some compelling explanations in their recent best-selling book, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign.

The authors visited AU's School of Public Affairs on June 23, hosted by SPA's Executive-in-Residence Betsy Fischer Martin, to talk about their findings on Clinton's campaign and the current state of American politics.

Parnes and Allen, who also published HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton, argue that there was a divide within the campaign between a more experienced and persuasion-focused faction and a less experienced set that was more reliant on statistics.

"From state offices, there were demands to the headquarters asking for volunteers, for yard-signs, for literature, but the analytics side of the campaign thought it was unnecessary to spend that money," said Allen. "They argued it was difficult, in the last months of the campaign, to win over voters who didn't like Clinton."

The authors, who covered the Clinton campaign through 2016, also reported on indications throughout the campaign of a potential defeat, including the rise of populism movements like Brexit, which former President Bill Clinton recognized as a potential threat to the campaign.

There was the primary election as well, in which U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) at times launched criticisms similar to those that Trump would later make.

"It's one thing for two people in a party to disagree on a policy issue, but when you start talking about how corrupt someone is, that just plays into the other side's hands," said Allen.

Still, there was a general expectation of a Clinton win come November. Both Parnes and Allen admit that on Election Day they were "pretty sure" Clinton would be elected president.

"We went into that night thinking she would win," Parnes said. "During our reporting, there were moments that we knew that there were severe problems in the campaign, but did not think they would ultimately result in her losing."

Asked by incoming SPA graduate students about the biggest mistake the Clinton campaign made, the authors described missteps, difficulties within the campaign leadership, and too many decision-makers. Parnes and Allen also said Clinton's desire to prevent press coverage about campaign shakeups, prevented any deep changes in the Brooklyn-based headquarters team.

Even so, the authors also highlighted the fact that Clinton had numerous successes, including her victory in three televised debates, as well as the way she was able to secure the Primary win.

When asked by moderator Betsy Fisher Martin about the future of the Democratic Party, both Parnes and Allen agreed that the key to winning elections will not be about ideology as much as it will be about the candidates.

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Title: How Nonprofits Forge Ahead When Faced with Potential Cuts to Foreign Aid
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Abstract: Nonprofits forge ahead when faced with potential cuts to foreign aid.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 07/13/2017
Content:

The Trump Administration's 2018 budget proposal suggests big changes to foreign aid, and cuts to support of many nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the United States. How would these changes affect the goals of these institutions?

Khaldoun AbouAssi, assistant professor at American University's School of Public Affairs is an expert in public and nonprofit management. Recently, he published an article in the journal Public Administrative Review, which focuses on how nonprofit organizations make decisions in a changing resources environment, especially when they have to respond to donor demands.

Q: What are the Trump Administration's proposed budget implications for nonprofits?
"In general, we are noticing more government scrutiny and less funding; that does not necessarily apply across the board since some entities in the nonprofit sectors, such as religious or faith-based organizations, might be less impacted or even positively impacted. But, if you are an organization like Planned Parenthood or even a nonprofit in the arts, then the impact could be substantial. Again, it is not just the budget cuts but also how the Administration deals and works with the nonprofit sector, through policies and legislation, contracts and grants."

Q: What sort of reactions from nonprofits can we expect should proposed cuts occur?
"We are actually witnessing different reactions. After the 2016 election, some nonprofits witnessed a peak in individual donations; the donations were directly tied to the results of the election and came as signals of support to the work of some organizations that focus on women's health or LGBTQ issues or civil rights, due to the fear that the new administration would scale back rights and cut funding. I believe this trend has stabilized now. But, we also should expect more advocacy work and collaboration among the nonprofits to face the rising tides, including budget cuts.

"Earlier this year, I predicted that foundations would start to redefine their space and roles. I also thought that we would witness an increase in private funding to offset the drop in government contracts and grants to the nonprofit sector. And that's what we are seeing now. The Packard Foundation, for instance, increased its 2017 grantmaking budget by $22 million, with concerns about scientific research being defunded and scientific knowledge discounted. At a much larger scale, The Ford Foundation announced a $1 billion increase in mission-related investments earlier this year. This is important because foundations usually use around 5 percent of their assets to support the causes or work of nonprofits, but advocates have been pushing for more. While Ford is not the first to go down this road, it sets a positive example for others to follow."

Q: So, these are positive signs for nonprofit work?
"In principle, yes. I am concerned about are the international development and NGOs worldwide taking a financial hit. There are discussions about merging the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is the foreign support arm of the U.S. government, with the State Department. This would tie aid to national security priorities, leaving many other issues - famine, health, clean water, human rights - without the much-needed support. In addition, the State Department budget proposal mentions eliminating 30 to 35 of USAID's 100 field missions in developing countries. Third, many health programs abroad will be hit by approximately 25 percent and the Bureau for Food Security will lose 68 percent of its funding. Overall, we are expecting that the State Department and USAID will lose around $10.2 billion compared to last year's budget.

"There will be a shortage in funding to a certain degree and a gap between demand and supply for services. Countries such as China and United Arab Emirates (UAE) will likely step in to fill this gap. China has already been investing heavily in Africa over the past few years and UAE foreign aid continues to increase - by 43 percent from 2014 to 2015, for example. Still, assistance in many developing countries is carried out by international organizations and nonprofits. For many of these organizations, USAID is the major source of funding for programs and activities. This is the main concern amidst shifting interests of donors and my skepticism of the ability of private donors or foundations to fill the big shoes of USAID."

Q: What can these nonprofit organizations do?
"This is not a new phenomenon or trend. Nonprofit organizations often rely on external funders, and regularly face instability in the flow of funding. They're used to dealing with volatile demands. Finding ways to diversify their funding streams and be strategic in working together should help if they should face funding cuts. This will, however, require a strong conviction in the 'agency' these organizations enjoy to make broader choices and strategic decisions. There is an assumption that nonprofits, especially in developing countries where philanthropy and giving are weak, cannot function without donor funding. If your organization is dependent on a donor, then you are more likely to follow the demands or interests of the donor.

"This is an oversimplification of the situation, and in my most recent article, we argue that nonprofits behave not only based on how dependent they are on other organizations, but also on what kind of relations they have and where do they position themselves and can leverage these positions within and outside a donor network. That is why nonprofits should consider the likely outcomes of the combination of their resource or funding strategies with their network or relations strategies."

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Title: For Kogod Students, 4 Tips for Building Your Business Career
Author: Jamie McCrary
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Abstract: Randy Nordby, Kogod's new Finance & Real Estate program director, offers career building insight from his years of professional success.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 07/13/2017
Content:

Randy Nordby, Kogod’s new program director for the MS Finance and MS Real Estate programs, is all about making a contribution. He’s an innovator—one who improves whatever he’s working on, wherever he’s working. “It’s my focus everywhere I go. If there’s an opportunity to step up, I take it,” Nordby says.

He’s got 13 years of experience and a slew of current positions to prove it. He’s Finance Coordinator for Kogod’s MBA@American program. He serves on the CFA Institute’s board, and is helping the CFTC develop their education program. And, most impressively, he recently passed the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Level II exam—a credential only 150 people hold worldwide.

He wants to pay his experience forward to his students. He hopes his knowledge will help them win their dream jobs—Nordby’s ultimate goal. “We don’t make cars or build products here. We help students prepare for jobs,” Nordby says. “I consider myself a success if every student I teach gets the job that they want.”

So, how do students build their dream careers? Below, Nordby shares his words of wisdom: four tips, garnered from his own years of success, on how to build—and advance—one’s business career. It’s one more way for him to make a contribution—one he hopes will inspire students to become innovators, too.

#1 Manage Up

“I’m always looking for areas where I can make suggestions. It’s how I’ve advanced in my career.”

Nordby recalls starting his first job out of college at a call center at Sallie Mae. He spoke to 200 debt-ridden students a day, advising them on how to repay their loans. “I asked, ‘What can I do to prepare myself?'" I wanted to be the most knowledgeable person there.

Fast-forward several years, and Nordby was running an entire team who didn’t advise—they educated. “We met with college financial officers and explained to students how to limit their loans,” he says.

He advises his students to always stay aware and engaged at work. “There’s always ways to improve what you’re doing,” he says.

#2 Focus on Your Strengths

“It’s all about specialization in today’s society. I don’t think there's time to focus on weaknesses—concentrate on what you’re good at.”

Nordby admits that’s part of the reason he’s gotten so far. He knew he was skilled at finance, and he’s good with people. He’s also great at multitasking. Nordby harnessed his strengths to build his career—one that’s marked with promotions and job diversity.

“If you have a skill, you’re persistent and a hard worker, that’s where you’ll show yourself,” he says.

#3 Follow Your Passions

“I don’t feel like I’m working because I’m doing what I really love. Find something you’re interested in and develop your skill set around it.”

Nordby comes from a long line of doctors and engineers—many of whom knew what they wanted to do since childhood. For Nordby, it was different. “I needed time to see what was out there,” he says. “I had to find my passion.”

He’s glad he took the time to find the career that was right for him. He’s working in a field he loves and giving back to a community equally as passionate.

“Eight hours a day is a long time if you don’t like your job,” he says. “Invest the time exploring now, and it’ll pay off later.”

#4 Make it Better

“Constrained optimization. These two words have always stood out to me. There will always be barriers to your success, but you want to ask yourself, ‘How can I optimize this? How can I make it better?”

Nordby is a life-long learner. He’s constantly finding ways to deepen his knowledge and continue to develop his expertise. “I earned my third master’s degree in finance from Kogod. I knew I could do a better job at representing the program if I myself had experienced it.”

He’ll finish his doctoral degree this Fall, building on the experience he’s gained at Kogod and in his career. He believes you’re never too old to embark on something new. “I thought I’d retire as a portfolio manager, but instead I started an education career I really love,” he says.

Nordby encourages his pupils and colleagues alike to search out “optimization opportunities”—chances to grow and advance oneself. It’s the key to one’s success, he says, and achieving one’s dreams.

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Title: Stages and Screens: Arnetia Walker’s Fascinating Life
Author: Gregg Sangillo
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Abstract: Meet the AU student with a lengthy IMDb page.
Topic: Television & Film
Publication Date: 07/11/2017
Content:

American University part-time undergraduate Arnetia Walker recently took time off from school to star in a production of an August Wilson play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, in Red Bank, New Jersey. Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, a personal friend of the late Wilson, directed the play.

For an accomplished actor with a lengthy Internet Movie Database (IMDb) page, Walker doesn't let great acting roles pass her by often. And she's still expanding her repertoire and education. As a nontraditional student, she's now a senior film and media arts major in AU's School of Communication. She's also a literature minor in the College of Arts and Sciences, and she's hoping to write at length about her experiences. And whatever form it takes-book? screenplay?-she's going to have a fascinating story to tell.

"I have a wealth of stories in me, and I've lived a lifetime. And I wanted to know how to get those stories written down. And that's something I've learned at AU very well," she says.

Opening Credits

Walker was born in Columbus, Georgia, in the mid-1950s. Walker was just a baby when her mother died, and she never knew her father. An orphan, various family members-aunts, uncles, cousins-helped raise her. "In the South, people just kind of took care of each other-especially in those days," she says.

But she also describes that period as the "waning years of Jim Crow," and she remembers going to segregated movie theaters. "We had to sit up in the balcony, and before entering the theater, we [African Americans] had to wait. Black people and white people couldn't go in together. Even at that young age, it just struck me. Why? Why do I have to wait? I was very excited to go in," she recalls. "But then once the movie started, all of that just didn't matter."

Indeed, she was entranced by the images and sounds of the silver screen. Walker says she knew she wanted to be an actor after watching an arresting Doris Day in Calamity Jane.

Dreams and Dreamgirls

Walker later moved to New York City and graduated from the High School of Performing Arts (the school that inspired the movie Fame). She started building a résumé in the New York theater world, including a small part in a musical version of Two Gentlemen of Verona with Stockard Channing and other future stars. "I was a baby, of course, but this was my training ground," she says.

