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About the College | Achievements

Please see below for recent student, alumni, faculty, and staff accomplishments:

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The William Penn Foundation awarded a three-year, $356,500 research project to the Arts Management Program at American University for the "Advancing Arts and Cultural Organizations - Research" Initiative. The project will track the progress and process of three arts organizations in Philadelphia, as they receive and apply significant change capital grants from the William Penn Foundation.

The National Science Foundation awarded a grant of $1,884,606 to the project "From the Laboratory to the Classroom: Building Capacity for Math and Science Teaching in DC (Lab2Class)." The project is under the direction of Sarah Irvine Belson, Kiho Kim, Bianca Abrams, John P. Nolan, and Michael Keynes.

David Carlini (biology) received a $15,720 award from the Cave Conservancy of the Virginias for his study "Transcriptome Profiling of the Cave Amphipod Gammarus Minus: the genetic basis and evolution of troglomorphic traits. "

Stephen Casey (mathematics and statistics) received an award of $145,537 from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for the three-year project "New Techniques in Time Frequency Analysis: Adaptive Band, Ultra Band and Multi-Rate Signal Processing."

Victoria Connaughton (biology) received $104,609 from NIH for an IPA during her AY 13/14 sabbatical and summer 2014.

Terry Davidson (psychology) received $194,971 of funding for year 1 of a 3 year project totaling $637,991 from NIH for his project "Signals to Feed: Biological and Associative Mechanisms."

Daniel Fong (biology) received a $10,000 award from the Cave Conservancy Foundation for his project titled "Analyses of the melanin pigment synthesis pathway in subterranean amphipods and isopods."

Douglas Fox (chemistry) received $57,825 from NIST for an IPA during his AY 13/14 sabbatical.

Mary Hansen (economics) received a $55,963 award from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges for her project "Opening New Views into Bankruptcy and Credit Markets Using Court Records."

Jeffrey Kaplan (biology) transferred a $129,924 grant for year two of a four year project totaling $466,562 from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). The project is titled "Biofilm matrix-degrading enzymes for the treatment and prevention of S. aureus-as."

David Kearns (psychology) received a $28,750 award from the National Center for Responsible Gaming for his study "An Animal Model of Relapse to Pathological Gaming."

Stephen MacAvoy (environmental science) received $15,000 from the University of the District of Columbia for his project "Episodic ion and nutrient inputs to the Anacostia River: constructing a chemical hydrograph of an urban streams response to periodic rainfall."

John Nolan (mathematics and statistics) received $122,284 partial funding for a three-year subcontract estimated at $306,452 from Cornell University for the project "ARO-MURI Project" funded by the U.S. Army Research Office.

Michael Robinson (mathematics and statistics) transferred a $65,000 grant to AU from the University of Pennsylvania (funded by Princeton University/Air Force Office of Scientific Research) for the project "Sheaf Invariants for Information Systems." He also received a $35,000 award from the Department of Defense through the University of Pennsylvania for his project "Algebraic-Togological Sensor Data Exploitation."

Anastasia Snelling (SETH) received an award of $72,621 for her project, "The DC Healthy Schools Act in the District of Columbia: Measuring It's Impact - II."

Jonathan Tubman (psychology) received a $2,486,981 award from the National Institutes of Health for the five-year project, "Multisite School-Based Evaluation of a Brief Screener for Underage Drinking."



Education Portal named American University's Audio Technology Program as the number one among top Audio Engineering and Production schools. 

Naomi Baron (WLC) was named the third recipient of the Betty Bennet Award.

Kim Blankenship (sociology) is a member of the Behavioral and Social Science Approaches to Preventing HIV/AIDS Study Section at the Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health.

Matt Boerum (audio technology) was awarded the Excellence in Advising award at the Student Activities, Student Leader Reception.

Craig E. Cheifetz, BA psychology ’91, won the Walter J. McDonald Award from the American College of Physicians.

Connections, the College's biannual magazine, won a 2013 APEX Award for Publication Excellence.

Kathleen Boyle Dalen, CAS '95, received the Pearl Award for achieveing excellence in science, technology, engineering, and math.

