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AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

AU in the Neighborhood Community Relations Newsletter September 2013

December 2012

An Evening of Community and Holiday Cheer

American University invites our neighbors to the Katzen Arts Center on Monday, December 3 for an opportunity to meet with AU President Neil Kerwin, university administrators, and others members of the community. The evening’s schedule includes:

Community Liaison Committee Meeting

6 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

Katzen Arts Center – Studio Theatre

The following agenda items will be addressed in this third and final meeting for 2012:

•Fall 2012 Student Enrollment - Jorge Abud, Assistant VP for Facilities Development & Real Estate

•Construction Update – Jorge Abud, Assistant VP for Facilities Development & Real Estate

•Final Review: CLC Operating Document and Mediation Program Guidelines

•Designation of Working Group to Develop Pool of Mediators

•Summary of Incident Reports and Resolutions since September Meeting (student conduct) –Michelle Espinosa, Associate Dean of Students

•AU’s Pedestrian Safety Campaign - Phil Morse, Senior Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management

•Status of Parking & Transportation Review, including shuttle service and tracking of traffic associated with external events, continuing legal education and other graduate courses - Jorge Abud, Assistant VP for Facility Development & Real Estate

•Community Emergency Response Training Opportunity - Dan Nichols, Executive Director of University Safety Programs

For more information, visit the Community Liaison Committee website.

American University’s Community Liaison Committee (CLC) was established to foster positive relations and to maintain regular communication between the university and its neighbors. As specified in the D.C. Zoning Commission Order for AU’s new 10-year Campus Plan, the CLC comprises individuals from neighboring community organizations and representatives from the university.

Community Town Hall with President Neil Kerwin

7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Katzen Arts Center – Abramson Recital Hall

American University President Neil Kerwin will hold a town hall meeting to meet with neighbors and discuss issues that are important to the community.

Community Holiday Reception

8 p.m.

Katzen Arts Center – Kreeger Hall Lobby, adjacent to Recital Hall

Join us for a holiday gathering with our neighbors. You will be able to visit the Katzen Museum Gift Shop, enjoy music, and share some holiday cheer.

Please RSVP to these events at or 202-885-2700. Free parking is available in the Katzen Arts Center Parking Garage.

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AU Will Close For Winter Break

American University will be closed for nine days during the winter holiday season. Offices and buildings, including Bender Library, will be closed from Monday, December 24 through Tuesday, January 1. The university will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2013. During the break, Public Safety staff will provide emergency services and will continue routine patrol of the campus. The AU Shuttle also will not operate during the break.

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President Neil Kerwin’s Fall Video Message

Recently, American University’s Office of the President released President Neil Kerwin’s Fall Video Message. In the message, he talks about highlights from the past semester including the new growth and revitalization of campus facilities; the addition of accomplished faculty and academic leaders, and other election-related activities, events, and discussions. To view the three-and-a-half-minute video, click here.

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AU Shuttle Buses Get a Biodiesel Makeover

After more than a decade of planning, the green dream of biodiesel buses at American University is about to become a reality. Beginning this month, all of American University’s nine shuttle buses will run on biodiesel. Transportation Manager Alef Worku and his team have worked towards achieving this goal since it was first proposed in 1999. The shuttles will start with B5 fuel and gradually transition to B20. The number represents the percentage of biofuel used in the biodiesel mixture. Tri-Gas and Oil will deliver the fuel by truck three times a week to a new 1,000-gallon storage tank located near the Osborn Building. The tank represents the final stages of transitioning the bus fleet to biodiesel. Worku said, “We’ve passed a big hurdle, which is getting the tank.”

When the idea was first proposed, the use of biodiesel was still considered to be a “radical idea.” However, once standards were established for the fuel, it began to rapidly gain acceptance as an alternative fuel source. Initially, AU used biodiesel in only one of the maintenance vehicles. However, once it was confirmed how well the engine ran, and that there was no unpleasant smell usually associated with diesel engines, the university decided to go forward with plans to convert the entire fleet of vehicles to biodiesel. There will be no changes or modifications required on the engines themselves - only that the engine filters will have to be changed more frequently. While this may cost the university slightly more time and money, using B20 fuel will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent.

In addition to changing fuel types, AU also will add three new buses to its fleet in January. Due to new technologies, the emissions from new buses will be closer to zero. The Transportation Management team also has developed a policy of “smart schedules” that aims to run shuttles less frequently during hours when there is less demand. Always making improvements, Worku already is looking for new technologies to make transportation at AU even more sustainable. “Fifteen years ago biodiesel was a joke to today’s reality. Hopefully we eventually will have electric buses with zero emissions.”

For now, the university is proud of the major accomplishment of shifting to a bus fleet entirely run on biodiesel.

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How to Contact Us

Office of Community Relations
(202) 885-2167

Public Safety
non-emergency: (202) 885-2527
emergency: (202) 885-3636
Community Incident Reporting Form

Dean of Students
(202) 885-3300

Parking & Traffic Office
(202) 885-3111



Calendar of Events

Monday, Dec. 3 from 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Community Liaison Committee Meeting at Katzen Arts Center – Studio Theatre

Monday, Dec. 3 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Community Town Hall with President Neil Kerwin atKatzen Arts Center – Abramson Recital Hall

Monday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. Community Holiday Reception at Katzen Arts Center – Kreeger Hall Lobby, adjacent to Recital Hall

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m. DC Startup Forum: Women in Tech, and Culture Change with Jenn Gustetic The third event in this popular series features Jenn Gustetic, NASA, Challenges and Prizes Program Executive. Admission is free at the Wechsler Theater. RSVP at, or contact Kim Husted at

Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Women’s Basketball vs. Coppin State University at Bender Arena.

Saturday, Dec. 8 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Gallery Talk: David Humphrey and Matthew KenyonJoin artists David Humphrey and Matthew Kenyon in a gallery talk on their current exhibitions. Called a Pop Surrealist, Humphrey’s work hybridizes a variety of depiction schemes and idioms to make works charged with psycho-social content and narrative potential. This exhibition is a selection of work from the past ten years. Kenyon co-founded SWAMP (Studies of Work Atmosphere and Mass Production) with artist Douglas Easterly. Their work focuses on critical themes addressing the effects of global corporate operations, mass media and communication, military-industrial complexes, and general meditations on the liminal area between life and artificial life. Katzen AU Museum. For more information, call 202-885-ARTS.

Saturday, Dec. 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Women’s Basketball vs. The George Washington University at Bender Arena.

Sunday, Dec. 9 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wrestling vs. University of Maryland at Bender Arena.

Thursday, Dec. 20 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wrestling vs.George Mason University at Bender Arena.

Monday, Dec. 24 through Tuesday, Jan. 1 Offices and buildings, including Bender Library, will be closed for winter break.

For event details and a full list of all upcoming events, see the University Events Calendar.

For a listing of upcoming events for AU alumni, please visit the Alumni Events Calendar.

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