University Honors Program | Staff and Contacts

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  1. General Contact Information
  2. Honors Staff
  3. Department Honors Coordinators

General Contact Information

The University Honors Program staff is ready to answer your questions, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

American University
University Honors Program
Hughes Hall, First Floor
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20016-8119

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Phone: (202) 885-6194
Fax: (202) 885-7013
Web site:

Honors Staff

Dr. Michael Manson
Program Director

Appointed in June 2011 as interim director of the University Honors Program, Dr. Michael Manson has been teaching in American University's Department of Literature and American Studies Program since 2001 and working for the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and for the Provost of the university for the past five years. His scholarly specialization is in American modernist poetry, but he also teaches classes in film. Born and raised in Dallas, he holds a B.A. in English from Rice University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia. He has previously taught at higher educational institutions in Wisconsin and New England. Dr. Manson is the author of several articles concerning modernist poetry and poetic form, discussing Robert Frost, Sterling A. Brown, Jay Wright, Lorine Niedecker, Gary Soto, Robert Hass, and Emily Dickinson. He is co-editor of "The Calvinist Roots of the Modern Era" (UP New England, 1997). His book project is entitled "Body Language: Modern American Poetry and the Politics of Poetic Form," and he is contributing to the forthcoming edition of the "Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics." He has served as the president of the Robert Frost Society (2006-2007) and as the executive director of the Northeast Modern Language Association (1997-2000). In 2005, he organized a Symposium on Poetic Form for the American Literature Association. Dr. Manson and his wife Marianne Noble, who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Literature, have two young children, Geoffrey YongSoo Manson and Arden YeRin Manson. 

Dr. Paula McCabe
Associate Director

American University alumna Paula McCabe brings diverse academic and life experiences to her role in the University Honors Program. She holds an M.A. in Communication (Journalism and Public Affairs) from AU’s School of Communication, where she has also served as an adjunct professor. Her news media background includes stints at The Boston Globe, ABC News and WAMU FM, AU’s National Public Radio affiliate. Paula McCabe studied at Boston’s Emmanuel College, earning a B.A. in English and Sociology and at Northeastern University, where she was awarded an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology. After several years of living in Italy, where she was for a time editor of an English-language weekly, the Boston native returned to Washington, D.C., and to AU in 2006.

RJ Pettersen
Program Coordinator

An alumnus of the University Honors Program and the College of Arts and Sciences, RJ Pettersen returned to Honors as Program Coordinator in 2011. Since completing his capstone in Creative Nonfiction in 2009, RJ has coordinated events for a library cooperative and volunteered as an English teacher for speakers of other languages. As an undergraduate, RJ majored in literature, minored in psychology, and served as an RA on Hughes 7 and as a DJ and music librarian at WVAU. He also spent a semester abroad in Berlin. RJ’s interests include music, baseball, bicycling, and vegetarian cooking. Born and raised on Long Island, RJ is a New York Mets fan.

Nadeen Makhlouf
Senior Honors Counselor

Nadeen graduated from the University of Maryland in College Park with a B.A. in Economics. At U.M.D., she worked as a peer advisor and ambassador for the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. After graduating she continued working for the University as an academic advisor in the Economics Department. Nadeen is currently a doctoral student at AU studying public administration and policy with a social policy/international development focus. She is especially interested in international social policy.

Nadeen is a native of the D.C. metropolitan area and enjoys visiting our area’s sites and monuments. She also enjoys reading and learning about both American and World history.


Asrah Mohammed
Honors Counselor

Asrah recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Psychology, and minors in Hispanic Studies and English. After graduating, she worked for human rights organizations in New York and her native Jamaica, and is now pursuing an MA in Global Governance, Politics and Security at American University. When not keeping up with coursework, she is generally either baking, reading or in front of the latest Pixar film.

Michael Youngborg
Honors Counselor

Mike recently graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a BA in history.  He was a member of the Nitze Scholars Program and graduated magna cum laude.  During his senior year, Mike attended the Phi Alpha Theta Mid-Atlantic Region Conference where he presented a paper entitled “Anything Calculated to Entertain: Women and the Vaudeville Stage.”  He also completed a senior thesis, which he presented at St. Mary’s, entitled “Children of the ‘Sidewalk and Gutter Generation:’ Feminism, Ethnicity and American-Jewish Identity in the 1960s.”  Mike is currently pursuing his PhD at American University with a focus on twentieth century US history.  He is interested in teaching at the university level after completing his degree.  Mike enjoys live music, movies and reading. 