One of Kyle Dargan's (literature) poems was featured February 28, 2012, as the Poem of the Day on The Academy of American Poets website and also their daily email that reaches 70,000 subscribers.

Tim Doud (art) was included in the National Portrait Gallery's triennial, The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. The image of his painting was put on the cover of the catalog, over 3000 paintings considered in the competition.

Deborah Payne Fisk (literature) received a Fulbright fellowship to lecture at the Universidad de Sevilla in Spring 2014 on early modern English drama. While there, she will be working with several Spanish faculty members on a publication related to the "Restoration Comedy Project," an ongoing endeavor funded by the EU.

Max Paul Friedman (history) was awarded a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship in the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation's eighty-ninth annual competition for the United States and Canada. The Fellowship will support Friedman's current research project, “The Containment of the United States: The Latin American Diplomatic Tradition and the Limits of Principle.” He is one of 175 scholars, artists, and scientists to win the fellowship this year.

Mary D. Garrard (professor emerita, art history) visited the University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL) as Stanford Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, in February 2013. While in residence, Garrard delivered the keynote address for a conference celebrating the University's Humanities Center as the new publication site for Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal; and gave another plenary session lecture for conferees.

Over spring break, dance professors Melanie George and Sandra Atkinson traveled with 10 students to the University of North Carolina-Greenboro to attend the Mid-Atlantic Regional American College Dance Festival. Students performed two pieces in the adjudicated concerts (one student choreographed, and one by Artist in Residence, Christopher K. Morgan). The student-choreographed piece, This is Not a Show, was selected as one of the 10 pieces (out of 40 guest artist, faculty, and student works) performed in the closing gala concert.

Mary Gray (mathematics and statistics) is a 2013 American Mathematical Society Fellow.

Caren Grown (economics) was asked by USAID's leadership to become the Agency's Senior Coordinator on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, the Agency's highest level leadership role. She will serve in that role until the beginning of the fall 2013 semester. 

Nell Haynes, PhD anthropology '13, was awarded a two year post-doctoral appointment at the Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile doing social networking research as part of a major international project based at their center for Indigenous Studies.

Dan Kalman (mathematics and statistics) will receive the Mathematical Association's Paul R. Halmos-Lester R. Ford Award at the MathFest 2013 Prize Session on August 2 in Hartford, CT. Professor Kalman is being recognized for his paper "Another Way to Sum a Series: Generating Functions, Euler, and the Dilog Function," published in 2012 in The American Mathematical Monthly.

Kiho Kim (environmental science) was appointed to the "Pool of Experts of the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment" for the United Nations.

Alan Kraut (history) is the President of the Organization of American Historians for 2013.

Alan Kraut (history) received a 2013 China Residency from the Organization of American Historians.

Gail Humphries Mardirosian (performing arts) will be invested into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre in April at the Kennedy Center.

Gail Humphries Mardirosian (performing arts) received a Likhachev Cultural Fellowship for her project "Theatre as a Conduit for Cross-Cultural Dialogue the Cabaret Phenomena Revisited: A Convergence of Cabarets."

Music major Allie Martin won the Eastern Division of the MTNA Young Artist String Competition. She will travel to Anaheim, California, in March to compete as a National Finalist in the MTNA Young Artist String Competition.

Chemi Montes (art) won a gold and silver award from the 2014 international Graphis poster competition for Department of Performing Arts performance posters.

Marianne Noble (literature) was elected to the the Editorial Board of American Literature, the journal sponsored by the American Literature Section of the MLA.

Adrienne Pine (anthropology) received a Fulbright award that will support her research project, “Nursing, Health and Democracy in Honduras.” The project examines the health impacts of the 2009 U.S.-supported coup in Honduras and the country's subsequent ignominious rise to the rank of most violent country in the world. It simultaneously explores the ways in which Honduran nurses have responded to state-sponsored violence and the neoliberal restructuring of healthcare by actively reshaping their caregiving and advocacy roles vis-a-vis patients and the state.

