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Special Relationships

SOC On Coal River AFI Silverdocs

On Coal River

On Coal River was screened at the AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival that took place in June. SOC is a proud partner of AFI.

American Film Institute

Volunteers at Silverdocs will be sporting t-shirts with the SOC logo.

SOC has a long history of working with AFI, including the first Reel Journalism Festival in 2003 and the 2004 Political Comedy Festival held at AFI’s Silver Theater in Silver Spring, MD. AFI has been a partner and co-sponsor of SOC’s summer high school program, Discover the World of Communication. Last year, 480 students from 35 states participated in the program.

SOC supported the Silverdocs Documentary Festival, displaying on the backs of hundreds of volunteers, the school's "Real to Reel" program logo. The Real to Reel program's purpose is to show and to share the powerful educational value of documentary film making.

Several SOC students volunteered at the screenings and participated in the associated conference.

Communications Consortium Media Center


Since 1988, under the sustained leadership of Kathy Bonk, Phil Sparks and Emily Tynes, the Communications Consortium has worked collaboratively with hundreds of nonprofits and scores of coalitions, creating a laboratory of professional practice that has explored the full range of strategic options and tested the payoffs for organizations and the causes they pursue.
SOC and the Communications Consortium work together in a multi-faceted partnership, including internships and fellowships, class assignments that contribute to campaigns, and faculty and student research and evaluation of campaigns.

Kaiser Family Foundation

SOC Kaiser Foundation Logo

A leader in health policy and communications, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S., with a growing role in global health. It is a non-partisan source of facts, information, and analysis for policymakers, the media, the health care community, and the public. Kaiser and SOC have made a commitment to build a multi-faceted relationship, including dedicated internships, class projects and faculty and student research. Kaiser is considering the support of a graduate fellowship and collaborating on training programs for working journalists.

Czech Embassy

SOC is embarking on a new partnership with the Embassy of the Czech Republic. Six American University students shared their impressions of Prague in the Spring 2008 photography exhibition, Enchanted Prague Cityscapes, at the Czech Embassy. This is the first time that the Czech embassy has featured an exhibition with non-Czech photographers. The six AU students featured in the exhibition had the opportunity to study photography in the Czech Republic under master printer and photographer and former SOC artist-in-residence, Miroslav Vojtechovsky. Other AU students study filmmaking at the world-renowned FAMU Film and Television Academy in Prague.

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French Embassy

Over the last three years, SOC has partnered with the French Embassy and their fall C’est Chic Film Festival and spring L'Petite Film Festival. This year, four films by three AU graduate students were shown at the spring Festival's closing ceremony. They included "The DC Youth Orchestra Program," "The Drop," "Against the Grain," and "Connections."  As part of the fall festival, acclaimed French writer/director Claude LeLouch came to campus for a master class and was interviewed by Washington Post film critic and SOC alumnus, Desson Thomson. LeLouch was so impressed with his visit to AU that he has asked the Embassy to help forge a relationship with AU SOC and a new cinema school that he will be opening in Bonne, France, next year. Other visitors who conducted master classes and screenings at SOC include: Sylvain Pioutaz and Julien Lecat, who wrote and produced the short film Demain la veille, and director David Oelhoffen and actor Nicolas Giraud of Nos Retrouvalles/In Your Wake. SOC is also formalizing numerous internship opportunities with the Embassy for SOC students.

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Spanish Embassy

SOC worked in partnership with the Embassy of Spain to produce a series of events in fall 2008. The Goya and Spanish Photojournalism exhibit was featured at AU’s Katzen Arts Center from September 2 to October 26, 2008. Goya, considered my many to be the first artist to paint a modern war, painted the suffering of a civil society faced with the horrors of war. SOC will also hold a two-day film festival featuring the best Spanish Shorts from the last ten years. Master classes with photojournalist Javier Bauluz and Pep Bonet will be held in conjunction with Prof. Bill Gentile’s foreign journalism class. SOC will work with the Spanish embassy to conduct a forum called Regarding the Pain of Others: War, Photography and Art that examines the different viewpoints of war. The forum will include Javier Bauluz, Pep Bonet, Antonio Caño and SOC Prof. Bill Gentile. SOC is exploring an event/panel discussion with the Online News Association called Digital Media in Spain and in the U.S. which would feature Spanish media such as EL PAIS (newspaper) and TV3 (TV) as well as members of the U.S. media.

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Nieman Foundation and IF Stone Award

SOC Nieman Foundation

The Nieman Foundation selected SOC to host its 2009 presentation of the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence. Partnering for the first time with a school of journalism, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard chose SOC to host this year’s prestigious writing award in recognition of its in-depth journalism program. In addition to the medal presentation for a professional journalist, the Foundation honored American University SOC graduate student Russ Choma with a $1,500 award for his winning entry in an essay competition on journalistic independence.


The Washington Post Company

The School of Communication enjoys a longstanding relationship with The Washington Post and Washingtonpost.com. The school and the Post have collaborated on educational summits, alumni-student programs, a seminar, academic project support, and an informational speaker series.