When he is not reading history books, Mike enjoys anything from Tolkien to Hunter S. Thompson to Haruki Murakami.


Emily Torres
Honors Staff Assistant

Emily graduated from Skidmore College with a B.S. in Management and Business. While at Skidmore, she worked mostly as a Resident Assistant for the Office of Residential Life, becoming a Head Resident in her senior year and managing a dormitory of primarily freshmen and sophomore students. Post-Skidmore, she spent three years working in the Credit Risk Management department at Deutsche Bank in New York City’s financial district. She was primarily responsible for managing a portfolio of asset-backed securities ensuring that the transactions’ credit terms adequately mitigated the bank’s risk exposure. Emily is currently a pursing an M.A. in International Development in the School of International Service. She is especially interested in education policies affecting developing countries.

Department Honors Coordinators

Each department has at least one faculty member who is designated as the Department Honors Coordinator and may be of help in answering questions about Honors requirements in a given major. The Department Honors Coordinator is also an important part of the Honors Capstone approval process.

College of Arts and Sciences

  • American Studies: Prof. Tristan Cabello, Hamilton 302, x1837,
  • Anthropology: Prof. Brett Williams, Batelle-Tompkins T-54, x 1836,
  • Art- Studio Arts/ Fine Arts: Prof. Andrew Holtin, Katzen Arts Center 218, x 3928,
  • Art - Art History: Prof. Kim Butler, Katzen Arts Center 225, x 1569,
  • Art - Graphic Design: Prof. Yana Sakellion, Katzen Arts Center 220, x 1676,
  • Audio Technology/Audio Production: Prof. William Brent, Kreeger T08, x 1488,
  • Biology: Prof. Kathryn Walters-Conte, Hurst 10a, x3978,
  • Chemistry/Biochemistry: Prof. James Girard, Beeghly 104, x 1791,
  • Computer Science: Prof. Michael Black, McKinley 103, x 2011,
  • Economics: Prof. Mary Hansen, Kreeger 127, x 3793,
  • Education: Prof. Anastasia Snelling, Gray 116, x 6278,
  • Environmental Science/Studies: Prof. Albert Cheh, Beeghly 304, x 1772,
  • Health Promotion: Prof. Anastasia Snelling, Gray 116, x 6278,
  • History: Prof. Peter Kuznick, Batelle-Tompkins 145, x 2408,
  • Jewish Studies: Prof. Pamela Nadell, Batelle-Tompkins 139, x 2425,
  • Literature: Prof. Jeffrey Middents, Battelle-Tompkins 221, x 2979,
  • Mathematics/Applied Mathematics: Prof. Joshua Lansky, Gray 207, x 3687,
  • Mathematics and Economics: Prof. Mary Hansen, Kreeger 127, x 3793,
  • Performing Arts: Prof. Karl Kippola, Katzen Arts Center 227, x 3464,
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies: Prof. Amy Oliver, Battelle-Tompkins 118, x 2140,
  • Physics: Prof. Philip Johnson, Sports Center Annex 118, x2761,
  • Psychology: Prof. Jim Gray, Asbury 317, x 1716,
  • Sociology: Prof. Andrea Brenner, Battelle-Tompkins T-12, x 2578,
  • Public Health: Prof. Blake Bennett, Battelle-Tompkins - T39, x 6873,
  • Statistics: Prof. Joshua Lansky, Gray 207, x 3687,
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Prof. Lauren Weis, SCAN 160, x 2926,
  • World Languages and Cultures: Prof. Brenda Werth, McCabe 202, x 1449,

Kogod School of Business

  • Prof. Sally Fowler, Kogod 208, x 6676,

School of Communication

  • Prof. Joe Graf, MGC 327A, x 2147,

School of International Service

  • Last names A-F: Prof. Derrick Cogburn, SIS 245, x 2400,
  • Last names G-N: Prof. Christopher Rudolph, SIS 326, x 1686,
  • Last names O-Z: Prof. Mirjana Morosini, EQB 204A, x 6827,

School of Public Affairs

  • Political Science/CLEG: Prof. Kimberly Cowell-Meyers, Ward 221, x 6223,
  • Justice, Law, and Criminology: Prof. Robert Johnson, Ward 254, x 2951,