Jack Rasmussen (American University Museum) received a Likhachev Cultural Fellowship. He will be meeting with potential
collaborators who can help him bring the most challenging and provocative Russian art to the museum. Following his visit to Russia, he will fly directly to Uzbekistan at the request of the Russian Culture Initiative.

Eric Rodriquez (BA, anthropology '14) was named a Udall Scholar for 2012-13. The Udall Scholarship is awarded to students interested in careers related to all aspects of environmental protection. It also honors Native Americans and Alaska Natives who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to tribal public policy or Native health care. There are 50 Udall Scholars this year, and they were selected from 433 applications.

Randa Serhan (sociology) and Mary Minz (library) received a Muslim Journeys Bookshelf Award on behalf of the university library. The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Cultures initiative. The library received twenty-five books and three films and will host three events focusing on Muslim-American issues.

Andrew Taylor (arts management) was named one of the "50 Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts" by Barry's Blog.

Theatre students performed in a reading at Ford's Theatre on February 11. The event featured an evening of Wilder one-acts and AU students performed Wilder's play The Long Christmas Dinner.  

Lesley Weiss (Jewish Studies alumna),an advocate for Jews in the former Soviet Union, was reappointed as chair of the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. President Obama announced March 13 that he would reappoint Weiss, who is the director of community services and cultural affairs for the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, as head of the commission.



Dan Abraham's (performing arts) Bach Sinfonia concert of recently discovered and rarely heard music from the New World of Central, Caribbean and South America received rave reviews from the Washington Post and Andrew Malone of DMV Classical.

Naomi Baron (WLC) wrote an article “Do Mobile Technologies Reshape Speaking, Writing, and Reading?” for the inaugural issue of the journal, Mobile Media and Communication 1(1) 134-140.

Naomi Baron (WLC) published the article "Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media" in the new issue of PMLA (vol. 128, no. 1).

Emerald's Advances in Gender Research Series: Notions of Family: Intersectional Perspectives, edited by Marla H. Kohlman, Dana B. Krieg, and sociology professor Bette J. Dickerson, was published by London: Emerald Group Publishing, 2013.

Douglas Fox (chemistry) and three undergraduate researchers published a paper on flame retardant poly (lactic acid) using a modified cellulose (Polymer Degradation & Stability, 98 (2), 2013, 590-596).

Stephanie Grant (literature) published a story in Narrative Magazine, the premiere on-line literary publication in the U.S.

During the past year, five faculty-authored and three faculty-coedited books have been published in the History Department:

  • Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman: FDR and the Jews (Belknap/Harvard)
  • Anton Fedyashin: Liberals under Autocracy: Modernization and Civil Society in Russia,1866–1904 (University of Wisconsin)
  • Max Paul Friedman: Rethinking Anti-Americanism: The History of an Exceptional Concept in American Foreign Relations (Cambridge)
  • Peter Kuznick and Oliver Stone: The Untold History of the United States (Gallery Books)
  • Eric Lohr: Russian Citizenship: From Empire to Soviet Union (Harvard)
  • Laura Beers and Geraint Thomas: Brave New World: Imperial and Democratic Nation-Building in Britain between the Wars (Institute of Historical Research)
  • Alan Kraut and David A. Gerber: Ethnic Historians and the Mainstream: Shaping the Nation’s Immigration Story (Rutgers University Press)
  • Pamela S. Nadell and Kate Haulman: Making Women’s Histories: Beyond National Perspective (NYU)

David Keplinger's (literature) new book The Most Natural Thing is being published by New Issues Press.

Namiko Kunimoto's (art) article "Shiraga Kazuo: The Hero and Concrete Violence" was published in the leading peer-reviewed art history journal, Art History.

Emily Dickinson and Philosophy, published in August 2013 by Cambridge University Press, was edited by literature professor Marianne Noble, Jed Deppman (Oberlin College) and Gary Lee Stonum (Case Western Reserve University).

David Pike's (literature) book, Canadian Cinema since the 1980s: At the Heart of the World, was just published (University of Toronto Press, 2012).

Richard C. Sha's (literature) edited book, Romanticism and the Emotions, was recently accepted by Cambridge University Press. He co-edited this with Joel Faflak. His essay "The Motion Behind Romantic Emotion: Towards a Chemistry and Physics of Romantic Feeling" will appear in this volume. His article, "Imagining Romantic Physiology: Romantic Science, Imagination, and the Fate of Hypothesis" is forthcoming in European Romantic Review in a special issue on New Approaches to the Imagination, edited by Alan Richardson, in April 2013. His article, "Romanticism, Paradox, and Free Love: Hegel, Rousseau, Goethe," is forthcoming from The Wordsworth Circle (June 2013). He has received invitations to give papers from his new book on the Romantic Imagination from the Keats-Shelley House in Rome, the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Romanticism in Bologna, Italy, and Università degli Studi "G. d'Annunzio" in Pescara, Italy.

Anita Sherman (literature) won the Open Paper Competition of the Shakespeare Association of America for her paper titled (Fantasies of Private Language in Shakespeare's 'Phoenix and Turtle.' She will deliver the paper orally at the association's annual meeting in Toronto in April.

Rachel Louise Snyder's (literature) Annals of Prevention, "A Raised Hand," was published in The New Yorker, July 22, 2013 issue. Snyder and Suzanne Dubus (mentioned in the article) were featured on the Diane Rehm show to discuss the piece.

Vivian Vasquez's (SETH) book, Negotiating Critical Literacies with Young Children, is on Amazon's Best Seller List in the education category Lesson Planning for Educators. It is in the top 100 books out of over 8000 titles. It is also the #1 best seller on Routledge's Language, Culture, and Teaching Series.



WETA's Around Town reviewed Washington Art Matters 1940s–1980s, now at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Critics praised the use of vibrant colors and wide variety of artists in the exhibition.

The New York Post highlighted sociology professor Michael Bader's new research that suggests neighborhood retail environment may impact public health, as indicated by Bader's discovery that in New York City, public high school students with more fast food outlets in their neighborhoods are less likely to be obese. Bader discovered the same relationship between NYC teen obesity rates and banks.

Naomi Baron (WLC), Max Paul Friedman (history), and Allan Lichtman (history) were featured on C-SPAN Book TV talking about their new books Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World, Rethinking Anti-Americanism: The History of an Exceptional Concept in American Foreign Relations, and FDR and the Jews, respectively.

Linguistics professor Naomi Baron (WLC) talked to USA Today about why younger people prefer texting to phone calls. In a separate side-bar story, she discussed why people are increasingly using texts to communicate negative messages, such as breaking up with someone. The Gannett News Service distributed the main article, which resulted in more than 70 additional Gannett outlets republishing it.

With The Atlantic, Naomi Baron (WLC) talked about different ways that people digitally communicate feeling and irony in writing by using emoticons and creating a customized language.

Naomi Baron (WLC) was quoted in the Financial Times 'Cerebral Circuitry' by April Demobsky about ways in which our interaction with communication technologies may be affecting our thinking and modes of interaction.

History professor Laura Beers talked to the Christian Science Monitor about the legacy of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

For Washington Post online, Sarah Irvine Belson (SETH) wrote about the gaps in the quality of education reforms for schools serving minorities.

Julie Sara Boyd (SETH) was an in studio interview guest on WTTG-FOX5 for a segment about the Common Core Curriculum.

The New York Times and Washington Post reviewed FDR and the Jews, the new book co-authored by history professors and Richard Breitman and Allan Lichtman, which addresses former President Roosevelt’s actions during the Holocaust, the depression, and World War II.

NPR's All things Considered interviewed history professors Allan Lichtman and Richard Breitman about their new book, FDR and the Jews, which discusses former President Franklin D. Roosevelt's approach to addressing the plight of Jews in Nazi-Occupied Europe before and during the Holocaust.

Kyle Dargan (literature) spoke with Bill Moyers on his show Bill Moyers & Co. Filming around D.C. and Dargan's hometown of Newark, New Jersey, illuminate various parts of the interview.