She was later cast in the celebrated Broadway musical Dreamgirls. She performed in both New York and Los Angeles, and eventually played all three of the Supremes-inspired parts. Walker was itching to play Effie, until finally getting a call from director Michael Bennett at 4:00 p.m. for a show that night in L.A.

“Arnetia

"Michael says, 'Arnetia, you know how you always wanted to be Effie? You're on tonight. Get over to the theater,'" Walker recalls. The part was usually played by Jennifer Holliday, a big star at the time. "The announcer said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, tonight the role of Effie White will be played by Arnetia Walker.' People were yelling 'boo!' And I was like, 'Oh my god, how am I going out there?'"

She says she did overcome stage fright, and the audience naturally roots for Effie's character.

Ready for Prime Time

In the early 1980s, she got a movie part in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds. She'd eventually land a strong role in the film Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989), and Hollywood took notice. "Soon after that I just started doing lots of television and film, because it opened doors for me," she says.

She subsequently became one of the regulars on the NBC TV sitcom Nurses. It was a spin-off of the show Empty Nest-which was itself a spin-off of The Golden Girls. "We were in the old Desilu studio. The same one where they taped I Love Lucy," she explains. "Susan Harris wrote it, and she was a hot writer at that time. I thought, 'Wow, yeah, I think I'm on my way here.'"

Later, she was cast as Mrs. Ross in the TV series, Popular, and she appears in some of the best-known TV shows of the 1990s and early 2000s: Everybody Loves Raymond, NYPD Blue, Living Single, Just Shoot Me!, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, to name a few.

The Fresh Prince was one of her favorite experiences. She guest-starred with music legend Isaac Hayes. (He kept asking: "'Baby, am I on yet? Is this my scene?' 'Not yet! Not yet, Isaac!'") And she was overwhelmed by the generosity of Will Smith, who included and thanked every guest star.

Walker has some fun anecdotes about interactions with Hollywood luminaries. She fondly remembers meeting Elizabeth Taylor and Walter Matthau, and she'd see Dick Van Dyke picking up his dry cleaning. She had an unusual experience meeting one of her idols, Bette Davis. "My publicist said, 'Ms. Davis, I want you to meet Arnetia Walker, she's one of the stars of Dreamgirls,'" Walker recounts. "Bette looks at me, takes a puff of her cigarette, and says, 'So…what?'"

Spaces to Fill

Yet even with the glamour and grandeur of Hollywood, it had its drawbacks. She felt studio execs were quick to typecast actors, and she was frequently asked to play a seductress. Likewise, she faced an obstacle that, for the wider public, is only now getting the attention it deserves: the lack of roles for minorities.

"That was one of the other reasons that I went back to school, because if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem," she opines. "I didn't want to complain about, 'Oh, there are no roles for people of color.' Well, you know what? That means that there's a space there. There's a need there. Let's fill it. So, I had to learn how to write."

A New Role

Love and family would also change her life. She is married to journalist Elliott Francis, whose work as a news anchor brought them to the Washington, D.C. area. They have a son who is also attending college now. Walker attends AU part-time, as she also has a job teaching drama to kids.

At AU, she's able to learn from Hollywood experienced-professors (Russell Williams). And after realizing that the novel Wench was written by her professor Dolen Perkins-Valdez, she asked Perkins-Valdez for an autograph.

Even with her success, Walker says it took time to believe in herself. Like many actors, she'd get frustrated with hearing "no" after auditions, and many casting directors frequently wanted a "Whoopi Goldberg type."

"I'm only my type," she says now. "We come here with everything we need to flourish and soar. But somewhere in the mix, we lose that knowledge and forget that we are enough. We are enough for everything we want to accomplish, and it took me a long time to realize that."

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Title: Summer Reading Ties New AU Students Together
Author: Patty Housman
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Abstract: Incoming students read We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 07/10/2017
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This fall when first-year students arrive at American University, they will already have something in common. It's the book We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang, and it's their required summer reading assignment.

The book is a critically acclaimed collection of essays on race and diversity in the contemporary United States. The Washington Post called it "the smartest book of the year." A starred Kirkus review says it's "a compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations." Its author is journalist and American Book Award winner Jeff Chang, who has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts, and music. He is currently the executive director of the Institute for Diversity in Arts at Stanford University.

A Community Text

Each year, American University's Writer as Witness committee chooses one "community text" that they have deemed important and timely. This year, the committee gravitated toward options that would raise issues of race in America and model ways of thinking and talking about these issues, according to committee chair and Department of Literature Senior Professorial Lecturer Adam Tamashasky.

"America, generally, and AU clearly need to engage in open, explicit, and difficult conversations about racism's persistent place in our history and our current events," he explains. "Jeff Chang's collection of essays will help set a tone of intellectual courage, curiosity, and complexity as a new cohort of AU students arrives to begin their collegiate experience."

When students arrive at AU this fall, they will discuss the book and write about it in their College Writing classes. They can enter an essay contest honoring the best writing inspired by the book. And they can also see Chang in person, as he visits campus for the twentieth annual Writer as Witness Colloquium on Wednesday, September 6. Chang will address the AU community and meet with students and faculty to discuss the book, as well as the craft, artistry, and research that went into its creation.

A Shared Experience

"The Writer as Witness text provides intellectual commonality for the first-year students," says Lacey Wootton, Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer and director of AU's Writing Studies Program. "They come in with some things in common—they are, for the most part, new to college; they're close to each other in age; they're bright and engaged—and with a number of differences, too. The Writer as Witness book provides a bonding experience—one that should allow them to bond over words, ideas, and arguments—and thus bond as incipient scholars and writers."

Wootton says that when the students work with the book in their writing courses and come together as a class to hear the author, their understanding of the issues in the text will deepen. The goal is to get new students to ask tough questions, explore controversy, listen respectfully, and sharpen their claims. In doing so, the Writer as Witness community text can exemplify how writing is a social act at the heart of an academic community. "Ideally, We Gon' Be Alright will give our students something to talk about, both in and out of class," Wootton says.

