College of Arts & Sciences

College of Arts & Sciences

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AU continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest guidelines and resources for the AU community are available on our COVID-19 site and 2022 FAQ.

News & Events

Pages flying out of a book

Healing Words

When Vince Granata’s brother, Tim—who suffers from schizophrenia—killed their mother in 2014, Vince worked through his anguish and anger by writing about it

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A group of 2022 graduates exemplify AU's changemaking efforts.

Making Meaningful Change at AU

A distinguished group of changemakers reflect on their time at AU before they graduate.

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AU President Sylvia M. Burwell and 2022 President's Award winner Benjamin Holtzman.

Finding a Calling: President’s Award Winner Seeks Peace

Benjamin Holtzman has found a calling to work on peace issues in the Middle East

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Becca Peixotto's leg as she squeezes between two rocks

History in Her Hands

Archaeologist Becca Peixotto digs deep into the earth to discover the stories of people who once walked it.

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CAS students graduating

Achievements

CAS faculty are making their mark on the world. See their latest achievements, awards, and honors.

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Maker Lab at AU

Launch from CAS

Discover career networking prospects with CAS graduate programs.

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Spotlight: Meet Our Student Changemakers

Shiloah Symone Coley

MFA, Studio ArtShiloah Symone Coley with her art.

Both inside and outside the art studio, Studio Art MFA Candidate Shiloah Symone Coley interrogates the existing stories we come to believe as truths about ourselves, others, and the world around us.

Shiloah believes community-engaged work is crucial in unpacking the different perspectives that contribute to the narratives of our society. By seeking to center the voices of her collaborators, her process explores what it means to have agency in telling your own story, and she has facilitated youth-led art projects in New York City, Madison, WI, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Shiloah is currently a Sherman Fairchild Foundation Fellow at the Phillips Collection, working with its Community Engagement and Marketing-Communications departments to develop meaningful storytelling and programming with the DC community.

After graduation she wants to continue collaborating with the communities around her, while also maintaining a dedicated studio practice through a residency or fellowship alongside an educational institution or nonprofit. She says that being at AU has given her an opportunity to rigorously research and advance her practice.

When I arrived at American University, I was primarily a painter. Now I work in a much more anti-disciplinary collage fashion that's driven by the themes and motifs I'm engaging with conceptually. And at the Phillips, I've had the opportunity to see the inner workings of how an art institution operates. It's been an incredibly educational experience.

Lisa Joseph

MS, Health Promotion Management
Lisa Joseph

Not only is Lisa Joseph on track to earn her MS in Health Promotion Management in 2022, but she has already landed her dream job.

This month, Lisa began work as the Program Coordinator of Education at the prestigious American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). At ASCO, she helps organize educational courses conducted by volunteer/partnered doctors for the pharmaceutical industries. The goal is to help patients better understand current research and new drug developments.

At American University, Lisa has worked as a graduate assistant in the Department of Health Studies, doing program development, data collection, and data analysis. She helped produce a “Faithfully Fit Toolkit” for ministries to implement into their own programs, as well as a report on how to balance food store profits with customers’ needs for fresh, healthy food. Finally, as a COVID Case Coordinator at the university, she worked on contact tracing and as a source of information for individuals who were potentially infected with the virus.

Lisa credits AU faculty for helping her to obtain her dream job at ASCO.

Each of my professors have played a key role in my success at AU. From my very first conversations with Dr. Snelling, I immediately felt supported when weighing my financial options. Since attending AU, I have had professors consistently provide wisdom and career advice, send job postings, and serve as references, supporting both my professional development and job applications.

Sarah Salkowski

MA in Ethics, Peace, and Human Rights
Sarah Salkowski

Sarah Salkowski envisions a world where all people going through the pregnancy and birthing process are empowered to make informed decisions and successfully navigate the healthcare system. While earning her MA at American University in Ethics, Peace, and Human Rights, she has found the perfect place to work towards achieving these goals.  

Sarah works for the German nonprofit, Empowered Birth Movement (EBM), which confronts maternal health inequities by advancing the availability, affordability, and accessibility of multilingual health information and community-based support throughout pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. At EBM, she began by reading and writing briefs on existing research in the field. She’s moved on to assist all of ERB’s programs, including outreach, university partnerships, the community peer-support course, fact sheets, and research.

Sarah says AU has prepared her for her dream career in the nonprofit sector, impacting people's lives and empowering future generations. “The lessons I have learned during my degree have allowed me to develop as a human, a student, and as a professional in the nonprofit world. AU has given me the confidence I need to bring forth the kind of change I want to see,” she says. 

Sarah especially appreciates her AU peers.

They've challenged me in so many ways and pushed me to do my absolute best. You could not ask for a better group of people to grow with, especially through the challenging times we've had in this pandemic.”

Alex Lutz

MS, Chemistry
Headshot of Alex Lutz

Alex Lutz has loved chemistry since eighth grade. Now he is an MS in Chemistry candidate at American University, and he’s received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to pursue exciting research on the next generation of antibiotics. 

In Associate Professor of Chemistry Monika Konaklieva’s lab, Alex is synthesizing and purifying novel antibiotic compounds to test their effectiveness against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Some of the compounds have also demonstrated effectiveness in treating Alzheimer’s and other viral diseases.

Alex says he first became interested in American University because of its post-baccalaureate program. While he was studying in that program, he took a class on organic chemistry, which rekindled his love for chemistry and narrowed it down more to organic synthesis. He is planning on applying to PhD programs to continue his education in chemistry and hopes to focus on organic synthesis. He is also hoping to directly use the skills and techniques that he uses in the lab now in his future research.

“I would like to recognize and thank Dr. Monika Konaklieva for her constant support and guidance during my time as a graduate student,” Alex says. “Her constant patience and support during my research have been invaluable to me. Her guidance not only helped my selection of work, but has been vital in keeping me on track.”

Why the College of Arts & Sciences?

Students and alumni discuss distinctive features of the College, why they chose their particular degrees, and program opportunities they pursued.