Director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience Terry Davidson (psychology) discussed with a new study that suggests fructose consumption is a major factor in the obesity epidemic, but glucose consumption is not. 

Farhang Erfani (philosophy and religion) spoke on Voice of America Persian on Iranian cinema and politics. The interview aired on Persian New Year.

Anton Fedyashin (history) appeared live in studio on WRC-NBC4 to discuss the history of violence in Chechnya. With the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, he also discussed the suspects’ Chechen background.

William Hirzy (chemistry) appeared in a story about "shrouded science" for WTVD-ABC11, the ABC affiliate in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC.

Frederic Jacobs (SETH) explained to the New York Times why lawmakers have pushed for retirees to be able to audit college courses for no or low cost.

Justin Jacobs (history) appeared on Voice of America's Chinese-language television program to present the "historian's angle" on current events in China.

Psychology professor Laura Juliano talked to the Wall Street Journal about how symptoms of caffeine withdrawal are often mistaken for many other medical disorders and medical problems.

Laura Juliano (psychology) spoke to Women’s Health Magazine about potential health risks associated with high amounts of caffeine found in many energy drinks.

Nutrition professor Vanessa King (SETH) spoke to Washington Post online about the importance of the how and why of eating.

With the New York Times, history professor Alan Kraut discussed Latino immigrants in the United States following the historic pattern of immigrant integration into American life.

William Leap (anthropology) was interviewed by TIME magazine about the response to Bradley Manning's request that she be identified as a woman.

Economics professor Robert Lerman was on The Diane Rehm Show "Who Benefits From College And Why" on May 8.

Robert Lerman (economics) published an opinion piece on the PBS Newshour website about the lack of apprenticeship programs in the United States.

Robert Lerman (economics) was quoted in a Bloomberg article about apprenticeships.

Allan Lichtman (history) was featured on MSNBC's The Cycle, discussing how cover ups can be worse than a political scandal.

History professor Allan Lichtman appeared on CBS Evening News to discuss criticism of the Obama administration for suggesting a reform of the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices.

In a pre Inauguration Day appearance on WTTG-FOX5, history professor Allan Lichtman discussed President Obama’s plans for his second term. He also appeared on BBCNews24 (UK) and spoke to The Globe and Mail (Canada) to discuss Obama’s intentions in his second term.

History professor Allan Lichtman spoke to U.S. News & World Report about the passing of Great Britain’s former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. He discussed the personal and political relationship between Thatcher and former president Ronald Reagan.

NPR's All things Considered interviewed history professors Allan Lichtman and Richard Breitman about their new book, FDR and the Jews, which discusses former President Franklin D. Roosevelt's approach to addressing the plight of Jews in Nazi-Occupied Europe before and during the Holocaust.

History professor Allan Lichtman spoke to the Associated Press about what President Obama needed to say at the State of the Union to win Congressional support. More than 500 additional outlets republished the article. 

In a live in-studio appearance on WTTG-TV FOX5, history professor Allan Lichtman talked about why Congressional Republicans and Democrats have not been able to come to an agreement on addressing budget cuts put forth by the sequestration.

In a op-ed Eric Lohr (history) argued that the Boston bombing suspects’ Chechan origins should not be considered motive for the attacks. Lohr also explained the conflict between Russia and Chechnya on WRC-NBC4 and for National Journal.

Arts management alumna Danielle Mouledoux was included in a Washington Business Journal article about the DC trend of having high-end, food-centric and luxury movie theaters focused on independent films.

Martyn Oliver (philosophy and religion) was a featured panel member on a CrossTalk discussion of the spillover from the civil war in Syria. 

A feature article about Dan Sayers's (anthropology) Great Dismal Swamp Landscape Study was posted on the website for the Suffolk News Herald.

Psychology professor Arthur Shapiro was featured in a Brain Games episode on the National Geographic Channel. The show, "Motion Commotion," is about your brain and how it perceives motion.

Rachel Louise Snyder (literature) wrote a piece on gun control for Huffington Post and was featured with her husband on Huffington Post's live stream the following day.