We Gon Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang

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Title: Explaining the News at Vox
Author: Lindsay Maizland
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Abstract: At first intimidated, Dean's Intern Lindsay Maizland describes her growth at Vox and what it's like to work as an intern on the foreign news team.
Topic: Communications
Publication Date: 07/10/2017
Content:

Below is a first person account from Dean's Intern Lindsay Maizland on her internship at Vox. This was first published in March on the Dean's Internship Blog.

I’m not going to lie: working with Vox.com’s foreign team can be pretty intimidating.

On the morning of my second day, my editor hosted our team at his home for a meeting focused on setting this year’s goals. The conversations moved seamlessly from my editor talking about his struggles of finding dog sitters while he was reporting for months in the Middle East to the group questioning the value of realism and other big ideas that drive U.S. foreign policy.

It didn’t take long to realize that the five journalists sitting on couches next to me were, and are, brilliant. Maybe I’m just fangirling, but they have read every relevant book, have connections with all the right experts and people in power, and have written articles that masterfully make sense of this world. I wondered, “How can I offer anything useful to this team? I haven’t read those books. I don’t have many connections. I haven’t written articles like that.”

But as I’ve gotten more comfortable at Vox, I’ve realized that I actually do have something unique to offer. This hit me last week when my editor asked me to cover the latest North Korean scandal, the murder of Kim Jong Nam. I explained what happened and attempted to answer a few big questions about the bizarre event. It was the longest article I’ve written for Vox so far and required the most research and thought – definitely hard work.

But my experiences studying East Asia as a part of my international studies major, attending panels on campus with North Korea experts and traveling along the Chinese-North Korean border during high school all helped me conceptualize the article. The day after it was published, I saw that it was ranked #10 on Vox’s “Top 100” list.

Now, I’m learning how to emphasize my strengths and areas of expertise in the ideas I pitch to my editor every morning. I’m also learning how to spend less time doubting myself and more time simply being confident. Working as an intern doesn’t have to be intimidating.

The Dean's Internship program pairs SOC's top students with selected partner organizations for semester-long, for-credit internships. The competitive program provides extraordinary opportunities for undergraduates and graduates to have the work featured with named credits and bylines under national brands..

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Title: In the Executioner’s Shadow
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Abstract: American University School of Communication professors Maggie Burnette Stogner and Richard Stack know that capital punishment is not a simple subject, and their forthcoming documentary film, In the Executioner’s Shadow, shows why.
Topic: Communications
Publication Date: 07/07/2017
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American University School of Communication professors Maggie Burnette Stogner and Richard Stack know that capital punishment is not a simple subject, and their forthcoming documentary film, In the Executioner’s Shadow, shows why. It tells the stories of people who have personal experience with the death penalty, from crime victims to a former executioner. Through their eyes and stories, the film navigates the moral quandaries of capital punishment, and larger issues of American identity, fairness and the criminal justice system in our nation.

Stogner said, “It’s about who we are as a country and what our values are in the 21st century.”

Stogner, a filmmaker and professor of film and media arts, and Stack, a strategic communication professor, have worked with several students and alumni on the project over the course of production, and it’s final entering the end stages of production.

The film will debut later this year. Their hope is that the film will spark dialogue about understanding justice.

“We’ve discovered through our various interviews that one side talks past the other. It’s a mutual predicament. And we’re trying to get people to talk to each other,” says Stack.

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Title: Can Congress pressure the White House on human rights?
Author: Sarah Snyder
Subtitle:
Abstract: Professor Sarah Snyder examines the history of how the US balances its foreign policies and US human rights values.
Topic: International
Publication Date: 07/07/2017
Content:

In June, the Senate tried to block a US$500 million arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi intervention in Yemen's civil war has produced high numbers of civilian casualties, human rights abuses and a humanitarian crisis. The White House's decision to sell arms to the Saudis is just one indication that the Trump administration may be downgrading U.S. support for human rights. In May, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested that only in some cases should the United States "condition" its policy based on how countries "treat people."

The congressional effort to stop the Saudi deal was led by Senators Rand Paul, Chris Murphy and Al Franken. The measure garnered the support of 47 senators but ultimately failed - so, the sale will move forward. Nevertheless, it stands as the latest example of congressional activism on human rights, which began in the late 1960s.

As a historian of U.S. foreign relations, I have studied many instances in which members of Congress and nongovernmental activists have pressed the White House on human rights. This history offers important lessons for members of Congress and the public who fear Trump's administration is downgrading the U.S. commitment to human rights with its "America first foreign policy."

Earlier congressional battles

Dating to the first years of the Cold War, the United States has provided military assistance to its allies to ensure their ability to resist communist aggression and forge strategic ties between the U.S. and foreign militaries.

In addition, U.S.-based manufacturers profit from such transfers. Indeed, the United States has long been the world's leading arms dealer.

Until the 1970s, Congress had largely deferred to the president on questions of arms transfers and foreign aid. Like many of their predecessors, Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford were committed to offering military assistance to allies. These included the governments of Greece, South Korea and Chile, all of which violated their citizens' human rights.

In 1974, 104 members of Congress wrote to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger:

"…we do not believe that long-term U.S. foreign policy interests are served by maintaining supportive relationships with oppressive governments, especially in the military field, since military power is directly associated with the exercise of governmental control over the civilian population."

Finding the White House was resistant to this viewpoint, members of Congress tried to end U.S. military support to dictators through legislation. But White House officials maneuvered around Congress' piecemeal efforts by exploiting loopholes.

In 1976, Congress passed Section 301, or the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976. It marked a dramatic attempt by Congress to curtail the president's provision of security assistance to human rights abusers in the forms of military grants, credits and cash. The legislation required the State Department to report on human rights violations by states receiving military assistance. It prevented extending security assistance to countries that engage in "a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights."

In the wake of this stricter legislative language, the State Department and Congress worked together to monitor human rights abuses by writing annual reports on countries' human rights records. Such information enabled them to adjust U.S. foreign policy accordingly.

