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Meet Your Program Associates

Program Associates (PAs) are here to support first-year Honors students both academically and socially during the fall semester. They will attend a CORE-106 Complex Problems course with you and help lead the associated HNRS-150 Experiential Learning lab. In addition, they live on the Honors and CBRS floor of Anderson Hall where they hold office hours, plan co-curricular and social activities, and act as the bridge between the classroom and the living environment. 

Jadyn Newman

Displaced Lives in the DMV with Professor Pike

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Major: Double Major in Justice/Law and Film/Media Arts

Why did you decide to come to AU? AU was my first choice! I found that its location in Washington D.C. and social justice-oriented student body would provide me with amazing opportunities to collaborate with students, professors, and D.C. communities! Also, I love that AU allows me to combine my passions for activism and filmmaking.

Favorite Course or AU Experience (so far): I absolutely adored Professor Pike's "Displaced Lives in the DMV" class my freshman year. So now, I'm even more excited to be acting as a teaching assistant for the course! Additionally, my favorite non-academic campus experience has been participating in AU's Improv Team. It's a lot of fun!

Favorite Spot on Campus: The Amphitheater. It's the perfect place to read, study, and find peace outdoors while avoiding the business of the quad.

Favorite Place in D.C.: The alleyways in Shaw. They're a window into much of D.C.'s Black community and the graffiti is amazing!

Will Cann

What is Legitimate? with Prof. Esser

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Major: International Studies Minor: Anthropology

Why did you decide to come to AU? I not only wanted to go to a college in D.C. for the amazing opportunities the city offers, but I also really wanted a school where I could be curious and learn both about a variety of subjects and about myself. I think AU does a great job providing space for students to grow.

Favorite course or AU experience (so far): My first-year course, "Dying, Death, and the Afterlife," was a mind-blowing experience. The class introduced us to different iterations of the afterlife and how various religions and cultures celebrate and mourn death. Having the chance to supplement the knowledge I gained inside the classroom with experiential learning activities is something I will never forget.

Favorite spot on campus: I love Katzen because it's such a great place to study. Plus, it's awesome to look at the artwork and listen to student musicians practicing. 

Favorite place in DC: I would probably say the Renwick Gallery. It's a small American art gallery, so you can check out the whole thing in one visit. They have a small permanent collection as well as ever-changing temporary exhibitions, which are gorgeous and often interactive.

Colette Combs

Contemporary World Cinema with Prof. Middents

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers 

Major(s): Political Science and History 

Why did you decide to come to AU? I love DC- there are endless things to do and it’s the perfect place for a political science major. The school has an amazing community feel with a beautiful campus, friendly and helpful faculty, engaging classes, and fantastic resources and events. I feel at home here at AU!

Favorite course or AU experience (so far): The first speaker I ever saw on campus was Jim Obergefell in my first week on campus. He was one of the plaintiffs in the marriage equality Supreme Court case, and an inspiration to me. It was such an important experience for me that made feel at home at AU.

Favorite spot on campus: I love the Dav (try their chai- they’re the best!) and the SIS atrium just outside. It’s a great place to work, relax, or hang out with friends!

Favorite place in DC: I love exploring new neighborhoods! Right now, I like going to Potter’s House in Adams Morgan (one of my favorite neighborhoods right now) and there’s always something to do in Dupont Circle!

Kai Tomalin

Depicting the Divine with Prof. Allen

Pronouns: he/him/his 

Major: International Service

Why did you decide to come to AU? I decided to come to AU for the peace studies program, and I love DC!

Favorite course or AU experience that you've had (so far): My favorite course I have taken so far was intercultural communication.

Favorite spot on campus: I love all the gardens on campus, but my favorite spot by far is the amphitheater. It is great for practicing martial arts, reading or just smelling flowers.

Favorite place in DC: My favorite place in DC would definitely be the zoo. Dc is running pretty low on gorillas, so it is nice to see them where I can. 

Isaiah Washington

Black is Beautiful with Prof. Leonard

Pronouns: He/him/his

Major: Literature Minor: Political Science

Why did you decide to come to AU? American University is a vehicle for me to refine my leadership skills and elevate them to a new level of engagement in the nation’s capital. I am able to better the lives of low-income, illiterate residents in the D.C. area, actualizing service projects like the book fair I started at my high school. I am allocated an intimate, collaborative setting that is limitless in regards to the people I can exchange ideas with. American University continues to offer me multiple opportunities to serve the community, participate in a vibrant arts scene, have internships, and have on-campus avenues to explore journalism and social activism. The buoyancy of my experience is due to the network of support the Honors Program has helped to sow.

Favorite course or AU experience (so far):  My favorite has been my Honors Complex Problems course, Displaced Lives in the DMV, led by Professor David Pike. Through field research, I was able to audit the forces shaping gentrification and displacement in the D.C. area, capturing anthropological snapshots of the Salvadoran and Ethiopian communities in the DMV area.

Favorite spot on campus: Battelle Tompkins Atrium 

Favorite place in DC: John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts