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American University Faculty Experts On Why Change Can’t Wait

Global governance and world order. Higher education. Sports law. Race in the marketplace. Quantum information theory. Prevention of and disengagement from violent extremism. Race and representation in media. 

American University faculty are the leading experts in these essential fields of study (and more). AU scholar-teachers are finding solutions to the world’s most pressing issues and shaping the next generation of changemakers.  

Earlier this fall, we sat down with some of AU’s extraordinary faculty as part of our 60 Seconds with an AU Expert series to understand what is so critical about their work and what changes they think can’t wait.  

Meet global governance and world order expert Amitav Acharya, UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance and distinguished professor in AU’s School of International Service. Acharya’s research focuses on the rise of non-Western countries and their influence on how we understand the world. He is the first non-Western scholar to be elected president of the International Studies Association (2014-2015) and received two Distinguished Scholar Awards from the organization (2015 and 2018). Acharya was also named American University’s Scholar-Teacher of the Year in 2020.

Meet Amitav Acharya

Amitav Acharya is an expert on global governance and world order.

Expert in higher education and improving equity-based teaching in college, Corbin M. Campbell is associate dean of academic affairs and associate professor in AU’s School of Education. Campbell’s research examines college teaching, assessments of higher education quality, and the organizational environments that support faculty to thrive in their careers. Campbell was awarded the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2015 and has served on committees for the National Academies and National Center for Education Statistics to assess interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies in college and revise the national postsecondary sample surveys.

Meet Corbin M. Campbell

Corbin M. Campbell is an expert on equity-based teaching in higher education.

Sports law expert N. Jeremi Duru, professor at the Washington College of Law, has a particular interest in the impact of sports on society, with a principal focus on racial and gender dynamics. Duru is widely recognized for his excellence as an advocate and a teacher. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and received the National Bar Association’s Sports and Entertainment Lawyer of the Year in 2005, American University’s Faculty Award for Outstanding Teacher in 2018, and the Washington College of Law Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2016-2017 academic year. Duru serves on the Sports Lawyers Association’s Board of Directors, the NCAA’s Committees on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport, and the National Sports Law Institute’s Board of Advisors.

Meet N. Jeremi Duru

N. Jeremi Duru is an expert on sports law.

Professor in AU’s Kogod School of Business Sonya A. Grier is an expert in race in the marketplace and the social impact of marketing. Grier’s research examines marketplace topics related to race, focusing on enhancing consumer well-being. She is co-founder of the Race in the Marketplace Research Network, which works collaboratively to advance our understanding of the role of race across diverse market domains. Grier serves on the editorial board for the Advertising and Society Quarterly, Journal of Consumer Affairs, and the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing and has previously served as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Marketing, and on several advisory boards.

Meet Sonya A. Grier

Sonya A. Grier is an expert on race in the marketplace and the social impact of marketing.

Professor in the Department of Physics in AU’s College of Arts and Sciences and director of the DC Space Grant Consortium, Nathan Harshman is preparing students for the future of the space industry. He’s also an expert in quantum information theory and its intersection with particle physics. Harshman explores how to quantify and detect entanglement in composite particle systems such as molecules and atoms and fundamental particles like electrons and photons—a valuable study for future quantum information processing applications. As director of the DC Space Grant Consortium, Harshman connects students and faculty to NASA’s missions and is helping to answer the big questions surrounding how life on earth began and whether there is life elsewhere in the universe.

Meet Nathan Harshman

Nathan Harshman is an expert on preparing for the future space industry.

Professor in AU’s schools of Public Affairs and Education Cynthia Miller-Idriss is an expert in preventing and disengaging from violent extremism. She is co-founder and director of the university’s Polarization and Extremism Research & Innovation Lab (PERIL), which develops evidence-based approaches to disrupt destructive social trends. Miller-Idriss has testified before the US Congress and regularly briefs US policy, security, education, and intelligence agencies, the United Nations, and foreign countries on domestic violent extremism trends and prevention and disengagement strategies. She is the author, co-author, or co-editor of six books and writes for and appears regularly on a variety of news outlets.

Meet Cynthis Miller-Idriss

Cynthia Miller-Idriss in an expert on the prevention and disengagement of violent extremism.

Expert in race and representation in media Sherri Williams, assistant professor in AU’s School of Communication, examines how marginalized people—particularly women of color—are portrayed in media. Her research also explores how black people’s use of social media is changing social justice and the entertainment industry. Williams is currently leading a study examining how black millennials are affected by social media images of fatal police brutality against black people. As a journalist, her work earned two Ohio Society of Professional Journalists first-place awards for Best Minority Issues Reporting and accolades from the APME. She frequently contributes to national media outlets and has been interviewed for her social media expertise. Williams was also named one of NBC BLK’s fierce black feminists you should know.

Meet Sherri Williams

Sherri Williams is an expert on race and representation in media.

Since the launch of Change Can’t Wait, our community of alumni and friends has helped establish endowed chairs, invest in research, and fund centers with real-world impact. You can help us elevate, inspire, and lead on campus and beyond by supporting our remarkable scholar-teachers with a gift to the AU Fund for Faculty, Research, and Innovation. Individuals interested in learning more about opportunities to establish endowed chairs and professorships should contact the vice president of development and alumni relations at