Members of Congress recognized that by providing support, U.S. military personnel, the U.S. government and the American people could be seen as complicit in human rights abuses. For example, observers analyzing high levels of anti-Americanism in Greece point to U.S. support for the military dictatorship there in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Human rights concerns today

Members of Congress acted then because they saw U.S. foreign policy as out of line with American values. Today, members of Congress are similarly speaking out on the White House's and the State Department's lack of commitment to protecting international human rights.

For example, John McCain's recent op-ed in The New York Times argued that human rights is an "essential part of our foreign policy, not a departure from it."

In May, 15 senators signed a bipartisan letter to the president asking him to make human rights a priority in U.S. foreign policy.

The ConversationAnd as Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin recently put it, the United States should not pursue a foreign policy "inconsistent with the values of the United States of America."

 

This article was originally published by Professor Sarah Snyder on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Title: Innovative Curriculum, World-Class Preparation
Author: Joshua Kaplan, MSSM '14
Subtitle: Reflections on my time in Kogod’s MSSM program
Abstract: "Attending Kogod was a crucial step in my career. It helped me tear down a common misconception: that business and environmental sustainability must always be at odds."
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 07/07/2017
Content:

Attending Kogod was a crucial step in my career. It helped me tear down a common misconception: that business and environmental sustainability must always be at odds. The MS in Sustainability Management program made this possible with its interdisciplinary nature, the experience and connections of the faculty, the opportunities in DC, and the chance to learn with a diverse, ambitious, and passionate set of peers.

Very few programs are designed like Kogod's MSSM, and its structure helped prepare me for exactly the type of job I wanted. I realized that some of the most significant work combating global issues such as climate change were happening in the private sector. My undergraduate background in environmental science prepared me to confront these problems from a very interdisciplinary standpoint, but I lacked the experience in subjects like accounting, finance, and organizational management that I knew I would need if I wanted to step into an organization and enact change from within.

The MSSM's core curriculum provided this necessary background, and allowed me to put business concepts within the context of how organizations approach corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability. Even in introductory courses like marketing, the faculty went out of their way to connect the subject matter with these areas, such as with a case study on how companies like Starbucks innovated fair trade certified commodities through their supply chains.

Kogod faculty not only bring world-class experience to the classroom, but really try to understand how their students want to practically apply their knowledge, such as in the example above. MSSM faculty also leveraged their connections and Kogod's DC location to gain access to networking events with practitioners; tour facilities such as General Electric's Water & Process Technologies manufacturing center or the Embassy of Finland; and bring high-powered speakers into the classroom. I keep in touch with many of these faculty members and speakers today, considering them not just mentors, but colleagues in the field.

My fellow students were another highlight of my time at Kogod. They came from incredibly diverse backgrounds; being able to sit in a room with engineers, architects, biologists, linguists, and consultants, as well as those with business backgrounds, made class discussions incredibly dynamic. Students were passionate, and willing to be critical of ideas that many would take for granted - a must in a newly emerging field built upon the idea of innovation, disruption, and change. It is now a privilege to call many fellow alumni of the MSSM program my colleagues. The MSSM alumni network has become one of its greatest assets in just a few short years.

Finally, I put the concepts I learned in the classroom into practice every day in my current role as Program Officer, Renewable Energy and Climate at World Wildlife Fund. In this role I work with large corporations to create new approaches for scaling renewable energy programs. The MSSM program in particular has positioned me to understand the financial basis of corporate decision-making, and understand how they can create value for the "triple bottom line" - financial, social, and environmental.

Even in a political climate where environmental regulations are under unprecedented scrutiny, the world's largest companies are stepping up their efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas footprints, source sustainable products, and account for the the full lifecycle of their products and services. They are doing this because it makes good business sense, mirroring the core idea that is the foundation of the MSSM program.

As these efforts increase, there has not been a better time to get into the emerging field of sustainability management. The MSSM program is well-positioned to create the next generation of leaders.

Learn more today about Kogod's MS in Sustainability Management program.

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Title: Summer Reading Suggestions
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Abstract: Summer is underway! If you are looking for a great book to read try one of these picks from our collection.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 07/06/2017
Content:

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue tells the story of an immigrant couple who face hardship during the Great Recession while living in Harlem, New York. Published in 2016, the book is a recipient of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, making Mbue the first African author to receive this honor. During an appearance on CBS This Morning, Imbolo shared how borrowing Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, from a library sparked her interest into becoming a writer. Media mogul Oprah recently announced Behold the Dreamers as her latest book club choice.

The Leavers by Lisa Ko explores the life of 11-year-old Deming Guo, an undocumented Chinese immigrant who is abandoned by his mother Polly. After Deming is adopted he struggles to assimilate while Polly tries to reconcile with the difficult decisions she made in her past. The Leavers won the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction in 2016 and is critically acclaimed for its portrayal of immigration and social issues.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi tells the story of half-sisters Effia and Esi who are in born in separate villages and live vastly different lives. Set in 18th Century Ghana, Effia grows up and marries an Englishman while her sister Esi is sold into slavery. The story continues with Effia's descendants living through centuries of Civil War and British colonization while Esis' go through slavery, the Civil War and the Great Migration. Homegoing is a New York Times bestseller and an Audie Award winner.

Little Bee written by Chris Cleave tells the story of a friendship that blossoms between Nigerian refugee Little Bee and Widow Sarah from London. When Little Bee goes to live with Sarah after being released from a detention center, their lives continue to intertwine. The critically acclaimed novel is reportedly being adapted into a film.

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Title: What is the Role of Public Media in Civil Society?
Author: Amanda Nyang'oro
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Abstract: CMSI Director Moderates AFI DOCS Forum Session, examines role of public media in a civil society.
Topic: Communications
Publication Date: 07/05/2017
Content:

The American Film Institute (AFI) held its 15th annual AFI DOCS Forum this year to start off AFI DOCS' Festival Hub at the District Architecture Center in Washington, D.C.

The film festival includes sessions of exclusive networking events and presentations that explore and examine current industry topics.

Caty Borum Chattoo, director of the Center for Media & Social Impact at American University, moderated a plenary session that discussed the role of public media in communities nationwide, as well as the expanding roles of journalism and documentary film in encouraging civic engagement.

Excerpt from CMSI coverage on its blog:

Chattoo opened the forum by asking panelists to describe "how they are working to advance local and community engagement through public media." Naomi Starobin, General Manager of WHYY Radio, began by describing her project, Keystone Crossroads, and how it explores the urgent challenges pressing upon Pennsylvania's cities.

Starobin explained that their goal "was to go out into communities, hold events, talk to people and actually bring people together to discuss what's bothering them in their community and what could be done about it."

Emmalee Hackshaw, director of Community Engagement with Georgia Public Broadcasting, stated that they worked with sister stations to produce eight micro-documentaries of, "individuals and families across the state kind of representing all the different kinds of populations that we have in Georgia."

And lastly, Jefferi K. Lee, General Manager of WHUT TV, stated his station's approach is likened to a "little milk crate that we can put on the ground and let you stand up to rise above the noise sometime and you get to speak you don't necessarily have to be on stage all the time to get your voice heard."

Chattoo concluded the session by saying that the mission of the public media should be to raise issues that bring people together to have conversations with one another.

Watch the full panel discussion below:

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Title: New Beginnings, Expanding Visions: Kogod Welcomes Three New Advisory Council Members
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: Jeff Ansary, John Heller and Anisha Singh officially joined the Council this Summer, bringing a full-range of business expertise with them.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 07/03/2017
Content:

Kogod's Advisory Council (KAC), the school's "behind-the-scenes" source of professional advice and mentorship, is growing. They're expanding their vision, focusing on initiatives that generate strong student outcomes. They're brainstorming ideas for how to optimize students' experience while at Kogod. They're also welcoming new members-three professionals with world-class experience and reputations alike.

Jeff Ansary, John Heller and Anisha Singh officially joined the Council this Summer, bringing a full-range of business expertise with them. They've started and run companies; worked in a diverse spectrum of fields, from finance, hospitality, real estate, federal contracting and marketing; negotiated deals domestically and internationally-you name it. Their greatest asset, though? Their passion for helping Kogod's students.

"I just want to give back," says Singh. "[I hope to] help Kogod graduates get great opportunities, and have strong visions for their futures."

Read more about each of the new KAC members below. You'll learn about their expertise and reasons for joining-and, most importantly, the impact they hope to have on the Kogod community.
_______________________________________________________________________

Jeff Ansary

Jeff Ansary Jeff Ansary comes to Kogod with 20 years of experience in finance, hospitality and real estate development. He worked with Hyatt Hotels Corporation for nearly a decade, where he built and led the Global Development Finance Group. Ansary is currently the Managing Director of Ansaco, LLC, an investment firm based in Bethesda, MD.

Kogod School of Business: What motivated you to join the KAC?

Jeff Ansary: I met with Dean Delaney several times, and he explained what the council would be working on the next few years: student employability, and the practical impact of faculty research. Today's work is so ROI-driven. I thought these were excellent concepts, and I have a good background I can draw on to help.

KSB: What are you most looking forward to in your work with the Council?

JA: I really enjoy my interaction with the students. It's our job to help them. It brings me closer to the school to hear first-hand what successes they're having, and what they're struggling with. I like figuring out what they want, and how to help them.

KSB: How has your professional experience prepared you for this role?

JA: I have a very diverse background. I've worked in capital markets, and in the hospitality sector with Marriott and Hyatt. I've also spent a lot of time on the hiring side. I saw a lot of things I liked and didn't like, and think I can bring some of that experience to the school.

KSB: What impact do you hope to have with your work?

JA: Strong student outcomes. I want to help them get hired by excellent employers. I'm open to doing anything I can-whether that's helping with networking, or giving more resources to the school.

KSB: What does being a KAC member mean to you?

JA: It's being an advisor to the dean-giving him my background to help him as he works to further the success of Kogod. I'm willing to do anything I can to help.
_____________________________________________________________________

John Heller

John Heller John Heller is CEO of PAE, a leading provider of enduring support for the essential missions of the U.S. government, its allied partners and international organizations, headquartered in Arlington, VA. He was named to the 2017 Wash100 for Post-Acquisition and Government Services Leadership, and received the 2015 GovCon Executive of the Year Award. Prior to joining PAE, Heller served as Senior Vice President and COO at Engility Corporation.

Kogod School of Business: What motivated you to join the KAC?

John Heller: Part of the PAE culture and one of my personal priorities is to serve the local community. The opportunity to serve on the KAC made sense for several reasons. Given that PAE is a large employer in the Greater Washington area, there is mutual benefit to developing a relationship with a local and leading business school. We are always seeking fresh talent, and we can offer very unique experiences to new graduates.

Secondly, PAE is a very international business-about half of our employees live outside of the U.S., and we operate on all seven continents. The foreign nature of our business fits American University's background.

Lastly, Dean Delaney was a key motivator. I've known him for ten years now, and respect him and his past achievements. His values align with both my own and those of PAE, and I'm excited to continue to support him at Kogod.

KSB: What are you most looking forward to in your role with the council?

JH: I'm most excited to help new graduates find their place in the working world, and help prepare them for employment. As an advisory board, we're all working in the community, so we have a great understanding of what organizations need. We can coach or advise the university on what it can do to improve the hiring rate, which is a big factor in attracting students: universities have to bring a great product to the table that offers a high likelihood of future employment. In return, universities need to produce students who have the broad experience employers are seeking, and who are equipped to become the future leaders we need in our business and government. I look forward to sharing my experience from the business and government contracting industry to assist the university attract high quality students and produce high quality graduates.

KSB: In what ways do you feel your professional experience has prepared you for this role?

JH: Business school was a transformative experience for me. I didn't study business as an undergrad so I took it that much more seriously. It was incredibly useful to me when I started working, and I want to share that with students.

I also think I can help by sharing how businesses view new graduates. What do companies expect from new graduates? What skills do we want them to bring to the job? This input can be helpful for the university to consider when building a program's curriculum.

So, I think I can help on two levels: on the student level, since I've been to business school, and on an administrative level, since I now work in business.

KSB: What impact do you hope to have in this new role at Kogod?

JH: I would like to advise the dean in any way he needs-whether it's helping improve student placement, continuing to shape and develop programs or achieving higher rankings.
______________________________________________________________________

Anisha Singh

Anisha Singh Anisha Singh is cofounder and CEO of Mydala.com, a local services marketing platform for large brands, with a 150,000+ merchant base and reach of 400 million customers in India. She launched her first venture, Kinis Software Solutions, in 2004. Singh has received many awards, including eTales' E-commerce Entrepreneur of the Year 2016; Cosmopolitan's Digital Power List 2016; and the World Women Leadership Congress' Women Leadership Award, 2014.

Kogod School of Business: What motivated you to join the KAC?

Anisha Singh: I wasn't connected to AU for a long time. I travel a lot for work, and have two young daughters-life is very busy. Last year, Professor Adhikari visited India for an alumni event that I hosted at mydala.com, my company. It was my way of re-connecting with AU. I felt like it was time to give back to the place where everything began. Kogod and its professors have had a deep impact on where I am today, and it's time to ensure we increase the impact globally.

KSB: What are you most looking forward to in this role?

AS: I'm excited to help raise awareness of Kogod globally. I think there's a real opportunity to do so because the student body is so diverse. I also think the way to do this is through the alumni. If we can build a tight alumni network in several countries, we'll have champions for Kogod all over the world.

I think if we can keep alumni involved in the school, we'll see a lot happen.

KSB: How do you feel your professional experience has prepared you to serve on the council?

AS: I think my global experience and outlook are my strongest assets. I speak about entrepreneurship globally at leading conferences. I actively mentor several start-ups and am a vocal champion of gender diversity. I bring the same to the KAC along with my passion for seeing Kogod as one of the top leading business schools globally.

KSB: What impact do you hope to have in this role?

AS: I just want to give back. I want to give back to the school that helped me start the path I needed to. I hope I can do something similar for the students that graduate from Kogod. That's the impact I want to have-help Kogod graduates get great opportunities, and have a strong vision for their futures.

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newsId: 1D0533F0-0E51-CD45-AC78B551E8CE247A
Title: 10 Reasons You Need to Go to Preview Day
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Abstract: Why American University’s “open house” event is a must for prospective students.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 06/30/2017
Content:

1. Preview Day provides prospective AU students and their families with a sample of the AU experience. You can't get that from the website or promotional materials.

2. Explore AU's beautiful, thriving campus. Take a campus tour led by current AU student ambassadors-many of whom decided to come to AU when they came to Preview Day. By the way, did you know AU's campus is an arboretum? One of the landscape projects has even been recognized for its eco-friendly design.

Preview Day is a chance to see AU's campus on a typical day during the academic year.









3. It tells AU's Office of Admissions that you are interested, which could be beneficial when you apply. AU's admission evaluation process factors in the extent to which a student has demonstrated interest. A campus visit is the best indication.

Coming to Preview Day tells AU's Office of Admissions that you are interested.










4. Learn more about AU's academic programs. During the Academic Overview sessions, students get the low-down on one of five AU schools of their choice: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Kogod School of Business, the School of Communication, the School of International Service, and the School of Public Affairs.

5. Hear directly from current AU students about what it's really like to be an AU student-without your parents. Ask any question during the "Life as an Eagle" for-students-only session.

Ask current students about their experiences at AU.










6. Get a taste of campus cuisine. At lunchtime, enjoy a boxed lunch provided by AU's Dining Services.

7. Find out if one of AU's signature first year programs would be right for you. Learn about AU's most rigorous academic programs and living-learning communities: the F rederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars, AU Honors, AU Scholars, and the Community-Based Research Scholars.

8. During the Student Life Fair, get more information about the residence halls, dining plans, student activities, and even how you can become a member of the Blue Crew. Also learn about study abroad, opportunities to engage in service projects, the University Library, and numerous other campus offices that provide social, spiritual, health, or academic resources for students.

Students join the Blue Crew to cheer the AU Eagles to victory.










9. Meet Admissions Experts. Also, investigate options to help finance your education.

10. It's free! There is no charge to participate. Even breakfast and lunch are free.

Register for Preview Day


Tags: Admissions,College of Arts and Sciences,Kogod School of Business,Media Relations,Office of Admissions,Office of Campus Life,Office of Enrollment,Office of Financial Aid,Prospective Students,School of Communication,School of International Service,School of Public Affairs
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newsId: BFB6A984-5056-AF26-BE0DC025E6F040E9
Title: New Madison Prize to Honor Compromise in Congress
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Abstract: Former Congressman David Skaggs (D-Colo.) and his wife Laura have established a new award to reward bipartisanship in Congress.
Topic: Announcement
Publication Date: 06/30/2017
Content:

At a time when gridlock on Capitol Hill has replaced negotiation, and public approval of Congress has reached historic lows, former Congressman David Skaggs (D-Colo.) and his wife Laura have established a new award. The Madison Prize for Constitutional Excellence will honor legislators who recognize the necessity for compromise in politics and show that the public interest can transcend partisanship or, in the words of James Madison, “faction.”

The Madison Prize, endowed by Rep. and Mrs. Skaggs in partnership with American University’s School of Public Affairs, will be awarded after each biennial Congress to recognize one Member (a U.S. Representative or Senator) from each major political party (or an Independent who caucuses with one of the parties) whose service reflects an understanding that American government depends on working out differences, not insisting on ideological purity.

“I have a Boy Scout’s dedication to the ideals of our government,” said Skaggs. “I am a creature of the legislative branch, and was privileged to have been in Congress and before that in the Colorado legislature. That experience made me appreciate the wisdom that comes from the collective efforts of legislators to compromise and work things out. Maybe it will help if we hold up for some recognition and honor a model of compromise in the spirit James Madison had in mind.”

The Madison Prize will be awarded after the end of each two-year congressional session to recognize one member of Congress from each major political party who best exemplifies respect for the institutional values of Congress and the need for compromise in a democratic society, traits outlined by James Madison in Federalist 10.

“We are fortunate David and Laura Skaggs have come to AU with this idea,” said James Thurber, Distinguished Professor of Government and founder and former director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at AU’s School of Public Affairs. “American University is the ideal place for the prize—we embrace and celebrate institution-builders. AU has love for Congress and a worry for Congress because today there is too much incivility, too much entrenchment. We want to honor those in Congress who work to make it more effective.”

Skaggs served 12 years in the U.S. Congress (1987-1999) as representative from the Second Congressional District of Colorado and three terms in the Colorado House (1981-1987). During his time on the Hill, he was a leader in efforts to improve the House of Representatives. He was the founding co-chairman with Congressman Ray LaHood (R-Illinois) of the House Bipartisan Retreats.

“A lot of people care deeply about our democracy and about making it work better,” said Skaggs. “But too many no longer understand that the Constitution requires compromise as essential to a working democracy.”

“Must partisan differences necessarily dissolve into ‘partisan warfare’ or into breaches of decorum?” asked Thurber. “Can we count on our political leaders to negotiate agreement? Can politicians disagree without being disagreeable? Surely the answer must be yes. The Madison Prize are an important next step to encouraging cooperation and civility and will celebrate people who don’t think compromise is a dirty word.”

American University’s School of Public Affairs will launch the initial Madison Prize selection process in fall 2018, with the inaugural prize awarded in early 2019 to two deserving members from the current 115th Congress.

For information on how you can help endow the Madison Prize please visit the website or contact Victoria Black, associate director of development, School of Public Affairs, at vblack@american.edu or (202) 885-2661.

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newsId: 666C9CFA-5056-AF26-BEA2B712D180F794
Title: Connecting with Students Inside and Outside the Classroom
Author: Seth Shapiro
Subtitle: Professor Ed Wasil wins Graduate Professor of the Year Award—for the Fourth Time
Abstract: Professor Wasil was recently named the 2017 Graduate Professor of the Year—his fourth time receiving the award. “I’m gratified to see that students recognize the kind of quality instruction I’m trying to bring to my class.”
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 06/29/2017
Content:

According to Edward Wasil, Professor of Management Science, there are three keys to being an effective teacher: command of the material, preparedness for class and respect for the students. Since he began teaching at Kogod in 1985, he has adhered to these principles every time he enters the classroom.

There are some aspects of teaching, however, that have changed over the past 30 years. Wasil tries to quickly recognize when he needs to adapt.

“I think I was the first professor in the Kogod school to get a Blackberry,” Wasil says. As students began to expect access to professors at any time via email rather than at prescheduled weekly office hours, Wasil wanted to ensure he kept up with his students’ evolving needs.

“Unless I’m asleep, I typically have a response rate of about 15 minutes,” he says. He considers that to be one of his hallmarks as a professor. “I’m available to [my students] when they need me.”

Wasil was recently named the 2017 Graduate Professor of the Year—his fourth time receiving the award. Andrew Toczydlowski, Director of Student Development and Services and facilitator of the award, says the honor is based entirely on student votes. Winning AU professors are recognized for their effective teaching abilities and the impact they have on students both personally and professionally.

Wasil says that receiving the award is humbling. “I’m gratified to see that students recognize the kind of quality instruction I’m trying to bring to my class.”

Developing—and Maintaining—a Reputation

Wasil has developed a few other hallmarks as a professor, in addition to his rapid email responses.

From the very first day of ITEC-610, Applied Managerial Statistics, Wasil’s students understand what’s expected of them. He gives them a roadmap that includes the key assessment points and all of the course materials for the semester. He believes the course must be well-organized to maximize students’ time.

“[Wasil] created a very positive environment that was conducive to learning, and [he] was very clear about his expectations,” says Adam Trent, MBA ’18.

The classroom environment is another one of Wasil’s hallmarks. “I try to create a relaxed atmosphere in class,” he says. “The material is intimidating enough.” He also wants his class to be fun and enjoyable. That’s why he takes the first few minutes of every class to engage with the students and talk about anything other than statistics such as golf or fantasy football.

“It’s hard to teach statistics for three hours, and it’s hard to sit through statistics for three hours,” says Zoe Bludevich, MBA ’18. “But he made it enjoyable and rewarding.”

Pushing Students to Think “Beyond Ward Circle”

Wasil has a refrain that he repeats throughout the semester: “beyond Ward Circle.” He uses this AU campus landmark as a reference to make sure students understand the relevance of class content.

“He pushed us to think beyond the classroom,” Bludevich says. “[Wasil] translate[d] what we were learning to how we would use it in the real world.”

When Trent took the statistics class in the fall semester of 2017, he said that Wasil related examples from the presidential election to course material. They examined the discrepancy between the polling data and the election results and discussed the significance of sample size to collect accurate information.

“That is an invaluable lesson that isn’t really given in books,” Trent says.

Faiza El-Hibri, MBA ’18, took away some fundamental lessons that she’ll continue to refer to after she graduates. “[Wasil taught us] the basics [that] we need to know to thrive in the professional world and in our careers.”

The Desire to Teach and See his Students Succeed

“My philosophy is, when I walk through that [classroom] door, everything in the outside world stops,” he says.

Wasil’s commitment to extending his philosophy beyond the classroom makes his students appreciate his efforts on their behalf.

“We all wish we had a few more [teachers] like him,” Trent says.

Wasil always tries to stay attuned to his students’ needs—whether they’re educational or nutritional. Before exams, Wasil always brings in home-baked cookies for his students. (His wife makes the cookies, and Wasil says he serves in a “managerial capacity” to oversee their production.) He even taught an online class and mailed the cookies to his students.

Wasil considers himself lucky that he knew early on what he wanted to do with his life: conduct statistics research and teach the material to students. As a scholar and a teacher, “You’re disseminating knowledge and you’re creating knowledge. You can’t do one without the other,” Wasil says. “I really like what I do.”

Even after teaching for more than 30 years, he says his desire hasn’t diminished.

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